Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another School Year Has Begun

Yes, you can see that I'm back to school, as I've become painfully absent. I literally started off last week by having to put in 10 to 13 hour days. :( It's just what had to be done to get things ready! I was informed on the THURSDAY before school started that I had to go through some crazy audit to teach AP courses. Sigh. Honestly, I don't even know what to say about that. Let me please, by some miracle just get through my online class, and I will be able to switch gears.

Well, I had to share something one of my juniors said on the first day of school. I had up on the board the whole class name, teacher, etc. Well, I had written my name "Ms. Rhodehouse" on the board. This boy says, "Hey, shouldn't there be an 'r' between m and the s in your title?" I'm sorry, but I did break up over that and said with a smirk on my face, "Yea...there SHOULD, but there's not." He just came back with, "Hmm, sounds like someone's going to get a ring this year?" To which I laughed and said, "From your mouth to God's ears!" :) It was actually a real funny exchange, and I was impressed that he did it all with a completely straight face. What a brave, brave boy.

I haven't had much time to do any reading, other than when I'm on an exercise machine. Yes, I'm still somehow managing to make it to the gym around four times a week, and working on getting in another two days (if I can get a routine down without wanting to throw a tantrum and lay on the couch like a lifeless bum with nothing better to do). Anyway, I have been tearing through the last book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn.

I actually was pretty angry at Bella, the main character, after the first 100 pages or so. Her pathetic hang-dog sappiness made me want to punch her! However, I'm about 500 pages in now, and I am skipping right along (whenever I can catch an hour or so), and not hating her quite as much.

My AP students are reading "A & P" by John Updike, and "Araby" by James Joyce for tomorrow and Monday. We're looking at hero figures, and while this isn't a unique combination of stories to share for this, I'm really excited to jump into the unit I have planned. We're going to do an assignment on evaluating social norms, they're going to break one and report back on it, and then we'll read the first section of one of my favorite tales, Don Quixote. That novel makes me laugh so hard, so I REALLY hope that AP students get the humor in what Cervantes is trying to say about chivalry and the classic hero. By having them break a social norm, I'm going to ask them to question whether Cervantes created his main character to be this poor old guy who's out of his mind (senile), or created him to be a character that breaks social norms and makes everyone around him uncomfortable in the process. I actually think it's the first, but I still want them to read the text for evidence in either direction. It will be fun, and they're already thinking of ways to do it. I thought about having them read "Bartleby, the Scrivener," which is an awesome story, but use it to contrast all of these with the "anti" hero? What do you think??? Okay, so I'm totally lesson planning out loud, but I keep scouring my brain for characters that demonstrate the flip side? I guess the opposite of a hero is a villain, and I don't know that Bartleby is a villain. Hmm..., I'll have to contemplate. If anyone has any ideas of a short story I could use, throw them my way! :)

Outside of that reading, what's up next on the list? More things than I can count! You know honestly, I actually thought to myself one day that my biggest fear behind dying (besides making my mom so sad) would be leaving behind so many unread books, poems, and plays! Sigh. I really should go back and get by PhD. Maybe I'll go do it at some point. Reading, literature in general, and cultural analysis is just so great! I'm really excited to share it this year with my AP Lit. students, and really get to PUSH a class. How fun! Yes...I'm a big nerd. So up next to read? A student of mine came in my room on the first day of school and said, "Ms. Rhodehouse! Did you read The Truth About Forever yet?" I honestly hadn't, and told her so, but was horrified to watch her face fall in such a way that I seriously walked straight into my classroom, logged onto my Salt Lake Country library account and put it on hold! I thought I'd read a ton of YA lit. to get a ton of them out of the way, but still somehow managed to miss one. Well, rather than sit here and keep blogging, as relaxing as this honestly is, I should get off and do some reading! :) If I don't want to die for fear of never making a dent in my TBR (to be read) pile, then I better snap to!!!



  1. I bet heaven has literature. I bet you could read there if you died. I bet God has quite a selection. I would think he would be pretty open-minded.

  2. Man, I really hope you're right! I could move across the millennia with nothing more than a never-ending stack of YA novels and contemporary fiction. :)