it's not a popularity contest

I met a couple of former students (they're brother and sister) for coffee and we ended up spending over 2 and a half hours talking. It's not totally unusual for me to meet with former students, often they stop by the school at the end of the day but sometimes we meet for coffee. I love keeping in touch with "my kids" and finding out how they are growing and maturing over the years. I don't love talking about it with one of my closest teacher friends, though, because she wishes it was her. And it feels awkward when she says she's excited for me because I know she has a degree of jealousy. I can't help it that the kids respond differently to us. And it's certainly not a competition. At least not on my end.

I had to get that out of my brain.

three on thursday

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Three gems:





ten things tuesday

Ten “B” things.

1. Someone I love: Beth

2. Something I like to eat: bread

3. A color: blue

4. A good movie: Braveheart

5. A place I’ve been: Bangor

6. A thing I really don’t like: blueberries

7. A critter I like: bulldog (especially Frenchies)

8. Something I can do: bubble letters

9. Something I can’t/don’t do: basketball drills

10. Something I wish for:
Bono & the boys (U2)

finished reading

This is the story of Aza Holmes and her struggles with mental illness--particularly anxiety caused by rumanitive thinking. It begins with a fugitive billionaire and a cash reward. But it's so much more than that. It's an exploration of friendship, of new romance, of family bonds. And it's all through the lens of intrusive thinking. There is clever use of technology and pop culture (Star Wars fan fiction about a Rey-Chewbacca relationship). I enjoyed the book.

From the publisher:
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.



Personality Type Test
Your personality type is:
Sociable, lively, and frank, you are the most at ease when you feel that you are present on the front lines where things are really happening and taking part in the action. You like to have a good time, and you like to have as many people as possible enjoy that good time right along with you. You are tolerant and interested in others and you tend to put in a lot of effort when it comes to fostering good relations between people. Your energy and bubbly enthusiasm can be contagious, and when people are feeling blue they'd be wise to come to you for cheering up. In general, you tend to feel that people make too big of a fuss about their differences of opinion and that they should just bury the hatchet and get on with doing the things that make them happy.


I am...

Reading: Turtles All the Way Down.

Listening to: the wind howling

Loving: the progress of my decluttering project

Thinking: about being trolled hard on Bookface--the mansplaining (to explain something to someone, characteristically by a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing) was over the top and I was called a "libtard" three or four times. My controversial post was that I contacted my Congressional representatives and that the time for action is now. I certainly didn't infringe on anyone's Second Amendment rights. Yet I was flamed hard. It got me thinking about my students and how they are growing up in this world of unchecked vitriol. I had an actual conversation with them about my post and the reactions I received to it and the greater meaning of why I posted in the first place.

Feeling: pleased

Celebrating: vacation

Grateful for: the local garage fit me right in when my "low tire pressure" light came on

Weather: it's currently 37 degrees (the "feels like" temp is 22)

Enjoying: down time

A quote I want to share:


sunday stealing

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Tea and Q&A

1. What is your middle name and what is a middle name you'd rather have instead? Why? I love my middle name and wouldn't change it

2. How would you spend $1MM (you have to spend every penny!) does starting a charitable fund count? Because that is what I would do.

3. Yellow light - speed up or slow down?? depends on the flow of traffic, but generally speed up if I can safely make it

4. What was the last movie you saw and what did you like/dislike about it? The Big Sick and I loved the tender acting performances

5. If a movie was made about you, who would portray you in that movie?
Melissa McCarthy

6. What is the strangest thing you've eaten and what did it taste like? I can't think of anything strange--I mean, the things popping to mind were local delicacies and I liked them (like shark)

7. What color is your bathroom? blue and creamy white

8. If you could vacation anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW, where would it be and why? Ireland because it feels like home

