Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Before taking a break from my blog for a week of rest in Alaska I was wondering what to write about this week. Through a library loan I was able to track down a book on reading I had been searching for, Successful Reading: Key to Our Dynamic Society by Maxwell H. Norman. So in keeping with some of my recent discussions on reading I will share some important thoughts from his book. This book has helped me select the books I am taking on our cruise.
In the preface he points out that the need for reading has grown as knowledge in the world has expanded. From a career standpoint he states that many of us may do several career shifts so there is a continual need to learn and grow in new knowledge areas. Reading brings flexibility to our lives and the ability to cope better with the continual changes. One timely thought even though the book was printed in 1968 he speaks of the importance of a strong democracy depends on a literate society for citizens to make sound critical thinking decisions. I mention this concept in my book Living More Than OK in my critical thinking chapter. We can only improve the society for the better by rational understanding of facts and issues and making sound decisions instead of irrational emotionalism that guides the Alinsky type tactics found in our present government. The present administration just reacts to chaos not letting a crisis go to waste instead of critical thinking to solve problems.
Norman views the successful reader as the students who do not complain about their reading assignments or the business people who know the importance of keeping up with business journals. To him these readers see how, “Books can provide escape from the monotony of everyday existence… they taste the joys frustrations of the laboratory and the creative thinking of great minds” (page 2). There is a great love for all literature and understanding of the importance of reading in self-growth which I believe is the basis of being a Bookhead.
In the successful reader there is seen in his text three characteristics that he keeps considering throughout the book. The first is that the readers have a purpose driving their reading. There is a reason behind why they are reading. Then that progresses to the characteristic of concentration. The reader with a purpose can better focus his or her mind in their reading. This improves the third characteristic of comprehension. Reading is not just to glance mindlessly at pages of words. With the purpose in mind linked to the power of the mind’s focusing powers we better understand what we are reading for a meaningful reading experience.
As to the purpose that varies on the types of material we are reading. The examples that Norman presents are on a Summer day reading a thriller novel as an enjoyable escape for the mind. James Patterson novels come to my mind as an example of this type of reading. A strong reader may go through 200 pages of a novel in one evening with this purpose of reading. Then Norman switches to a purpose of a student having to read for Philosophy a short reading of Aristotle’s Ethics. This will probably take just as long as the novel but with reading much fewer pages to fully understand the information for a class. It all depends on the purpose. I know my journal article reading for my PhD classes take longer to read than a lighter novel or non-fiction book for pleasure.
The emphasis of the book is reading for learning. This learning is not just in the scholastic sense but reading to learn because of curiosity of various aspects of the world such as history, technology, social issues, and philosophy. There is also reading for pleasure and relaxing. This is using reading to escape the boredom of everyday life and exploring topics of interest in books and magazines or expanding your creative mind in the vast array of fiction novels. Norman also speaks of reading for personal growth and self-understanding. This is the area of reading where my book, Living More Than OK fits into with a desire for individuals to grow in various aspects of their lives.
His encouragement at the end of the book is to build a reading program into our weekly time schedule. To the question of busy people who say when can I find time to read he responds. “The basic answer to this question is a philosophical one, a deliberate decision on your part, a determination of values. Can you afford not to read?” (page 134). If you can read 30 minutes a day that is 3 ½ hours a week. In a month that equates to about 14 hours to read. Then in a year that would be about 168 hours of reading. Think through how that investment of time could improve your creative and critical thinking. Think how that investment may help you in your career by having greater knowledge. It all boils down to our personal choices in how we use our time. Mortimer Adler is quoted in the book on his thoughts on reading, “Reading … is a basic tool in living of a good life.” ( page 160). I would go beyond that by saying that reading is a core tool in the continual Living More Than OK experience to help us keep Spiraling Up To Abundant Living.
Reflection: Do you believe reading can be of help in living a successful life? Do you think about your purpose when reading a book? What do you think of the question “Can you afford not to read”? How could an increase in reading by everyone improve the world we live in?
