Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What A Week!

Wow, this week flew by! First, let me share some photos from last weekend's trip to DC and the NatBookFest:

Melissa, getting a book signed by Junot Diaz, the sexiest author at the show.
I'm obviously stunned here. By the way, he kissed Melissa, but he didn't kiss me. Sigh.

I am such a sucker for sights like this.


Sandra Cisneros was my other favorite author. She was marvelously warm and kind, and I was able to ask her a question about teaching high school English that she graciously answered!

T. C. Boyle


Fibre Space, in Alexandria, on Saturday night. Poor Melissa, my non-knitting daughter, didn't see this visit coming, but I tried to make it quick! I love this store! I know, you're shocked by this news.

Walking through one of the art museums' garden:

Bob Balaban. He was the narrator in Moonrise Kingdom, he's in all of Christopher Guest's movies, and now he's an author of books for 7th graders!

Another beautiful sight.

The Frick Gallery of Art, a fabulous space to visit, especially when you need a moment of serenity.

We didn't get back until midnight, after a series of events that were stress inducing but ultimately minor enough, so I had to hit the ground running on Monday morning and I haven't slowed down all week! That being said, I can't wait to go back next year, as I absolutely loved it! I can't believe this is the 12th year of this event and it's the first year I managed to attend!

As for teaching, I am really getting into my groove, so to speak. It's definitely a ton of work, teaching a new curriculum, but the energy at this high school is fantastic. The faculty and administration are truly a team, which allows for wonderful things to happen. The students I taught the past four years are here and it is such a gift to be able to see them at this age and maturity level. So many of them are leaders of the school and I know they have exciting futures ahead of them. The bonus is, that when my students see all of these great kids come by to say hi and give me a hug, I get a little "street cred" with my new classes. And good lord, do I need it. If I only had true freshman, it would be pretty easy, but I have quite a few 10th and 11th grade-age repeaters who are beyond tired of taking English 9. Not tired enough to do the work and get out, but tired enough to make it difficult to ignite the energy in the class. It is definitely getting better, but it has been an uphill climb at times. But I am just as excited about teaching as I've ever been and I'm truly motivated to make English relevant to these kids.

And now, I get to grade a small mountain of papers on this fine Saturday morning. Have a marvelous weekend!


  1. You make me feel embarrassed that in all my years in DC I never made it to the Book Festival! In fact, even though Bill worked just a block from the White House, I rarely went downtown, and spent most of my time in Upper Northwest DC (Georgetown north to Chevy Chase). Fibre Space came into existence only after we had left, unfortunately.

    1. Liz, the first one was in 2000, so you might have moved by then. Do it if you get the chance!

  2. It sounds like an amazing trip, and I have to say I am in awe of you, teaching is such a gift and you have it. Have a great weekend,

  3. That looks like it was great fun. Hope your weekend wasn't all work and no play!