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…

Is this thing on?

I know, it’s probably hard to remember…I retreated into my little hidey-hole, and I’ve barely even poked my head in this last little bit. And then when I do come around, I can barely think of anything that’s worth posting about. Hrm.

Well, I posted a few photos of OVFF 2009. And when I say “a few,” I really mean it. 😉 Good times were had. Maybe, if I get motivated, I’ll post some more thoughts on that…maybe. No promises.

The college semester is rapidly coming to a close, believe it or not. I was asked to teach again next semester, and I said yes, for several reasons:

1. As busy as I’ve been, I have really, really enjoyed teaching this class.

2. It’s kind of fun to share a workspace with Rand, even if just for a small amount of time.

3. I like being in the city regularly.

4. I figure that accepting the position now will give me a bit of breathing room as far as planning and such that I didn’t have for the current semester. (I’ve been pretty much flying by the seat of my pants, which lends itself to the overall overwhelmedness…)

I’m pretty sure that I had more that I wanted to add to this post, but I got distracted while posting it, and now I don’t remember…ah well. 😉 Happy weekend, everyone!

Things I am behind on

1. Grading. Always. I need to accept that this is just a normal state of being for an English teacher…especially one who took on an extra class. (I love, love, love teaching my college class. I really do…the class is fun, and they’re a great group of students. But I am exhausted.)

2. TV watching. Watched HIMYM last night, but not Big Bang (yes, I did hear how funny it was…). Almost caught up with Glee (just last week’s ep to watch, which yes, I also heard was awesome, thanks). Some shows I have given up on watching currently and will catch them on DVD (Dollhouse and Castle among them).

3. TC stuff. Must do newsletter for October…I am committing to doing that today, even though I should be grading and/or lesson planning. Sorry ’bout that.

4. Birthdays. My sister-in-law’s birthday was yesterday and I have not mailed her card yet. I did write on her facebook wall, though… (happy birthday, Leslie! I’m sorry!)

Ah…in other news, I am greatly enjoying my new MacBook Pro! I have the most awesome husband ever. 😉

On that note…

5. Moving all of the information and applications I need from the old computer to the new computer. I’ve got all my documents, pictures, and music, and some applications. I need to get all my bookmarks (from firefox) and my address book over to the new computer.

6. Reading. Um, yeah. I did finish Transmetropolitan. Also, Rand has me reading some horrible, overwritten, soap-opera-y comic from the late 70s-early 80s that he read as a teenager. But pages filled with words? Nothing, except the stuff I’m reading for school and my college class (mostly short stories and epic poems. sample: “The Secret Life of Walter Mittty,” “The Necklace,” “The Most Dangerous Game,” “Gift of the Magi,” “Beowulf,” “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “The Lottery,” “The Things They Carried.” etc.

I need more hours in the day.

—>side note. I’m really tired of freshmen telling me that “they read that story last year.”One of the problems of teaching in a Catholic school, I guess, is that it’s nearly impossible to align the curriculum. Ah well.

Ok, I should get to work on…something. Toodles.

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! 😉

A quick update, and random internet things

If I start to think about all the things I haven’t gotten around to posting about…well, I’ll just find myself getting horribly overwhelmed, and that would be counterproductive for me right now. I find it strange that my life feels SO much busier than it did at this time last year, when I had *more* going on. After all, I dropped my college class (I taught one class during the fall last year) AND I am no longer planning a wedding. So why do I feel so buried all the time?

I’m finding myself really missing the block scheduling that was introduced at the school where I worked last year. With that schedule, I found myself VERY busy two days out of every 8-day cycle, but the rest of the days were more gently-paced and productive. Now? I don’t feel like I’m ever caught up. I’m feeling better than I was at the beginning of the year, but still awfully crazy most days. And being an introvert by nature, I’m utterly exhausted by the end of the day…most Fridays, I feel ready to cry with relief when the last bell rings. This past week, I’ve been trying to focus on giving myself some time to relax and reenergize at the end of every day. I put on some calming music, light a candle, use my aromatherapy heat wrap, and this seems to be helping. I should also be working more yoga into my weekly schedule. I’ve been thinking about joining a gym as well. We’ll see…

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been looking at on the internet the past couple of days. This post, from, might be the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.

The 5 most horrifying bugs in the world

For the love of all that is holy, let me never come into contact with that Japanese giant hornet. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh!

Then, just for kicks, I read this: a Roman Catholic priest threatened with excommunication for daring to suggest that hey, maybe Rome should consider the idea of ordaining women. That, along with the comments I’ve read on that article, remind me why I voluntarily announced my resignation from the Catholic Church a few years ago. I briefly considered writing a full-blown Catholicism-WOW! rant on this topic, but I just don’t have the energy.

So there ya go…enjoy, and have a happy Friday!


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!):


Big day!

We are closing on the town house today! Well, technically, Rand is closing on the town house today. 😉

We’ll pick up the keys tomorrow and begin the process of moving in. Movers are coming to move our furniture and boxes and boxes of books next week.

This is so exciting!!!

I have two more trips to make out to the college to give back portfolios and turn in my grades. One class is completely done. The other class is almost done. I will most certainly be finished with my grades by this evening. Whew!

Today, I had to enter interim grades for the middle school students. It wasn’t difficult, but it’s always a challenge learning new programs. Thankfully, there’s always someone around I can ask for help!

I’ve seen several English jobs posted for next year, and I’ve been applying for them…keep your fingers crossed for me! There’s actually a job at the school where I’m working now, but I’m not certified. (It’s a 6th grade position, and I do not have the grade 5-6 extension. If only I had known how frequently that would come up…)

Okay, I should get back to work…happy hump day!