Book sales = Love

book sale

No matter how many books I have, I cannot resist a good book sale. For the past several years, I have attended the AAUW Book Sale, which is just fantastic. I went twice…once early in the sale, when the selection was still pretty good, and then back for the bag sale on Sunday.

Bag sales are the best. $3 to fill up a paper grocery bag.

book sale

I also keep my eyes open for the local library sales. The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library has made this a lot easier, by adding this calendar to their website. (The libraries also usually have bag days on the last day of the sale!)

book sale

As an English teacher, these sales have been SUCH a huge help in building up a classroom library. I’m probably going to run out of room soon, but I can’t stop! There’s another sale at a nearby library this week, and you can bet I’m going to be there…

30 Day Challenge – Day 28

A Drawing


My Julius Caesar stick people theater, drawn on the board in my classroom last year. Mostly by me, with some embellishments from students here and there…

Week in review, part 2

Okay, here’s where things get *really* crazy.

If you recall, at the beginning of this week, I had zero jobs. Oh, I’d taken steps to make sure I had work–getting my name on the sub lists of the schools where I’d been working and such. I also had an interview scheduled for a long-term sub job which would have started mid-September.

On Wednesday, Rand called me to let me know there was a sudden opening for an adjunct at his school…someone backed out at the last minute, leaving an intro English section without an instructor and the department head freaking out. We talked about it a bit, and I decided that it would be a good thing for me to do. Since classes start Monday, I had to jump right away to get paperwork in and such. (And also get to work on my syllabus, which is, um, not finished.)

So, one! One job! Ah-ah-ah.

Then, yesterday, I got a call from the principal at a school where I interviewed earlier this summer. It was a great interview, and while I was the #2 candidate, they did select someone else for the position. Well, that person took another job this week, and the department chair (who wanted to hire me in the first place) suggested that the principal call me to see if I was still available. And lo, I was indeed!

This position is another 1-year job, but rumor has it that this one has an excellent chance of becoming permanent. I’ll be teaching 9th and 12 grade English (Regents). I’ve taught much of the 9th grade material and some of the 12th grade material before.

Two! Two jobs! Ah-ah-ah.

This is my life. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to freaking out just a little bit about all of this, but I’m very excited too. I visited my classroom yesterday (I met with dept. chair to pick up some materials), and for the first time ever, I’ve got a completely blank slate. I can do whatever I want, and make it totally mine.

So, if anyone knows where I can get some free or cheap classroom decorations (posters and such) please let me know! 😉

Things I’m bored with/that are awesome

Things I’m bored with:

  • The crowd booing Simon every time he speaks on American Idol
  • Ryan Seacrest
  • Almost all of the posts on TV Squad and EW Popwatch lately
  • Almost all of the people who comment on said posts
  • Trying to make sophomores appreciate understand Julius Caesar

Things that are awesome:

  • That you can order Dr Pepper made with cane sugar (instead of HFCS) online
  • People who write hilarious reviews/recaps of Twilight
  • Pre-ordering Seanan’s book at Amazon
  • Life on Mars and Lost
  • Brian Dunkelman on My Name is Earl
  • Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert, no matter what the internet says
  • Having internet friends who will stop at Staples for you and mail you purple pens
  • The massage I got last night (if anyone needs a recommendation for a massage therapist in the area, let me know!)


Well, my general blogging malaise is still with me, but I’m poking in to share a few brief things.

Don’t forget to stop by this post and let me know who you are!

I’ve tried to deal with the sluggish loading problem by removing some things from my sidebar. It seems to have helped a bit. If I ever get the energy, I might try a new theme and clean things up even more. Or, I might just move the whole thing over to wordpress so I don’t have to deal with all of the pain-in-the-butt issues that come withh hosting my own blog. Meh, I don’t know.

I’ve been baking a lot lately. It seems to be my current way of dealing with stress/creative outlet. I’ve taken a bunch of pictures, which I will one day upload. I’ll post recipes, too. My most recent successes have been breads. I made a pumpkin bread last week that was yummy, but for the fact that it got a teeny bit overcooked around the edges. And yesterday, I made a (white) batter bread that is also pretty tasty.

I’m a little bummed out about this whole Channel 4/Time Warner thing because of How I Met Your Mother. Thank goodness for the Internet, eh? I’m not likely to hop ship to a satellite service, because our cable comes with our condo association membership. Maybe this whole thing will be settled soon. Until then, iTunes will be my best friend.

