In a few weeks, I have to teach this play to my 7th graders. Yes, 7th graders. My 7th graders are capable, critical, and creative students. However, IIn a few weeks, I have to teach this play to my 7th graders. Yes, 7th graders. My 7th graders are capable, critical, and creative students. However, I feel that this play is not appropriate for their age and reading level. Sooo...I know that my rating of 2 stars is influenced by that. Can't help it. If anyone reading this has advice on how to teach it, I'll take it.
Also, the play itself is a comedy and does well at poking fun at class issues. However, I find Eliza Doolittle problematic as a feminist hero. Her greatest feat is that she doesn't marry Higgins in the end? Is it that she picks up the manners of a proper lady? I don't know exactly what George Bernard Shaw wanted me to see as her transformation. I can assume that it's her stance on being independent but in the "sequel" that is not the case. So what is it? ...more
What a cool book to start my 2017 Reading List! I am definitely adding Charlie Jane Anders on my list of authors to read more from.
All the Birds in TWhat a cool book to start my 2017 Reading List! I am definitely adding Charlie Jane Anders on my list of authors to read more from.
All the Birds in The Sky is split into 4 books and follows two characters: Patricia and Laurence. Patricia Delfine is a witch. Laurence Armstead is an engineer. We get to watch these two characters grow up together as outcasts in junior high somewhere on the East coast (fun fact for Boston readers: Laurence skips school to take bus into Boston to go to M.I.T, and it's funny to hear about the landmarks like MOS and Legal Seafoods). Book 1 sets up the characters as they are beginning to understand their powers. Patricia is just learning about being a witch after having a conversation with a Parliament of birds and the Tree. Laurence builds a watch that can jump into the future by two seconds and impresses a group of rocket scientists. Their home lives are sad, and they get bullied mercilessly in school. By Book 2, the two of them meet at school and become friends. Laurence introduces Patricia to his supercomputer and its IM account, which goes by the name, CH@NG3M3, and is half way to becoming fully sentient. Then, Patricia tells him about her discoveries as a witch. Its an interesting and supportive relationship between two children who represent the powers of machine and nature. Until a member of the Nameless Order of Assassins, Theodolphus Rose, enters into town to kill them.
Driven by a vision of the world in chaos because of a war between magic and science, Theodolphus identifies Patricia and Laurence as the two adults in the center of the future war. Patricia and Laurence's relationship is further endangered by increasing misunderstandings of each other. By Book 3, it is ten years later, and we see them living separately in San Francisco as awkward adults with different social circles. There is still a deep connection between the two of them despite the time apart. However, Patricia is struggling with belonging within a group of witches who practice Healing and Trickster magic. Laurence is working on top secret machinery which has outstanding implications on how the human race can evolve. We get to see how magic and science can grow and implode.
Anders has written a beautiful novel that combines science fiction with magical realism. There are loads of philosophical lines and hints at actual future science projects that are taking place in our world that demand further attention. There is a sense of loneliness that filters through every character, but the story never feels melancholic. Instead, there is optimism. Patricia and Laurence are here to tell us that when the power of nature and machine are brought together through love, we can heal.
Some people take a knee during the National Anthem. Some people walk their city streets chanting, “No Justice, No Peace.” Some people write books. TheSome people take a knee during the National Anthem. Some people walk their city streets chanting, “No Justice, No Peace.” Some people write books. The last few years have brought us a new civil rights movement. For example, it is impossible to ignore the many videos of police using excessive force on black people. As a community, we are all affected. However, it is difficult to know how watching these videos exactly affects people beyond yourself. I can’t imagine what it is like to be black, male or a police officer these days since I am not either of those things. It is difficult to come up with solutions for a problem that is so big. That is why the realistic fiction book, All-American Boys feels like one of the most important books I’ve read in a long time. It allows me, as a reader, to imagine a point of view different from my own and to deepen my understanding.
There are two authors for this book, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Together, they tell the story of what happens when a teenage black boy named Rashad gets beaten by a cop and it is witnessed by a white boy named Quinn. Quinn goes to the same high school as Rashad. Quinn and Rashad don’t really know each other before the incident. However, Quinn is on the basketball team with a lot of Rashad’s friends. Also, Quinn knows the cop who beat Rashad. He’s best friends with the cop’s younger brother; in a way, Quinn is almost like a little brother to him too. The story is told through Quinn’s point of view and Rashad’s- who is recovering in a hospital. Separately, they both play the scene over and over in their minds to figure out what happened and what made it possible. They are also affected by the reactions of their surrounding family and friends. The one thing that both are sure of though, is how what happened that night to Rashad was wrong. The thing to figure out is what can they do with this knowledge.
I had to abandon this half way through. The writing tries too hard to force intense scenes and emotional reactions. These kids did not seem real to meI had to abandon this half way through. The writing tries too hard to force intense scenes and emotional reactions. These kids did not seem real to me at all....more
I liked that this is not a self-help book. It presents lots of ways to show the reader how our perception of events is limited. Nonetheless, the writiI liked that this is not a self-help book. It presents lots of ways to show the reader how our perception of events is limited. Nonetheless, the writing style is breezy and fun. ...more
This is a perfect book to start summer vacation for me. It's short enough to be read in one day easily, it's not anything I can use in school, and it'This is a perfect book to start summer vacation for me. It's short enough to be read in one day easily, it's not anything I can use in school, and it's poetic. It's a love letter to reading and writing without obviously stating it. It got me thinking about the fragility of memory and the stories we remember, create, and choose to share. ...more
I wish I could change the title of this book to quote Beyonce, "The Best Revenge is Your Paper." It's not about being rich in a purely materialistic wI wish I could change the title of this book to quote Beyonce, "The Best Revenge is Your Paper." It's not about being rich in a purely materialistic way. It's about defining what you value and earning/spending money so it reflects that. It's about growing your independence.
