Thursday, February 26, 2009

BBC Books Tag

I have been tagged five times here and four times on Facebook to do this. Quit sending it to me. I give up.
Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total. (83)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x+
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x+
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x+
6 The Bible x
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman x
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x+
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x+
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller x
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare x
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier x
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x+
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger x
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger x
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x+
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens x
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy x
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x+
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh x
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky x
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x+
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame x
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy x
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens x
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x+
34 Emma - Jane Austen x
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen x
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x+
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres x
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x (in spanish)+
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving x
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins x
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy x
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood x+
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x+
52 Dune - Frank Herbert x
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons x+
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen x+
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens x
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley x
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x (in spanish)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov x
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas x
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy x+
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x+
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville x
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x+
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson x+
75 Ulysses - James Joyce x
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath x
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray x
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x+
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker x
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro x
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert x
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x+
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn x++
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton +
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery x
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams x
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole x
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas x+
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x+
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo x

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday's Thirteen divided by 2

I know teachers aren't supposed to espouse favorites but where do you think the phrase Teacher's Pet comes from? Today's Thursday's Thirteen is a random sampling of some of my favorite students this year. Divided by two and rounded because I'm lazy today.

1. Sharon ignored me for months. Trying to make this child smile was futile. She was waayyy too cool. Then I had to call her mother because her grades had slipped badly. Oh, the look I got the next day from her and for several days afterwards. But the ice had thawed and she is quick to call me on the carpet when I am too silly for her. She always laughs first though.

2. Yuji is my sleepy boy. He used to stumble into my second period barely awake. He has really touched my heart this past month as he has become a translator and helper for a special needs student that I received from Japan. He is so kind and careful with her, I am so proud of him.

3. Stephen and I have had a decidedly turbulant year. He has had good days and bad days but seeks me out to talk about camping and his dogs during those times when he isn't wrestling with demons.

4. Harold-class clown and superstar athlete. Oye, he can get on my nerves with his talking and show-boating but he has accidentally called me mom too many times to count. I would adopt him.

5. Jordan-my Warcraft buddy and sounding board for all things dps. So socially awkward but will definitely be a late bloomer. One of those kids I will love to run into 10 years from now.

6. Zhekevia-funny, happy, wise and silly. Such a pleasure seeing her mature and grow. I call her Mary J. because she looks so much like Mary J. Blige.

7. Greg-My official "tall student" to grab those things that I can't. Such a patient gentle giant in my 7th period of yahoos. Sometimes I will catch his eye when someone is acting particularly jerky and he will turn to give that student the bugeye. Behavior issue solved.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Desiderata Part 2

One of the best gifts my Mama Pat gave to me was the gift of this poem. She loved it so much that she kept copies of it inside her bureau and was always available with a copy for a granddaughter having worries in her world. I forget about this poem every now and then, but like a blessing from my Mama Pat, I am reminded of it and gifted again.


The Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble,
it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tornado Sirens

Monday night at 9, I was cheerfully playing Warcraft when that ominous, winding sounding roar came from the Rec center down the road. Having lived in Texas all my life, I am used to what seems like 6 months of tornado watches. I will however never be used to the tornado sirens going off. I hate that shot of adrenaline that shoots through your body. After a moment of stunned "what the hey", I began gathering up various pillows and blankets and began the more annoying job of waking up the zombie twins. My daughters do not wake up easily. In fact the younger Farmer has been known to go into a hysterical delirium if you wake her up in the middle of a dream. After four attempts to get her to stay in the hallway on the pillows, the younger farmer was finally corralled by her slightly more awake older sister. Grabbing my shoes and my purse, I finally hunkered down in the hallway with the kiddos and a slightly smelly black lab. For one brief moment I considered rounding up the cats and throwing them in the hall closet but figured that might just add to the general sense of chaos already ensuing. Sorry kitties. Duck and cover mis gatos. Well anyways, storm rolls over us...there goes satellite....there goes lights....Aw no....Where are the flashlights? Nothing like sitting in the dark in the hallway three feet from a catbox, a smelly dog at my feet, with a seven year old sitting in my lap proclaiming that she's gonna throw up. Aw, Good times. Ok, so obviously no tornado hit us even though three did hit in the area. Thirty minutes later, kids are back in bed trying to get back to sleep, the dog is still smelly, the cats are still totally unconcerned and I have a stack of blankets covered in dog hair that need to be washed now. Sigh. The picture above is actually from a site about preparing your cats for disasters. As if they'd listen anyway.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My own Existential Crisis

Try explaining this to 9th graders.

Throw in the concepts of the New World, the Old World, the Middle East and then a sprinkle of reteaching regionalism. A perfect recipe for either a A'Ha! moment or a Huh? moment.