Teacher Talk

As a teacher, it’s easy to fall to the temptation of negativity and bad-talking students – harping on their low grades, big attitudes, and inappropriate behaviors.  We want to vent our frustrations about assignments turned in late, half-done, and scribbled in chicken scratch.

Their apathy irritates.

Their vocabulary stinks.

Their never-ending talking and laughing and farting noises and snide remarks dig into my brain like nails on chalkboard.

and, damnit, I want to SCREAM!!

But it doesn’t mean I should.

Nor do I really want to.  I don’t want to be one of those teachers who only sees the negative in her students and voices it to all the other teachers.  I don’t want to be the teacher who ends up bitter and unhappy with life, wishing she had chosen another profession.  I don’t want my students to look at me in fear or disgust as a sour-faced, cold and merciless old hag who enjoys giving big fat “F’s” on major grades.

If I aim to be a compassionate, caring, and sincere teacher, who embraces every one of my students (and all their idiosyncrasies) , then I must have integrity in my thoughts about them.  I mustn’t look at their failures and shortcomings, but instead view them through the lens of Christ, who sees them as his precious creation, unconditionally loved.  I must remember that God has a purpose for each of them, and God has a purpose for placing them in my classroom under my direction. And for those reasons alone, I need to speak of them in love…even in the midst of my frustrations.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  ~Philippians 4:8


A Must-See Video

I saw the following video on a blog that I follow (Aspire2) and had to share it.  It’s a must see…and then go hug your children and pray for those who never had a chance to enjoy this life God has blessed us with.

(for some reason, I can’t get it to embed…so to view video click HERE and then press play on the video.)

The BBC Book List


Image by Robert Burdock via Flickr

I’ve had several friends post this in Facebook this week.  Since I find it interesting, I thought I’d give it a go…

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES.

Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.

Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

My additional notes are in blue.

I’ve read 37 of these books in their entirety, and there are 10 that I’ve started but didn’t finish.  I find this a bit sad for an English major and a High school English Teacher.  At least now I have a list of novels to read through!

After you see what I’ve read, comment with your thoughts and what you’ve read… (Or not, after all reading is not a competition! I’m betting that we’re all well over 6 books, and I am curious to see the common ground).

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – umm…this is a trilogy…I’ve read all 3.

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – favorite book of all time!

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible not straight through, but over time and in chunks

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark MaterialsPhilip Pullman – Also a trilogy…His first book, Northern Lights (known as The Golden Compass in America) was a huge controversy in the Christian world…I wrote a review, which you can read by clicking HERE.

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – I even played Meg in the Mesquite Community Theater production!

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – most of them, I’m sure…but his works are quite extensive…

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – close 2nd for favorite book

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – and the sequel

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David CopperfieldCharles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis  – wouldn’t this go with #33??

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini – reading it now!

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

41 Animal FarmGeorge Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare – again, wouldn’t this part part of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare”?

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


November is NaBloPoMo…or National Blog Posting Month.

I’m a little lot behind in the festivities, but I’ve been telling myself that I’m ready to begin blogging/writing again, and what better time is there to  jump back on the writing wagon when there’s a party going on in the blogosphere?  I’ll admit, though, that I’m still feeling a bit uninspired in what to write about.  So much has happened in the last few months, that I’m not sure where to begin…or rather if I even want to share it on my blog at all.  Not yet, at least.

But, since it is NaBloPoMo, there are a plethora of blog prompts out there for me!  So, to start off my month of daily blogging, I’ll start with today’s prompt offered to me by the official NaBloPoMo website:

How did you end up where you’re living right now? What factors will help you choose the next place you live?

Starting broadly, I ended up in Texas in 1991 when my parents loaded up our car and a Uhaul truck and moved us from an Atlanta, Georgia suburb to a Dallas suburb.  As a child, my parent’s jobs had us moving around quite a bit.  Even though I was a pretty shy girl, I enjoyed the adventure of discovering new places.  I still carry that love and passion of travel, experiencing cultures, and frequent change.  Too much of the same ole’ stuff gets me all ancy and restless (and moody).

I ended up in Garland because (1.)I married a Garland boy, (2.) my church at the time was in Garland, and (3.) most of my friends lived in Garland…so logically Garland would be where we planted our roots.

However, just because my roots are planted in Garland soil doesn’t mean that Josh and I are firmly planted.  We’ve been married 10 1/2 years, and we’ve just about moved at least once each year of our marriage…to apartments, houses, living with family, and twice overseas to Europe and back again to Garland.

Right now, we live (for the 3rd time) with my mother (for various reasons too long and complicated to write about here and now).  But, we are saving up to buy our own house and settle down for good!  We still haven’t determined exactly what we’re looking for (except it has to be a one-storied, garage-in-the-front, 3 bedroom home with a well-maintained yard, large kitchen, and spacious master bedroom/bathroom located in a kid-friendly neighborhood and not flush against a major road but still within a 15 minute drive to both of our jobs). We’re hoping to move into that perfect place early next summer.

Until then, we’re content here, where God has placed us for this time in our lives.

Dear blog…

And blog followers,

I’ve missed you.

I’ll be back soon.



Clomid Round 1


We’re upping the dosage

Rolling with the punches

Holding on to hope

Leave Me Out!

Fanatic Christians who set afire abortion clinics and murder their doctors all in the name of Christian values.

Please don’t associate me with them.

Anti-government militia groups who bomb government buildings, calling for more freedom based on our Christian founders.

Please don’t lump me into that same category.

Southern Conservative Christians who drag black boys down dusty, backwood roads.

Please don’t include me in their antics.

Each of these groups call themselves “Christian”.  Often, they carry out their heinous acts in the name of God and “Christian” principles.  They’ll even quote scripture to support their causes.

I, too, call myself a Christian and use scripture to guide my life.  But, it does not mean that I am part of the extreme groups listed above.  I may be pro-life, but I do not condone violence or hate of any kind.  I am not racist or bigoted.  And, although I do not always agree with the decisions of our governmental leaders, I do believe that we are to support (and pray for) those whom God has allowed to be in power.

When it comes to the groups above, I want NO association with them at all.  But, there are many non-Christians who automatically include me with those groups based on the word “Christian”.

Generalizing – to infer or form a general principle, opinion, conclusion, etc. from only a few facts, examples, or the like.

No one likes to have preconceived notions of beliefs, ideologies, motives, or behaviors pushed upon them. Yet, “Christians”, who are commanded by Christ to unconditionally love our ‘enemies’ and not to judge unfairly, continue to generalize and spread bigoted trash across Facebook and email forwards.

Generalizations that say ALL Muslims are Islamic terrorists, and therefore should not have religious freedom, even though they may be American citizens and should enjoy the same freedoms you and I have.

Generalizations that say say our President belongs in that same Islamic terrorist category.

Generalizations that all homosexual people prey upon our young boys.

Anti-Muslim.  Anti-Obama.  Pro-America.  Pro-tough-love.

Call it what you want…I call it judgmental, bigoted, hateful, unintelligent, uninformed, and disgusting.

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