This book provides all the not-so-common sense information around personal finances that I wish I read about when I was first starting my career. However, I still found it useful in reflecting on my earning and spending and managing it. In fact, I benefited from it as soon as I started trying some of his tips.
A lot of the information can be found on his blog too. ...more
It's been awhile since I read anything that I can say is life changing, but here it is: this book is life changing.
It made me think about money in anIt's been awhile since I read anything that I can say is life changing, but here it is: this book is life changing.
It made me think about money in an entirely different way. It helped me to see it's connection to my energy for living. It helped me to value other parts of my life with the same intensity that I can feel towards teaching. I am planning to buy it and to add to my personal library. I know I can always use constant reflections on the relationship between my money, time, and energy and how I value them.
This is another book that is on the Mr. Money Mustache Reading List and I have seen mentioned on other blogs.
I read this because it is part of Mr. Money Mustache's Reading List. Lately, I have been reviewing my earning and spending habits and reading the MustI read this because it is part of Mr. Money Mustache's Reading List. Lately, I have been reviewing my earning and spending habits and reading the Mustache blog here and there. While I don't agree with some of his sentiments, I have found some of his posts to be resourceful, so I decided to check out his reading list. If you have never heard of Mr. Money Mustache, you must know that he does have a cult-like following. He is about financial independence and D.I.Y as much as possible. His work gets people passionate about living a frugal lifestyle. Therefore, I was expecting that this book will help inspire ways to think in a more visionary way, be more creative. After all, a tiny part of why he is able to live like he does is because he is creative. He claims that reading it made him permanently happy- that alone should have made me suspect.
The book's biggest thing is think positive and you'll be a winner. It's not about practicing creativity for creativity's sake at all. It is geared to the business mindset and to production. It's about getting people to like you. It's about liking yourself as a positive person, and shooing away the "negative" aspects of how you think and feel. Like most self-help books, there are catchy headlines with "real" case studies to back up what the author is saying. And because it's written in the 1950s there are examples of helping out traveling salesmen with their problems (hello, Arthur Miller!) and paying attention to housewives.
I finished this book yesterday when the 2016 Pultizer Prizes were announced. I was happy to see that Between the World and Me was a finalist in the GeI finished this book yesterday when the 2016 Pultizer Prizes were announced. I was happy to see that Between the World and Me was a finalist in the General Nonfiction category which is still an honor, and that Lin Manuel Miranda won for Hamilton in Drama. Both works have inspired me to think more about how racism and history play out in the present. There is one line in the Hamilton song "Right Hand Man"sung by Chris Jackson as George Washington that echoes a theme in the book Between the World And Me: "Dying is easy young man. Living is harder."
Ta-Nehisi Coates titles his book after the Richard Wright poem of the same name. A poem in which the speaker is walking through the woods and his consciousness is immediately interrupted by evidence of a lynching that took place there. Coates includes the beginning excerpts of that poem setting the tone for what he is about to share. What follows is a letter to his teenage son divided into three parts.
The first (and longest) part is introduced by an epigraph from Sonia Sanchez's poem, "Malcolm." In this part Coates describes his childhood surrounded by violence and fear and becoming "politically conscious"the more he questioned his reality. He saw the streets and the school as part of the same racist institution. He found truth in the works of Malcolm X, hip-hop,and library collections. He learned through relationships formed at Howard University. And as Coates describes his experiences, he directly addresses his son throughout it. He acknowledges the differences between the way they have lived at age 15, but how the Struggle is still the same.
It's in this first part, that I found a lot to think about as an educator. It made me think about the use of Restorative Justice in schools and suspension rates. It validated the need to make sure that curriculum is relevant to students, and how the argument for grit can be cold. It made think about how there is lots of research to back up Coates' understanding of "the craft of writing as the art of thinking. " And I love how he identifies "poetry as an economy of truth."
The second part is prefaced with an epigraph from Amiri Baraka's "Ka'Ba."I have to admit that it affected me the most emotionally. Without giving away too much, I feel that the theme of this part is around legacy. I highly recommend (re)reading Coates' essay in The Atlantic, "The Case for Reparations" alongside it.
The third part contains a quote from James Baldwin's essay, "On Being White... and Other Lies." Again without giving too much away, it goes back to the myths that enable the plundering (Coates favored word) of bodies and even the Earth.
Fives stars because we are all affected. Through the internet, you may have seen the hashtag #staywoke and the best way to make sense of that is using Coates' words: "These are the preferences of the universe itself: verbs over nouns, actions over states, struggle over hope."...more
I read this in a teacher book club. It inspired conversations around middle school friendships and growing up- particularly how friends can become jeaI read this in a teacher book club. It inspired conversations around middle school friendships and growing up- particularly how friends can become jealous of each other when they branch out and have new experiences. However, the text itself lost momentum quickly. I did appreciate how realistic Bennet's situation is portrayed. The father's condition and recovery hit home for me (as I experienced something very similar), but the tension got lost somewhere. I also found some of the emphasis on weight to be heavy-handed. Stress also seemed to play a big part with Bennet's dad's health, but that was overshadowed. As someone who works with youth, I want to promote positive body culture. Eat a Snicker if you want to. You should eat vegetables too. Learn what feels good for your body. Bennet had no in-between. He either gorged or pushed himself beyond his limits in running. ...more