Today we had graduation, and it is always so moving, and such a nice, positive cap on the year. Although I'm always tired beyond words, and literally feel myself deflating in my chair, I'm also really moved by the entire educational process culminating before us. Some of the student who graduated today drove me NUTS, whether I had them as sophomores two years ago when I taught American Literature, or whether I had them this past year in World Literature or AP Literature. Of course I had many hugs to dish out today, and students that I loved, but it's always interesting how even the most jaded student, the one who hates to read, and who I fought tooth and nail to care about their education, approaches that diploma with a sense of pride. Now I realize they probably are not as philosophical as I am, but I find it pretty inspiring that this rite of passage is centered around education and learning. For all of our jaded views of education, teachers and students still work really hard to try to reach standards of excellence. Seriously, I can say that we really WANT to see these students turned on to learning, and with a sense of pride in their education. Yes, as Dr. Seuss says, "Oh, the places you'll go!" It's cheesy, but that's what we all hope for in our society, right?
On a completely personal note, I'm preparing to leave for "home" in exactly one week, to head to Hawaii to see my mother and all our friends and neighbors there. Having spent a couple of summers there already, I'm fretting over the stacks of books I want to take versus what I can realistically pack over. PLEASE HELP! Someone talk me out of packing a small suitcase filled with books! I get myself into so much trouble with all the books I take...and yes, I do have a Kindle, which still doesn't eliminate my need to still surround myself with actual, physical books. Sad, but true.
Also in preparation for my summer break, I cut over eight inches off of my hair last night. Talk about freeing! I absolutely love the new lease on life it's given me, and I'm excited to take it out for a spin this summer. People were so gracious today, and more than a few students squealed over the new cut. It's always nice to get good feedback on a drastic new look! Now it's time to look towards great things. Here are a few goals I would like to accomplish...and books make up a portion of the list.
- Walk 10,000 steps a day, six days a week. Once I'm up to that, I'll increase it to 12,000 three times a week.
- Switch out Diet Coke & sugary drinks like hot chocolate in the morning for Green Tea. I know that sounds weird, but it was recommended to me for health reasons, and I will say that it does make me feel better.
- Work on my new Popular Fiction class that I'll be teaching in the fall. For this class, I'll be reading: The Help, Saving CeeCee HoneyCut, revisiting Harry Potter, and Hunger Games. (Yes, can you believe I held out this long on Hunger Games? I can't wait to read it.)
- Finish several series I've been reading: the Blue Bloods series, the final in the Luxe series, hopefully the book to follow up Pillars of the Earth (which I could hardly put down!), Dead Tossed Waves, and pick up where I left off in the Sookie Stackhouse series. It should be a great, fun summer of series!
- Finally, I want to read a few books that either come out on film soon, that I've yet to read, or classics I've never read and still feel embarrassed about! We'll see how that goes.