This is my 500th post. Quite a milestone!
Last fall I realized that, if I planned carefully and stuck to my plan, Reading to the Core’s 5th birthday, February 4th, and its 500th post could coincide. I liked the symmetry of this. The only problem was that Thanksgiving and Christmas lay between my realization and the big day.
It’s now March 11th, so I clearly didn’t reach my goal. Sometime during the week between Christmas and New Year, I had to admit that I’d never make it, and I became okay with that. Because even if the two milestones didn’t occur on the same day, both still marked a personal accomplishment. And aren’t the numbers we attach to these milestones somewhat arbitrary anyway?
Still, I was curious about the significance of 500, so I did a little research. From Numbermatics, I learned that “500 is an even composite number composed of two prime numbers multiplied together.” It is also a Harshad number. This, according to Wolfram MathWorld, is “a positive integer which is divisible by the sum of its digits.”
This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, so I dug a little deeper. At Riding the Beast, I learned that, among other symbolic meanings, 500 “symbolize[s] the infinity for Irish.” I couldn’t find any confirmation for this, and it seems unlikely, given that “the Celts believed that everything happens in threes.” But the idea appealed to me, since one branch of my family emigrated from Ireland sometime in the 1800s.
My searching also led me to this information about the Triskele, pre-Celtic design that “stands for unity of the three” and “symbolizes the eternal life, the flow of nature, and spiritual growth.” It is also “believed to represent a tale of forward motion to reach understanding.” This is a much better symbol for what Reading to the Core is all about.
In my first post, my goal for blogging was “to have a conversation with literacy professionals around the country about reading and writing instruction today.” After one year, I realized that my writing focused more on my “curiosity about the world around us and my passion to help all kids find their own true self, to find their own true core.”
There’s no way to know exactly what I’ll be writing about next year at this time, or even what I’ll be writing about next week. What is certain is that it will be, in the words of E.L. Doctorow, “an exploration [where] you start from nothing and learn as you go.”
And thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, Lisa and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.