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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Proud to Be Raising Readers

I have only been a parent for a short period of time (just short of six years).  Just like being a husband, being a dad has its good days and bad days, its ups and downs.  Of course I get frustrated when rooms are left a mess, or my little "angels" do not want to eat the dinner I spent forever preparing.  I realize for all the bad moments, there are plenty more positive moments to focus on each day.  That is how I try to look at things daily as a husband and father.

One of my proudest accomplishments during my short tenure as a father so far is raising two children that love books and reading.  I am not going to lie, our house if filled with books.  Big surprise, with me being a librarian and all....but not a month goes by without a new book finding its way into our book box downstairs or upstairs onto an overflowing shelf in my son's room.  I do my best to read to both of my children each day.  I love witnessing Chloe and Nate incorporating books into their play.  If my children are not just enjoying browsing through a book, the are using them as toys when they play "school" or "restaurant".  My daughter was so excited to be able to pick two books out at her book fair last week at school.  You would have thought it was Christmas or her birthday when she came running off the bus to show me what she picked for herself and her brother.

I was also so impressed to witness my daughter taking Accelerated Reader tests as a kindergartner last school year(a very young kindergartner, she does not turn 6 until later this November)!  Every day when my daughter returns home from school we work on her homework....often reading homework.  I always have a proud smile on face during these times.  I can not take all the credit for this.  I am greatly appreciative toward the teaching and media staff at Chapman Elementary School in the Gibraltar School District.  Their summer reading program is wonderful, and helps me keep my children reading during the summer months.

I hope my children continue to make me a proud father for their academic achievements.  Personally, I find academic achievements to be greatly undervalued in our society.  I am often discouraged by this reality, but do my best to trudge forward as an educator.  Do not get me wrong, I love athletics, I have coached varsity track and field for the past thirteen seasons.  I love pro, college and high school athletics and have both of my children involved in athletics currently.  I hope they do well in everything they attempt, however, if I raise them to be lifelong readers, I know they will be on the path to greatness.  It is just as important to spend time reading a book to your kids as it is tossing the football to them out in the front yard.  More than likely, the reading will be a bigger factor in their future than tossing that ball around.  

Chloe, Nate and I in the Great Smoky Mountains

Sunday, September 26, 2010

50th Anniversary of an American Classic

2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird.  Events throughout the country started in late May and ran throughout the summer.  Information on the anniversary can be found here! 

Mockingbird is one of my favorite novels of all time.  I tend to pick it up every few years and re-read the book.  I only do this with about three to four books (The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men to name a few).  I seem to find new "bits" that I missed each time I read those books.  Do you have any books that you read and re-read?  I am sure some people think it is weird.

Again, happy to report that Monday I am full time back at Oscar A. Carlson High School.  The News Herald wrote a fine story about the district finding money to bring back a number of positions.  This includes the media specialist at Shumate Middle School.  Great news for the students of the Gibraltar School District.

You can now follow The Geekly Reader on Twitter here twitter.com/thegeeklyreader.  Busy time right now with Homecoming and working two buildings, but I think my posts will increase now that I am back to working one job.  Have a great week!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Back to CHS/Gazelle Update/NFL Technology

Greetings,
A few topics this fine September evening.  First I would like to thank and commend the Gibraltar School District board of education on their decision to bring back a full time librarian to Shumate Middle School.  This will allow me to return full time to Carlson High School as the librarian.  Great news, my colleague at Shumate does such a wonderful job!.  Glad to hear she will be back where she belongs.

Spoke with loyal reader "Daddy O" today, as he took time to "pop in" to my office.  He wanted to let me know that Gazzelle.com accepted his digital video camera and was sending him a check for the full price promised via his online appraisal.  He told me the check is in the mail and that he looks forward to using the site again when he needs to recycle old electronic products.

