August 17, 2007


The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This is one of those shake 'em by the lapels and make 'em sit right down and read it books -- don't tell me how it ends, I'll finish it tonight. After six weeks of children's books ( I was craving something adult, something without rhymes or magic or cats that talk. This is it: an amazing, gripping book that made me feel like I was right there, in the story freezing and starving and scared for my life. I read 1/2 of it last night and then dreamed it all over again, The Wife had to wake me up to stop my shouting (I thought I was yelling "come and get me muthaf---!" but she says it more like "uuhhyaaaauuuu!").

Anyway, go get this book and read it this weekend.

August 10, 2007


"Never smile until December."

This has been a common, and quite frankly unsettling, phrase I have heard when I discuss my plans to become a teacher. It doesn't come from the non-educators; those that do not teach often stare at me with utter horror, and say things like "Why on God's green earth would you want to be a teacher?!?!?!?" and "How can you stand to be around all those kids?" ...while also commenting on the abject poverty my family will surely be forced to live in on my paltry salary.

But I've had several teachers, new-ish ones and seasoned veterans, tell me the Don't smile rule as if it's a holy mantra, the only way of surviving the 9th level of hell that is a classroom. Gee, enjoy your job? Maybe I'm naive, but, just like any other job, doesn't the worst day go by quicker and smoother if you smile once in a while and try to have a little fun? Even if it's only to find a speck of sanity-saving humor in an absurdly disastrous and depressing day, ya gotta try to crack at least one little smile. I know, they're just emphasising the importance of discipline, of setting the rules and establishing who's in charge. But I hope that isn't the reality of a classroom, because I think no matter how nervous and unsure I am my first day, or first month, or first several years, you won't be able to stop me from smiling.