Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up for September 18, 2011: Bits on School, Sicknesses, and the Book Buying Ban.

I am finding it hard to believe that I have been back at school for two weeks already! But I am kind of glad the first two weeks are over. It was stressful starting in a new place, with new kids, and a new routine, but things are settling firmly into place. We are finally moving into some heavier content this week in both of the English classes I am teaching, and we're moving into fun documents with the Government kids.

My sophomores are starting their "What is an American?" unit this week by reading the Declaration of Independence. I am hoping we are going to have good conversations about the ideals the U.S. was founded on, as well as their rights and privileges (it could be interesting). At the end of the week, they are writing me a "break-up" letter to show they understand it all...should be a fun assignment.

The seniors are in the midst of the memoir unit. Those of you around last winter might remember that I had to teach The Glass Castle. I am teaching it again and they were given their first big reading assignment due Wednesday (I have more kids who work at this school, so I decided giving them big reading assignments over the course of a few days would be better than reading every night-we'll see how it works). I also modified their memoir writing assignment. They are doing 4 short in-class vignettes before I assign them a longer (3-4 page) assignment. They're going to compile the whole thing into a blended genre/memoir paper. So far it is working out, but they are whining a bit about all the writing. It IS a composition class, so I guess they better get used to it. :)

I started to feel a bit off on Thursday night. It was a really long week, with a couple of before/after school meetings, curriculum night with the parents, and Homecoming activities gearing up-our game and dance is this week, so we have spirit days and shenanigans all week. Should be a riot.... Anyway, I woke up feeling like knives were stabbing my throat on Friday, toughed it out, and went to the doctor that afternoon. Turns out I have a case of strep. So, it has been a good weekend of sleeping, reading, and cuddling with my cats, who have been feeling rather neglected since I went back to school.

My father-in-law started his chemo treatment on Wednesday. It sounds like he had a rough couple of days after, but at least his treatment has started (I can't come in contact with anyone who will see him, so as not to pass on my germs). They finally staged his lymphoma at stage 2, which was good news (they thought it was more advanced than that to begin with). We're all hopeful the chemo knocks it out of his system.

The only other exciting news is that I bought books. Again.

Yeah yeah, I know. It all started when Matt came home on Wednesday and told me that our local Borders was officially closed. I was surprised to hear this because it was scheduled to close today. I was bummed, since he promised me one more book excursion before putting a ban in place. He decided to let me buy a few books on Amazon and be done with it.

So, I did order 3 books on Amazon and they'll be here sometime this week. I'll include them in next week's post.

But then, I got a coupon for Barnes and Noble, FOUND an old gift card that hadn't been quite used up, and discovered that all of their classics are on sale (buy 2 get 1 free). So I went (you all knew I would). I found some great things, even scouring their used department for some AMAZING deals (yes, our B & N has a used department, does yours?). So, I promise that the damage wasn't too bad-it just looks bad. Here is what I got:

From top to bottom:
  1. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf
  2. The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
  3. The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
  4. Henry V by William Shakespeare
  5. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  6. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
All of these were part of the classics sale, so two of them were completely free! The Woolf titles make me especially happy, since the other publishers who have these titles charge an arm and a leg. I was also excited to finish my set of B and N Shakespeare (I really love these editions. They are WELL done). Now I have all the available B and N editions-the rest of my Shakespeare is Folger's...sometime I should take a picture of my Shakespeare collection...remind me. I really wanted these so I could have them for the readathon next month.

Also, ALL of these are list books. So that's super-duper.

From top to bottom:
  1. Plays by George Bernard Shaw (contains "Mrs. Warren's Profession" which is on my list).
  2. The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman
  3. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  4. A Mercy by Toni Morrison
  5. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  6. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  7. Nana by Emile Zola
  8. The Ambassadors by Henry James
  9. The Bostonians by Henry James
The top five books were all found in the used section of the store. I was kind of geeked out by The Oregon Trail since I loved the game as a kid. I was also happy to find the O'Brien, since I have been meaning to replace my copy ever since I lent it out in college and never got it back (LOVE that book). The copies of A Mercy and The Trial were amazing finds, since both of them are brand new, but were in the used section. They seriously look like no one has opened them (score). But the best part is that I got more classics at a really good deal. Of this pile, the Kafka, Forster, and Shaw are the only list books....but who really cares? The others were a great deal!

BUT, I am done. The book buying ban has been put into place. From now until January 1, I am not allowed to buy any more books. If I win a book in a giveaway, get a giftcard, download free ebooks, or receive books for Christmas, I am okay. But I am not allowed to purchase anything. I'm not even allowed in the bookstore. I am slightly sad, but I honestly don't need to buy any more books (obviously). I have more than enough reading material to last me a few years. So, we'll see how I do. I still get to look forward to my amazon package.

