Slice of Life #26- Notebookitis

I have a terrible disease.  If you are a teacher you probably have it, too.  I like to call this debilitating disease “notebookitis”.

Notebookitis means that I have an unhealthy obsession with notebooks.  I always find myself drawn to the stationary aisle in every store, where I can spend hours perusing notebooks.  I love to inspect the paper, feel the covers, and compare one notebook to another.

This week Chris got his Loot Crate (a monthly subscription box full of geeky stuff) and it included special edition Field Notes Brand notebooks.  Two of them!

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I’m in love.

I also a similar illness that results in me buying pens all the time and then feeling very protective over said pens.  I know I am an adult but I don’t like sharing my pens!  People inevitably walk away with the pen they borrowed because they think it isn’t important.  But as a pen-lover, this makes me sad.

I’m pretty sure this is a common disease that runs rampant among teachers.  Do you also have a stationary-related illness?

Slice of Life #25- Big (Great!) News!

I’ve wanted to go back to school forever.  I started to seriously research programs about a year ago.  I struggled to find the perfect program because I have such diverse interests.  All of the MFA programs for children’s and YA lit piqued my interest but I eventually found my way back to my other passion- science.

I am thrilled to say that in May I will begin working towards my masters in biology as part of the 2015 cohort of the Project Dragonfly Advanced Inquiry Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society in Bronx, NY.  The program allows students to receive a “graduate degree co-delivered by some of the nation’s premiere community and learning institutions. AIP students take courses at an AIP Master Institution while sharing ideas and developing projects with fellow students and faculty nationwide via web-based learning communities.” How awesome is that?! 

This is such an exciting opportunity and I am over the moon that I was accepted!  I’ve been passionate about science since I attended a STEM high school and choosing between English and science was a hard decision.  I don’t plan to stop teaching English but I hope that this program will support some of the work I do in and out of the classroom.  And I am a huge proponent of the crossover between English and science so now I can be living proof of it!

 

 

(And who knows…..the MFA might be something I pursue later!)

Slice of Life #24- The Day the Internet Went Out

I was just finishing up lunch duty when I tried to send an email.  Hmm, that’s weird.  The error message that popped on the screen told me there was no wireless connection, despite the symbol in the top right corner of my computer telling me otherwise.  I tried to refresh and had no luck but didn’t think much of it.  I teach at High Tech.  The internet doesn’t “break”, so I figured the wireless signal was just weak.  I packed up at the end of the period and headed to the faculty room for lunch.

When I entered the room it was abuzz with folks talking.  “The internet is down!” was repeated over and over.  Ok, annoying for sure, but I assumed it would be fixed in a few minutes.  I had a long to-do list to accomplish but wanted to heat up my lunch first.  I figured that by the time I was finished eating a quick lunch someone would restart the server (or whatever needed to be done)

Yeah, that turned out to be false.

Ten minutes passed.

Twenty minutes.

Forty minutes.

An hour passed.

Every so often I tried to refresh the page and received the same error telling me there was no connection. I began to panic as 5th period approached.  My seniors were due to present their satire sketches and their scripts were on Googledocs.  My rubric was on Googledocs.  My attendance was on Googledocs!  (Thankfully I do have a paper copy of the attendance). The internet had to be fixed by the time those seniors came to class, I thought.

Yeah, that turned out to be false.

Needless to say, it was an interesting English class.  I used my phone to access the rubric.  The students tried to read the scripts from their phones.  The groups that had printed out their scripts in advance felt vindicated, as they did not have squint at their phones in order to present.

We made it through class but it was not easy!  There’s not a lot you can do at High Tech without internet!  We read, we talked, and we presented.  I couldn’t do my grading, input grades, or even post my homework.  When the final bell rang I think we were all relieved!

Slice of Life #23- #WeNeedDiverseBooks Local Book Drive!

Over the next few weeks my National Honor Society students will be running a book drive for Bridge of Books [501(c)3], which is a local grassroots organization whose mission “is to provide an ongoing source of books to underprivileged and at-risk children throughout New Jersey in order to support literacy skills and to encourage a love of reading.” Our focus will be on collecting new and like-new YA books that feature diverse characters because‪ #‎WeNeedDiverseBooks‬ and the teen population is historically under-served in most of the organization’s book drives.

Bridge of Books is a fantastic organization that serves children and schools all over New Jersey.  They stock classroom libraries, which is a cause near and dear to my heart.  They also distribute books through more than 100 agencies across NJ, through the NJ Youth Corp, directly to children through schools and community outreach events, and to adult correctional facilities (to support parent/child reading programs for incarcerated parents). The organization works in cities and rural areas, even providing book delivery in most cases, with the goal of ensuring that every child owns and has access to books of their own.

Interested in contributing but not able to get to HTHS? We have a public wish list on Amazon and books can be shipped right to the school. (I know, I know…Amazon. But we don’t have a local indie and I’m hoping to save people shipping fees because it’s for charity!)

Slice of Life #22- Tired. So Tired.

Why aren’t naps a normal routine for adults?

Seriously.

I am not young enough for seventeen hour days anymore.

I am definitely not able to handle seventeen hour days without stopping for food.

When you spend all day walking and you don’t get home until 11:30pm and you eat dinner at 11:30pm and then you wake up at 8am you are very tired

Headache tired.

Heavy eyes tired.

Hard to read a book tired.

Hard to write a slice of life tired.

Where did my weekend go?

Can I get an extra day?

Please?

Why is spring break so far away?

Far, far away.

Too far away.

Tonight I will dream of sleeping in, eating a real breakfast, and not bowing to the demands of an alarm clock.

But in order to do that, I need to go to bed and fall asleep.

Good night!

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Slice of Life #21- An (Awesome) Exhausted Slice

I had grand plans of detailing my insane day, but it is almost midnight and I just walked in the door.  I am exhausted.  But I am exhausted in a good way.  So as I try to eat a quick dinner before the dawn of a new day I will list some of the cool parts of my long day.

  • Spending the day at the NCTE conference.  Jen and I met at 8:30am on the Parkway and we left Montclair almost 9 hours later.  We went to workshops, met with authors (David Lubar is awesome!), and listened to some great speakers.  I also loved seeing how excited the attendees were to get the books donated by my amazing publisher friends.
  • At the general meeting after the conference Jen and I were voted co-vice presidents of NJCTE.  :)
  • We left NJCTE and headed to Jersey City to catch the PATH train to New York City.  This did not go as planned and I will probably explain that tomorrow.  Suffice to say that the parking in Jersey City is awful and we refused to pay $50 to park in Hoboken for a few hours.
  • We made it to McNally Jackson on Prince St. with seconds to spare!  But the crazy day was totally worth it because the author panel and reading was so much fun!  Coe Booth, Michelle Knudsen, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Andrew Smith, Lindsay Smith, Jessica Spotswood,Tommy Wallach, and David Levithan were awesome!

It’s been a long day and I will get this posted just before midnight if I post it now.  More to follow!

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