It's a rainy Easter Sunday here in South Carolina. This is the week I will finally have a Sunday Salon post, after trying for three weeks without success.
Life and Teaching
Change is the theme in my life this year. My school district and my high school switched from year-long classes to the semester schedule this year. This seemed like a good thing at first: previously I was teaching on an A/B schedule, with six sections of students. It was possible to have 160-180 students on my rosters, which is a heck of a lot of grading. But I've found that the semester schedule has its own drawbacks. Then we have had new evaluations thrust on us (without much real guidance), much more documentation of student progress, and what feels like a constantly increasing pressure.
Then our district made some decisions that will dramatically change life for teachers and students: a new start time for middle school and high school; this will be good for students but a huge adjustment. On the bight side, I will drive to school in daylight! Other changes are probably too complicated to explain well in a short space, but another big change for me is that our principal will be retiring at the end of this year.
What I've Been Reading
Despite a crazy busy schedule (tons of grading and deadlines) I have continued to make time for reading; reading just does it for me....it allows me to go to another place, relaxes me, and gives me distance from my day to day problems. Here are a few of the books I've read over the past few weeks that made a deep impression....
The Hot Zone was one of the scariest books I've ever read. Preston is an incredible writer; he kept me on tenterhooks for the entire book. The best part was that I had learned so much science, in such an enjoyable way, by the time I finished the book.
Although I haven't had time to write about it for the blog, The Bone Clocks was one of the best books I've read in a long time. Absolutely loved it, and can't wait to read more from David Mitchell.
Most Recently Read
And So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan. A love letter to The Great Gatsby, I'm still reading this. Highly personal, and highly recommended for fans of Fitzgerald's best known novel.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I first read this in high school, and it holds up. Disturbing and prescient.
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. This is the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy. Weird, absorbing, immersive. Looking forward to the next book in the series (sitting on my desk).
Red Rising by Pierce Brown. My students love this book, so I *have to* read it. They've been using all their persuasive powers on me!
The Kids Are Reading
Both male and female readers in my classes are loving Red Rising and Ready Player One. And female readers are gobbling up Red Queen.
Coming Up Soon
I really want to read or reread a classic (or more than one). Right now I'm looking at Jane Eyre.
What's been going on for you, in your reading life or just life in general? I'd really like to know! Hope everyone is having a happy Easter Sunday. Peace.