New Year, New Schedule… New Mistakes to Make!

COME ON
It’s possible that I am my own Iago

So, I’m back to school, and we’re on a new schedule (woo) and I’ve got new students (woooo) and I almost made it into the year with no new classes, but then a bunch of the nerdy kids were sad there was no AP Literature & Composition this year so… AP Lit & Comp club?? (Seven kids have expressed interest. This may well be the Best Club Ever.)

That got me thinking, of course, about all the

amazing classics we’d get to read once I put together a reading list.

Continue reading New Year, New Schedule… New Mistakes to Make!

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Blast from the Past

Well, while The Baby is napping, and C’s off feeding a friend’s cats and picking up his brother’s dog, I thought I’d try to pop up a quick entry. I’m working on finishing up my grant report for the Teacher Creativity Grant that led to the creation of this blog (fellow educators, GO APPLY!) and will post that shortly. I’ve also been doing some literary archaeology and re-reading the big, sprawling, terrifying novel draft that I was working on with a friend for several years (but no updates since… yikes, January 2015!).  Continue reading Blast from the Past

Long Time No See

Well, I fell off the blogging wagon a bit, because, as T. S. Eliot tells us, “April is the cruelest month,” and also May sucks too when you’re a teacher.

I’ve mostly just been grading and grading and grading, but it’s not all bad.

I’ve also been reading blogs (like Janet Reid’s and Jenny Crusie’s) and just basking in all of the information they present. Crusie’s especially has had lots of good stuff about writing technique. Have I plugged her Writing/Romance blog here yet? It’s great, even if you don’t write romance.

And I’ve been reading ebooks from the library on my phone! I’m almost through Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy trilogy, which I’m enjoying quite a bit (not as much as The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, but quite a bit nonetheless). Brennan describes it as “a romantic gothic mystery about a girl named Kami Glass, who discovers her imaginary friend is a real boy.” What a gorgeous elevator pitch! Obviously the book’s about more than that–and I’m on to book three by now–but it’s amazing how compactly she manages to describe it.

OK, I have to get back to the grading now… or possibly just back to reading ebooks on my phone while I pretend to grade…

Imitation and Inspiration

spoon river anthologyLast week in American Literature we did one of my favorite projects–unearthed from the vault, so to speak–based on Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. It’s a collection of poems, each written from the point of view of a former resident (now deceased) of Spoon River. The poems are intertwined, revealing the connections between the lives of the Spoon River-ers, showing town life from various angles.

What could be more fun, for a roomful of high school students, than to imitate that?  Continue reading Imitation and Inspiration

All You Need Is Love

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The Kid, with his first Valentine ever (thanks, Mema!).

Last weekend, my husband and I hosted our annual Valentine’s Day party. This was the first year when my darling son could attend (him being currently nine months old) and even though he went to bed before the party had hit its apex, I think it’s safe to say everybody had a good time.

I started throwing these parties as small dinner parties the year we had my “fake kid” living with us, because I wanted to do some family-style activities and she had recently been through a breakup. My parents had always made sure to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a day about everyone you love–not just romantic partners–and even after I graduated from college I would occasionally get a package of conversation hearts in the mail from them.  Continue reading All You Need Is Love

Grinning my Evil Teacher Grin

The_Evil_GrinI am hoping to update this thing weekly, so here’s a very short update before I leave work and go home: I wrote THREE (okay, like, two and a third) pages this month. That is two-and-one-third pages more than I have written in the previous six months!

I am also having a heck of a time with my creative writing class, as usual. They are delightful. Today we started our poetry unit and several of them were comfortable enough to admit that they HATE poetry (usually they try to pretend they like it because they think that’s what I want to hear).

I like this because I know that now I get a chance to change their minds. >:) >:) >:) >:)

Step 3: Profit

money-finance-bills-bank-notes Everyone has get-rich-quick schemes, but as somebody with an infant, I’ve been thinking a lot more lately about passive income (“get-rich-slowly-but-steadily,” maybe?).

I’m currently “supervising” anime club, by which I mean I’m updating my blog instead of grading papers and the anime club is watching netflix on my projector. I had lots of plans to use this chunk of time productively. Some of the better ones:

  • Work on writing (too distracting in case of emergency–the anime club does occasionally require some supervision and/or intervention from an adult).
  • Publish lesson plans and materials that I’ve developed over the last ten years to Teachers Pay Teachers (requires a lot of polishing and also double checking that I’m posting my stuff, not stuff I begged/stole/borrowed ten years ago).
  • Draw line-art for a literary coloring book (coloring books are in right now and I’m a huge nerd with passable drawing skills… this idea has merit, but I’m not sure where to start).
  • Start querying for a line of children’s board books based on famous classic (read: old enough to be out of copyright) American poetry (this is also a good idea, because baby lit is trending and also the baby book market is crowded but much of it is grim in terms of stuff that isn’t stultifying to the adult or too complex for the baby, in my nine months of experience).
  • Update my blog (the current winner).

So, I guess I’ll close with a question…

What scene from literature would you like to color in first?

I’m thinking I’ll probably start with stuff to go with Romeo and Juliet, since my frish-frosh will be reading that in a few weeks. Or maybe some poetry, which they’re starting later this month…

But I’m open to requests!

Those old familiar tales

reading-clip-art-reading-clipart-3Well, NaNo is going awfully (as expected… November is a TERRIBLE month for this! –at least for a teacher like myself) and I’ve been slacking on blogging, too. What’s a girl to do??

Well, I’ve been reading through my “back catalog,” if you will.

Of fanfic.

Continue reading Those old familiar tales