Saturday, August 28, 2010

It Lives! And has books.

"It" would be me! Sorry for the lack of posting. Lots going on.

The kids are back to school this week, and you know those new cell phones I Tweeted about on Monday? Well, Rocketgirl had hers repossessed on Thursday. High school, it appears, will be far more homework--especially when the evil genius is taking a pre-AP and a full-on AP course. Late in the week, when she was swamped with work, we decreed "No texting until homework is done." And she took it upon herself to text anyway. This was after she'd been admonished for texting in class. She's discovering that one major downside to having an English professor wicked stepmother is that we get REALLY PISSED about in-class texting and the avoidance of homework. She thought life with me was all daisies and ARCs. Not so!

The bookish excitement started early in the week with her AP classes. She'll be reading Great Expectations and The Alchemist in English. Given my online moniker, I'm super-excited about Great Expectations, but if I had to guess, she'll hate it. But she'll appreciate my online persona. The Alchemist seems a great choice for this particular age group, and she probably won't hate it. She texted me to say, "I need books for English," at which time I texted back and said, "And we already have them. Of course."

She's also reading Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin for AP Geography. Her school's Student Council set up a fundraiser for this school year to rake up $25,000 to donate to Mortenson's cause (building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan). While she doesn't seem to be enjoying the book very much, she is sensitive to the cause. And she's thinking of joining Student Council. I'll be reading this one when she's done.

In other bookish news, I've had a few goodies land on my doorstep that I'm excited about. First is Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. I keep saying that I'm burned out on YA paranormal, and I truly mean it when I say it, but then a book like this wanders into the house and I'm excited about a paranormal all over again. We'll see how it plays.

I also received a trio of books edited by one of my favorites, Simon Van Booy. Why We Fight, Why Our Decisions Don't Matter, and Why We Need Love are edited collections of images, essays, classic philosophy and other nuggets on those three themes. While I adore Van Booy's short stories, and I'm looking forward to trying these three little books, I'm also a little bit hesitant. The idea seems a bit hokey and gimmicky, but I truly hope I'm surprised.

Have I been reading on a daily or even semi-daily basis? Nope! Not so much. I've put my hat into the ring for an administrative position at work. Eeek! *biting nails* and I'm continually adding content to my new online classes. I've been having a blast doing that, but it's also eating up my time. I've also discovered that I may not like Coop as much as I thought. But more on that in another post.


  1. My kids don't have cell phones at this point in their lives, and I'm not sure they'll be getting them as they get older either. That sounds like an immense hassle.

  2. My stepdaughter lives in rural KY, where cell phones rarely even work, so thus far it has never been an issue with her not having one. The kids her age around here all have them though.

    I love the start of school and getting all the assignments. I'll be interested to hear how your daughter like Great Expectations and The Alchemist.

  3. I thought you couldn't get the Van Booy books!?!? Perhaps we should joint review..

    My students cannot tear themselves away from texting. With only two days of classes so far, I've already had to tell three students to Stop Freaking Texting during class time. So very annoying.

  4. Oh no for Rocketgirl! Do you think her texting so much has to do with her phone being so new-to-her? I loved Great Expectations when I was in school but I had a really good teacher who talked about it. It wasn't so much a worksheet kind of assignment. Good luck on getting the new position!

  5. Poor Rocketgirl. Sometimes those lessons are only learned the hard way. My girls are/were either really sneaky about texting in class or just didn't want to take the risk. Hoping it was the latter!

    I *really* think I want to read Paranormalcy...let us know what you think. I'm still enjoying that whole genre. I'm trying to carve out time to read but that's going only so-so.

  6. Assigned high school reading...I don't have fond memories of it unfortunately. But I still liked to read which is a good thing :) My stepdaughter lives on her phone and texting so I couldn't help but smile at this post. I hope that she isn't texting in class but who knows...I feel for high school teachers though :)

  7. I have seen the three HarperCollins books today already somewhere. The one on decisions sounds interesting to me.

    I found The Alchemist extremely boring, but loved Great expectations.It'll be interesting to read what your daughter says about them.

  8. Well done her for doing AP classes--they will be so, so useful when she gets to college. I was glad of all the ones I took, even though (*still bitter*) I ended up having AP tests on my birthday two years in a row. Sounds like her English class has a diverse group of books!

