Continuing to grow

A reader’s brief perspective on engaging to learn.

Continuing last months blogs of how amazing teachers are, I will disclose that I’ve decided to take some on-line classes this semester. It’s been an interesting and fun challenge. Granted it’s a bit intimidating one one of the classes is filled with high school seniors- they must be smart if they are taking a college course already! but so far I am holding my own. Doing everything on-line has been the biggest challenge overall. Not just the technology part of it (that does suck up a lot of my time trying to figure things out) but the almost artificial interactions I am having with classmates. In order to replicate the discussions that naturally occur in a classroom environment they have a weekly “discussion” online. The professor presents a question, usually based on information read for that week, and then each student is expected to write a reply. The discussion part comes in when we have to reply twice more to something our classmates have written in a constructive manner as would be fitting in a classroom- basically you can’t just write, “I like what you said.”

As I said this is the hard part for me. I like to talk and listen and engage in a conversation where you can see an individuals face and attempt to read their non-verbal cues. It is this type of interaction that allows me to learn- does that make me an auditory learner or kinesthetic learner or some other type of learner? I’m not totally sure, I just like to engage. But at the same time I’m a bit introverted. Scratch that, I am an introvert stuck in an extroverts body. I cringe at social situations and go into over processing mode prior all the way down to if the shoes I’m wearing will work. I hate going to social events where there are other people who may have (wait for it) …expectations that I speak to them! However, when I get there my other weirdness of not wanting anyone to feel left out kicks in and I actually talk to people, especially if they don’t seem to be engaging either. If you ask Kim she will tell you all day long that I am an extrovert- it really kind of sucks. So why am I going here? Well, in this day and age, how do we really engage about books? How do we discuss them and share them and appreciate them so much that everyone else knows how amazing they are and replies back and starts a conversation?

Let’s go with a book club. I’ve never been to one. I would love to try- especially after watching the movie The Book Club, but they seem few and far between. Well at least one’s that read lesbian fiction. I actually live in a very LGBT-history oriented location in the US and there is an actual LGBT Center in the next town that caters to retired LGBT members. And they have book clubs. Two of them actually. But they don’t read lesbian fiction!! The titles vetted for each month are current bestsellers off the New York Time’s list or something similar. But why? Why have this amazing opportunity to discuss lesbian literature with other lesbians and forego it in favor of a straight romance? As of yet, I have not joined either.

That is going to be my question for this week. I believe that discussing something allows us to understand it better, relate to it easier, and remember it longer. I would absolutely love to be in a book club focused on lesbian fiction, so, if anyone has any ideas on how an introvert can start a book club please let me know. And if the suggestions could include eager members that would be a bonus! But since this probably won’t happen quickly what are the best ways that you have found to discuss LesFic stories that you love? And when I say discuss, is it in an environment that is free of bias? Are individuals allowed to express a differing opinion and not be judged? Thanks everyone for contributing to my LesFic book addiction!!

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. We are lucky enough to have a f/f book club here in the Twin Cities. I enjoy attending and we even manage to discuss the book among the socializing. I tried to start a mainstream book club here in town but it fizzled after about four meetings. Not everyone loves to read and prioritizes it :(.

    I hear you on the introvert in an extravert body. As an introvert, having a job/purpose at a social function keeps me out of the corner – making others feel included is a good “job” for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard some amazing stories about The Twin Cities and how many opportunities for activities it has for the LGBTQ community. That is awesome that you are involved with the book club as I’m sure you can offer a lot of insight.

      Like

  2. I was lucky to be part of a wonderful book group for over 5 years that read and discussed lesbian fiction . The group still meets, but I moved away 12 years ago – though I have dropped in a few times. I tried to start a lesbian book group where I live now in rural VT, but could only find one interested person.
    Have you tried posting in MeetUps? Folks often go there looking for things to do. I wish you luck. I miss my book group still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meet ups is a great idea! I did some activities associated with a meet-up a long time ago when I was living in a different state. I might have to look into doing something like that here. Thanks for reading Laney!

      Like

  3. Good to hear the introvert/extrovert theory I’ve been dishing out to my siblings can be collaborated. I really hate social events, feeling like I’m a third/fifth wheel. Never really blending. Cringing at the thought of holding civil conversation about topics like sports, men, or shoes. But I love to talk about books and music and animals. And I almost always pick the wall flowers around the room to talk too because they are the ones that I find approachable and usually less concerned with “getting some”. I don’t really have a lot of time to participate in a book club but I joined a GoodReads.com Group called Lesbian Book Club. Very nice group name right? The moderator gives a selection of Lesbian books at the end of one month to have the group select one by e-poll. Then announces the winner to the group and the discussion is on for the new month. This gives me like 4 or 5 books to research for a good read every month.

    Then, everyone writes a review, or their take of the way they feel or judge the work. This month was The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. A lot of the readers love the way Sarah writes but felt her subjects and historical period were depressingly real. I really use this club to seek out books to read or buy because most of them I’ve never read and the ones I have I sometimes need to buy again on my kindle (since I’ve converted to digital).

    I hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a great way to generate reviews for various authors- the goodreads book club. I know a lot of authors really depend on reviews to help with the marketing of their books so this is great and motivating. I keep saying I’m going to write reviews but then several completed books later and I still haven’t gotten into the rhythm. Thanks for the suggestion jeannenichols and thanks for reading!

      Like

  4. I love the comments. Thanks for the tips. I live a couple hours from the twin cities and have actually thought about driving there for book club. I would love to find one closer and I see nothing wrong with a book club devoted to lesbian books. I am sure straight book clubs far out number these.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Michelle in thinking that straight book clubs most likely outnumber lesbian ones that is why I’m so stumped on the local group here reading straight books. There are some good ideas though huh! Thanks for reading and I hope you have a chance to get to the Twin Cities book club some day! Say hi to Ann when you do!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s