The Daily Eastern News

Don’t let writing, reading slip away

Carole Hodorowicz, Columnist

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There’s nothing that makes me hit the snooze button on my alarm faster than the sun rising on a Monday morning.

Mondays signal the end of a good weekend and the beginning of another long week.

As the glamour of a free weekend fades away and a week full of responsibilities materializes, it is impossible for me to find delight on the most dreaded day of the week.

Well, almost impossible.

After boiling in the 90-degree weather and dragging my feet from class to class, I came home to my favorite surprise: a hand written letter.

When I opened the small card, patterned with doodles of houses with hearts exploding from the chimneys, I found the words of my neighbor Lucy.

Ever since I can remember, walking across the street to help Lucy cut coupons while chatting the afternoon away at her kitchen table has been a tradition my younger sister, neighbors and I have carried on for many years.

With a sharp wit and a skilled hand for sewing, Lucy’s contagious energy never failed to bring us together to indulge in the enjoyment of good company.

However, as we got older, these rendezvouses became less frequent. A smile and a wave from our front porches were always easy to find, but the time to sit around her kitchen table escaped us.

Reading her words of encouragement, I felt a wave of nostalgia wash over me.

Seeing these words written in her cursive, unique like a fingerprint or a snowflake, is priceless.

Handwritten letters, cards, and even notes in class are near extinction. We can not let technology take all of the blame—humans are just too lazy now with all of the quicker alternatives to communicate.

Last semester, my friend Ryan, who goes to Marquette University, and I decided to keep this ancient art alive.

Every couple weeks, we write each other back and forth. Receiving a text from Ryan that he just put my letter in the mail never failed to put a smile on my face, and seeing the letter in my mailbox always made my day.

We are both advocates for saving snail mail. Our shared passion for handwritten letters has led to a new tradition that we have decided to begin this semester.

Along with being avid writers, Ryan and I are avid readers. With similar literary bucket lists and a shared appreciation for literature, we are going to start choosing a book to read and annotate.

Ryan has chosen to cross Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov off his list first and I am kicking it off with Pet Cemetery by Stephen King.

Once we are finished reading and marking our favorite quotes and passages, we are going to mail each other the books we chose.

This book and annotation exchange is not only a way for us to stay connected while we are both away at school, but it is also our contribution to saving an art and personal form of communication that is slipping away.

Participating in these activities will always hold more value to me than any material item or new product on the market.

The card Lucy wrote me joins a wall in my room decorated with the letters Ryan, my sister, and my other close friends have written me over the years. Underneath, a pile of books I have collected from used bookstores, birthdays, and Christmas’s are filled with annotations and dog-tailed pages.

My worry is that one day this collection will become a shrine for what we might let slip away. Until then, it is my own private museum of personal and emotional artifacts.

Carole Hodorowicz is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or cdhodorowicz@eiu.edu.

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Don’t let writing, reading slip away