Shared Reading ZOOMs for the Coronapocalypse:)
Virtual Shared Reading Groups : ) If you are interested in hosting or participating in one please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Last night we held our first virtual shared reading group via ZOOM! Alisha & Om set it up and led our session on a Tobias Wolff story Powder. (thanks you guys!) It was great! We kind of expected it to be a bit awkward but Zoom is really easy to use and it was so nice to see everyone’s little faces!
In this story there is a complex and emotionally fraught relationship between a boy and his father but the boy lets go of his anxiety for a moment to enjoy driving through the fresh snow on a deserted country road when he realises that his dad is a great driver. Our group were intrigued, sympathetic and reminded of people from our lives:
“This reminds me of my ex!”
“It’s like the child has to be the parent, he has so much anxiety it’s hard for him to let go the control!”
“The child feels responsible, the dad wants him to play the game, be an accomplice- but he won’t”
“I wonder what the mum feels?”
“The language is so beautiful, I feel like the writer remembers this time as magical and unique.”
Why not? This was one for the books. Like being in a speedboat, only better. You can’t go downhill in a boat. And it was all ours. And it kept coming, the laden trees, the unbroken surface of snow, the sudden white vistas. Here and there I saw hints of the road, ditches, fences, stakes, though not so many that I could have found my own way. But then I didn’t have to. My father was driving. My father in his forty-eighth year, rumpled, kind, bankrupt of honor, flushed with certainty. He was a great driver. All persuasion, no coercion. Such subtlety at the wheel, such tactful pedalwork. I actually trusted him. And the best was yet to come—switchbacks and hairpins impossible to describe. Except maybe to say this: if you haven’t driven fresh powder, you haven’t driven.
“Powder” by Tobias Wolff, from The Night in Question: Stories. Copyright © 1996 by Tobias Wolff. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House, LLC.Attachments area
A couple of tips for virtual shared reading groups:
1: Mute while the reading aloud is happening to minimise background noise.
2: Pause to make sure people have finished speaking before chiming in.
3: Find the “grid” view so you can see everyone at once, otherwise you have to scroll back and forth with more than about 5 people.