Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Be careful while trick or treating!
"Goblin Fruit" by Oliver Hunter

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

one 7 year old boy's opinion on Halloween costumes

Overheard today in class -
Boy: What are you going to be for Halloween?
Girl: A princess.
Boy: (in a "you're so silly" voice) A princess not scary! How about a princess dragon?

That's not a typo. He said, "A princess not scary!"
I love teaching first grade.

Thank you simmy0085 for letting me borrow your watercolor from Flickr.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Getting into the Halloween Spirit

This October I have been trying to celebrate Halloween in my own little way all month. My merrymaking has included reading books and watching movies with a scary, thrilling, or fantasy theme. I've watched Misery, Stir of Echoes, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and fell asleep during Shaun of the Dead. I've read Twilight by Stephenie Myer (vampires!), The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield ("gothic strangeness"), and this morning I finished Night Chills by Dean Koontz ("The nightmare is real. And death is the only cure...").
I've been eyeing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving on my bookshelf for the past few weeks, so after I put down Night Chills this morning I found myself pulling out that old hardcover I've had probably since high school. What I discovered inside were illustrations by Arthur Rackham. Spooky! There are over 10 pen and ink drawings with watercolor that instantly made me happy I picked up the book.
I've spent the morning looking at Mr. Rackham's art on the internet instead of grading papers and doing the things I should be doing on a Sunday. If you want to put aside your responsibilities and read about him also, this is a good website: I hope Arthur Rackham helps put you in the Halloween Spirit too.
Only the top picture is from my book.

Still on my Halloween to do list:
Corpse Bride
The Shining
Brothers Grimm
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
finish Shaun of the Dead
put up decorations

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Covet - 1 : to wish for earnestly

Corey and I went to the mall a few weekends ago to have dinner with friends. At the time we were on a spending freeze - the perfect excuse not to buy crap I don't need. I'm beginning to feel unpatriotic - I missed the playoffs, and planned to walk the sainted halls without spending. The earnest wishing began when we went into Anthropologie. I have a love-hate relationship with Anthropologie. It's like vintage stuff but it's new, it's like a thrift store but it's expensive, it's like handmade but it's made in China. I don't think I had ever even bought anything there, although there was a moment with a dishtowel that had rickrack on it. $18. I still remember the price. That was for ONE dishtowel. I decided just to sew rickrack on a Target dishtowel, but as with most of my craft projects, it never came to fruition.

Anyway, I went back to this antiquey cupboard like they have, which was filled with shelves of stationary and journals, and that was when I saw "THE journal that I had to possess" (as it was already somehow a part of me). I currently have a super Wonder Woman journal that I got in Flagstaff over 6 years ago. The fun of it is that it has illustrations and captions on almost every page. In the last 2 years journaling has suddenly become something I love doing again, only instead of writing who is my crush on any given day (as I did in high school), I now write about things like how many times they say "ya'll" on America's Best Dance Crew. So there, as I held the Junzo Terada journal in my hands, the bargaining began to take place in my mind. "My Wonder Woman journal is almost full. I actually NEED this." "It's only $10." "It has illustrations on every page!" "It's so cute!" "We are on a spending freeze." I put the journal down, walked out of Anthropologie, and the coveting began.

I couldn't stop thinking about the journal. I counted the days until money would filter back into our bank account. I tried to find it on the Anthropologie website. I called my friend and talked to her about the journal, laughing at the stupidity of it all. I planned which route I would take back to the mall. I could see myself going down the escalator by Paradise Bakery; picking up a sugar cookie to eat on the way to the journal. I also began to covet the cookie. Whenever I thought about the cookie, I thought about the journal, and vice-versa.
At last. I walked into the devil's lair with American Flags in my wallet, back to the place I had visited so often in my mind, and the corner was bare...the cupboard was gone. Before panic crept in I spied the cupboard at the back of the store. I was suddenly in front of it, reaching inside, discovering the journal was not there any more. Why? Why did I wait?! I frantically began looking underneath the lesser journals. Is it mixed in with the stationary? But at last! There was a pile of 10 of the very thing I desired on the bottom shelf, behind the paper rubble it was so superior to. I took the second one down and brought it to the cashier. She said, "This is really cute!" I KNOW.

