Monday, July 11, 2011

Miles to Go - Richard Paul Evans

Synopsis from Evans presents the second installment in an inspiring new series about an executive who loses everything and embarks on a walk that takes him across America. Alan Christoffersen, a once-successful advertising executive, wakes one morning to find himself injured, alone, and confined to a hospital bed in Spokane, Washington. Sixteen days earlier, reeling from the sudden loss of his wife, his home, and his business, Alan left everything he knew behind and set off on an extraordinary cross-country journey. Carrying only a backpack, he planned to walk to Key West, the farthest destination on his map. But a vicious roadside stabbing has interrupted Alan’s trek and robbed him of his one source of solace: the ability to walk. Homeless and facing months of difficult recovery, Alan has nowhere to turn—until a mysterious woman enters his life and invites him into her home.

The second “journal” in The Walk series was a bit slower of a read than the first and then seemed rushed at the end. Perhaps that is because most of the book takes place during Alan’s recovery. So he is not walking and making progress on his journey.

One of the things that I liked about both books were the nuggets of wisdom you receive from Alan and his journal. For example, one of the overriding themes in Miles to Go is that it is not just what we are able to accomplish ourselves. But it is equally important that we inspire others to do great things.

I think of this in my teaching career. Most days, I don’t feel like I’m doing very great things at all. I believe that education is important, and I love what I do. However, many days I walk away from my classroom in the evening wonder if I accomplished anything at all. Then I think back on all the great teachers (both in and out of school) I had – the ones who inspired me to read and dream and think and write…and to ultimately become a teacher myself. Did they always know what they were planting in me? Or did they have those hum-drum days as well? My guess would be it’s the latter.

So we do what we can. We set goals. And then, ultimately, we set one foot in front of the other and move forward.

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