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Dinesh D’Souza is a conservative political and social commentator, whom I have respected over the years in reading his books. I have appreciated his clear sound thinking in declaring his arguments which he backs up with researched evidence. In my book, Living More Than OK, I present some information from his book, Godforsaken, in my chapter on spirituality. Recently my family and I went to see his new movie, America: Imagine the World Without Her (Click on the title to see a preview clip of the movie). The thought in watching it comes across that if the liberal progressives hate America so much, what would the world be like if America did not exist. This week I want to share some of my thoughts on the movie and encourage you to go see the movie for yourself.
As I watched the movie Dinesh’s ideas were thoughtfully engaging. He gave liberal progressive professors a hearing of what problems they saw in America. Having worked in higher education, they were familiar problems, such as the slavery issue, America’s stealing of Indian and Mexican land, and income disparity. Dinesh presented their arguments in their own words and highlighted valid concerns they had. Then he went point by point through their arguments with facts that have been overlooked in history showing the fallacies of the liberal progressive thinking. A thread of the argument also shows how the ideals and values of America have been more of a help to progress in the world.
The movie gives an example of critical thinking in action and it stimulates the viewer’s critical thinking. Several of the historical points he brings out I searched for on the internet after watching the movie. My questioning mind wanted to know if he was correct in his examples. Not surprisingly, he was correct in every instance. I am not going into specifics as I want you to go see the movie for yourself and not spoil any of it. Be active with your mind as you view it and think over the arguments and the historical evidence that is presented.
Dinesh and the production team also present a heart stirring level of emotion that brings out a gratefulness for the good things about America. Beautiful scenic photography reveals the beauty of our country. Historical examples show how America has been a force for good in the world. His own story of being an immigrant from India, who came to this country gives a glimpse of a fresh look at the liberties and the good America has done in the world compared to other countries around the world. We as a family saw the movie on the 4th of July weekend so emotionally the movie had an impact of my being thankful for being an American and appreciating the history of the country. Some liberal movie critics who are trashing the movie state that he glosses over the problems of America. This shows either their level of pure ignorance or they were high on drugs while watching it. Dinesh from the very beginning presents the problems using liberal socialist professors own words and even agrees on some levels with them. What bothers the liberal critics of the movie is that he speaks the truth from historical facts that have been ignored and shows the fruit of progressive liberalism for what it is – failure. We see this is the recent events in our country that has turned into what Dr. Ben Carson likes to say a “what can you do for me country, instead of a can do country”.
I was hoping to see a packed theater, especially with July 4th one would think the populace would like a movie about America that instills pride in our country. Instead the masses flocked to movies such Transformers (isn’t this the 100th Transformers movie) and Tammy, a comedy of which looking at the trailer for the movie is not even funny. Maybe the movie critics with their campaign to trash the movie had an effect. Usually I find that if a movie critic says a movie is bad you can count on it being a good movie. I would wonder why the critics are so against such an amazingly great movie but I know why. Most of the critics follow the liberal agenda that America is the problem because that is what their liberal professors told them in their university education. Since they had no critical thinking skills and still do not, they blindly follow the liberal agenda to be anti-American, while they are enjoying all the freedoms of this great country.
I would highly encourage you to go see this movie and go with a few people so you can discuss the movie afterwards. I would encourage liberals to use a little critical thinking and stop blindly following what your leaders tell you and go see the movie for yourselves. It is obvious from the liberal movie critics their desire is to shut this movie of truth about America down as it does not fit with their narrative that America is the cause of the world’s problems. We even saw this week further evidence of this in that Costco pulled Dinesh’s book by the same name out of their stores. They used the lame excuse that it was not selling although it was. Once customers complained about their censorship they quickly switched back to putting the book back in their stores. So again I say this is a movie that everyone should see and discuss. Whatever your political persuasion there are things to learn from seeing America: Imagine the World Without Her.
Reflection – What are three things you are thankful for about living in America? After you see the movie what was one historical fact about America that stood out to you?
Thursday, July 3, 2014
I missed posting on my blog last week as I was in the research trenches attending my Capella University PhD Colloquial. Hopefully in a year I will be at work on my dissertation. Back to the main business of sharing thoughts on personal growth ideas. Before leaving to Dallas for my Colloquial a Facebook friend had a post about a list of movies everyone should see. Movies are an important medium for entertainment as well as development as I believe many have been helped through cinema therapy which is using movies or segments of movies in Counseling therapy. While I looked at the list my being a Bookhead got the best of me and I started looking for booklists of recommended books.
