"No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy. A motto of the
British Special Air Force is: 'Those who risk, win.' "

Monday, December 31, 2012

Final Book Club Update of 2012

  1. The Funny Thing Is... by Ellen DeGeneres
  2. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
  3. A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
  4. Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen
  5. Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen
  6. What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things That Matter Most by Todd Whitaker
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  8. The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen
  9. Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
  10. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  11. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  12. The Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  13. The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King
  14. Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest & Irreverent Look at Mommyhood: The Good, The Bad, and The Scary by Jill Smokler
  15. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King
  16. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  17. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  18. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
  19. In Session by M.J. Rose
  20. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  21. When Farts Had Colors by Mark Lawton Thomas
  22. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  23. Criminal Investigation: Evidence, Clues, and Forensic Science by John D. Wright
  24. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  25. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
  26. Masked Ball at Broxley Manor by Rhys Bowen
  27. The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
  28. The Adventure of the Blue Carbunkle by Arthur Conan Doyle
  29. The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
My goal this year was 35 books, so I am a bit short... But all in all, some great books read this year. I'd say my top 5 favorites were--

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen (I really enjoyed the entire Royal Spyness series)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

FINALLY... is Christmas BREAK!

This *short* week has been extremely LONG!

Certain people have been ALL OVER my nerves and I am BEYOND glad to have a break from them! (Yeah, I got your Christmas spirit right here!)

Today was especially insane. I was attempting to help the school secretary get the report cards printed- ready to hand out when we return in January. While on break, CO is switching our online grading system over to a new one. Thus we HAD to get these printed before we left for break. We literally worked from 8:30-11:00 this AM on this mess. I seriously hope this new system really is better... and easier... and so help me-- EVERY 3rd-5th grade teacher WILL use it, damnit!

So now the real race begins. I have GOT to do some Christmas shopping! Thank GOD for Amazon! Most of Miss Priss' gifts have come that way-- and I just ordered my dad and step-mom's... My goal is to get out and about tomorrow and Friday and get the rest done. I hate shopping. Hate.


I think I shall listen to Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris while I "do around" the house this afternoon...  Yes, that always help get me in the spirit. The Santaland Diaries it is!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Lesson in Heroism

Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day for many teachers. There is no doubt that students will be talking about the events from Friday in CT. I am sure there will be questions asked, many without answers to give. I am a firm believer in being honest with kids-- but honestly, I don't know what to say. Please send encouraging and positive vibes to all the teachers out there-- but especially those at Sandy Hook Elementary. Their worlds are shattered. I cannot imagine losing my colleagues, my principal, and especially ANY of my children. School is, or should be a SAFE place, and I hope we can restore our students' faith in that beginning tomorrow.

I can't remember being this upset about an event since 9/11. There have been other school shootings, and they are, of course, upsetting. But the fact that this was at an elementary school (like the one where I teach) really hits home. And the utter senselessness of it makes it worse. That guy's mom wasn't there at work-- he had already killed her-- so why, WHY come to that school and do that to the innocent? I cannot wrap my head around it.

I am angry. I am devastated. I have cried all weekend off and on. Most of my teacher buddies have done the same. As a teacher, you are charged with not only instructing, but caring for and protecting your students. I have over 100 students I see in my classes daily, but honestly I consider every student in that building one of MY students. And just like with my daughter, I will be damned if you are going to come into my home (in this case, my school) and hurt any one of my kids! Every teacher I know would do what much of the staff at Sandy Hook Elementary did-- die for those kids.

Tomorrow will be emotional. While I do not usually let my gushy emotions show that often at school, I have a feeling tomorrow will be different. And I think that is ok. I think it is important for these kids to see how upset we are, and to know that we would do for them what the teachers at SHES did for their students. I think sometimes students don't see or know how much we really do care. Sure, we assign homework and give tests and ride their cases until they do things the way we want them done. And many "get it"-- my teacher wouldn't bother if he or she didn't care. But I don't think most realize how much teachers care.

No one goes into education for money. And no one goes in to education for glory. It's something that is inside you-- a desire to help children. To help them grow and learn and become good citizens. And sure, we don't win every battle-- not every student that passes through our classrooms and our lives is going to succeed. But as teachers we need to make sure that EVERY student knows how much we care and how hard we are trying for them while they are in our charge.

I have seen some interesting posts on this tragedy this weekend--

FB post:
Little children are dead. Principal is dead. School psychologist is dead. Teachers are dead. Stories of incredibly brave teachers huddling children into closets, cubbies, locked bathrooms. Teachers putting themselves in between the shooter and the children they love. Teachers leading their children to safety. Please tell me again how teachers are the cause of what's wrong in this country. Go ahead Scott Walker, and all the rest of you anti-teacher governors. Tell me.

Another FB post:
I understand the sentiment to simply move on from this weekend, But for me, I've been thinking about my students all weekend. And how much I can't wait to see them tomorrow morning. And part of me feels selfish because I know in Newtown, CT, some teachers at SHS don't have students to return to, and some students don't have teachers. Good thoughts are to come, but we can't avoid this part of it al
l. My patron is Don Bosco, as many of you have learned over the past few months. He is known as the "Father and Teacher of the Youth," as Pope John Paul II declared on Jan 31, 1988, on the first centenary of Don Bosco's death. My favorite quote by him is: "For you I study, for you I work, for you I live and for you I am willing to give my life." That's my philosophy of education. It's why I became an educator. To devote my life to the education and inspiration of young people. This weekend has not only furthered my commitment to that calling, but has strengthened my desire for Monday morning.

And another--
Next time you get frustrated with your child's teacher about homework, the grade they gave them or not letting them talk while trying to teach, remember that we treat each student as our own children. We are always doing our best to take of their safety. So just remember the teachers that have put themselves between a bullet and their students and gave their own life to protect their students. No evaluation process takes that into consideration! Bless the teachers in Connecticut!

Personally I feel that all teachers are heroes. Thankfully most of us do not have to make the ultimate sacrifice for our students. The staff at Sandy Hook showed how brave, heroic, and resourceful teachers can be. They are examples for all of us. I hope peace can find them all soon-- and their families, students, friends, etc. 

Fa La La La La La...

The holiday season is in full swing! And while it is hard for me to really get into the spirit since we have had such warm weather, holiday parties always help. :)

Last weekend the Hubby and I were invited to a really cool party held at a local brewery. We were invited by a couple that we met randomly at a local bar. The Hubby noticed this guy in a Manchester United sweatshirt and proceeded to "criticize" it-- fast friends! And this Christmas party was SO much fun! Great food, fantastic beers, wonderful new friends, a brewery tour, AND a dinosaur! What more could you want?

 Look closely and you will see a Saccharomyces Rex on my glass

Touring Saw Works Brewery


Saccy has a sample

Saccy moves from beer to scotch

Happy Holidays!

Check out the tasting room here if you haven't!

Check out Saccy's holiday party review!

Also check out Saw Works Brewery-- DO IT!!