About Me

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I am a twenty-something second year teacher living in the midwest. I am a Christian woman and proud of it! I am the middle child of three girls. I am the proud aunt of the very beautiful Lil E and Lil C!! I love TV, movies, reading, and baseball. I am in my second year of teaching , but my first year teaching kindergarten. It has been quite the journey!

11 April 2013

Shooting Star

I knew going into this episode of Glee that it was about a school shooting. I avoided an article with spoilers (strange for me :) because it warned that it might make the hour less powerful. I saw the warning at the beginning of the episode.

I ended the episode very unsure of how I felt about it, although now I'm pretty sure I didn't like it.

The acting was superb. Will and Beiste having to restrain Sam from running to find Brittany. Everyone's tearful messages to the outside world. That horrible metronome ticking in the background. Brittany balancing on the toilet seat. Emotional. Powerful. Traumatic.

It was very hard to watch. It stirred up a lot of emotions and memories and worries and fears I had in the days following the shooting in Newtown. Those scenes in the choir room made me picture the scene in my classroom with my little babies' faces. It was, not to be overly dramatic, traumatic. I was a mess and poor Cody took the brunt of it.

While it was well acted, I'm still not sure it was appropriate. It felt too soon, too opportunistic. As I teach my students all of the time, it's not how you intended something, its how the other person perceived it or felt about it. Maybe Ryan Murphy didn't mean to make this look opportunistic and that it was playing on the emotions of the tragic events in Newtown. But it sure felt that way to me.  Maybe he wasn't trying to make a political statement about gun control *cough Sue's speech cough*, but it sure felt like that to me. Glee has always made quasi-political statements before, but this one touched a nerve and I didn't like it.

I also worry about the way the aftermath was handled. We literally jumped from them hugging in the choir room, safe, to going back to school. While the kids and staff still seemed upset, it sort of seemed like life had returned to normal. I worry that Glee will do as it usually does and not follow through on this storyline (eating disorder, Shelby and Beth, the domestic violence episode). You can't decide to do an episode so dramatic and so close to real-life and then move on like nothing happened. I will not be OK with that.

I also don't like how Sue took the blame for Becky. I understand that she loves Becky and that she doesn't want her life to be ruined by this mistake. But, she brought a gun. to school. And that is NOT OK. I understand that she has Downs and that affects her and the way she processes things, but bringing a gun to school is not OK for anyone, no matter what. End of story. She needs to face consequences for her actions and receive help as obviously she is going through some very stressful and overwhelming things. Also, won't her dad notice the gun is missing? Didn't Sue tell the police where to find the gun? Won't they notice that it belongs, not to Sue, but to Becky's dad? There seem to be far too many holes in this story.

Also, they stink at lockdowns. I understand that the heat of the moment is different from drills, but still. People come on. I've had much younger children be able to stay quieter for longer than those high schoolers. They were making noise all over the place, running across the room??? Have they ever practiced a lockdown??? And the biggest mistake was Will leaving the room!!! After forcibly restraining Sam from being able to leave and telling him it would endanger everyone in the room, Will decides that it would be a good idea for him to go out there? Thereby endangering all of the kids he was telling Sam he couldn't put in danger???  The minute you open the door, you put the lives of everyone inside in mortal danger to try and help one person. If you ever want an example of how not to do a lockdown, please re-watch this episode...

On the plus side, maybe this will show Glee that you can actually do an episode with out 27 songs. (Sidenote: 27 is always my go to for exaggerating a large number of things... "They played One Direction on the radio 27 times on my way home"  I don't know why. When estimating a percentage close to 100, I always say 97%. "I'm 97% sure that I turned the stove off.")

Anway, that was basically just a rant and a chance to express what I thought to someone in longer chunks than texts to Lil Sis... :)

Clockwork Princess Quotes

Too many good quotes for one blog post, but here we go:

"Dying a little faster for love. And there are worse things to die for." Oh Jem.

"Jem-- Jem is all the better part of myself." Will. Darn right he is.

" 'You saved my life.' Will had said. A smile spread across Jem's face, as brilliant as the sunrise breaking over the Thames. 'That is all I ever wanted.'"

