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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is Your Apple Cozy? You can help out.

My apples are super cozy thanks to a local crafter who showed up at knitting last week.  She is looking for other crafters to benefit Emmie Mangione at a Spring Festival Fundraiser.

 It will take place on Saturday, April 30th,
10am-3pm at the Marlton Assembly of God
625 East Main Street in Marlton.

If you are a crafter and want to book a table to benefit Emmie, call 609-980-2240.

 Emmie is a young lady from Marlton, NJ with DiGeorge Syndrome.  She is in need of a special wheelchair with shock absorption to prevent fractures.  Her family also needs the family van adapted to accommodate the chair.   Emmie has four siblings and has been through so much, seven  open-heart surgeries, several strokes, a cardiac arrest and continuous spine fractures. You can meet Emmie at her website.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, March 28, 2011

After Ever After

After Ever AfterAfter Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Late effects- I never thought about them before. We have a teacher in our town who has been fighting her battle with cancer for the last two years. We are all focused on fundraising, getting her well and into remission, but we don't think about the after, when she may lose her career and not have control of her body again. All those poisons may help her turn a corner, but they may also devastate her golden years. As a follow-up to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, Sonnenblick tells the other part of the story, what happens to people after they "make it." The long-term effects on family, friends and finances still lurk in the future...

Moving on with a life that was once ruled by cancer can be as uplifting and as heartbreaking as the progression of the disease itself.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Lantern

These pictures are shot from angles I was not privy to, alas we arrived too late for choice seats. I should have driven into the city the way I intended, over the Ben and through the woods... but I took the Walt Whitman, and we all know how long-winded he can be. Just saying. The largest cast I have ever seen at the Lantern Theatre Company's yearly Shakespearian production did not delight as much as their Hamlet or Richard the III. Considering it was a comedy, I thought I would enjoy it more than the amazing tragedies I have seen by this theatre company. For all the costuming (which was highly unusual for the lantern) and large cast, it was the small moments that made this production work. Wall for instance, fittingly played by Mark Cairns, who also played Snout and Mustardseed, carried a large portion of the comic relief on his shoulders. I hope to see more of him at the Lantern. Our beloved Benjamin Lloyd made a reappearance and his resounding bellows as Bottom brought life to a production that can be a drag, no offense William, but it is not one of your best plays. The staging was particularly good, staying true to the company's sparse style but offering moments of magic with the fairies. I did wonder at the costuming though, I could not fathom why Mary Folino would have chosen linen of all fabrics for Helena and Hermia. I kept imagining the frantic ironing that needs to take place to bring those mangled costumes back to life. When I write mangled, I mean it, these actors commit fully to every fight and struggle, shedding and tearing at one another's clothes. I only hope that they had a few spare outfits, or they will never make it through the run. As costuming goes, in some areas it can detract, but with performers playing double and triple roles, I can understand the necessity. I need to see this play staged by other companies to make any true review because I never warmed up to the main characters at all, and I am not sure that I am supposed to. Puck (Dave Johnson) stealthily stole this production out from underneath all other players. I found myself watching his face above all others. It was me watching him, watching the action... hmmmm what does that remind me of?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I have officially exceeded my cognitive load

Who knew learning spanish numbers 11-20 would be so stressful for me? Perhaps this is the way our students feel everyday. We should slow down- wish we could, we shoud have more fun- wish we could. It makes me reflect on how busy we all are and how Sundays aren't sacred anymore and how much we need to project a balenced mood in our classrooms. In this class I am taking right now- there is a lot of pressure, there are many intelligent people who constantly keep us on our toes. The stakes feel high, otherwise, why would I be worried about ten little numbers? I was though, and so grateful for the handout- or I would have failed. I guess I need more time (as our students frequently do)with concepts that challenge me.

 I need a break, Seriously!

Connectivism Lesson quiz

Research Reflections

I was grateful for our time last week with the librarian. It reminded me of how much my students enjoy a guest speaker.  Although we had taken library tutorial last semester, I definitely benefitted from the reinforcement and I was glad she reminded us to remove the "Noise Words." Since we are doing so much research right now, this was just-in-time learning.  I also benefitted from the folder conversation. I finally found out what went wrong in 2005, during my senior seminar with Professor Tompkins. All my Northrop Frye research disappeared from my folder after a long night of research and I had to do it all over again. The discussion of  the Interlibrary loan (ILL) was lively, especially since one of our classmates is so far away. I hardly think it would be cost- effective to ship books to Panama, but it is nice to know we can get what we want when we are on campus. I did take advantage of this on a number of occasions and was happy with the result.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love, Honor and Betray

Love, Honor, and BetrayLove, Honor, and Betray by Kimberla Lawson Roby

I am sure there is a market for this type of book, but it is not me. I just picked it up on my weekly run through the library, I think I liked the pink dress.
What a mistake, after the first chapter I thought, "hmmmm", then by the second, I knew it was a trashy sensationalist novel that was not for me. If you are into serial adultery set against the backdrop of a church, by all means, pick up the book yourself. I drove it right back to the library and threw it into the book return with a thud of satisfaction. I think the thing that bugs me most is that there is a market for books where people are selfish and lie and cheat on one another. It reminds me too much of the poor friends I have on the other side of that selfish behavior, the kids whose lives are changed as a result of the deliberate "mistakes" their parents make. It goes on my digital shelf of "Awful books I will not finish reading." I couldn't give it less than one star, I am sure the author worked hard on it, but I wish her thoughts took a different direction.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

"The Tenth Song"

The Tenth SongThe Tenth Song by Naomi Ragen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Surprise ending and I won't spoil it here- though it did seem a bit rushed. There was build-up but it never actually had a satisfying crescendo. That said, or in this case written, this is the first book I have read by Ragen and I may go back for a second helping because of the simple truths that she reveals. We can surround ourselves with people we think we need approval from, but none of that really matters. Reading the passages about the relationship of Kayla to her mother Abigail reminded me of how we don't always have to have expectations of our kids- we just have to enjoy them.

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