Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Book Challenge

I've decided to join a book challenge. I am starting a little late, but I figure six books by December 31 can be done. I can take ample time to read inspite of all of the grading, planning, and reading I already have to do. Besides I will have Thanksgiving and Christmas break to catch up if I fall behind.

My six books will be:

Three Bags Full (Ireland)
Brick Lane (London, England)
Dinner with Persephone (Greece)
Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure (India)
The Constant Princess (England and Spain)

I may add alternative books as I get further into this.
This looks like it's going to be fun!

P.S. I am having trouble connecting a link to the image for this book challenge, but here is the URL for the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge. Hopefully, I can get the problem corrected this weekend.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cathartic Tears

I was just watching the final innings of the Little League World Championship and was brought to tears by the sportsmanship demonstrated by those young men. Upon winning and without prompting from adults, the team from Warner Robbins, Georgia walked over and hugged the opposing team from Japan. Yes, that's right, hugging not handshaking. You could hear them telling the other team, "Good job!" as they went from one player to another. I couldn't help but cry as I watched two young men from the opposing teams in a tight embrace and crying together. Other's had to go around them because they were clearly overtaken by this emotional moment. This is media coverage that demonstrates we have advanced as a society.

Requiem for Bat Boy or Us?

The August 27th issue of TIME magazine included an essay, Requiem for Bat Boy: Why the world's greatest fake newspaper is disappearing by Joel Stein, which caught my attention. He attributed the demise of the Weekly World News with the maturing of our society. He states, "It is actually a sign of progress for a society to go from inventing gods and monsters to seeking catharsis in the real life of Paris Hilton." I wonder about that. I think I would see more sanity in a society that believes in the plausibility of Bat Boy, UFOs, and the Loch Ness monster over one that finds "catharsis" in the drunk driving antics of the rich young ladies who put real life, hard working people in harms way. Don't get me wrong; I won't miss Weekly World News and never believed in Bat Boy (looking at the photo always left me with a strange feeling best described in the words of Scooby Doo..."Er???" However, their stories were more entertaining than the misdeeds of Paris and friends which are just plain scary.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Time with Mom

The dynamics between mothers and daughters sparks many discussions and lots of research, but their relationships are well worth every emotional moment.

After a totally exhausting week, I planned to stay in today. I woke up with a pounding headache. While waiting for the Motrin to kick in, the phone rang and, to make a long story shorter, I found myself racing to get dressed and meet my mother for lunch. It was a forty-five minute drive to the restaurant. I got there thirty minutes late (due to traffic and a poor sense of direction), but we had a great time eating and window shopping. The box of work I brought home was still in dining room when I got back (Just as I suspected it would be). I have learned that family is an important part of sustaining/maintained my balance as a teacher. The work will get done and I will be lot less stressed. Thanks Mom.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thirteen Things on My Desk

1. A laptop
2. A mug filled with pens and pencils
3. An answering machine
4. A printer
5. A telephone
6. A marble coaster
7. A small box of kitty litter deodorizer...???
8. Jewelery (earrings, watch, bracelet)
9. Dust
10. A shelf filled with books
11. A lamp
12. Batteries
12. A bottle of hair remover...???
13. White out

Clearly this is my desk at home, and perhaps it is even more apparent that I need to clean it.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Totally Exhausted!!!

First day back with students. When it came to walking, I over did it. This was my first day back since the last spring. The young people in my classes seem great and the day went smoothly; I just need to ease back into the physical aspects of the job. I am going to skip tonight's workout (Technically, I have already had one!) and try to get into the gym later in the week.