Here are some of the lists that are out there for finding new book possibilities for Summer and reading throughout the year:
Book suggestions for children under 10
Book lists for teens from the American Library Association to encourage reading for teens –
Here is a general book list for everyone to think of new book ideas -
Here is a book suggestion list for men from Goodreads-
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/14016.100_Must_Read_Books_The_Essential_Man_s_Library (Where is the list for Women? I am sure one is out there. You women are smart enough to search for what you are interested in. We men sometimes need help in pulling away from the remote and Sports channel).
Here are some ideas for books to read that include literary classics. How many have you read or is it time to re-read one -
Since I look at life from a Christian worldview I even found a list of suggested Christian books from Goodreads –
I have mentioned book lists for a variety of ages and lists that show literary classics so there are ideas for everyone.
As a Bookhead I present these lists to encourage you in your reading to look into new ideas and possibilities of books for yourself. You may want to create a list of your own top 100 books that you want to read in your life. Connect the list of books to your personal bucket list or dream list.
Another reason for emphasizing these books lists is to encourage you to be involved in your Summer Reading programs with your local public libraries. As I mentioned in my book, Living More Than OK, reading became an interest of mine when I was in elementary school through the Summer reading programs at the Barberton Public Library. I can thank those reading programs for helping me progress early on in my academic life and my critical thinking skills. Reading expanded my view of the world and the desire to explore new ideas while affirming for myself my values and why I believe in my worldview while being respectful of other’s worldviews.
Since one reason of placing these booklists here is to help with ideas for Summer reading I was curious about what was going on in my local library Summer reading program. I went to the New Braunfels Public Library reading program’s website: http://newbraunfels.libguides.com/SRP to look over there program. Their theme is “Fizz, Boom, Read” with a focus on Science reading at all the age levels. For children they are emphasizing reading in 20 minutes segments for their reading logs. That is a good idea as reading in short segments is an effective way to get young people interested in reading. It is a helpful reminder for adults too in our busy world who say they do not have time to read. Just do one chapter a day or 20 minutes to start off in your reading regimen.
New Braunfels library has reading categories in their program for children, teens, and adults. I noticed they have prizes for each of the age groups as well. I am fine with incentives to encourage reading whatever gets people into books is important. Not everyone is a Bookhead like myself who enjoys reading for the sake of reading.
Looking over the New Braunfels website for their Summer reading program made me think about my home town library back in Barberton, Ohio. So I went to their website http://www.barbertonlibrary.org and right on their homepage is the announcement for the Summer “Fizz, Boom, Read” reading program. Seeing their website brought back good memories of reading books in their program and working at the library when I was in High School. I noticed they are using prizes as well to encourage reading which again I am all for as people are often motivated if given an external prize to aim for and hopefully in the process reading will become more of a personal habit. On the Barberton Library website there is an encouragement in the notice to “Sign Up The Whole Family”. What a great idea! Don’t just send the children or teen to the reading program. Adults need to be involved as well. Reading is better caught than taught so parents need to be examples in being seen as reading instead of being glued to their cell phones and tv all the time.
One concern I have with Summer reading programs is when Summer is over so is the reading. When Fall comes keep your library card handy as in the lists I presented there is much more reading for you to keep your mind active and growing throughout the year!
Reflection: What book are you reading right now for the Summer? (If the answer is none, get out of the recliner and head to your nearest library to sign up for the Summer reading program)
Thursday, June 19, 2014
A while ago a Facebook friend, Mark, from back in my hometown school days, sent me a message to listen to a song, Revelation Song, performed by Jesus Culture. When I heard it I recognized it from worship times in my church. The song was written by a songwriter, Jennie Lee Riddle. (Click on her name to learn more about her). Listening to the song made me reflect over the importance and power of music to lift up the inner spirit not just in church but throughout the day. I listen to a wide variety of music, yet when it comes to spiritual songs of praise songs and hymns they enliven my inner being is a uniquely different way.