  9. The cell phone bit cracks me up. Good luck on the Administrative job! :)

  10. This just totally cracked me up! But, yeah, my science professor husband hates in-class texting, too...and I'm hoping when the day comes that our kiddos have cell phones they will have been thoroughly indoctrinated about the evils of rude classroom behavior. :)

    Good luck with the new job prospect!

  11. I thought 3 Cups of Tea was poorly really drags in parts. Then I felt guilty for not liking the book, because I do think he's doing a good thing. But just because you're doing a good thing doesn't mean you can write.

    Also...good luck on the job!

  12. It is so crazy that you have kids in the house in all stages, isn't it? Well, at least you'll be prepared when G goes to school, huh? I can't even imagine that time yet. Good luck getting all the kiddo's off to school!

  13. You did the right thing about repossessing the cell phone. I guess I lucked out with number 4 child. she had a cell phone in middle school only because she was in sports and I worried about her when she was at away games. She never abused her cell phone privileges. Now if it had been her siblings...that is another story--abuses galore!
    I started reading Three Cups of Tea but for some reason put it down and did not finish it.
    Anyway, hang in there with the discipline. There may be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but you are not there to make friends. Anyway, my kids said that me being a hard-ass mom actually paid off.

  14. Amanda, I was totally against cell phones for the kids for a very long time, but with Rocketboy at school for football practice every day until 5:00 or 5:30 and Rocketgirl taking the bus to/from school, it seemed like the time to try it out.

    Stephanie, it amazes me how many kids have cell phones these days. I hate it! I'll be interested in what she has to say about GE and The Alchemist, too. I foresee some complaining.

    Trisha, I got 'em finally! They arrived on my doorstep, and I was thrilled. We should definitely joint review! My college students are doing better than usual holding off texting this term. I must've scared them on the first day.

    Vasilly, it probably is a new-to-her issue, but we also want her to understand that school and homework come first, and we have every intention of following through on those rules. I loved GE when I was in school, too. I read it when I was her age.

    Tammy, I'll keep you posted on Paranormalcy! As for Rocketgirl, I completely agree. Hard lessons, but hopefully it'll stick.

    Samantha, it's hard for me to read with a deadline, so I certainly feel her pain. And I've let her know that, but it doesn't change the fact that she's gotta squish through to finish a project. Oh the memories of high school (and college). :D

    Rikki, I think she'll like The Alchemist a bit better if only because it's short, and it's written in that fable-like manner. I think she'll think GE is a slog because of the flowery-to-her language. We'll see!

  15. Jenny, she will definitely find the AP classes useful down the road. I'm not sure what she thinks of them so far. She always loves English, but I think she's a little bitter about the AP Geography.

    Thanks, Alayne!

    Debi, I hadn't really shared my total objection to classroom texting until she got caught doing it. I should've started on her much earlier. lol

    Jill, that's very true. I haven't read it yet, but I'll keep you posted. She told me yesterday that it wasn't the story that bored her so much, but all the words she isn't familiar with were bogging her down. I understand that completely, and we looked some things up that helped her along a good deal. The hang up on unfamiliar words is one reason I get stuck reading Russian lit. All those names I can't pronounce!

    Funky, I said to Chuck when we were in the cell phone store, "I'm so glad I don't have to do this again for about 13 years." Ha!

    Fem, they don't know how much it sucks to have to be a disciplinarian, but we do it anyway. She stayed up late working on a project last night and had it out with her dad over some writing. But she turned around, did the right thing, and rewrote the section she'd slacked on MUCH better. Good moments like that make it worthwhile.

  16. Definitely sounds like you've got your hands full! I hope Rocketgirl loves Great Expectations. Such a wonderful book.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you for the Admin position!

  17. Yikes, I can relate to the whole battle over cell phones and texting. When my son was in 8th grade I took his phone away for one night because he didn't turn in an assignment and he cried, literally cried! I guess the good news is you now have something to hang over her head!

  18. You know there is a book entitled What Jane Austen Ate and What Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool that may aid Rocketgirl with the social mores and idioms of the time.

  19. Whew! You are busy, but sounds like you're kicking butt. And I totally giggled at the line about "she thought life with me was all daisies and ARCs." Heh!


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