Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My sweet baby girl...

Here are a few pics of my sweet baby girl!

Meredith just LOVES to cuddle!
There are some nights that she just isnt content unless she is right next to me...
How sweet!

...and she got settled down and started to drift off

... and she's out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh Joy...

Summer session starts tomorrow. Kill me now. I went on Blackboard last night and read over my syllabus for one of my two classes and it is already looking like it is going to be a killer month. I can do it though, its only one month right?! 5 weeks. I can do five weeks. The horrible part of this summer session is the fact that I have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two days a week doesnt sound so bad right?! Wrong- because my classes go from 8:30-12:15 and from 1-4:45. Yes, that is correct. I have two 3 hour and 45 minute classes back to back. I am sure its going to be a great time. Tonight I am going to get a head start on the reading because there is a ton of that for this one class already- yay.

In other news, I found a job. Go me. I trained on Saturday and I work again on Wednesday. It's just a waitressing job, but I will take just about anything at this point. I am searching for a teaching job for the fall and I have my eye on one job in particular- we will see how that goes.

I started running again- go me. I have myself on a schedule to run a 10k in October (the Bridge Run that I did the 5k of last year).

And... that's about it. Here's a picture of me in my cap and gown just for kicks and giggles....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: Feed

found here

So before I delve into my massive booklist that I outlined last night, I decided to go ahead and read this book Feed by MT Anderson. This book is required by one of my summer classes, so I decided to go ahead and knock it out.

A brief overview:
This book takes place in a future where computer chips have taken over the basic brain functions in humans. The world is deteriorating and humans live in the mass consumer market where their "feed" is tailored to their personality and advertises to them constantly. This "feed" takes over the basic functions of the human brain: the emotions, movement, thought, etc. People no longer have to know anything, they can look it up in their feed. Titus, the main character, and his friends take Spring Break on the moon where he meets this unusual girl named Violet. Violet is so unusual because she decides to start fighting the feed and brings Titus along.

My opinion:
I am going to admit that I was very confused the first part of the book. It was not until you got into the book a little bit that the idea of the feed was explained to you at all. I felt lost and had no clue what the narrator was talking about until about 30 pages in. When it was explained, I understood a little better and started to enjoy the novel a little bit more. This novel is classified as YA, but I think even that classification is stretching it a little bit. Yes, the book would probably appeal to YA readers, but there was quite a bit of language in the book that I just felt was completely unnecessary. I think that Anderson makes a very valid point about people being too driven by the consumer market, too easily swayed by the advertisements all around them. Overall, I think I would give this book a 3/5.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life Update!

So I've been a pretty busy bee lately. I finished up my internship (so sad!), I organized EOC tutoring for the high school I interned at, I graduated, and now I am back at school tutoring and currently seeking employment in several different forms.

The end of my internship was so bittersweet. I was ready to be done with school, but I was in no way prepared to leave my students. My last day at the internship, my clinical teacher threw me little parties in each of my classes and I was able to spend some time with my students. She asked each class to discuss memorable lessons or moments in class. Of course, several students mentioned times when I disciplined them, but they all were surprisingly mature about it. I was able to hold it together on my last day, but I think the only real reason that this happened was because I knew I would be coming back for three weeks to tutor for the EOC.

The last few days of my internship I spent organizing the EOC tutoring. It was a LOT of work, and a LOT of frustration, but I was really glad that I did it. Even though a lot of my work ended up being in vain because of unforeseeable factors, I took it in stride and all is well! Now I am tutoring students who need a little extra help to pass the EOC and have actually really enjoyed it and gotten some pretty positive feedback from the students who are in my tutoring groups.

I graduated on Friday!!! Even though I still have two summer classes to take, it still felt like a pretty significant milestone for my Master's Degree. I was actually very disappointed in the actual ceremony, despite my exhilaration in being DONE for the semester and at the GRADUATION point. I was miserable throughout the ceremony. First, they crammed the graduates (about 500 of them) in this teeny tiny hallway to line up. Then, the ceremony was in the basketball arena and all of the family was up in the second tier with no way to get close and take any good pictures. Third, I couldnt hear practically ANYTHING that was said during the ceremony. And finally, the ceremony was so impersonal. They herded us across the stage like a bunch of cattle so we didnt really get our moment on the stage. It was so impersonal and I was not a fan.

Finally, I am searching for employment in all forms. I am tutoring for the school right now, which is paying nicely, but I also need a summer AND a big girl job. I may have landed a waitstaff position at a little Italian restaurant in New Bern, but I havent started so I dont want to count it official. However, I still have the looming question of where will I be employed next fall that still needs to be answered.

As you can see, life is busy, but it is also oh so good. Until next time!

Summer Reading?!

I have decided that this summer, I am going to tackle (part) of my bookshelf. I have a LOT of books. (This is no understatement people) and I realized the other day that I have a ton of classic books just sitting on my shelf that I have never read. Some of them, I am rather embarrassed that I have never read (having a BA in English and all). So this summer, I will attempt to rectify that situation, or part of it at least.

I think what started this whole thing is the fact that I have had quite a bit of time to read lately, and reading for pleasure is not something that I have had time to do in a loooong time. As evidenced by my recent book reviews, I have been tearing through books lately. Since my last post, I have read both The Wind in the Willows and Little Women, classics that have for some reason escaped me over the years. I remember starting Little Women when I was younger, but I never finished it for reasons unknown. The version of Little Women that I have is only the "Little Women" part and not the "Good Wives" part, so Beth did not die, Jo has not scorned Laurie, Laurie and Amy have not gotten marries, etc etc. I like it this way. I finished the book last night and then I was going to read the second part (Good Wives), but when I heard of all of the things that happen in that second part, I decided to leave well enough alone. Right now I can pretend that none of that other stuff happens and life can go on merrily. If Beth dies, I dont think that I can do that. The Wind in the Willows was such an enjoyable read. I tore through that book in a matter of a few days, reading the first half in one sitting.

So anyways, back to the point... I have compiled a list of all of the books on four of my shelves that I have never read. (The four shelves being Brit Lit, American Lit, World Lit, and YA Lit- yes, I know that I am a bit obsessive) Below is that list:

1. Emma- Jane Austen
2. Shirley- Charlotte Bronte
3. Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte*
4. Canterbury Tales- Geoffrey Chaucer*
5. A Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens
6. David Copperfield- Charles Dickens
7. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
8. Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens
9. Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- Robert Louis Stevenson
10. Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison*
11. The Beautiful and the Damned- F. Scott Fitzgerald
12. This Side of Paradise- F. Scott Fitzgerald*
13. The Scarlett Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne*
14. Their Eyes Were Watching God- Zora Neale Hurston
15. The Turn of the Screw- Henry James
16. On the Road- Jack Kerouac*
17. The Bluest Eyes- Toni Morrison
18. The Jungle- Upton Sinclair
19. The Winter of Our Discontent- John Steinback
20. Uncle Tom’s Cabin- Harriet Beecher Stowe
21. Out of Africa- Karen von Blixen-Finecke*
22. The Good Earth- Pearl S. Buck
23. Medea- Euripides
24. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- Ken Kesey
25. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
26. The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand
27. The Chocolate War- Robert Cormier

the asterisks denote books that I have started but never finished for one reason or another.

Now I am not saying that I will tackle this ENTIRE list this summer, because let's face it: some of these books are beasts, but I am saying that I will start to tackle them and see how far I get. I think its silly for me to spend money on books when I have shelves full of books that I have never read before and should read at some point in my life. So- onto the task! I will keep you updated as I trundle through!