Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I feel a little like a thief today.

I bought a book at Barnes and Noble on Monday, read it last night, and returned it today.

This week is educator appreciation week at Barnes and Noble, so I used the extra discount (25% as opposed to the typical 20%) to pick up a few new titles for the library. One of these titles was Prey, the lastest book by Lurlene McDaniel. I had personally never read one of McDaniel's books, but they practically fly off the shelves in the library. I don't really understand it, as just reading the titles (such as Mother, Please Don't Die, Too Young to Die, and Telling Christina Goodbye) kind of makes me want to either kill myself or drink heavily. But I digress.

Reading the book jacket of Prey intrigued me, hinting that the story might contain an inappropriate relationship between a high school freshman and his history teacher. I checked the reviews online, and found that it was recommended for ages 12-18, so I figured I was safe. I might have to limit it to just 8th graders, but that is nothing unusual. However, something told me to read the book myself before we processed it. I decided that, if it was too edgy, we might just hand it off to the high school library.

I'm so glad I read it first.

Prey was a real page-turner. I read it cover to cover in about four hours and I was fixated the entire time. But I knew by the time I was halfway through the book that it would NOT be going in my library. I'm not even sure if I would have put it in a high school library given my penchant for stirring up trouble (which is why I didn't send it over to them).

While none of the scenes are graphic, Ryan and his teacher, Lori, carry on a sexual relationship throughout the majority of a school year. While they are ultimately revealed and Lori is convicted, neither character shows any remorse and the final chapter leaves the reader wondering who the "bad guy" really is.

Don't get me wrong. I really liked this book. I recommend it highly... to adults. But you will not find it on the shelf of my school library, which is why I could not justify spending school funds on it and I had to return it. I feel a little bad that I read a book, then returned it, but I'm sure that Barnes and Noble will see me spend that money in their store again.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Evaluation Day

I got an email from Principal yesterday regarding the classroom observation he is hoping to do next week... nevermind that said observation should have been done a good six weeks ago (evaluations are supposed to be on file by March 15 or something like that). This isn't something I'm stressed over, but no one really likes to be observed, so I was griping about mentioning this to "Erin," my library aide. I was explaining how probationary teachers are supposed to have two evaluations per year (with two observations per evaluation) and tenured teachers (such as myself) have one evaluation every three years (I was observed once already this year... in about October).

"Geez," Erin commented. "I get evaluated every dang year!"

"Wow," I sympathized. Then, "Who evaluates you, anyway?"

"You do," she replied.


Coincidentally enough, Principal delivered Erin's evaluation papers to me this morning and asked me to fill them out.

Erin is fabulous and I don't know how I would have survived the year without her to run the place while I'm in the classroom and teach me all the systems we use in the library. She certainly has nothing to worry about with her evaluation.

But it still blows my mind that, after all that I went through in that place two years ago, I am now considered someone's boss and have to evaluate her.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'll Take Random for 500, Alex

Seeing as it's been nearly four weeks since I wrote a post of any substance, I thought it might be time. The days have been packed, so there's lots to report on.
  • My movie viewing has dried up since Spring Break got over and the new shows have begun again. In fact, I think that all I've watched since I made my last list are the three titles I had sitting here at that time. I have three more waiting for me now (Elizabeth, The Sixth Sense, and The Bourne Supremacy), but haven't gotten around to watching them.
  • I'm a really lousy friend. Drew has been in Iraq since December, and I've only sent him a couple of care packages. I've been promising to send more cookies since late March, but still haven't gotten to it. You'd think, with all the sacrifices that men and women like him are doing, I could find an hour to bake some cookies.
  • The stressful television situation at work finally worked out. A huge thanks goes out to Ryan at Best Buy for Business for his patience and coordinating pickup at five Best Buy stores. I had to do a lot of driving, but I was able to borrow a truck from a co-worker, use school time to do it, and I was paid mileage... very important with gas prices as high as they are!
  • I'm back to counting points for Weight Watchers again. I've put on nearly 20 pounds this school year. I need to lose at least 10 of them just to comfortably wear my summer clothes again, so I figured I better start now.
  • Next year's master schedule is all but finalized and I am scheduled for the media center full-time. I am so excited about this prospect that I'm still not allowing myself to fully believe it. No more papers to grade... Ten more hours a week to do the full-time job I am currently trying to do in only 20 hours. While I'm sure I'll still bring work home on occasion, it should be the exception, not the rule.
  • I took Copper to the dog park yesterday for the first visit of the year. She gets very excited with we first pull in the parking area and get out of the car, but as soon as we are in the actual park, she gets very intimidated by the other dogs. She's usually the smallest dog there, so I think that she thinks they are ganging up on her. She prefers to hang around the people. Not necessarily me... she does socialize, it's just with people, not dogs!
  • Coal's birthday was two days ago. I can't believe he's 10 years old. He's been with me for the majority of my adult life and it's hard to believe all the things that have changed (and not changed) in that time.
  • I paid my Jeep off two months ago with my income tax refund. Now that money is going toward credit card debt. I should be debt free (except for student loans and mortgage) in under a year.
  • A personal project that I've been planning for may be underway soon. That's all I'm revealing at this point.
  • Friday will be the two year anniversary of the MySpace incident. I'm not quite as frazzled as I was last year at this time. It's rather ironic that on Friday I will be attending an information session with district bigwigs because they want my input on a new technology related system for the district.
  • In August, I'll also be done paying for the days without pay that I agreed to as a result of the incident. That will free up another chunk of money to put toward the debt payoff. I'm hoping that, at that point, the board will be willing to remove certain paperwork from my file that could make it difficult for me to ever get a job in another district.
  • I mowed the lawn for the first time of the year this week. Spring is finally here.
  • Only six weeks until summer vacation. Enough said.

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Monday, April 21, 2008


Driving home from work today, I got off the expressway at my usual exit, rounded the curve of the exit ramp and proceeded to run a red light at the end of it.

I have no idea what possessed me to not stop, or at least be paying attention to see if the light was green or red. It's not like I haven't gone through that intersection hundreds, if not thousands, of times over the years. I know there is a light there and it's a toss-up as to whether I'll have to stop or not. I've never not been paying attention before.

At any rate, I'm damn lucky that I neither caused an accident, nor got pulled over and ticketed. Someone was certainly looking out for me today.