In thinking of worship songs I looked on the internet and read several articles that mention how music is an important component in many religions in the way they worship. That makes sense as music has in its very nature the ability to tap into our emotions which is an important facet of our being. Music can be found in the worship of a variety of faiths such as Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Atheism to name some of the major religions. I will not speak to religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism, as I am not Hindu or Buddhist. I am a Christian whose journey in my faith walk has been enhanced through songs of worship.
In this post I want to focus in on the song Mark suggested to me. If you click on the song title as usual a video of the song performed by Jesus Culture, a worship band, will play.
Revelation Song by Jennie Lee Riddle
Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to him who sits on Heaven's mercy seat
Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings You are my everything
And I will adore You
Clothed in rainbows, of living color Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be to You the only wise King
Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything And I will adore You
Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power Breath, and living water Such a marvelous mystery
Yeah... Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing Praise to the King of Kings You are my everything
And I will adore You
When I hear this song it reminds me of the visual picture of the worship of Jesus the Lamb found in Revelation 5:11-13:
11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.
In my Christian worldview that I hold onto, Jesus is the perfect sacrifice to bring fallen mankind back into right relationship with God. He alone is worthy of my worship for being the holy perfect Lamb of God. The verses point to a myriad of worshippers in heaven worshipping Jesus on the throne. As I watched the video of Jesus Culture in a worship gathering in Chicago; that showed a small foretaste of the worship being viewed by the Apostle John in the Book of the Revelation. The song mentions about creation singing. In the revelation text we see “every created thing” mentioned in worshiping Christ. Reading that made me think over to a text by the Apostle Paul Romans 8: 18-20
18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope…
Here we see creation is a pointer to God. Enjoying the beauty of creation is a joy as people enjoy flowers, sunsets, lakes, canyons, and many other wonders in nature. When I see creation I feel with Paul that creation is pointing beyond itself to the Creator God behind the creation. I can appreciate the atheist who feels the cosmic magic rabbit just popped into existence by random chance. I just do not have that level of blind faith in chaotic random chance. I look at the complexity and beautiful delicate nature of a flower and see God the Creator behind it. My response is then as the Revelation Song goes “Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder”. That is spirit behind my worship in view of the pure holiness of the great God behind all things. The song states, “You are my everything”. If my worldview is based on the God of glory and maker of all, my only response should be that He is my everything. God should then be the driving force in my love and concern for helping my fellow travelers on this journey in this life. I am glad Mark pointed this song out to me so I could think through the importance of a life of worship that is a major part of my personal worldview.
Reflection: What is your thoughts about the lyrics of the worship song , Revelation Song? If you are of another belief system what do you think of the music that is a part of your Faith? What is your favorite Spiritual song and why is it important to you?
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Last week I considered the importance of reading for pleasure in building inner creativity. For developing our overall mind we need a diversity of reading. Reading for learning and self-development should be an aspect of our weekly reading habits. In this reading we need to activate our critical thinking. The activation process begins with an intentional choice to be engaged with a habit of reading.
Our level of engagement in reading begins when we are young. I read an article recently by Brozo, Shield, & Topping, (2007) on the engagement in reading. They were focusing in on a study by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) done back in 2000 & 2003. It was discouraging to see overall reading scores of American 15 year old students behind that of Finland, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Korea, Japan and Sweden. In the particular area of reading engagement the U.S. was in 20th place. Sad to say from what I see on the college level and within the populace I would say it is lower today.
The PISA definition of reading was stated as: “the capacity to identify and understand the role that reading plays in the world, to make well-founded judgments and to use and engage reading in ways that meets the needs of the individual’s life as a constructive , concerned and reflective citizen.” Wouldn’t the country be better off if we had a populace engaged in that type of reading?
The importance of engaged readers are seen in the study that shows that better readers have improved comprehension skills, improved vocabularies, do better in testing and have higher high school grade point averages than those who are not interested in reading. Of course this reading does not have a payoff just for young people. Engaged readers continue as readers in their adulthood as well keeping their minds active. The engaged reader as seen in the study reads a diversity of material, magazines, fiction for pleasure reading, non-fiction for learning, as well as reading on the web for learning and enjoyment. Sounds like the creation of a Bookhead, which my daughter calls me.