I have watched none of Heroes (we watched 10 minutes into the premiere and got a little bored) or Chuck. Rand and I did watch Dirty Sexy Money last week, which we both continue to love.

I’ve now read most of A Raisin in the Sun, but have not yet started Of Mice and Men. I’d better get on that, as my class will be starting it later this week. (has anyone seen the recent version of A Raisin in the Sun w/Sean Combs aka Puffy or Puff Daddy or Diddy, or whatever name he’s using these days? I haven’t. Just curious.)

Okay, I need to step away from the computer now. Hope everyone’s having a happy Monday!

Sooooooo busy…

I have to read both A Raisin in the Sun and Of Mice and Men within the next week.

We have open house tonight.

Interim grades have to be in tomorrow, and I still have a bunch of essays to grade.

I wrote six discipline referrals today.

Thankfully, I’m giving a test in two of my classes tomorrow…that should be a good opportunity for me to get some things accomplished.

In other news…I received an issue of The Martha (TM: Eden) in my mailbox yesterday, courtesy of Jen! 😉

I’ve been told to keep watching my mailbox, so who knows what the mailman will bring me next? Stay tuned, and thanks, Jen!


I am positively overwhelmed by reading material right now.

Last week, in anticipation of the beginning of school, I ordered Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnne Johnson. (LouAnne Johnson is the teacher who wrote the book that inspired the movie Dangerous Minds.) So far, it’s fantastic.

I also received a slightly belated birthday package from Stephanie, which included Dead Until Dark, the first book in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series, as well as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

I bought a few books at the Scholastic Sale that I would like to read, including an Anna Quindlen novel I was unaware of.

Rand ordered me some cool books from Canada–a series of YA novels by Sean Cullen. You may recognize Sean from Last Comic Standing.

Or, if you’re like me, you may know him as a member of Corky and the Juice Pigs.

At any rate, his humor is weird and utterly hilarious. I’m very much looking forward to the books.

On top of all the reading I’d like to do for fun, of course, I have the required school reading…among the books I’ll be teaching this year:

  • A Raisin in the Sun (familiar with, but have never read)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (yay! one of my favorites!!)
  • Lord of the Flies (read, but it was a while ago)
  • Night (read)
  • Of Mice and Men (never read. saw the movie back in college)
  • American Born Chinese (haven’t read yet, but very excited about this!)
  • Romeo and Juliet (again, yay!)
  • Julius Caesar (um…yay?)

I did my master’s project on teaching Shakespeare to high school students, and just about every scholar agrees that Julius Caesar should be ditched from the high school curriculum. Apparently no one is listening. Ah well…I’ll do my best to make it interesting, and promise not to make them memorize and recite “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…” (which is the ONLY thing I remember about reading this play in high school. seriously.)

Hmmm…overwhelmed much? 😉 In all seriousness, though, I’m beyond excited about this job. And I’ll try my best to squeeze in some reading for pleasure among all the edumacational stuff. 😉

Well, I guess I’d better get to work!

Could we start again, please?

Seriously, this day needs a do-over.

It started out just fine…except for the fact that I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, and so I did NOT want to get up.

I had a 9 a.m. appointment with the superintendent, where I was *officially* told that I have the job (of course, pending board approval…).

I don’t think I’ve talked about this online, but my provisional certificate expires at the end of January. I had to apply for an extension, but of course it will take weeks and weeks before it actually goes through. On the up side, I will be able to apply for my permanent certificate at the end of the year.

New York State certainly doesn’t make it easy to ask questions of an actual live human being regarding teacher certification. There’s a local office at BOCES in West Seneca, but they apparently don’t take phone calls. Or voice mails. One phone number directs you to another phone number, which directs you to an email, which takes a good week to get a response to. Sigh.

Where was I? Oh, yeah…after the meeting with the superintendent, I went into my classroom for a bit…I’m still trying to organize, and get some things ready for next week. As I was typing up my course outlines, I realized how strange it felt to be calling myself “Mrs.” to me, Mrs. feels old. Matronly. It made me wish that Ms. had caught on as it was originally intended…to be the female equivalent of Mr. and not have a married vs. unmarried distinction. Eh. Whatever.

Came home and decided to try a new recipe in 500 Cupcakes. I spent WAY too much time and energy trying to make this recipe work properly. Something about tempering eggs. Gah. I went through nearly a dozen eggs (counting the one I dropped on the floor) and wasted a cup and a half of honey.

