An Inspirational Read

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Inspiration can take many forms. But for Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School junior Kiran Ahmad, inspiration came from a combination of a book and a teacher who taught her a deeper love for reading.

Admittedly, Ahmad said English isn’t one of her favorite subjects, nor does she have an affinity for reading. That was until she was placed in Mr. Miles’ English class this year. The class recently read J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and somehow, she just made a connection. “Mr. Miles is very enthusiastic about the book, which kind of made me enthusiastic about reading it,” she said. “And when we started to analyze the book, it really got me thinking about some of the characters.”

It got Ahmad thinking so much so that she decided to travel to Princeton University’s library, on her own, to read some of Salinger’s unpublished works, most notably:” The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,” the prequel to “Catcher in the Rye.” The short story explains why the book’s main character is the way he is, and since the story won’t be published until 2060, Ahmad wanted to share what she learned with her teacher.

“I started writing an email full of all the details to Mr. Miles immediately after I left the library,” she said. “I wanted to retain everything I could about the story.” The purpose of her journey to Princeton was to share her knowledge with the teacher who inspired her. “Mr. Miles is an inspiration and he always tells me that I inspire him,” she said. “I never even liked to read and he made me fall in love with books. And when he replied to my email about my trip, it just made my day.”