Thanks to Florinda of The 3 Rs blog for hosting this weekly meme, because otherwise I would probably have let another day go by without writing a post. I am self-guilting on just about any topic, so when I don’t write a blog post every day – I begin to feel unworthy of calling myself a blogger. The truth of the matter is that I have been busy doing other activities that I want to do, and I have not made the time to post an entry. So….here is a list of the activities that I have been doing instead:
- Began reading for my summer school course. While I find the concept of reading 3,300 pages in a little over 3 months somewhat daunting, I have decided that I really only have to read one page at a time (somewhat similar to the proverbial, How Do You Eat an Elephant — one bite at a time)
- I managed to read Walden in its entirety and while I found some parts rather dry – I must admit that I really enjoyed this one. I have no aspirations of building myself a cabin in the woods and living solely on nuts and berries — but I did learn to appreciate nature more; to enjoy the journey and not focus exclusively on the destination; to realize that the money trap is alive and well and (unfortunately) residing within me. I do not “need” a lot to survive and the constant dream of wanting more is robbing me of present day happiness.
- I started reading Frankenstein on Sunday and must admit that I have fallen in love with this story. Who really is the monster — the creature or the creator? We all long for acceptance in this world, and yet I think the ultimate rejection must be when a parent rejects his/her own child. This is in essence how the creature feels when Victor Frankenstein runs away from him. At one point the creature asks why did Victor make him so hideous? Did not God make Adam in his own image? For it is truly the outward appearance that causes the disgust of this creature — not his inward heart and longing to be loved.
- I have not done much in the way of personal reading, but I still need to finish Shutter Island and I hope to start one of about 10 library books that will be due shortly. At the top of list ranks:
- the Motion of the Ocean by Janna Cawrse Esarey
- The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
- Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop
- Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
- I spent quite a bit of time this weekend researching The Cotswolds in England. I harbor a true desire to at least go on a short walk along the English countryside while I am in Oxford this summer. I found a terrific website that includes quite a number of daily walk suggestions, complete with PDF downloads. In addition there is an interactive map that allows you to hyperlink to local bed and breakfasts along the trail (this particular one sounds delightful to me – I hope they have a vacancy). The header picture of one of the webpages has the most beautiful photograph of sheep grazing in a pasture (that is the picture above). I immediately sent an email asking where this picture was taken and would it be possible to take a small walking tour to that location. Within 24 hours I received a response and was told that the Chipping Campden was the perfect place to start my journey. Not sure this will be a possibility of not, but I am having a blast dreaming about it.
- School officially started again yesterday and while I was not looking forward to returning to the routine, I do realize that the faster I get back into school, the sooner summer break will arrive. There will be quite a bit of grading to accomplish over the next 8 weeks, and that always puts me in a grumpy mood. How I wish we could teach classes on a pass/fail basis.
- This week’s grading includes fifteen 7th grade research papers.
- We are finishing Tale of Two Cities in British literature (the final exam for this novel will be the first week of April) and the Hobbit in 7th grade.
- The middle of next month will begin the mystery unit for these younger students where we read several Sherlock Holmes stories, and the students learn to write their own mystery which will be shared the week of finals. It is always a fun unit — minus the grading, of course.
- My 8th graders are busily memorizing their lines of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – with the projected performance date of May 7. I am not at all sure how well this will go — but they have certainly had a glorious time studying Shakespeare, which quite honestly, is reward enough for me.
- As a final note, I am still trying to hone my writing skills. I have done a lot of reading on the art of fictional writing and I am anxious to put the theory into practice. I have also been learning the subtle differences in travel writing and want to start doing some preliminary research on various topics prior to my June departure. I attribute this new-found interest in writing to the blogging world. This wonderfully positive experience has cultivated an interest in other forms of writing. I thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement that have nudged me out of my comfort zone.
Today is a gorgeous day in Kansas (the saying is — if you don’t like the weather in Kansas, just wait 5 minutes) — and I think I might try to venture to “my island” a bit this morning to do some journal writing. I hope you all have a glorious Tuesday as well.