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Showing posts from August, 2012

Back To Work, 2012

My summer is officially over.  I report to Carlson High School tomorrow to start my fifteenth year as an educator.  At the end of this year I will reach the official half-way point of my career.  This year will also mark the first year that I will not be coaching, which may be a little difficult when March arrives.  I loved coaching track and field and I will miss it greatly. I realize this may sound strange, but I actually love going back to work.  I love my job and the people I work with (staff and students).  This year may be a little tough because of some hits to the paycheck (thanks Lansing) but I still would not want to work in any other field.  I never went into education to make millions, I just wanted to do something I would enjoy.  The Harvey MacKay quote, "find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life" is so true! To be honest I am not sure what this year will bring.  I hope to be able to teach another writing class or two a

August 2012 Read of the Month Review

I just finished my August 2012 Read of the Month and it was amazing.  Columbine by Dave Cullen took ten years to complete.  Cullen stared covering the tragedy on the first afternoon for Salon.com and worked for many years to complete what many believe is the best book on the horrific school shooting. Columbine by Dave Cullen As I mentioned when I wrote my preview for this book I usually read one "true crime" book per year.  I have always had an interest in Columbine because I was a young, first year teacher when the event took place.  It really made me open my eyes about the way I treated people at work. I think the book is amazing.  It is refreshing that Cullen took so much time to put together an accurate, fact filled book (instead of rushing something to print to just make money).  It turns out much of the information provided by the media covering the event was wrong (surprise, surprise).  I do not want to give away too much, but what shocked me most was that E

Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone?

It is clear smartphones are extremely popular.  Whether you are an iPhone, Android or Blackberry fan; the current crop of phones are used for much more than making calls.  Smartphones have become our cameras, address books gaming systems, movie players, alarm clocks, computers, and GPS devices (to name a few....I am sure there are more items I have missed). The Huffington Post provides a nice summary of a  world wide survey conducted by Time Magazine's Techland regarding mobile phone use.  Feel free to check out both articles and read just how "phone crazy" we have become.  Two numbers that stuck out to me: 84 percent of respondents said that they could not go a single day without their cellphones.   I am with this group.  If I do not have my phone on me when I leave the house, I almost "freak out."  In the past two years I have probably left my house without my iPhone only twice. 50 percent of Americans sleep with their phone next to them like a tedd

The 100 Best Ever Teen Novels

Today I stumbled across another ranking list; NPR asked listeners to rank their favorite Young Adult Novels.   Sadly, the voting is closed, so all I can do is take in the list to see how everyone voted.  Over 70,000 participants provided input for the rankings.  It is really not much of a surprise to see The Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games series so high on the list.  A few reflections I have after looking over the entire list: It was nice to see a few classics or throwbacks on the list, but the list is really dominated by newer, young adult fiction.  I really do not have a problem with that; obviously teens would more then likely choose The Hunger Games over Treasure Island .  Again...it was nice to see some older titles on the list. I really liked that so many of John Green's books made the top 100 list.  If you have yet to read any of his works you should really give one a try.  My favorite (so far) is Looking for Alaska . I am happy to see that my library at C

The Great Gatsby Bumped to Summer 2013

Back in May I wrote about a new movie version of one of my favorite novels of all time, The Great Gatsby.   The new film version was set to release on Christmas Day in 2012.  News recently broke that Warner Bros. was moving the release date to the summer of 2013.   Some say a date change is a reflection of trouble on the set, however it could also mean that Warner Bros. believes they have a summer blockbuster on their hands.  With Leonardo DiCaprio as a star, odds are Gatsby will be a blockbuster next summer. In other news, I have been off-line for the past few days because I was enjoying a mini-vacation in Northern Michigan.  I have a great entry planned about just how beautiful a trip "up - north" can be.  Look for that later this week. 

August 2012 Read of the Month

I "downloaded" my August 2012 Read of the Month this afternoon as I was completing some work preparing for the new school year.  I really can not believe it is already August.  Where did the summer go? As I have mentioned before , I try to read at least one "True Crime" book per year.  Earlier today I nearly purchased The Kennedy Detail , a true account by one of President John F. Kennedy's Secret Service Agents.  I was just about to purchase this title, until Amazon suggested another title as I was browsing online; Columbine by David Cullen .  I decided to go with this true crime book for two reasons: first, it is much more recent and fresh in my head and second, my profession is related to this terrible event. Clearly, this will not be a happy, cheerful read.  I am looking forward to the book, because Cullen spends a great deal of time trying to discover why this tragedy took place.  Happy reading, and enjoy the final month of summer, personally I can not