Once I got home I discovered their website on the inside of the back cover. It's for a place in Japan, and luckily for me they don't ship internationally. But I did save pictures of some of the illustrations in my 2nd-most-awesome-journal to share with you.
Their website is

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Final Debate

While watching the debate on Wednesday, I decided to get out my Wonder Woman journal and "score" each candidate in my area of expertise: education. I wrote down catch phrases the presidential hopefuls mentioned and gave them pluses or minuses. Here is what I wrote down when it was Senator Obama's turn -

+ making parents accountable
- more professional development for teachers (we have plenty already!)
+ Head Start
+ math and science
+ early childhood education
+ "recruit an army of new teachers"
+ make college affordable by giving tuition credit in exchange for community service
+ mentioned that No Child Left Behind was put into law but never funded by Bush (Thank you!)
- charter schools (if education was funded we wouldn't need charter schools)
+ "Vouchers don't solve the problem." (again, if education had proper funding, we wouldn't need vouchers)

He left me feeling hopeful about what my job may be like after he becomes president.

Now for the Maverick or "Mavrick" as some of his supporters like to call him -

- charter schools
-Teach for America (I hate to diss it, but it's like a 5 week crash course for teaching, and once completing the program, teachers are committed to teaching 2 years in the highest poverty communities. Not the most ideal situation, on the other hand, we have had some great Teach for America teachers at our elementary school.)
- "Troops to Teachers" (??? He wants people from the military to come home and begin teaching without having to go through the certification process!!!! How about "Teachers to Troops"? You can send us to Iraq without ever going to boot camp. Big NO!)
- making student loans more available (i.e. more debt)
- vouchers (ugh, JUST GIVE US THE MONEY)
- Head Start reform (I was unaware it needed reforming. I smell privatization, i.e. more money for his "cronies")
+ mentioned autism (not sure what it has to do with education, but I'm all for that cause)
------ Regarding education he actually said, "I'm not going to continue to throw money at a problem." (Scary! That is exactly what this problem needs. More money for more teachers and smaller class sizes!)

He left me feeling scared about what hits may still come to our public school system if he becomes president.

What about their little back and forth they had about the Superintendent of Schools of Maryland and D.C.? That was awkward.
Obama's talking about Nancy S. Grasmick (he didn't mention her by name, but I looked it up on the internet) and McCain cuts in with, "Who supports vouchers."
Obama: Actually supports charters.
McCain: (feebly) She supports vouchers also.

I had to do a little research, but quickly found two websites that cleared it up for me. One states plainly that she does NOT support vouchers, another talks about how she is on the Task Force on Public Charter Schools. McCain lied.

My final note...
Obama says, "If we're going to be serious about this issue..."
McCain interrupts and just begins spouting phrases, "Cause there's not enough vouchers, therefore we shouldn't do it, even though it's working. I got it!" [insert scary cancer laugh]

By the way, he has cancer. Don't know if you've ever known anyone with cancer before but they usually die. So we're looking at Sara Fucking Palin here. I hope my observations help clear up any questions you may have had about who is the most awesome.

Thank you to these blogs for sharing their pictures with me:

Barack Obama:

John Mccain:

Sara Palin:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dream Job

Although I love teaching, I'd have to say my dream job would be Grand Prix show jumping. Riding horses for a living would pretty much rule.

This is a picture of my favorite rider, Beezie Madden, and her horse, Authentic. What a cool name for a horse, right? She has another horse named Judgement. She won a bronze in the Olympics this summer, and a gold with her team. And that's her job. {Jealous} Not only is she an amazing rider, but she picks out fabulous horse names too.

I took some jumping lessons when I was in high school. Even though I had been riding my whole life, it was hard. Also I didn't have a Dutch Warmblood. I had a fat Quarter Horse, and a short Morgan. I had another horse that loved jumping. If you let her loose in the arena she would run around and jump over jumps by herself. But then she died and that was the end of that. Her name was Shoshone. I miss that horse. I miss all my horses.

I borrowed this picture from

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

{Happy October}

If you know me, you know it's time to pick out a quality pumpkin that will last on my porch for the next 9 months.