"'It is a very strange thing to be in love,' [Jem] said. 'It changes you."" *sigh*

"It was like I saw your soul in the notes of the music." Tessa to Jem

"'Every heart has its own melody.' [Jem] said. 'You know mine.'" Jem to Tessa

"Don't you dare speak about it as if Jem has all of the choice about it and I have none...This engagement was not forced on me,  nor do I have any illusions about Jem's health. I chose to be with him for however many days or minutes we are granted, and count myself blessed to have them." Tessa

"Hope is not an illusion." Will to Tessa about Jem, what a tangled love triangle

"I can tell you that the end of a life is the sum of the love that was lived in it, that whatever you think you have sworn, being here at the end of Jem's life is not what is important. It was being here for every other moment. Since you met him, you have never left him and never not loved him. That is what matters." Magnus to Will

"You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all." Magnus to Will about losing loved ones

"And now I need you to do for me what I cannot do for myself. For you to be my eyes when I do not have them. For you to be my hands when I cannot use them. For you to be my heart when mine is done with beating." Jem to Will

"'You can be assured that no one will be coming to rescue you now.' [Mortmain]... 'Then I will have to rescue myself.'" Tessa. Boo yah!

"There must always be a first...It is not easy to be first, and it is not always rewarding, but it is important." Jem to Charlotte on becoming Consul

"'I lived for you,' [Jem] said. 'And I lived for Will, and then I lived for Tessa-- and for myself, because I wanted to be with her. But I cannot live for other people forever. No one can say that death found in me a willing comrade, or that I went easily. If you say you need me, I will stay as long as I can for you. I will live for you and yours, and go down fighting death until I am worn away to bone and splinters. But it would not be my choice." Jem to Charlotte

"I told you before Jem, that you would not leave me... And you are still with me. When I breathe, I will think of you, for without you I would have been dead years ago. When I wake up and when I sleep, when I lift up my hands to defend myself when I lie down to die, you will be with me. You say we are born and born again. I say there is a river that divides the dead and the living. What I do know is that if we are born again, I will meet you in another life, and if there is a river, you will wait on the shores for me to come to you, so that we can cross together." Will after he thinks Jem has died.

"There was human goodness in the world, she thought--all caught up with desires and dreams, regrets and bitterness, resentments and powers, but it was there, and Mortmain would never see it."

"Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one's mind that the memory might be taken out later, like a flower pressed between the pages of a book, and admired and recollected anew."

"Listen to me. I am leaving, but I am living. I will not be gone from you entirely, Will. When you fight now, I will be still by you. When you wlak in the world, I will be the light at your side, the ground steady under your feet, the force that drives the sword in your hand. We are bound, beyond the oath. The Marks did not change that. The oath did not change that. It merely gave words to something that existed already." Jem to Will

"There are things no magic can destroy, for they are magic in themselves." Tessa to Elias Carstairs

"One does not question miracles, or complain that they are not constructed perfectly to one's liking." Jem to Tessa

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10 April 2013

Clockwork Princess

Oh, Cassandra Clare, we have had such a love/hate relationship the past week. Over Spring Break, I re-read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince and fell in love with my boy, Jem, all over again. I was so worried that he was going to die, because let's face it, it appeared that Will and Tessa were the ones who were going to end up together, despite the fact that Tessa and Jem were engaged... (Spoilers ahead)

The book started off well. Then, as I was laying in a sunbeam in the living room, watching the Tigers game, I noticed what looked like a date written on the inside cover of the book jacket. Curious, I took the book cover off to examine it. I was surprised to find that it was an extensive family tree of the Herondale, Carstairs and Lightwood Family. As I was looking at it, I was sad to see that Jem had no death date, presuming that Cassandra Clare didn't want to spoil when he died. Then to my horror I saw Will Herondale and Tessa Gray's names linked by a line signifying marriage. After processing what that meant I started spluttering and threw the book jacket across the room. Why the heck would you put information like that on the book jacket when the series isn't finished??? When people reading the book do not yet know how it turns out and that they get married?????

I was furious. I took to twitter and facebook railing on Cassandra Clare. Poor Momma was there to witness the whole thing. I went to grab the book jacket to continue studying it (Hey, it was already spoiled, why not?) Momma grabbed it from me and threatened to hide it from me so that I wouldn't keep looking... Not only was I mad that it was spoiled, I was also so mad at the outcome. I mean, I could pretty much see it coming, but I still held out hope that Tessa and Jem were the endgame. It crushed my dreams.

It was tough to keep reading. I felt betrayed and angry and like I already knew what happened, so why keep reading. It's sort of a strange sentiment, because I do love re-reading books, but there's something different about knowing the outcome the first time through a book. Finally, I was able to get back into the book...

