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    A classic book I should have read in high school

    By: Christy V. Temple

    Well, I guess you could say that sometimes in life we have great intentions of doing a lot of things and yet we somehow always manage to put them off for one reason or another. I started out in this world as an A#1 procrastinator to the fullest extent possible. If it meant cleaning my room, doing homework, studying, etc. etc., I would find a way to put it off.

    I guess it wasn’t until I started graduate school back in 2003 that I finally realized that there would be no more of this type of thinking. I will tell anyone that graduate school turned me around real quick and from that point forward I have never procrastinated on much of anything since. I am actually grateful for this because it causes me to live more in the here and now and understand that life is for the living and worth living to the fullest. If we constantly procrastinate then it’s hard to know if we’ll ever get caught up with all the stuff we’ve procrastinated about for years.

    I don’t know about anybody else but if I put off doing everything until I was older then I would be too tired by that time to do any of it. So, since 2003 and beyond, I make it a point to tell myself that whatever it is, “get out there and do it and get it over with so you don’t have to worry anymore about it.” I try my best to live up to this each day, although there have still been certain times in my life when I have felt too tired or mentally drained to take on some tasks immediately. So, I guess you could say there are still small traces of procrastination in me but very little.

    For instance, it has come to my attention recently that there are certain books that I probably should have made a point of reading back in high school or college that I never managed to get around to doing until now. Well, I am proud to say that I have finally conquered one of those books that I have told myself all my life that I needed to read. Part of wanting to read this was out of sheer curiosity of the title, the other part was always seeing bits and pieces of the movie on TV but never knowing enough about it to try to watch it, and finally, the fact that I am a part of one of the book clubs here at the library and my turn will be coming up in October this year. The book title we will be reading this fall is a sequel of sorts to the original, which was written by a Pulitzer-Prize winning author that just passed away on February 19, 2016.

    Have you figured out who I am referring to yet? Of course, it’s Harper Lee, who wrote one of the greatest landmark pieces of literature of our time in To Kill A Mockingbird. I am partly ashamed to say that I just finished this wonderful piece of literature after being out of high school for quite a long time. I will also admit that when I started the book I wasn’t totally sure that I would like it very well. However, as the story of Atticus, Scout, Jem, Calpurnia, Dill, Aunt Alexandra, Tom Robinson, Heck Tate, Boo Radley, and all the others started falling into place I realized I was hooked line-and-sinker.

    I will also admit that I knew just enough about the story from what others had told me that there is some colorful language and characters to behold. Truthfully, just reading some parts of the book made me cringe at times because of the content. It also made me realize that Harper Lee was writing from a place that she knew well growing up in and that this is the way things were in Alabama at that time, whether it was right or wrong.

    In any event, I feel a real sense of accomplishment right now for having finally read this book. Now, I have the intense desire to go and find the movie with Gregory Peck playing the part of Atticus Finch. I have had the profound joy of being able to imagine it in my own mind as to how it would have played out back then. The next best thing now will be to watch the movie and be able to see and hear the book played out in front of my own eyes.

    For my next act, I will need to go and check out Go Set a Watchman, as this is the sequel, finally published in 2015 by Harper Lee. Just this time though, I am going to pause and perhaps procrastinate just a little so as to give myself enough time to truly absorb what To Kill A Mockingbird means to me right now. I want to simmer in the summer Alabama heat, listen to the tales of Scout and Jem about Boo Radley, and wait patiently to hear the call of the mockingbird high in the trees on a moonlit night….

     
     
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