Anyway, this turned out to be much longer than I wanted it to be! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Happy reading!!


  1. I'm sorry to hear about the strep but I guess it's good news (relatively) about your father-in-law? I hope things continue to get better on that front! And that you get better quickly too.

    Good luck with the buy ban! As I told you on twitter, I was never able to stick with one until I no longer WANTED to buy books.

  2. Yeah, my comp classes complain about the writing; my lit classes complain about the reading; even my film classes complain about watching movies. They just like to complain. :)

  3. I hope you are feeling better and that your father-in-law is doing well.

    Kudos to you for implementing a book buying ban. have more books than I have time to read with my own shelves and ARCs. Plus, I'm saving my pennies for my wedding so I think I'm going to join you in this ban. We will do it together!

    Grace at Feeding My Book Addiction

  4. LOL Allie. I think the if I receive books for Christmas was meant towards me. We will just have to go shopping in a couple of months to browse and if something happens to fall into my cart... ;)

    Love you and hope you feel better soon.


  5. But what about at Christmas if you buy books for someone else? What then? Do you think you can resist looking. And you'll have to go into a bookstore. It seems like nature is set against this ban. I'd take that as a sign and buy willy-nilly.

  6. It's only the third week of school for my kids and they already brought hogme a nasty head cold, so I feel your pain there. Also, that's good news concerning your FIL.

    I love that you're teaching The Glass Castle. It's such a great book. And you bought some fantastic books yourself! Nice! I'm supposed to be on a book buying ban, too, but it's not working out so well for me. Haha!

  7. Sending such good vibes to your father-in-law and I'm glad the news is better than you thought- cancer sucks big time as I am way too aware :(.

    Good luck with your book buying ban! I didn't buy any books for the whole of July, but then I also bought 13 books in a week after that which was very very bad... I didn't realise A Passage to India was on your list, I would definitely be up for doing a group read with that (I realise you didn't ask, but still... hint hint!) We had to watch the movie for a class at University, but I never got round to reading the book. So, yeah.

    ps I hope you get better soon!

  8. There was a book fair in my city and I purchased a collection of Virginia Woolf's works and a novel by Donna Tartt. I have the same problem as you do with book buying but going to the library often is enough for me to be distracted and give my shelves a rest (ha!).

    So good luck with your students and the ban! Focus on the ones you already have and it should be easy enough.

  9. I'm curious about the Barnes & Noble Shakespeare editions. Those Woolf titles look great, too. I saw Buy 2, Get one in an email -- so tempting!! But I've put myself onto a book allowance, and I've already spent this month's set funds. (An allowance is way easier to follow than a ban. Hint, hint, Matt.) :-)

    Sending good thoughts for your health, Allie, as well as that of your father-in-law.

  10. I hope you get over your strep soon. At least it was a good excuse for a lazy weekend! I'm glad to hear that your father-in-law's cancer is only Stage 2. Hopefully the chemo will do its magic and all will be well (and that the chemo itself won't be too hard on him).

    More great books! I've only read 2 of those that you purchased: Hamlet and the Comedy of Errors (although I've seen Merchant of Venice). I can't remember how funny CofE is to read, but as I recall, it was very funny to see live. Those will offer you some good choices for the readathon!

  11. I have that same copy of The Voyage Out! :D And Night and Day's on my Nook.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  12. Today was my last day of buying books too, unless it is to complete a series I've already started reading. (There is also a stipulation with that, before I can buy more books I have to finish 2 books on my TBR pile...if I buy 2 books 4 books must be read etc...etc... Good luck with your buying ban (as I will need luck with mine Since I haven't gotten all of the classics that i wanted to).

  13. Ugh, I hope you feel better soon! And positive thoughts for your father-in-law. I hope the chemo does its job. I had a close family member who went through that a few years ago. I hope everything goes as well as possible.

    B&Ns have used departments??? I've never seen that! How exciting! I love that there's a book called The Oregon Trail. I loved that game as a kid, too, and didn't know there was a book! I listened to A Passage to India earlier this year and really liked it. The Trial and The Things They Carried, among others, are on my TBR.

    Good luck with your book buying ban! I'm seriously considering putting myself on one, but I can't stand the thought of giving up my beloved library book sales, one of my husband's and my favorite things to do on weekends. I might just do a reading ban instead...only read books I already own for as long as I can. We'll see!

  14. Your B&N has used books?? I am jealous.