All sorts of bookish adventures!

Tag Archives: teaching

Alright, now where were we?

Oh yes! The last time I was here, I explained that I’ve been busy planning curriculum for my new position as 8th grade English teacher (as opposed to the last 3 years as 7th grade). Before that, I submitted an “Inspired Adventures” post on LARPing and The Return of the King.

Whoo! It’s been a while!

Alright, well let’s catch up then, shall we?

Still, I am very much in the depths of reinventing the wheel when it comes to teaching 8th grade English. I have to learn the new levels of rigor embedded in the 8th grade English standards. No longer are my students simply expected to “identify an idiom”. Now, they must be able to translate said idiom and explain what it’s purpose is in the overall text and what its effect is. Higher level stuff. Plus, I’m trying to figure out how to make my class digital, what with the inclusion of iPad technology in our classroom. That will be interesting, engaging, and convenient (not so much paper!) once I figure it out. So, there’s that.

What else has been going on? Well, you may have heard through the internets that I have a new blogging job. I’m proud to announce here that I am now a contributor to Insatiable Booksluts, and my first post will be published this week. It’s an essay on the works of Stephen King. Not a big surprise for those of you who know me and read my writing here. I’m a big fan of King and it was a blast planning and working with the ladies of IB on this week’s event, which will be a week-long event commemmorating King and all of his work. If you don’t follow Insatiable Booksluts (which you should! It’s a phenomenal book blog.), I will let you know here when my post is published this week. This essay was a major undertaking, a major labor of love, and I really hope you all read it. If anything because I put A LOT of work into it (let’s just say that I’ve been working on this essay in varying levels of effort since April or May).

I need to also tell everyone that I am VERY PROUD to have been asked by Susie of IB to contribute to their blog. Anyone who reads my blog or Twitter feed knows that I am a huge fan of Insatiable Booksluts, and to be asked to write for them feels like a major promotion. I admire those ladies a lot, and I hope that I can live up to their standard of excellence in book blogging. I’m also just excited that this means I get to collaborate with them. They’re fun ladies to hang out with on Twitter, and any excuse to engage with them is alright in my book!

World War Z Max Brooks Zombie Apocalypse audiobook

I haven’t read much, if at all since the school year started. I have listened—I’ve been listening to World War Z by Max Brooks in the car and on my iPod. I’m almost done, and I really like the book. It’s like the back story to The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, while it’s a really good audiobook, I fail at audiobooks. I space out and have to rewind all the time. I’m probably going to have to re-read this one.

Fringe J.J. Abrams Fox

Since I haven’t been reading much, I have been spending my evenings after work watching Fringe. Super-awesome show. It’s right up my alley. I’ll probably write something about Season 1 this week.

Speaking of this week, I’ll be posting a few times here. No. Really. I will. I’m going to write and schedule my posts right now. Until my work load lightens, that’s pretty much how it’s going to have to be–writing on the weekends. I’ll be around on email and Twitter, but I really don’t have much time to write for the blog during the week.

With that said, I’ll see you all around!


This week is my last full week of freedom before school starts up again next week. Well, I have to return to the school next week for set-up (the students don’t return until after Labor Day).

What’s that? I forgot to tell you I got my job back? Woo-hoo! Yep, I got my job back as the school district did something completely unexpected and rescinded all of the lay-offs this summer. I officially got my job back at the very end of June, and this year I will be teaching an entirely new section of English–English Interventions. This means that I will be working with a smaller group of students who are struggling with their English studies, and will push them up to proficiency. I have a feeling that I will love this new focus, which isn’t really a new focus as that is one of the facets of teaching at an underperforming school that I love and do very well at. I love a challenge, and I love playing coach, so this should be the perfect job for me!

Anyways, since I only have a week left before I go into work mode, I have decided to put all of my focus into reading this week. In fact, I’ve decided that this week I will be self-employed as a Reader, and will put in 8 hours daily to my full-time job as Reader. This doesn’t leave me much time for anything else, so I won’t be publishing any reviews or Inspired Adventures posts this week. However, I will post daily something related to the day’s reading. Therefore, you’ll probably see me here more often than usual!

This week’s reading includes:

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander series)

Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower series)

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide series)

Life, the Universe, and Everything (Hitchhiker’s Guide series)

A River Runs through It

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables series)

Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables series)

Song of Susannah (Dark Tower series)

The Complete Stephen King Universe

Whoo, that’s a lot of reading. I’m guessing you see why I consider this to be a full-time job!

So, I’ll be publishing a post relating to that day’s reading (all non-Stephen King reading) each day this week, with the possible exception of Saturday. Why not Saturday?

Because that’s my Blogiversary!

Yes, one year ago this Saturday, I tentatively published a post here at Adventures in Borkdom. In honor of the Blogiversary, I will be announcing a few giveaways on Saturday. So, be sure to tune in on Saturday to check out what sorts of prizes I’ll be giving (hint: they’re not all books).

Alright, so now you know what’s happening here at the blog, all of my week’s reading, and about the upcoming Blogiversary! Now, it’s time to clock in and start today’s eight-hour shift of reading!