I want to finish with just a little summary of my Sunday afternoon.  Wow, how watching the National Football League on Sundays has changed over the years.  I remember watching just one or two games years ago when I was teen.  Now there are up to three games on during the day and another game on at night.  DirectTv costumers can purchase the Sunday Ticket Package which allows viewers to watch every NFL game on Sundays (blackout rules still apply).  Even more enjoyable, The NFL Redzone channel offered on Comcast.  What a great channel...it jumps from game to game, showing each touchdown as it happens (this works really well with my ADD tendencies).  It even carries clips from local games that are blacked out (ummmm most Detroit Lion's games).  If you are a Fantasy Football geek like me, this channel is amazing.  I also have my notebook computer out the entire game, checking all of my fantasy leagues.  Wow, have things have changed in just ten years or so.  So much for just sitting on the couch with a beer and a bag of Better Mades huh?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The $99 Netbook

I have come to the conclusion that I need to find a second computer for my house.  The main computer I use is my Macbook Pro (going on three years old and running perfectly).  All of my photographs, important documents, and work related items are on this machine.  I use the machine to pay most of my bills, keep track of all of my banking, and file my taxes each year.  It is an extremely valuable machine.

At the same time, I realize the importance of my children needing to be exposed to a computer at home.  I just worry about them using my main computer.  So for the past few weeks I have been scanning the advertisements looking for a second computer.  Just a simple machine my kids can use to play web-based games, or the wife can use to shop online (or I can use to set my fantasy football lineup).  I can not believe how far prices have dropped.  I mean, you can even pick up a $99 netbook at CVS Pharmacy (I do not make any product recommendation, just pointing out how little one can pay for a netbook).  Keep in mind, netbooks are designed for all web based work (little to no hard drive).  However, with the development of many web based sites (Google docs, Flickr, etc) one may not even need a hard drive.  Many think the computer of the future will not even make use of a hard disc drive.  Everything will be web-based remotely. 

It appears I can pick up a nice notebook for simple tasks from about $200 - $400.  Now my kids will be able to use a machine, and not stress me out about losing important files or memories on my main notebook computer.  With computer prices falling I think it is reasonable to have a second machine in the house.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September Read of the Month

During a Labor Day Weekend trip to Costco (great store.....do not even get me started) I stumbled across the book section and picked up The Lion by Nelson DeMille.  I read the earlier title, The Lion's Game thanks to a recommendation from a reader of The Geekly Reader.  I loved the book so much I had to pick up this new sequel.  It did not take long for the book to have my jaw on the floor.  WOW, what a start.  Very exciting.  I look forward to reading this book for September.  Reader Meg, do not worry I still plan to pick up the title by David Foster Wallace you mentioned in a previous comment.  DeMille's book was just staring me in the face and I had no choice to purchase the book.  I will provide a review (without too many spoilers later in the month).

I apologize for the lack of updates, but the Labor Day weekend, combined with the start of the school year has kept me quite busy the past few days.  Now that I am back to work, I hope to be into a better routine.  To all those students out there, be sure to pop into your library next week and pick out a good book to start the school year!   Do not limit yourself to the required reading in your classes. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jay-Z/Eminem Show

I know I am a little behind selecting my "Read of the Month" for September, mainly due to the busy start of my work year at Carlson High School/Shumate Middle School.  Also, losing power yesterday due to the mini-tornado that hit my area did not help with any writing.  I was lucky enough to leave my house during the power outage and head to Comerica Park for the first of two Jay-Z/Eminem concerts taking place downtown Detroit.  The show was amazing!  It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves in the city.  I love Detroit!  I know it is not the greatest city in the country, but part of my love for the city is the "edge" it has (sorry, I have a hard time describing it, but I am sure many of you know what I mean).

Yes, I can connect this concert to my blog.  You see, the technology on display downtown was amazing.  The light show and video display was extraordinary.  The sound needed tweaked a few times, but for the most part all technological aspects were amazing.  I was also having a blast people watching.  So many people with advanced smart phones were video taping various elements of the concert (the performances and crowd reactions).  Wow, how things have changed in just the past five years or so.  Now concert goers are able to capture memories of their night out at a concert.  There are already personal clips on YouTube that you can check out today.

Also, after attending the concert I decided to pick up some new tunes today.  All I had to do was open up iTunes and make a few selections and I had three new tracks in my collection.  It made me realize just how much easier buying music is today (thanks to technology).  When I first started buying music it was all cassette tape (I am not old enough for the vinyl/8 track area).  Once the compact disc came along I thought things were great, no longer having to search through a tape to find the song I wanted to hear.  Now with digital music, times are even better.  I do not even have to waste money on an entire disc when I just want a few tracks.  Or I can pick up the entire "album" online after trying out a few tracks.  What a great way to purchase and enjoy music.

Hope to have a book picked real soon.  Thanks for all the suggestions from all of the readers out there!  Also, Happy Labor Day to all my union brothers and sisters!