Monthly Archives: August 2012

In which I have a Macbook

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You may have noticed that I’ve been absent for a little while. Well, that’s because I’ve gone completely insane.

sleepy

sleepy

Not really quite like that. Slightly more like this:

skeptical

skeptical

Why, you ask? I thought it would be obvious. School is starting, of course!

excitement!!

excitement!!

Yes,  my job has finally begun. After a trip to Houston to meet my boyfriend’s family last week I jumped into training and am now in the final preparatory stretch before classes start on Tuesday. Here we goooooooo….

My preparation appears to involve meetings, lesson planning, panic, and shiny new toys. We all know that giving me shiny new toys is a terrible idea (see: shattered computer screens 1, 2, and 3), but The Job seems be doing it anyway.  Yes, I have acquired a Macbook Pro!

What does this mean for you? Besides the excessive amounts of pictures I can now take of myself, I’m not totally sure yet. I do know that it means a lot for my sanity as I organize my productions for this school year. It may also mean that I’ll take a crack at creating my own textbooks or reference books through the fabulous iBooks Author app. I might be getting an iPad for my theater work as well (also through the school), so I’ll keep you posted.

School year prep has also meant a lot of YA reading. I feel so indulgent.

by Gordon Korman

Schooled is a YA novel by Gordon Korman, author of my hard to find have, I Want to Go Home! The main character, Capricorn, is a lovable outcast home schooled throwback from the sixties, who enters the very real world of junior high. It’s a fantastic read (as Korman always is), though it slides a little towards hokey at the very end (as Korman often does). I’m smitten.

I’m also out of time. Happy reading, more soon!

Family Bookclub #3- Dad

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My Dad passed away seventeen years ago today. No one’s talked about it all day. Maybe no one’s thought about it- but I doubt it. I almost told some friends about it tonight, but we were watching So You Think You Can Dance, and how do you bring it up then? In between the dream sequence on the bed and the solo belly dance?

Anyway, the sting has mostly gone out of it. Time does that, it’s true. I feel the lack of a father in a more general sense than I specifically miss him. There are moments, though. Starting my new job, for instance.

Dad was an English teacher. He directed the school plays for a few years, too. He provided my first experience with imagery in literature in a kitchen table lecture on Macbeth. At seven and twelve (eight and thirteen?) my brother and I couldn’t grasp the “double, double” scene. When Dad explained why people were popping out of that cauldron, the foreshadowing blew my pre-pubescent mind. It’s strange to think that I’ll be doing the same thing for slightly older children in just a few weeks.

Since he’s gone, I’m not able to list his favorite books. I know he liked Shakespeare. He chose The Pajama Game as the school musical once. He used to recite poetry to my mother. So I leave you with a fragment of a fragment of a memory:

She Walks in Beauty
-Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

Perhaps I lied. I still miss him.

Things I’m currently reading- August Edition

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Hot springs!Mm, steamy August.  Isn’t it strange that as soon as this month begins, you feel like summer’s over? You should be hauling out sweaters and school books. In reality, there’s well over a month till my beloved Fall kicks in.

Sorry this one’s so late, guys! I got back from an amazing (stressful) trip to Beijing very early on August 4th. I spent about five days recovering from jet lag, then hit New York to buy plays for my new job (!!!) that starts in just a few weeks. It’s been an absolutely wonderful month. Sure, there have been a few bumps. All in all, I felt more like myself than I have in ages. I’m also happy to report that my Mandarin came right back, and I received a number of sincere compliments,  even while my inner Chinese teacher was criticizing my tones.

Book-wise, this was one of the lightest reading months I’ve had in ages because there was simply no time while we were in Beijing. I spent most of our transit time journaling, with good personal results. Fear not, with the number of books I have to get through for school I’ll have to make it up this month. This list covers July and the first part of August.

Daily spiritual reading-

  1. Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, Victor Afanasiev (still taking a long time)
  2. The Bible. (now with actual book! Hooray for no internet at home!)
  3. Book of lectures from an Orthodox women’s conference

Pleasure reading-

  1.  The Prestige, Christopher Priest
  2. The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn (picking it up again)

Work-

  1. Playwrights at Work, ed. John Dahr
  2. Almost, Maine, John Cariani
  3. The Endless Steppe, Esther Hautzig

Books that have been on hold, but want to finish- (no, this list has not changed)

  1. With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man, Elder Paisios
  2. The Private Life of Chairman Mao, Dr. Li Zhisui I biked 11.5 km around this wall in a dress. I am awesome.
  3. Miracles, C.S. Lewis
  4. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Just finished-

  1. Under the Dome, Stephen King
  2. The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
  3. The Crucible, Arthur Miller (reread)
  4. The BFG, David Wood (play version)
  5. Miss Lonelyhearts, Howard Teichmann (play)
  6. Broken Hearts, Greta Berghammer and Rod Caspers (play)
  7. Insurgent, Veronica Roth

Stopped because I couldn’t take it anymore-

1. N/A – Hooray!

Next up-

  1. Comedy of Erros, William Shakespeare (need to cut it down for work)
  2. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  3. A Steinbeck, because I have a bunch on my kindle and need to stretch my brain
  4. The rest of the books I’ll be teaching this year- yikes!

What was on your summer reading list? That’s all I’ve got.  See you next time!