It was interesting to see colleagues at varying levels of preparedness. Some seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants, while others had elaborate plans which included diving right into the curriculum. During the first few days, I find team building is extremely important and has rewards that last all year long. Beginning of the year assessments also help to inform my instruction when it comes to meeting individual student needs.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I've been experiencing a huge computer problem since my last post. After 2 1/2 hours on the phone with various technicians, it is finally resolved, and I can my focus on being ready for the start of school in two days. For the past three days I have put in endless hours working on things for the first week and getting the necessary files, folders and websites updated in my classroom. It was rough not being able to do any of the computer stuff from home. People who are not educators will never understand all of the work that takes place in teaching when the students aren't there. There is no such thing as time off.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Just when you begin to feel life is a okay, along comes a reminder of how challenging it really is. Foreclosures, problems with children, eating disorders. Does life boil down to the choices we make? (How do you convince a friend the choices they make are bad?) Yes, life is about choices, but we should not throw this around in such a carefree way. Making choices requires maturity, clarity of mind, and often a support system. Life is more than okay, it is a blessing when viewed and executed properly. I pray for my friend who is going through all of this.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Fifteen

Friday Fifteen

Yesterday I skipped the Thursday Thirteen so, as my consequence, I present the Friday Fifteen.

Fifteen Household Chores That Remain Undone

1. Remove dandelions from lawn...There aren't that many, but to sustain peace with my neighbors it must be done.

2. Weed back flower bed...If I do this,I think I will be happier pulling into the back driveway.

3. Paint molding in dining room...There is nothing more unsightly than an unfinished DIY home improvement project.

4. Finish cleaning out the garage...According, to the manual not one but two cars are supposed to fit "easily".

5. Shampoo upstairs carpet...Perhaps, I should add getting shampooer upstairs to the chore list.

6. Bathe the cat...He enjoys it, I don't.

7. Clean the aquarium...The fish are alive, and that in itself is an accomplishment.

8. Organize the closet...If for no other reason than to find out what is taking up all the room in there. I "don't have a thing to wear" so it can't be clothes.

9. Paint fence in the backyard...Where is my inner Tom Sawyer when I need it?

10. Purge files in home office...Will I be less important if I have fewer files?

11. Clean and organize home office... Contrary to popular belief, I think things will be harder to find if I remove them from the piles and stacks all over the room.

12. Shred unwanted documents...This is a never ending battle because I want very few of the "important documents" I receive in the mail.

13. Dust knickknacks...I am leaning heavily towards throwing away all knickknacks.

14. Wash the car...Even though it works perfectly fine without doing this?

15. Be mindful of how many chores could have been done during the making of this list.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


noisy, active
doing, speaking, investigating
intelligence, instinct, opinion, research
wondering, questioning, learning
eager, anxious

This poem describes my expectations and influences regarding the coming school year. I wonder what expectations and influences my students will bring to our classroom.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Getting Active and Mainitaining Balance

With my new hip, it is important to stay active. I never realized how much time I spend sitting down. Computer time, reading, planning lessons, eating, brushing the cat -- all done sitting down.

For the past two weeks, I gone to a yoga class once a week and a water aerobics class once a week. The other days I take my usual walk or try other things. Next week, I start going to yoga twice a week. After the first yoga class, every part of my body, except my right earlobe, was sore. It is getting better, but I still can't flow from one position to the next and have to avoid some all together. It is getting better though.

I have vowed not to spend all of my time in the gym because I do have other areas of my life that are equally as important. Balance. It is a word that guides everything I do. I learned some time ago that it is better, for my emotional health, to strive for balance as opposed to perfection. It is the decision that separates me from some of the other "Type A" people I hang out with. I have too many different roles in life to pursue perfection in every area. Instead I seek to appropriately balance the time, energy, and effort spent on each role. How does that fit in with being a Christian? Many of my Christian friends feel that I should clearly spend the bulk of my time and energy on things related to spirituality. I am still working through that, but I believe that when I read through the Bible, especially the book of Proverbs, I see balance demonstrated over and over again.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thirteen Things about care020
1. I'm a teacher.
2. I am a Christian.
3. I am a wanna be gardener.
4. I have an overweight cat.
5. I love chocolate.
6. I enjoy the beach and the mountains.
7. My favorite movies are: The Sound of Music and Out of Africa.
8. My favorite books are: The Time Traveler's Wife, The Alchemist, and A Fine Balance.
9. I love to read.
10. I'm very unorganized.
11. My favorite color combination is sage and lavender.
12. My favorite poets are: Nikki Giovanni, Jill Scott, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson.
13. I love ice cream.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!