I quickly realized that I would not be able to continue reading in the presence of my family; I was going to cry too many tears, so I had to stick with reading in my bedroom :)

When Will left Jem to go save Tessa, I about died. It was so heartbreaking. That is the part I read before bed one night. I stopped reading right after that part and continued crying for at least five minutes. I am no big fan of Will's, but I love the relationship between him and Jem and it was so sad to see them parting ways for perhaps the last time.

Then Jem died and I was sobbing uncontrollably. Cody was clutched in my arms and his fur was wet from my tears. It took several minutes and me getting up for water before I calmed down. I'm not sure why his death and his character affected me so much. Other characters I've loved have died and never have I ever had such a strong and emotional reaction. Momma asked if knowing that it was coming made it any easier, it did not.

That night I kept reading and I truly wish I had not. Because then Will found Tessa, told her Jem had died, they cried together and then slept together. WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?! Several hours after finding out that their fiance/blood brother had died and they were sleeping with each other. I do not understand that. I know that they loved each other and finally felt like they could tell each other. I guess they thought they were going to die anyway, but seriously. I was sooooooooooooooo mad. I felt like it was such a betrayal to Jem's memory. I mean, sure, in the future they can be together, but so soon after Jem's death. Not OK.

Then they're fighting Mortmain and who should show up, but Brother Zachariah, I mean Jem!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Again, What???????????  I had this beautiful, heart-wrenching good-bye to Jem and he wasn't really dead. I should have been rejoicing that he was still alive, but I was just enfuriated. I couldn't believe that Cassandra Clare would do that. Trick us all with such an emotional ploy as making us think Jem died and then having him still be alive. It felt like a cop-out and I was not happy.

But I still trudged on. Tessa turned into an awesome angel. Jem/Brother Zachariah came back to break up with her/heal her. Tessa got better. Gideon and Sophie got engaged. Charlotte became the Consul. Will and Tessa dated. Cecily and Gideon dated. The book ended. I was less mad, but still not happy.

Then came the epilogue. Oh the epilogue, what a perfect epilogue. I think that Cassandra Clare should teach J.K. Rowling how to write an epilogue. I am so very grateful for this epilogue. It was perfect.

After 150ish years, Tessa and Jem were going to meet up for their annual meeting on their bridge. And who should show up in 2008, but Jem in blue jeans and no longer a Silent Brother. Blue jeans? Our Jem? What? A cure for his illness was found so he left the Silent Brothers. Seems like kind of a slap in the face to the Brothers, I mean, do they really want someone who only wants to be a part of them until he can leave them? But I didn't care, because here was Jem, healthy and whole. Sure Tessa had married Will, had kids and watched Will die. But here was Jem, ready to love her and she was ready to love him!!!!!!!! *Sigh* It was perfect, did I mention that? Just when we had been convinced that Will and Tessa were the endgame, oh snap, Will died and now Jem and Tessa get to be together. Everyone's happy! Including Jillibean.

It was a very rocky ride, but if you can judge how much I love a book by how many tears I shed, then I guess I loved it! It did end on such a happy note, that I will probably forget all the anger...

09 April 2013

The Casual Vacancy

The world was so excited when J.K. Rowling announced that she was going to publish her first post-Potter book. This was to be an adult novel, a very different type of book from the Harry Potter series. It came out awhile ago. I heard sort of mixed reviews from it, so I didn't buy a copy right away. A couple of months ago I decided that I should read it. There was an approximately 15-person waiting list for it at the library...

But about three weeks ago I got a call that it was in. I was a little wary, because I could only have the book for two weeks, as others were waiting in line and I would be heading home for spring break before the two weeks were up. I was going to need to power read to make it through, or be OK with playing late fees. I did manage to finish the book in time and return it before I left :)

Beware that a few spoilers lie ahead: Also beware that I will make completely ridiculous and unfair comparisons between this book and the Harry Potter series. As I was reading and now, I realize that these are not fair, the Harry Potter series is a singular and amazing journey that could never be replicated. However, they are comparisons anyone who reads the book is destined to make.

I really, really wanted to like this book. I looooooooooooooove the Harry Potter books so much and I think that J.K. Rowling is a genius and an incredibly amazing writer.

I was majorly disappointed. I have incredibly neutral feelings about the book. It was fine, but it wasn't anything like her other writing. I went in knowing that it was an adult book with more adult themes and language. I'm fine with that. I read other "adult" books and thoroughly enjoy them, but it was if J.K. Rowling said, "I would like to write a book that is the complete opposite and as different as Harry Potter as I can." If that was her mission, than she succeeded, but I would argue not in a good way.

