Tuesday, May 5, 2009

International Reading Association - Minneapolis, MN

54th Annual Convention North Central: Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 3 - 7, 2009, Minneapolis Convention Center

Finally here!
With great expectations I bounced out of bed to attend my first IRA Convention. It has been on my list of things to do for quite some time and I am finally here. I feel like I have stepped into the shoes of Mary Tyler Moore happy, excited, spinning around throwing up my hat in celebration, in fact we passed Mary's
statue on the corner in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota as we were driving to our hotel.

IRA's 54th Annual Convention North Central opened Monday with the Opening General Session, featuring keynote speaker Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I had read both books and couldn’t wait to listen to someone who had pulled on my heart and took my breath in the first chapter. Khaled shared with all of us his journey and how he always knew he was hard wired to be an author.
As a boy he dreamed of being Clint Eastwood, however his life’s path took him in a different way. His father was a diplomat and his mother was a vice principal of a girl’s school. They left their comfortable life behind. They were forced by war to come to this country. Hosseini shared his personal thoughts about what went wrong in Afghanistan and the huge challenges the country is facing. He talked about visiting Afghanistan and getting involved with UNHCR and his development of his own foundation, Hosseini Foundation. His last quote summed everything up as a keynote speaker. He said,” teachers can help the young break the shackles of apathy. It begins in the homes and in the schools.” Not only his books moved me, but his speaking stirred me to care about the lives of others.


Anonymous said...

Looks like some good summer reading for me! It fascinates me how quickly our students adjust to our culture, language and societial expectations when they have to leave the only home they knew and loved. Looking forward to learning through you and Susan. Keep blogging! -Metzger and Morris

Melissa Ross said...

I read the Kite Runner and could not put it down. I will have to check out A Thousand Splended Suns this summer. That is awesome that you had the opportunity to hear him speak.

Suzanne said...

I'll have to add these books to my summer reading list.