Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where I Discuss the Fate of my Blog.

It isn't a surprise to anyone when I say that my home here on the internet has been neglected for a very long time. It also isn't a surprise to me to log in and see that my page views are dwindling to almost nothing, my rare posts garner only a couple of comments, and that my twitter presence has been almost zero. All of that seems rather obvious when I haven't consistently talked about books (or anything for that matter), in nearly a year.

I don't think I imagined that this place would become so blank during the school year. I underestimated the amount of work I need to do to prep, plan, and teach three new classes. I didn't take into account that I would be diagnosed with Lupus and would begin a lifelong war against crazy symptoms, weird side-effects, and my doctor (who I have since forgiven). I also didn't count on a few of my closest blogging friends disappearing from the book blogging world entirely (namely Amanda and Jillian).

In many ways, I have begun to seclude myself from my online presence. I'm so incredibly frustrated by the events of my everyday life, namely the Lupus, that trying to maintain a happier online presence is just too much. And balancing doctor's appointments, exhaustion, and a crazy first year of teaching leaves me little time to read. And when I do read, I feel guilty the entire time.

It was only when talking to my doctor last week that I realized how unhappy I have been...because I have stopped doing things for me. The last 6-8 months have been devoted to trying to keep my head above water at school and battling the ins and outs of my diagnosis. It was only when speaking with my doctor (and crying a bit after some bad news), that he suggested that I take more time for myself-that focusing too much on everything else has depleted me. He told me that when school ends, I need to relax, get healthy, and read.

It was what I needed to hear. I was thisclose to deleting my blog a week or so ago. But I'm going to give it one more try. By the end of the summer, if I'm not feeling it, I'll let go.

The simple truth is, I cannot handle one more piece of stress. But if I can rekindle my love and energy for this, I want to. Because I miss it.

In any case, I felt like I should share-to anyone who may still read this space. In only 3 more weeks I'll be done, and a summer of reading, relaxing, and focusing on myself will launch. I hope that some of you will be there.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Classics Club Spin-Take 2.

I failed miserably the first time I participated in the Classics Club Spin. But with summer lingering a mere 4 weeks away (seriously, this school year has flown by), I'm going to have a LOT of reading time! I figured I should get back into the reading spirit by going along with the spin!

The rules are simple...I make a list of 20 books off my TBR as candidates for the spin. The Classics Club will "spin" for a number...whatever number is chosen will become the book I read as my spin book! I will have until July 1 to finish the book!

I'm dividing my list into categories to make things a bit more interesting.

Here we go!

4 Books I DON'T want to Read:
1. Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyon
2. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
3. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
4. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

4 Books from my TBR Challenge:
5.Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
7. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
8. Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro

4 Chunksters:
9. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (because this would be a good push to finish it)
10. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
12. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

4 Books I WANT to Read:
13. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
14. The Return of the Native by Thomas hardy
15. Billy Budd by Herman Melville
16. 1984 by George Orwell

4 Books Matt Chose (based on title):
17. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
18. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
19. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
20. Belinda by Maria Edgeworth

There you you have it! Let me know if you are participating, as well as what books you chose for your list!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up for May 4/5, 2013: Chaotic.

It has been a busy and hellish couple of weeks, and quite honestly, I don't see an end to this until June.

I've been in the midst of a flare since early last week-swollen and achy joints, weird rashes, and some other oddities. My hip gave out on me one morning and I actually fell and conked my head (I was fine). But my joints have just been all kinds of angry at me. It's becoming quite noticeable (to the point where students are asking if I'm okay), and I'm not sure what to do about it. I don't feel like I need to tell my kids about it, but they're probably a little weirded out by a 27 year-old hobbling around. Anyway, it got so bad that I took Thursday off to relax my joints and take it easy. I just couldn't make it through the week.

But, we only have 28 school days left...that's CRAZY. Where has this year gone? And while I am excited to be nearing the end (spring is IN THE AIR), I'm also sad to be saying goodbye to my first official year. I'm not sure what I'll be doing next year, and looking back, I enjoyed my classes this year. Our school is growing (we're gaining a LOT of students next year) and there are no more spare classrooms. I actually get bumped out of my room for the last two hours of the day, and I think it's going to be worse next year. I really don't want to be teaching from a cart (and the idea of having to walk around the school is making my joints and achiness a bit nervous), but I am definitely low man on the totem pole. I also don't know what classes I am teaching. I think they're trying to get me more English, but we'll see what happens.

I'm also just looking forward to the summer. I'm not going back to the park this year, which was a huge and somewhat scary decision. Part of it is that I don't think I can physically do the job anymore (right now the idea of lugging trash around and chopping trees gets me all freaked out), but I also just need a break. I need some down time to take care of some things other than work! I already have plans to get back into some serious reading (I'm going to treat things as if I was in school-deadlines for books, blog posts, etc) as well as some writing. I'm also going to help out with our district's Summer Music Theatre program and do some curriculum planning for our American Literature course. I'll be busy enough without the park to worry about.

Nothing else has been going on. I'm still not reading a great deal. Be the time I usually get to bed and pull a book out, my eyes start closing by the second page. I've been devoting a lot of free time to planning and prepping (it seriously takes so much time), so I just keep pushing through. I know that next year won't be nearly as bad because I'll be starting with everything I'm doing this year. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. The only problem is that I don't leave enough time for grading and right now I am under a huge pile of projects and book reports that I have had for FAR TOO LONG. There are just not enough hours in the day.

So, bear with me. I'm itchy to dive into blogging, but life has gotten in the way. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to delete the blog and be done with it....but I do love it. I miss it. I miss you. Someday...