The Problem We All Live With

As I’ve watched the events in Charlottesville unfold, I’ve been struggling to process it. I first read about what was happening yesterday morning via Pantsuit Nation. A law student at UVA recounted her experience arriving on campus Friday (8/11/17) evening to a procession of white men carrying torches and chanting, “You will not replace us” and “White lives matter.” The student, identified as Elizabeth Ann, felt that she and her friend needed to document what was happening. They kept their distance and videoed the procession. The video is chilling to watch. She then recounts that there were about 10 students holding signs reading “UVA Students Against White Supremecy.” The white terrorists surrounded the students and then began to attack them. Elizabeth Ann goes on to talk about how frightened she was and despite her fear, she planned to protest the rally on Saturday. She states, “These nazi groups are emboldened when met with little opposition. We need as many protestors here tomorrow as possible; there is strength in numbers, as well as safety. I’m scared, of course I am, but I will be there tomorrow because I have a duty to be. As a white person, I know it is easier for me to occupy this space safely than persons of color. I’m going to show up for all of the people who cannot.”

Posted in Read the World | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Nice Try, Dr. Schmidt

At the start of the summer, I signed up for a NetGalley account. Quite honestly, I didn’t think I’d be approved for an account, but I figured my role as an ELA teacher and YA blogger might help. I was quickly approved, found myself requesting titles, and then I waited. The first book I requested was rejected. I figured, “Oh well.” I certainly have a million and two titles sitting here to read. My friend Kate is an enabler recommends great YA for me to read and passes along ARCs for my classroom. I certainly wasn’t going to go without books to read.

Posted in Coming of Age, Window or Mirror | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Restriction or Release

I cringe every time I see the “joke” what three things do teachers love best about teaching? June, July, August.

In reality, at least for teachers in the Northeast, June is a nightmare. It’s rush, rush, rush to finish up: cram in one more lesson, complete the unit, administer the final, get everything graded, pack up the classroom, sign yearbooks, and by the last week in June, we look like we’ve been run over by a school bus.

Posted in Independent Reading/SSR/Reader's Workshop | Tagged as: , , , ,

Preparing faces

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right.”
This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales

Full disclosure: I haven’t read This Song Will Save Your Life. I was merely looking for a quote about YA books, and of course, google gave me quotes from YA books, and a blog post from Barnes and Noble titled “12 YA Quotes that Perfectly Express the Teen Condition.” Now, I don’t know if the quotes do or not. It’s been a really long time since I was a teen. And while the biology of adolescence hasn’t changed, adolescent life today seems far more complicated than it was in the 80s.

Posted in Coming of Age, Mystery/Thriller | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Dagaz: New Beginnings

The dagaz rune is the rune given to Magnus on his room key at the Hotel Valhalla. It symbolizes new beginnings. I think this is a fitting way to start this post since this is the follow up to “My Reading Journey” post.

In August of 2007, I started a new beginning. This August I will also start a new beginning, as I add graduate instructor to my titles. 10 years after I first started classes at UPenn, I’ll return to teach a secondary ELA methods class at GSE. I’ve been back on campus since graduation, but when I returned for the instructor institute in late June, it was like returning home. It truly is a new beginning for me. From being told I wouldn’t get be accepted into the doctoral program to now being a teacher at America’s oldest university, it has been a road I only dreamed of.

Posted in Independent Reading/SSR/Reader's Workshop, Teacher Tips, Window or Mirror | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,
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