The story revolves around a small town in England and their relationships and politics. The characters' lives are intertwined and as the story unfolds you discover the various ways characters connect. Imagine, the movies Valentine's Day or He's Just Not that Into You in book form. Sounds great, right? Except, I found it very difficult to keep the characters and their relationships straight in my head. When you're seeing them on screen in those movies, it is easier to keep everyone straight, but there were so many intertwined characters, I was always having to ask myself, "Who is that? Is that so-and-so's wife, mistress, etc?" I had a hard time remembering who was on which side politically and frankly wasn't very inspired to remember these details. Perhaps if the characters had been more engaging, I would have found it easier to keep track of them all.

There was also the fact that I cared little about any of the characters. I was hard-pressed to find a single character that I wanted to root for or who was what I would consider an upright citizen or at all likable character, which made it very difficult for me to feel connected to the book. There were cheaters, liars, drug addicts, kids skipping school to smoke and have sex, nosy senior citizens, people way too wrapped up in boring politics and just all-around jerks. There is one point where a small child dies, usually a tear-jerking moment for Jillibean. While reading, I took a deep breath as if I was going to start crying and realized that I didn't really care and did not really need to cry. And it was a kid, dying. And I felt nothing.

I can't tell you how many times I cried reading the last several Harry Potter books. Mr. Weasley is attacked, sobbing. Sirius dies, many, many tears shed. Dumbledore dies, lots of crying. Fred, Tonks, Lupin die, waterworks. Harry walks to certain death, I am inconsolable. Little kid dies in The Casual Vacancy, I feel nothing.

Besides this, the writing was just not engaging. In Harry Potter, the writing and language are beautiful. "There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them." That line is beautiful and just one of many examples of the lovely ways Rowling composes her writing. I love the way Rowling plays with language and uses such beautiful phrases and sentence construction in Harry Potter. In The Casual Vacancy, that sentence would probably be: "After knocking out a troll, they became friends." It is just such plain, boring language. Now I understand that the magical and whimsical and other-worldly nature of the Harry Potter books probably lends itself to this type of language more than a story about small-town politics. But I came in expecting a very different, more adult story, that I though would at least be recognizable as Rowling's writing style. If I hadn't seen her name on the cover, I would never have guessed she was the author.That was very disappointing. I know she wanted to write a different type of book, but it was a bummer that she couldn't keep the wonderful writing style employed in the Potter books.

Overall, it was a very disappointing read. I never felt compelled to continue reading one more chapter or much of any real emotion. 

07 April 2013

Opening Day 2013!!!

It was a beautiful day for baseball in Detroit. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and although the temperature hovered around 45, in the sun it was very pleasant!

We arrived early and received our 2013 Magnet Schedules with detachable Miguel Cabrera wins the triple crown magnet, which was easily disposed of ;) We ate in our traditional restaurant, the Tiger Den. Lil Sis and I enjoyed the chicken fingers we'd been dreaming about since October! Also our waitress gave us free refills on our pops, which they don't normally do, so we were excited. Saturday this was not the case, so we're guessing she just didn't know the rules.

We made our way to our seats, not our normal seats, but in the same section. We said hello to our favorite usher, Bob and our neighbors, Mark and Susan. It was nice to see our baseball family after a long winter.

Before the game started, the Tigers showcased their new American League Champions banner which will fly on top of the fountains for the year, until they take it down, because that spot is really only for World Series flags...
JV, Cabrera and Prince unfurled the flag.

They played a video montage on the scoreboard all about the 2012 season. It was wonderful to relive all of the highlights and our run through the playoffs. I may or may not have had tears in my eyes when it ended...

It was fun, as always to hear all of the Tigers announced, from assistant athletic trainer Doug Teter to former Rookie of the Year, Cy Young winner and MVP, Justin Verlander.

The Four Tops sang the National Anthem. Willie Horton threw out the first pitch to Jim Price, both members of the 1968 World Series Champs.

Mr. Fister was pitching. Prince Fielder hit two houmeruns and Alex Avila (whose wife just had a baby, Avery Noelle) hit one, Drew Smyly got a four-inning save, the Tigers won, Dad won the Triple Crown (correctly predicted the final score, first Tiger to hit a homerun and stadium attendance in our daily competition) and baseball was back in Detroit!

It was a most excellent day and a great way to start the season!

P.S. My alma mater has a fancy new sign gracing the Detroit skyline this year.