So, I’m not sure why, but I’ve been in a funk all week. Apathy. Didn’t want to do anything. Came home from work on Monday, no motivation. Watched Reality TV (I never watch Reality TV…I prefer stories). Watched Smash (not impressed, but it didn’t take any brains, so it served its purpose). Tuesday–same thing, except I read I Want My MTV and watched 80s videos on YouTube while I read about the making of the videos (wow, I  forgot how much I love the videos for Gypsy and Hold Me from Fleetwood Mac. And Total Eclipse of the Heart was a really weird video!). Wednesday, see Tuesday. Thursday– I spiced it up after a pep-talk from the wonderful GreenGeekGirl from Insatiable Booksluts and a poetry recommendation from the poetry buff Amy at Lucy’s Football. I read 20 Dorothy Parker poems THAT I LOVED, as recommended for my mood from Amy. Thanks girls for your advice and support!

I’m sorry—I have to interrupt myself with one of my favorite 80s videos—the boys from Journey talk so much shit about this video in my book, but I have always loved Steve Perry in it. He was my FIRST crush. My parents joke about how I would stare at the tv back in ’82/’83 when this video came on–

I’m totally rocking out as this is playing in the background. I’m typing as if I’m playing the keyboard. Have you ever done this? Try it with The Eurythmics…that totally helped me get through late night typing sessions in college. My typing speed went WAYYYY UP. Man, I am loving this. I Want My MTV is helping me find my love for music again. You might see more music talk on here now as I rediscover my love for Joe Jackson, The Cure, The Smiths, and whatnot. At one time I was known as a music geek and not a book geek. Random fact for you. Totally free. I think Amy is rubbing off on my writing style. Off on a tangent…

Now, it’s Friday and I feel a million times better! It might have to do with the fact that my students proved that all of my hard work this week paid off–they nailed their persuasive essays today (they wrote 5 paragraphs in 60 minutes). These are all ESL and Special Ed. kids who have never written more than a book report in their life, and today they totally wrote thesis statements, topic sentences, transition words, addressed counterarguments, and explained their reasons. I am so proud!!!

Also, it’s the weekend, and while I have a ton of grading to do, it now doesn’t seem so daunting. Sure, I haven’t gone to the gym all week, and my house is a mess, but it’s all gravy baby! Everything will work out…it always does.

Anyways, I know we’ve all been there, and I’m just glad it’s over.

Locke and Key vol. 1On the positive side, I did read! Since my last post, I finished The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King, and volume one of Locke and Key by Joe Hill. Also, I’m about a third of the way through I Want My MTV  by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum and half-way through Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw. So, at least I’m reading!

I should have a review of The Drawing of the Three in the next few days, and a review of Locke and Key subsequently. So, I’m getting back into the groove.

I really want to give away books too, I just need to announce it. Perhaps, I’ll officially announce it tomorrow. Well, let’s just say that I have a bunch of books to give away–Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and A Visit from the Goon Squad among them–and I will announce that shortly. I’ll do a raffle for a week or so.

Well, it’s good to be back! I’ve missed you all, and will be more active in the upcoming week!

30 days without Admin breathing down my neck.

30 days without Greek and Latin roots, prepositions, thesis statements, and plot maps.

30 days without cooling down emotional, erratic, and hormonal 12-year-olds.

30 days without listening to teachers complain about Admin./teachers/students/whatever.

30 days to DO WHAT I WANT!

Many of my readers know that I am an English teacher. What many of you don’t know is that I am a teacher at a year-round middle school. What that means is that I teach for about nine months in the year with about a month off every three months or so. And, today begins my first day of my first month of vacation for the 2011-2012 school year! Yippee!

Now, for those of you who think “Wow, teachers have it made! They only work for 9-10 months and get paid vacations. Why do I hear so many teachers complain?” just know that we never really stop working. And, we DON’T get paid for these vacation months.

I will be working on my curriculum for the new year over vacation, doing things I never have time for during the school year, and I will be called in to work with my peers on two days in January for test writing and lesson planning.

Also, here’s a little known fact about teachers for all the naysayers- teachers get paid for 10 months of work! Essentially, teachers are laid off for two months a year! You may elect to get your pay stretched out into the 12 months, but essentially, the pay we receive is only for the months we work. So, there naysayers! Sometimes, I think I should write a second blog on teaching just to dispel this and other myths about teaching!

Anyways, back to the good stuff.

With my vacation, Dec.17-Jan. 16, I plan on accomplishing a goal or two, which is what I always do with my vacations. I don’t really set resolutions on January 1. I set them on Day 1 of vacations so that I may devote all of my time and energy into making habits. On my last vacation, in August of this year, my goal was to start writing. I started journaling every day, completing writing exercises, and towards the end of the vacation, I created this blog. This is the only habit that stuck, but it’s a good habit, and I might return to my daily journaling on this vacation as well.

My goals for this vacation are as follows:

Divergent by Veronica Roth1. Finish five books by January 1st so that I might meet my goal of 100 books in 2011.

2. Read at least two books a week until vacation is over.

3. Go backpacking/camping with my husband at least once.Backpacking in San Diego

4. Start and stick to an exercise regimen (jogging a mile or two, 3 times a week).

5. Improve my eating habits.

6. Write a blog post at least six times per week.

7. Clean the house completely!

8. Big Goal: Not sure yet. (Past Big Goals: Create a blog; Camping for the first time; Swim in the Ocean; Run a 5K; Read 30 books in a month) I’ll figure it out probably in a few days.

What this means here: You’re going to see a whole lot from me–more reviews and more ramblings! I’m hoping to get more involved in the blogoshere and twitterverse this month. Maybe that will be my Big Goal. We shall see, but it’s gonna be a great 30 days!