Back, back again

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Hi guys. It’s been a while.

A short summary of what’s gone down since July:

– Started dating one of my best friends

– Went to three awesome weddings

– Traveled to Ottawa (which was terrific)

– Moved to Albany

– Curled up in a black pool of unemployment despair

– Worked at a farm

– Got on stage for the first time since college in a musical

– Directed and produced a play

– Got promoted from per diem sub to full time sub/coverage coordinator/desk person at a charter school in Albany

– Had an absolutely delightful 28th birthday!

I have no idea how many books I’ve read since then. Quite a few, I imagine. One of my recent favorites is Eleanor and Park.  I found a delightfully weird chicken version of Cinderella for my goddaughter called Cinders. I also finally got around to reading Battle Royale, and am watching the movie in pieces since it’s too violent to take in one sitting. The book itself was an interesting, if bloody commentary on coming of age, government, and general teenage internal motivation. I definitely recommend- if you can stomach it. I’m listening to The Magicians on audiobook, which is a dark Harry Potter-esque novel for adults. I’m also pretty crazy about Fr. Kosmas’ lecture series. The lectures are all available for download here, or you can support your local church bookstore and pick one up for $15-20.

The major thing I’ve taken from my job is that parents need to stop giving their children cell phones. They view them as creepy, Borg-like extensions of themselves. Think about how you feel when you leave your phone at home Perhaps disconnected? Unable to get answers? Unsure what to do in an emergency? Now imagine having one practically since birth- that feeling multiplied a thousandfold. TAKE THE PHONES AWAY, PEOPLE. You’ll do your children a greater service than you can imagine. While you’re at it, cancel your Netflix and turn off the TV, too.

I have no ending to this post, but aren’t you glad I’m around to preach at you again?

Happy 100th Post!

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To me.

this is a copy of a drawing my friend misha made that he claimed represented my soul

this is a copy of a drawing my friend misha made that he claimed represented my soul

A few notes on what I’m reading lately:

Since I got laid off, I’ve been going through the some of the stages of grief- anger, denial, bargaining, depression- and am working up to acceptance. I’ve been numbing the pain with job applications, coffee, and a ton of books.

In brief, I loved re-reading a bunch of books I unpacked from my classroom. I finally started Pillars of the Earth, then dropped it in favor of a Sarah Dessen novel a good friend loaned me. I’m still working my way through the Isabel Dalhousie books, but am less enthused now that she’s (*SPOILER*) with her love interest. I’m almost done with Elder Leonid, and am still working my way slooooowly through Everyday Saints.

I’ve been depressed about politics, I’ve been finding new things to do in the city, and I’ve been seriously contemplating a move (looking at apartments next week!). I’ve also been working on a new blog that has nothing whatsoever to do with books, and I’ll tell you about it when it’s ready. Much more excitingly, I’m going to choir school in a week.

I just came across this list of top books for people in their twenties.  I couldn’t bring myself to read Into the Wild, and some of the others look a little too self-helpy for my taste, but my twenties are a-wasting. What do you think?

Happy Friday, y’all.

Things I’m Currently Reading: June Edition and Update

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A few months ago I alluded to a situation at work that I couldn’t discuss. The fact is, I’ve been too stressed about it to blog much since it first arose. It’s resolved now, and probably for the best. I’m not staying at The School next year- my position was redesigned and someone else was hired. I don’t have any definite plans yet, but you, dear readers, will know as soon as I do. The good news is that I’m paid through the summer, so I have some space to figure out what’s next.

And oh, I’ve had plenty of space to read.

I’m going to cheat a little and list only what I can remember from the last few months. I hope to be back on track for July… To compensate for the gloomy tone of this post I will include interesting pictures (mostly of myself) on the side. Would it be a real post without them anyway?

Daily spiritual reading-

  1. The Bible
  2. Elder Leonid of Optina, Fr. Clement Sederholm

    my nephew and i look off towards a bright future

    my nephew and i look off towards a bright future

Pleasure reading-

  1. A heck of a lot of the Hamish Macbeth series
  2. Many of the Isabel Dalhousie series
  3. Everyday Saints and Other Stories, Archimandrite Tikhon
  4. Look Me In the Eye, John Elder Robison

Work- (personal work, really)

  1. As It Is In Heaven, Arlene Hutton
  2. Wonder, RJ Palacio

    found on the floor

    super secret seventh grade code for notes

Books that have been on hold, but want to finish-

  1. The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (but I WILL finish it)
  2. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

    gift from a graduating student

    needy hippo loves you!

  3. Beauty for Ashes, Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffett

Just finished-

  1. Audrey, Wait!, Robin Benway (rerereread)
  2. Summerland, Elin Hilderbrand
  3. The Elite, Keira Cass
  4. Columbine, Dave Cullen
  5. Just One Day, Gayle Forman
  6. Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins
  7. The Starter Wife, Gigi Levangie Grazer (this was a HORRIBLE book)

Stopped because I couldn’t take it anymore-

1. n/a

Next up-

  1. The Book of Revelation, Matt Dorff (looks so cool!)

Happy reading, folks!

Poetry Cafe (of the week)

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aka my classroom.

The stage at Lions Cafe.

I attempted to set up the room like a 1960s underground cafe. The kiddos brought in enough treats to feed an army. We listened to the Mamas and the Papas and gave each person snaps after they recited. It was a fabulous way to wrap up all the poetry work we’ve done this year.

I’ve been remiss in my poem posting. To make up for it, I’d like to offer a list of poems performed by the seventh grade.

In no particular order:

What if,  Shel Silverstein

Basketball, Unknow

My life stood…, Emily Dickinson

Annabell Lee, Edgar Allen Poe

Minstrel Man, Langston Hughes

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

Beethoven, Pastan

Champion, Unknown

Nobody, Shel Silverstein

Acquainted with the Night, Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

Eldorado, Edgar Allen Poe

Happiness, Michael Jordan

Spiders, Unknown

The Perfect Friend, Unknown

Friends, RA Salvatore

Like You, Unknown

Stopping by the Woods, Robert Frost

New Kid on the Block, Jack Prelutsky

Rain, Shel Silverstein

Point of View, Shel Silverstein

Not, Sophie Cabot Black

Winter Eden, Robert Frost

Tyger, tyger, William Blake

Notice any patterns?