Teri Vance: Always have something interesting to read
February 4, 2019
As this community bids farewell to Sena Loyd as director of the Carson City Library — she's taking a job in the private sector — I can't help but reflect on my own literary history.
One of the most exciting, most anticipated times in my life was starting kindergarten. For two years, I'd watched my older sister get on the bus and go to this magical place known as school while I stayed home.
I couldn't wait for my turn.
It finally came. I went in for my immunizations — leaving with a bubble on my little arm from the tuberculosis test. But my bubble was about to pop.
We lived on the Saval Ranch more than an hour's drive from the elementary school in Elko, so the teachers, administrators and my mom came up with a plan.
Rather than driving in for a half-day of school every day, they presented us with a home-school kindergarten kit.
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We would do the daily activities outlined in the manual, and check-in with the school from time to time with my progress.
If social media would have existed then, I would have posted a status with a hashtag sad.
As the days went by with the kindergarten kit, my disappointment soon transformed to a thrilling anticipation for opening the box for a new adventure.
My mom would read the instructions and lead me through the day's activities.
I mixed paints to make new colors — blue and red to make purple, yellow and blue to make green.
I strung chunky bead on a shoestring to make a necklace.
Once, I cut out shapes in construction paper to make a train. I still remember the frustration of trying to cut a rectangle to make the train car, but it came out as a triangle. My round wheels came out as squares instead.
Still, I hung it proudly on my bedroom wall.
And my life rolled happily along like that train on square wheels, until I started getting more and more impatient.
I'd wake up first thing in the morning and ask my mom to start kindergarten.
"Five more minutes," she'd tell me.
I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure more than five minutes would go by.
When I could no longer wait, I would read the manual myself and follow the instructions.
In our next meeting with the school, my mom asked if this was OK. The administrators responded if I had the reading comprehension to follow the lesson manual, I didn't need kindergarten.
They packed up my box, and took it back.
But the teacher gave my mom some advice that has served me well throughout my years. She said, "Just make sure she always has something interesting to read."
I'm grateful to Sena, and all librarians — who make sure we all have something to read. And Sena took it even further, adding virtual and augmented reality and a makerspace, where patrons learn skills like sewing and woodworking.
"I'm really proud of what we've done over the past five years," she said. "Both inside and outside of school, we've brought our community learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, art and math."
More than giving us something interesting to read, she's made sure we have something interesting to learn.
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.