So the choice to be an engaged reader aids in a reader who reads a diverse style of reading. Within non-fiction and magazines, for the purpose of learning from reading, requires what Elder & Paul term “Close reading”. This is purposeful and reflective critical thinking reading. They make an important statement, “Every book we read is a potential teacher… When we take the core ideas of those readings into our minds through careful reading, we can productively use them in our lives.” (Elder & Paul). I have mentioned in my book how lifelong learning is a part of the Living More Than OK lifestyle. Learning from reading is vital to lifelong learning.
Critical thinking in reading is reading driven by seeking to understand what the author is saying and engaging in a conversation with the author as you go through the book. With this close reading approach the mind is not wandering over the pages but is reflecting and thinking while reading. You may not agree with the author on everything but reading critically allows for understanding another’s point of view and realizing where the author is coming from with his or her worldview.
Close reading is the mind being active and not passive. Many people I believe think books are boring as they were taught to passively “just read the words” instead of actively reading for ideas, concepts, and observing the creativity of the story. It is the active engagement that moves the act of reading into an activity to impact and challenge the thought life of the reader. As you read have a mindset of what can I take away from this material to improve my life in some manner. I know that is my hope as people read my book, Living More Than OK, that they gain some positive take-aways to improve their lives.
Think through your level of engagement in reading. Do you have a library card from your local public library? If not stop what you are doing right now and go to your local library and get one. Ok maybe I am being too pushy. Read the rest of my blog then go get it! It is just that a local library is an excellent place to provide a way for the family to be engaged in reading. Going back to the initial PISA study, they found that access to students having diverse reading materials at home was more important than the economic level of families. This reminds me of the story of Dr. Ben Carson. He grew up poor in the Ghetto area of Detroit. They did not have plenty of reading materials at home so his mother had him and his brother go to the library each week to pick out books to read. That was one turning point key in his life. You don’t have to become a full bookhead even though I wish more people would. Still understand there is no better way to improve the mind and keep an active mind; so do build some diverse reading into your weekly schedule.
Reflection – What is your level of engagement in reading as a weekly activity? Do you see reading as a passive or active activity? Check out your local library and see what books are available in interest areas that are important to you. Encourage young people in your life to see that reading is an active activity for their good.
Brozo, William, Shield, Gerry & Topping, Keith, (2007). Engagement in Reading: Lessons Learned from Three PISA Countries. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 51 (4) 304-315
Elder, Linda & Paul, Richard (2004). Critical Thinking … and the Art of Close Reading. Journal of Developmental Education. 27(3), 36-37
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Creativity is an important side of Living More Than OK. Creativity helps us to break free from the mundane repetitiveness of life. How do we grow in our creativity? Can reading be a help in improving our create side of ourselves? I firmly believe so. The power of story and the enjoyment of reading fiction came aid the mind in improving its creative powers. In reading fiction the mind is actively creating pictures within the mind. When watching a video all the creativity is fully formed in the graphics so the mind passively accepts the rendering of the video pictures without the work of creating the images itself. That is what I prefer about reading in that the mind can conjure up its own imagery of a scene.
Schools focus most of the reading efforts on information building reading. That is learning of facts and ideas in science, psychology, history sociology and the like. This is of importance but reading for pleasure should be encouraged with the study of fiction works as this builds on creative thinking of using imagination and visualization (LeCren, 1997). Louise Rosenblatt speaks to creative reading as aesthetic reading, “The reader is no less immersed in a creative process that goes on largely below the threshold of awareness. He is conscious of the resulting images, ideas, states of mind, even physical states, that are generated by his reading, but he is not aware of the individual responses or of much of the process of selection and synthesis that goes on as his eyes can the page.” (quoted in Lecren, 1997). So the mind is active in reading fiction for pleasure in creating the images in the mind and synthesizing the ideas in the story. Lecren mentions how students who read for pleasure in her class in a two year informal study came up with higher creativity scores on the Torrence Test of Creative Thinking.
