Thursday, May 27, 2010

Graduations, Hair Cuts, & Summer Vacations

I'm done!!! Can you hear me scream?!? Please indulge me while I squeal over the upcoming break, and reflect on the past school year.

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.
Do you have any great plans for the summer? What are you most looking forward to? Any interest in joining me in walking 10,000 steps a day? Just a thought. Hope you're having a GREAT week and would love to hear what you're all reading.


  1. I love your posts on Hawaii! I'm sorry-I can't talk you out of taking a suitcase full of books, because I'd do the same thing.

  2. I'm planning on moving to Norman, OK, this summer to continue grad school and get my doctorate. And guess what? My mom asked me other night if I'd been thinking of what I wanted to take down there with me, and I said, "Well, I've been thinking of what books I want to take..." ;)

    Where's our pic of your new 'do???

  3. Maldives, considered the smallest county in Asia, is the lowest laying country on to see this very informative post and very useful for everyone.
    maldives holidays

  4. You've got quite the list of things to accomplish this summer but I'm sure you'll do great with them. I couldn't talk you out of taking a pile of books because I'm the same although if I was traveling I'd probably take my reader and only a few books in case it keeled over.

    You know I haven't read Hunger Games yet either but it and the second one are on my shelf waiting for me.

    Hope you have a good visit home! ps- I cut about 5 inches off my hair a month or so back and I agree- it felt wonderful.

  5. First off, congratulations on the end of the school year and graduating a whole new set of students! I think that your sentiment is exactly what I'd hope an educator's would be. It's always exciting to see the young ones enter into the next stage -- all that promise, opportunity, hope, and confidence!

    I won't attempt to talk you out of bringing your books, I'm much the same way. I haven't yet bought a book to read on my Kindle. I'm new to the Kindle and have mainly been using it to start the books that I have to review (first chapters and picking out which one to read next) and a few NetGalley books. Do you know why you don't use your kindle much? Do you use it for certain types of books (long ones, ones with cheesy covers, excerpts) or only for trips (I use mine on long trips) or certain activities (I met people who use them on the elliptical)? Sorry to ask so many questions!

    I'm excited for you - you get to read Hunger Games for the first time! I hope you have the sequel ready. Am looking forward to your thoughts on it.

    If you have time, check out Girl in Translation. It's one of the best books I've read lately.

    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii!!

  6. BuckeyeGirl--Thanks! I'm glad I don't drive people nuts when I talk about Hawaii. Some people that I work with sometimes get snarky about my time there. :)

    Heidenkind--I hate putting pictures of myself up! Ick! :) I'm so excited for you and school! I'm worried though that we won't see you online anymore?!?

    Darlene--Thanks! Getting haircuts is so fun. People freak out when they think you'd cut it off, but it will grow, right? I'm thinking we should both read Hunger Games this summer?

    Gaby--Thanks Gaby! Yes, I actually read a ton of books off of my Kindle, but I'm still (sadly so) addicted to being surrounded by physical books. It's kind of weird actually.

  7. That sounds great. Maybe we should make a plan to read it together - kind of like a buddy read?

  8. You know I'm in for the steps! (Sorry, I'm way behind in my reader these days!)