Wait, Did I Just Hear the Word “Finals”?!?


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Just like the students, teachers are also often surprised at how quickly the school year seems to go by. To me it seems just like moments ago that I was starting the school year off at a brand new school, teaching a brand new set of students. Yesterday though, I got an email (as did the rest of the staff) with the schedule for 1st semester final exams. :O Final exams?!? Already?!?

Thankfully, this year Continue reading

Get Those Creative Juices Flowing


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Recently I’ve been working on planning a writing unit for my World Literature and Composition classes. As is almost always the case for teachers and their planning, I have had to come up with some alternative choices. Continue reading

“Can We Use I In This?”


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As I start preparing my students for the Literary Analysis paper they will be writing next week and the following papers for the semester, it is important to keep this topic in mind. It is a common question that I get from students, and I feel this post from a fellow educator and blogger clarifies the issue…especially for teachers.

Originally posted on What's Not Wrong?:

47134_floral_i_smA recent writing assignment in my college composition class involved telling about a change experienced or witnessed by each writer. One student told about an interesting situation (too personal to be detailed here), but her language was convoluted and highly formal. I almost felt like reading it required wearing a tux.

I told her, “I can’t find you in here.” She said, “Well, maybe it’s because I took out all the Is.”

“Didn’t you have to flip a lot of these sentences to get the Is and mes out of here?” I asked.

“Yeah, but I didn’t know we could use I in this.”

“Can we use I in this?” is a question I’ve heard many times as students begin to frame a new piece of writing, even writing that is obviously personal in nature, such as a reflection on a book or passage, or a college…

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Book Review: LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green


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Cover image from goodreads.ocm

Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

(Story synopsis from goodreads.com)

Originally I had started reading Looking for Alaska back in July. At the time I believed that I would have enough time to read this novel as I also was reading the books that I needed to learn for the new classes that I would be teaching this school year. That was only partially true… Continue reading

Why Do We Angry Tweet?


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So I realize this blog post isn’t education related, but I suppose in a way it could be. I’ve been thinking about this question for the past day or so…why do we angry tweet and unhappily post on social media? I’m not normally one of those people, but last night I definitely was.

If you’ve read my blog before, Continue reading

Travelling in Teacher Style


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On this wonderful Friday evening, I find myself once again travelling back to the suburbs of Chicago on the train. Let me tell you, if you have not made the train ride from western Illinois to the Chicago area…you really must. It is definitely the better option (if you have one) from spending 4 1/2 – 5 hours in the car. However, on this night I’m taking a break from grading papers to bring you this blog post (grading pen currently tucked behind one ear). Yes, my friends, that is correct…as I take this train ride I am able to grade papers. It is actually a most glorious thing because most other trips I would be much too occupied with driving my car to my destination to be able to grade papers. And let me tell you, Pugsley (my wonderful pug!) is not much help when it comes to grading papers in the car…he would much rather sit on the papers than grade them. Maybe because he doesn’t have thumbs to hold the pen????

Anyway, on this train trip (along with the many others I have taken this semester) I am travelling in my glorious teacher style! I made sure that before I even boarded the train, I was armed with my trusty cup of coffee (this one courtesy of the Casey’s gas station down the street from the station) and my work bag. Of course I had my weekend bag and necessary wallet and such, but most importantly I had the papers that I need to get graded this weekend. I am very grateful that there are 2 seats together on a train and that I am travelling alone. I don’t mean this as a slight towards any of my family or friends, simply that the seat next to me is very handy in holding my work bag and balancing the unused papers and I use both trays from the seatbacks to hold the laptop and the papers currently being graded. This is definitely the perfect set-up for my current situation. What’s also great about the train is that there are plugs for electronic devices (always a must!), which comes in handy because I must have my music as I travel. (I am really loving and appreciating technology at this moment!) Of course, being on wi-fi and streaming music means that I am killing my phone…but of course that does not matter with the outlets. Ahh the little things.

So if you ever see a person travelling with numerous bags and papers spread about them as they travel, please take pity as they are probably sporting the always fabulous teacher-style. Happy Friday!


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