Foter.com reading to children
Reading for pleasure in past research has been shown to be positively related to academic achieving. This is especially seen in the particulars of being open to new experiences and ideas. Reading for pleasure is also connected to increase in academic motivation (Kelly & Kneipp, 2009). I can see that in my own life as I reflect back over my years of reading. I believe it was the early fiction reading in Summer public library reading programs that opened my mind to other types of people in the world and the variety of places in the world. It never helped with my low risk taking levels but that is more my personality. Yet I do feel this early reading allowed my mind to be more open to new ideas and continual desire to learn which helped me academically.
Other studies noted by Kelly & Kneipp suggest fiction reading and encouraging reading for pleasure can aid in moving students from outward motivation to intrinsic motivation of the importance of learning for learning sake. Creative reading of fiction and the classics can help our minds grow in so many ways as noted. Those who were more inclined to enjoy reading for pleasure importantly showed a negative correlation to watching tv. I would believe this could carry over to internet video watching. It is important to encourage creative reading early in childhood. As school is letting out encourage the children you know to be involved in Summer reading programs at their local library. Building the habit of the pleasure of reading will reap future benefits. Of course this is not just for children. I spoke with someone today who stated since he got his ipad he hardly ever reads. Put the ipad down and open up a book from your local library!
Reflection: Do you feel reading has helped your creative thinking? What book has tapped into your creative side the most? Stop by your local library or local bookstore and pick up a fiction book to read.
Kelly, K.E, & Kneipp, L. B. (2009) Reading for pleasure and creativity among college students, College Student Journal 43(4) 1137-1144.
LeCren, C. (1997) Creativity and reading … is there a connection. California English (Spring) p. 20
Thursday, May 29, 2014
With Summer nearing I began to think of activities to do during this time of year. In the May Texas Monthly magazine they had a section on 13 great getaways in Texas. The focused in on El Paso, Palo Duran Canyon, Dallas and other areas some out of state places near Texas as well. Then in the May issue of San Antonio Magazine they listed 101 fun things to do in Summer in the San Antonio area. From eating, sports, music and museums they showcase ideas for everyone’s taste whether family or individual. There were plenty of ideas just from those two magazines.
Then a few days ago I was talking, (Yes some people still talk on the phone-- I prefer real verbalizing over texting), with an old childhood friend from Ohio and he mentioned for Summer time travels he was going to take his mother around to a few of the small towns in Ohio. Growing up in Ohio his thought reminded me of the many wonderful small towns in Ohio such as Sugarcreek and Coshocton. Texas is a much larger state and it is full of quaint small towns as well so I decided that will be one item on our Summer Dream list to visit a few small towns in Texas this year.
So if you are looking for things to do this Summer check out any state magazines that will give you ideas. As well most urban cities in each state often have a related magazine that lists what to do and see in the metro area as I mentioned in my local bookstore and grocery stores they carry the Texas Monthly and the San Antonio Magazine. Also websites for cities will show activities you can take advantage of in the metro areas. There is no reason to say there is nothing to do as if you search you can find a multitude of things to do. Like I mentioned at the beginning, 101 fun things to do in the San Antonio region from their magazine.
Don’t rule out exploring small towns in your state or a nearby state for a short weekend trip. Often within a state you can turn it into a one day visit if staying overnight in not in your budget. Even staying overnight for a weekend visit is a cost saver over a lengthy long distance vacation. Small towns have a different feel than visiting an urban area. The pace of strolling through a small town is more relaxed. You can enjoy their parks and scenery as a break from the area where you live. To choose a town simply do a search on the internet for visiting small towns in your state. You will see a variety of websites pop up. Look around for the website that gives you the towns and helpful information about the towns. Here are a couple of examples of websites I found for Texas and Ohio:
This website gives an alphabetical list of towns in Texas with links to more information on the towns.
This website gives a varied list of towns in Ohio and at the bottom of the page you can search by region of Ohio.
I lived a number of years in Chicago so I thought I would include a link to sights in Illinois. This website of Roadside America has a search engine so you can search for your state as well.
If you have never traveled through small town America within your state do a little searching on the web or state travel magazines. This may provide a new refreshing angle on how you spend your weekends in the Summer or do a longer within state vacation going from small town to small town.
Enjoy Your Summer!
Reflection: Explore a website on small towns in your state. Read over information on a variety of the towns and pick a few that you would like to visit.