Thankfully, the resulting cupcakes are tasty. I took some pics, and will share sometime later. And what the heck…I learned something new.

My afternoon brightened when I got a package from Amazon containing some birthday goodies from Stephanie! Yay!

I was going to blog a bit about the weekend, but I’m out of blogging energy. 😉

I have new teacher orientation tomorrow and Wednesday. Woohoo! Here’s hoping I’m well-rested and a whole lot less cranky!

Quick update

Life has been busy lately, and I’ve been online for only short spurts of time…I keep having to read 3 pages worth of twitter updates at once, and I have 663 unread items in my RSS reader! So if you’ve sent me an email, or left me a comment and I haven’t responded, don’t feel bad. I’m just a slacky slacky slacker. 😉

I now feel confident that I can let you all know one wee bit of exciting news–I have a job for this school year! It’s a long-term job, filling in for a teacher who is taking a full year of maternity leave. Orientation will take place next week, but I’ve been going in this week working on prepping my classroom.

For those of you who read the protected post, I decided to drop the community college stuff, at least for this semester. I spoke with the department secretary, who told me to just let her know if I want to teach in the spring. I just felt it would be too overwhelming to try and do it all right now. Truthfully, I’m kind of relieved at the prospect of having my evenings free!

(Aside…I wandered off in the middle of writing this blog post. I swear, sometimes I really do think I have low-level ADHD…)

Today, after attending SmartBoard training (whee!) I went out to the Scholastic warehouse sale (goes through Saturday, I think) and bought $30 worth of books I didn’t need. 😉 I did, though, manage to replace my copy of Speak, which went missing last year. I suspect an 8th grader.

I’ve been doing a bit of reading here and there…if you follow me on twitter, you know that I recently finished Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, and that I loved it. Fantastic. I’ll have to do an update on what I’ve read since the last time I posted about what I’ve read sometime soon. 😉

Watching lots of the Olympics, of course. Some quick stream-of-consciousness thoughts:

watching the Olympics with TiVo is excellent

I love Bela Karyoli

I don’t love the new gymnastics scoring system

I cried when Nastia Liukien and Shawn Johnson won gold and silver in the all-around competition

I didn’t know synchronized diving existed until this year

why is there so much beach volleyball on prime time?

I realized that the last time I watched the (summer) Olympics with any regularity was 1996…y’know, Kerri Strug and all. Rand and I realized that summer 2004 was when we were first spending a lot of time together. 2000? I dunno. I might have been on vacation?

I think I probably had more Olympic-related thoughts, but they’ve flown away.

I’ll leave you with me, age 12, desperately wanting to be Mary Lou Retton (and not succeeding!):


Kids these days

So, all the little kiddies at the school where I finished the year love them some Souja Boy. I did some poetry activities with the 7th graders and I asked them to find some song lyrics so we could look at them for poetic merit. Several of them brought Soulja Boy lyrics, and I was vaguely horrified, mostly because they hardly have any words. Here’s one that one of the kids brought in:

My chain too silly
My wrist too silly
The girls throw me dish cuz my rims big billin
My ride too silly
I ride too silly
We for fantastic cuz I got a deally
Cuz now I’m worth a millian

I was like, um, what?

So last Friday night, I helped chaperone an end-of-the-year dance for the 8th graders. The last song the DJ played was Crank Dat by Soulja Boy:

Soulja boy off in this hoe
Watch me crank it
Watch me roll
Watch me crank that soulja boy
Then super man that hoe
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)
Now watch me you
(crank that soulja boy)

(some of the lyrics replace “hoe”, which I thought was spelled “ho”, with “oh”. Which of those is accurate? I dunno. I guess ho makes marginally more sense.)

That’s pretty much the whole song. But what I learned Friday night was that it’s a dance. And it actually looked pretty cool to see the entire 8th grade class doing it, and so I thought, “well, maybe I can understand why 8th graders like this talentless twerp.”

Here’s a video from YouTube:

I was reading some comments on one of the videos posted earlier, and they were pretty entertaining. It was based on one of those comments that I went to urbandictionary.dom to look up “Superman dat ho.” And then I was both disgusted and horrified.

I guess my point here, if I have one at all, is that I’m OLD, and I don’t understand this newfangled music. I’m going to go tell some kids to get off my lawn now…

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