mangofandango: (ats/ killprettyx/ fred with book)
I have fallen off the face of the LJ, largely because...Sophie has colic! Yes indeed. We went to the pediatrician yesterday and there is nothing else obviously wrong with her, so colic it is. Some more talk of colic, cut for the disinclined. )

Tabs that have been sitting open for ages:

Reading Rainbow coming to an end made me think about the direction of reading education.

"Grant says that PBS, CPB and the Department of Education put significant funding toward programming that would teach kids how to read — but that's not what Reading Rainbow was trying to do.

"Reading Rainbow taught kids why to read," Grant says. "You know, the love of reading — [the show] encouraged kids to pick up a book and to read.""

As a school librarian, when I was working, I was encouraged to always be teaching a concept. There was supposed to be a product, a tangible result. This is largely about accountability, etc., Meeting Standards and Passing The Tests. You know, all that NCLB sort of stuff. I see the value in producing tangible "stuff" as a result of a lesson, and creating ways of testing or proving learning. But not to the complete exclusion of just reading a book for the sake of it. I think that my job as a librarian should be to teach research and library skills, reinforce reading skills learned in the classroom, and provide a space to learn about and explore reading for pleasure. Sadly though, I felt like I was being pushed to sort of abandon that whole "reading for fun" business because it took time away from Meeting The Standards. And okay, in a way, it does. But I really believe that students who see the value in reading for fun will do better with learning reading skills. There are exceptions to this, of course, but in general - kids don't care as much about the obvious functionality of knowing how to read. They are motivated more by enjoyment.

Besides, reading for fun reinforces reading skills because kids get more practice, and being read to helps with reading fluency - the ability to read smoothly and expressively, and to get meaning from reading. I think it helps many kids pick up on other reading skills, too. So I am really disappointed at the movement towards purely functional education from all directions, but particularly in this area. One of the biggest joys of my job is working with kids who are excited to find books to read, and if we abandon fostering that excitement, I think we will lose a lot. (I tended to work as much reading aloud in to my teaching as possible. I found reasons to spend entire class periods just reading, usually in the interest of some eventual goal or teaching point - but I just think that time is essential as well as fun.)

And okay, I had other things I wanted to write about but I am pretty sure Sophie is waking up and it's time to feed her anyway. I hope this post doesn't need serious editing because I barely had time to vomit the thoughts out at all. ;)
mangofandango: (bsg/ anno_superstar/ a cyclon devic)
I have been really enjoying reading this blog, called What To Expect When You're Aborting. She's aborting, she's nicknamed the fetus The Tumor, and it's all great. (As long as you're not offended by her failing to be the least bit apologetic about this, which I myself am absolutely not.)

"We’re pro-choice, but on this, we’re conflicted. And if you’re not, you’re surer of your ideals than we are."


I guess I am a lot surer of my ideals than they are, folks. (Sometimes I get nervous about people who are that sure of any belief. That's how you get the radical right-wing religious people who want to make laws about what *I* am allowed to believe. But I think there is one important difference: I want to legislate a woman's right to have an abortion if she wants one, not a woman's requirement to have an abortion if she gets pregnant.)

"...the ladies of our mothers’ generation and our generation fists tighten and fangs show when the term is uttered: We’re ready for a fight.

While I do want to de-stigmatize the word, I’d also like de-politicize it. I’m not making a political statement by getting an abortion. I’m just trying to get unwanted thing out my pristinely young womb!

All alternatives feel equally as crappy

“I’m getting an abortion” – I’m also getting gay married, burning a flag, and becoming a radical Islamic cleric.

“I’m ending/terminating the pregnancy” – ugh I don’t even want to say

“I’m choosing my choice!!” – paging Charlotte York.

I’ve settled on corrective womb surgery."

In unrelated news, I have been sitting around being allergic all morning, but it's about time I went out and had fun. I was sorta hoping the sun would come out first. :-/
mangofandango: (brit/ keepyourguns/ britney)
Through great feats of utter sloth, a cup of tea, and several albums of music, I have finally caught up with Scary Go Round. It is a bittersweet day, for now I do not have all kinds of Scary Go Round to enjoy in big piles, but must read them one at a time like the rest of you. However, I feel accomplished, having spent the afternoon writing my budget proposal for work, and reading a webcomic for hours. Accomplished, indeed.

I have done some healing today. I know, because I found myself dancing in my usual bouncy, Muppet-like fashion this afternoon. This bodes well. I still have some voice issues, though - meaning, I don't have much of one. I am sure it will be a super sexy voice after shouting over the music at the junior high dance tonight! Awww yeah.