9. What is your least favorite thing to cook?

10. What is the dish you make that your family rolls their eyes at? falafel

11. What are three things on your bucket list? a trip to Chicago, pet a giraffe, fly first class

12. How many skeins of yarn do you think you are currently hoarding? at least three plastic storage totes worth

13. Today is my birthday. What virtual gift are you going to give me? a hug

14. What is your favorite candy? Reese's peanut butter cups

15. What is your favorite time of the day and why? I feel like mid-to late-morning are my time

16. If you could call in sick for a day, what would you do with the time? I don't call in sick unless I'm sick so I would sleep

17. How much did your last crafting run cost you? I'm not sure I understand the question but I spent $50+ on yarn in the past month

18. Can you play a musical instrument and if so, which one?
I am great at the tambourine, maracas, and other incidental percussive instruments

19. What is your least favorite craft that you still do? Why? I don't have one

20. If you could have any job for just one day, what would it be and what would you do? I would love to name objects (like OPI nail polish or Ben & Jerry's ice cream)


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. I like to post one that speaks to me each week.


saturday 9

Baby Love

1) When this song was popular, the Supremes were known for their elaborate hairstyles, make up and full-length gowns. When was the last time you got dressed up? my students would say every day... the last "occasion" was in July

2) "The girls," as they were known to the engineers and executives at Motown Records, were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. They began singing together when they were high school classmates. Are you still in touch with any friends from your high school days? I have been heavily trolled on Bookface this week by a classmate--he's been mansplaining that since I live where I live, I don't have the right to say teachers shouldn't have weapons in school (in a nutshell)

3) Mary Wilson was born in Mississippi and her family moved a great deal before settling in Detroit, where she fatefully met Florence and Diana. Were you uprooted often when you were a child? Or did you spend your school years in the same neighborhood? I spent almost 30 years in the same neighborhood

4) The Supremes began as a quartet called the Primettes. In addition to Mary, Flo and Diana, there was Betty McGlown. In 1960, Betty left the group to get married and was replaced by Barbara Martin. In 1962, Barbara left the group to have a baby. They quit trying to replace the fourth voice, soldiered on as a trio, and made pop history. Have you ever found yourself in a position similar to Betty's or Barbara's, where you had to make a difficult decision and choose between your personal life and your career? oh yes, I have had to make two decisions that weighed heavily on personal life and career

5) Thinking of babies and "baby love," is anyone in your life expecting a baby in 2018? yes! my eldest niece! I was just asking if the gender has been revealed yet so I can start knitting a baby blanket

6) With twelve #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, The Supremes remain America's most commercially successfully recording group, and this song (along with "Stop! In the Name of Love") is one of the most popular karaoke songs. If we handed you the mic this morning and absolutely insisted you perform, what song would you choose (any song, any genre)? I find I can't remember the lyrics to whole songs when put on the spot--I'd choose something to get the crowd singing with me (like Don't Worry, Be Happy)

7) Original group member Florence Ballard left the group in 1967. She died of cardiac arrest in 1976 at the age of 32. Since February is National Heart Month, it seems appropriate to ask: Is anyone in your life battling heart disease? my bestie's father is

8) Florence Ballard's brother, Hank, wrote Chubby Checker's famous dance song, "The Twist." When did you last dance? it's been about twenty minutes--I was getting down with my bad self while brushing my teeth

9) Random question: Close your eyes and visualize the most beautiful place you've ever been. Now describe it to us. the first thing that popped into my mind was when I was at the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower at dusk and the city lights came on below us--it sprawled through the different neighborhoods and was a sight to see


the friday 56

The Friday 56

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.

I'm reading Turtles All the Way Down.

Mom must've noticed the Band-Aid pressing, because she said, "You have an appointment with Dr. Singh tomorrow, don't you?"


"What are your thoughts on the med situation?"

"It's ok, I guess," which wasn't quite the whole truth. For one thing, I wasn't convinced the circular white pill was doing anything when I did take it, and for another, I was not taking it quite as often as I was technically supposed to. Partly, I kept forgetting, but also there was something else I couldn't quite identify, some way-down fear that taking a pill to become myself was wrong.