Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up for January 9, 2010: Book Acquisitions and First Week of School.

I feel like this past week has been one of the longest of my life. On one hand, it is great to be back in the classroom. But, it has been hard getting back into the swing of things. My body doesn't like it and actually rebelled on Thursday with a pounding migraine that hit right before lunch time. But I survived and things are still going well.

I am teaching satire to my senior English students. It went well this first week, with discussing techniques and characteristics, to watching clips from Family Guy, SNL, and The Daily Show. We even watched Shrek, which they analyzed in an in-class essay for me on Friday (I have them sitting on the coffee table right by me, waiting for me to read and grade them).

My World Religions class finished a unit on Sikhism and I found an awesome video on Hulu (A Dream in Doubt) about hate crimes against Sikhs in America after 9/11. It was an incredibly emotional video and the kids had strong reactions to it.

In U.S. History we are talking about the Great Depression and the New Deal. They seem to be interested in it and are asking a lot of questions.

Most of all, I am learning. My previous experience teaching in a high school was completely different than this. It was a rougher area and took a little more to engage the students. So I keep having to challenge myself to come up with new and exciting things to engage them. I'm doing okay so far!

We have two more weeks until finals week, and then a new semester with new kids. I already have things prepped for that, so I am anxious for that to begin!

Anyway, on to book thoughts! I recently acquired a new little stack of books, most of which are seen here:

The top two are Parts 2 and 3 to Dante's The Divine Comedy. They were given to me by a friend who knew I was looking for them! The third, and beautifully white book, is The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the last novel by him on my list. It is translated by Pevear and Volohonsky, so I can't want to dive in during that future readalong. That one I purchased.

The next two Penguin titles are The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer and The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyon. Again, these are two titles off my list that I have been itching to read. And having them on my shelf will make this much easier. And, I bought both of those too.

Below that is my shame. Yes, it says The Real Housewives Get Personal. I have a slight addiction to The Real Housewives on Bravo and a good friend saw this on the bargain shelf at Borders, so she bought it for me. And I already read it. *hangs head in shame* I can't help it. I like the shows! I'm addicted to mindless TV!

And the very bottom is the newest issue of Real Simple Magazine. Matt and I are continuing to work on organizing and purging, and this magazine always has great ideas!

Not pictured are two books I picked up last night. The first is Ceremony by Leslie Marmom Silko, a book that I am reader for Roof Beam Reader's TBR Challenge. And, since I've saw Eva's post on it, I have been anxious to read it. The other book I picked up is The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy and translated, yet again, by the dynamic duo of Pevear and Volohonsky.

Beyond my new books, I have been focusing on reading for the readalong posts, which will be appearing this coming weekend. I flew through Rebecca on the first and second of this month, got the first half of The Woman in White done this past week, and I am trudging slowly through War and Peace.

I hope you all had a great reading week, and for those of you participating in the readalongs, I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say about them this weekend!

Happy Reading!


  1. Pilgrim's Progress is one of my favorites- I hope you enjoy it, too!

  2. I am impressed with your progress of War and Peace! I got stuck and sucked in to less dense reads. I might miss the first post deadline, but I really hope to catch up so I don't flunk out of reading this one again.

  3. There is something about the first week of term, it always seems to stretch into eternity and then the rest of the term just flies past. It's even worse when it's the first week of the academic year. I'm sure you'll do just fine now you've got it over with. Good luck with the marking. Dante is on my list for this year as well. You've reminded me that I must get hold of a copy.

  4. I didn't realize that your classes are semester classes! It will be good for you to get new students. I think you'll feel like it's more your class. Also, so wouldn't hate on another Real Housewives lover. :)

  5. Semester classes in high school? Very cool. My semester (I teach college) starts Tuesday and I have to admit I am not eager for it to begin.

    I love Inferno, but I have never read the other two in the trilogy. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on them!

  6. Absolutely loved The Idiot. I probably would have enjoyed The Canterbury Tales more if I weren't terrified of having to memorize it and recite it out loud for class (in the original middle-English). That was always SUCH a good time.

    Haven't read Pilgrim's Progress yet, but I bought it a couple of months ago because a lot of the books I had been reading were referencing it. The structure looks interesting.

    Have fun!

  7. The only Russian on my TBR pile is Chekhov but I do have the Pevear translation of The Three Musketeers and I really must read that! I do have Steinbeck's A Russian Journal which sounds so interesting, why have I taken so long to read it?

    My IRL classics group is reading The Inferno in March and I am afraid. I know I read parts of it in high school but I've completely forgotten it.

    I've never watched Real Housewives but I do watch The Fashion Show and a few of them made an appearance recently. I couldn't possibly judge anyone else's choices for reality TV as I am addicted to Project Runway, Survivor, and The Amazing Race.

  8. The P&V editions are always so gorgeous! Great translation, great aesthetic=win, win.

    I really enjoyed Pilgrim's Progress: I read it for fun in high school. I can't say I remember a ton about it though! And every time I look into Dante, I freeze up at the number of translations available.

  9. Wasn't it difficult to go back to school?! My third graders were either sleeping or playing, and believe me, I felt like doing the same. It took us until Friday to get on a rhythm, and now we have to start all over again tomorrow. It's fun to know we have the same job, just different ages.

  10. Wow Allie! I am SO happy to hear you are enjoying your teaching! :) It seems like you are the coolest teacher around. Good luck with it and have fun. I hope to see you soon, whenever TorTor comes home next! As always, happy reading. :D

  11. I feel you at getting the groove back! Teaching is such a honorable and fun experience - there really is nothing like passing onto your knowledge and learning at the same time.

    I salute your interest on books and being passionate on this. for a reader who wants to get back in the groove on reading as well, what do you recommend?

    Also, maybe you can post some sneak peak on what you teach on your blog as well! I got curious about talking points on satyr and yet based it with Family Guy and even shrek! Haha!

    Good blog post!! :)

  12. Such great (and pretty!) books. I went a little book crazy this past week which was a lot of fun.

    I love hearing about your classes! It sounds like a lot of fun--especially the satire lessons! :D

  13. I have such fond memories of my AP English classes (25 years ago)-- the teachers were so innovative and interesting. I can tell your classes will be just as memorable to your students.

    I so wanted to join the Woman in White readalong but don't think I will get the book in time-- Maybe I can join in for W&P since that one is 2 months long.