Sunday, April 17, 2011
I'm sitting out on the little balcony of our new apartment, enjoying what has to be one of the most glorious days ever. If, for a moment, I can push away all the worries, troubles, and problems of the day, month, year, decade, I can experience pure bliss. Just for a moment. The sun is shining, it must be somewhere near seventy degrees, and there is very little humidity (rare here in coastal South Carolina). I'm finally catching up on my Google Reader, and seeing all the blog postings I've missed out on between moving and working. I just realized this morning that I only have two instructional days to prepare for this week (woot!) and one teacher work day. That means I'll have four days next week to try to organize the new apartment, catch up on planning and grading, and generally try to get my life into order. Glorious, glorious, glorious.
Books Do Furnish a Room
Today I hope to put in a couple of hours organizing and culling my book collection. It is very apparent that I still need to pack away a great many books to make this smaller living space truly livable. I really do love my books, and can happily spend hours perusing my own bookshelves. I love to be surrounded by books, and find libraries and bookstores restore my soul nearly as well as churches. Packing and unpacking during our move, I realized that I could open a store selling three things: books, pens, and notebooks. As my students would say, my pen and notebook collections are redunculous.
My Reading Life
I've gotten a surprising amount of reading done, despite the move and a busy time at school. As I sorted and packed books, I realized I have a huge collection of books of short stories, and I wondered why I don't spend more time reading them. So I've been reading stories: collections by Robin Black and Ann Hood (reviews coming this week) and a collection by Mary Lavin, an Irish writer. I've also been delving into fairy tales: my creative writing students are writing poems based on myths and fairy tales. I am one adult who has never ceased to be fascinated by fairy tales, some of the most powerful stories ever told (and retold).
Last week we had our big high-stakes testing, and I was a Test Administrator for two of the three testing days. This was a strangely grueling and extremely quiet task. The first test day I was in testing for two hours, and the second day I was TA testing lasted for three hours. Testing Administrators are not allowed to grade papers, talk (that does make sense!) or read during testing. I'm sure you all feel my pain: three hours in a quiet room, and not allowed to read? On Friday I made up for this by giving my students silent sustained reading time (I read along with my students); we went to the school library, and I picked up Gayle Forman's If I Stay, which I finished quickly (review coming soon).
Feelin' a Little Linky
Here are a few links I'd like to share with you this week:
Lisa over at Lit and Life has a feature called Fairy Tale Fridays. I've been enjoying reading her posts.Lisa is one of my most regular readers, and I really appreciate her comments. Even when I become a complete slacker at posting, reading, and commenting on other people's blogs, Lisa loyally reads my blog and leaves a comment just when I need one.
Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl posted today about a blog I'd never heard of: Read All Day. Nina Sankovitch suffered a terrible loss--the death of her sister--and decided, in her grief, to comfort herself with books. Now she has a memoir coming out, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair.
Allie at A Literary Odyssey has two read-alongs coming up: The Illiad in May, and The Idiot in May and June. I've already committed myself to The Idiot, the book that made me fall in love with Russian novels (way back in high school).
I know some readers of this blog might object to being called gentle, but thanks to all of you who have persisted with me over the last year and a half. I'm feeling my way as a reader, blogger, and writer, and I'm so grateful to those readers who have stuck with me, and continued to give me the comment love I crave (hate to admit that, but I do love your comments). Have a glorious day.