Now to put away laundry to the sounds of the new Britney album. Do not judge me, friendslist! I am an exclamation point!

book log!

Jul. 2nd, 2007 09:51 am
mangofandango: (_jems_ - amelie reading)
LJ is quiet today! I need entertainment and distraction, people!

I need to log some books that I've read, and also do some work. But um, work? Not so much working for me right now. I will try book logging instead.

books 20-29 )


Jun. 26th, 2007 10:40 am
mangofandango: (theoldvicarage - photographs and souveni)
I am back, yo!

5 days in D.C., many fabulous conference sessions, author signings, and super cool freebies later, I have returned home. ALA was super cool, even though it was also Super Exhausting. That convention center is big, dude, and walking around the city carrying around 50 pounds of free books all the time is a welcome but tiring proposition.

People. I went to the Printz award 5th anniversary celebration/panel and got to see/hear Laurie Halse Andersen (who is cool and sassy), David Almond (who is awesome and British), Ellen Wittlinger (who is a spunky revolutionary), and Walter Dean Myers (who is Walter Dean Myers, and need I say more?) speak on a panel about the Printz and their books. I experienced my first totally geeked-out those-are-real-live-authors-of-way-cool-books (!!) moment of the conference. There were many more.

I went to a session on appealing to boys through multiple intelligences, a session on picture book author/illustrator collaborations, and a Reader's Theater session that knocked my socks off (Readers Theater with David Almond, Virginia Euwer Wolff, Cornelia Funke, and Tim Wynne-Jones, doing a scene from an old and a new work by each of them!). I went to a panel on trends in teen literature that was really super fun, with various authors including Perry Moore, author of a new as-yet-unreleased-but-I-got-a-signed-ARC-yay book about the first teen gay superhero (he was fabulous and I wanted to take him home).

I got So. Much. Free. Stuff. I have so many advance reader copies and gallies and brand new books, and I only had to pay for a few of them. I got books signed by a whole bunch of authors. I SPOKE TO LOIS LOWRY. I carried my weight in free books around all day and wrecked my neck and shoulders, but OMG, it was worth it. I got a copy of "Parrotfish", Ellen Wittlinger's new book about a trans teen, in the first hour that it was available - and I read it in the first 24 hours. (It was awesome, btw.)

We also did some D.C. stuff, and that was fun too. We went to the International Spy Museum, ate at various cool restaurants, and visited the Sculpture Garden for Jazz in the Garden on Friday. We did a lot of swimming in the hotel pool, and I read like 10 books that I need to log in the near future, while they are still in my head.

Speaking of swimming, that's pretty much the plan for today - it's supposed to be 95 degrees, so we're going to go swim in a lake until I have cranio-sacral therapy this afternoon. I needed a day of this nature after the whole trip - it feels good to be home and chilling out. :)
mangofandango: (killprettyx - fred w/ book)
It is snowing today. We went out to breakfast at Lou's, and tried out our new snow tires. Now everything is quiet and pretty, and I've been in bed reading for the past hour or so. I'm reading the new Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things", which I am savoring because it is perfect, and "Rent Girl" by Michelle Tea, which was a Christmas present from Kelly and is pretty awesome.

Which brings me to other books I got for Christmas. Let's see...from Aunt Linda, "Fast Food Nation", which I have read and wanted to have handy for re-reading and referring to, since it is really interesting and gross and awesome. Aunt Linda also gave me "The Princess Bride", which I've never read even though I've seen the movie tons of times. Also, "Those Left Behind", the Firefly/Serenity graphic novel that fills in the time between series and movie. From Ryan, I got "Fray", by Joss Whedon - a graphic novel about a slayer in the future, which I've read in the past but need to re-read. Also, "Perfume: The Story of a Murder", which I know nothing about other than it is supposed to be very good and I was compelled to read it (and they are making a movie of it, which of course they "*would* - it's a gruesome serial killer story!) I bet there are actually more that I am not thinking of right now. I have lots of reading to do - especially since I also have books for school to read (the 7th grade book club book, its sequel, and a few others). And I just spent a small Amazon gift certificate too, so new books will be coming soon. I am a reading machine, and it is awesome. :)

I got two new blank books to write in for Christmas too. One is from Janice, who just got back from traveling in southeast Asia and brought this book back for me. Another is from my mom, and it is handmade by Mayans with recycled paper molded into a raised face shape on the cover. I'm looking forward to using these books, but I haven't quite decided how. Do I just journal in them? Do I do something special and thematic? Suggestions? I'm still mulling it over.


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