Friday, January 11, 2008

The gauntlet has been thrown...

I started my last semester of grad school on Monday. This week has been exhausting! I only have two classes, but because we start student teaching the first week of February, we have to cram a semester's worth of education into one month. Yikes. My classes are interesting, though: The Teaching of Reading (very helpful for English teachers, believe it or not) and Culture and Schooling (aka Diversity in the Classroom). A lot of reading, but it's mostly helpful and interesting and (let's face it) nothing I can't handle, as I am a reading fiend. One of the most useful books so far has been Cris Tovani's I Read It, but I Don't Get It, which has really helped me understand how I read, as well as how I make sense of what I read. I'm sure it will be useful for my (future) students, as well.

One of the articles that I got a lot out of was Dr. Ruby Payne's Understanding and Working With Adults and Children From Poverty. I didn't agree with a lot of what she said (rebuttals are available here and here), but her idea of "3 voices" really struck a chord with me. According to Dr. Payne,
Inside everyone's head are internal voices that guide the individual. These three voices are referred to as the child voice, the adult voice and the parent voice. It has been my observation that individuals who have become their own parent quite young do not have an internal adult voice. They have a child voice and a parent voice, but not an adult voice.

What an internal adult voice does is allow for negotiation. This voice provides the language of negotiation and allows the issues to be examined in a non-threatening way.

Educators tend to speak to students in a parent voice, particularly in discipline situations. To the student who is already functioning as a parent, this is unbearable, and almost immediately, the incident is exacerbated beyond the original happening. The tendency is for educators to also use the parent voice with poor parents because the assumption is that a lack of resources must indicate a lack of intelligence. Poor parents are extremely offended by this as well.

As I was reading, I realized that that's one of the reasons I dislike my (temporary, part-time, weekend) job so much. So many of our customers are older (and richer), and they tend to talk to me like I'm either 5-years-old or really, really dumb. They like to put exclamation points on the ends of all of their sentences: "Well, aren't you a good little cook!" "You sure do look busy over here!" etc, etc. They also frequently ask me a question, and then proceed to talk right over me as I'm answering them. It's very frustrating, but at least now I can think of it in terms of education and use it as an example of how NOT to treat my students.

In other news, Bea over at Feeling Kinda Blog Today has challenged everyone (I guess?) to join her in reading 52 books in 52 weeks. I am already on books 3 (the aforementioned Tovani tome) and 4 (The Fourth Bear, by Jasper Fforde). I love reading Fforde - a friend of mine described his books as "English major porn," and while I wouldn't go quite that far, they are really entertaining in a geeky, literary in-joke sorta way. Yay, books! I'm trying to beat last year's reading record by reading 100 books this year. I'm also counting YA novels, which is probably cheating because they tend to be short. Not to mention a horrible guilty pleasure. I mean, research for when I'm a teacher. Yeah.

In other other news, my friend Ashley has decided that she must lose 50 pounds* before her boyfriend gets home from Iraq in March. I figured, what the heck, I could stand to get in shape, too, and so we began a Serious Workout Regime this week. We started with this strip aerobics/hip hop dance video hosted by Carmen Electra, and holy crap, I have never been so sore. Until the next day, that is, when we hit the elliptical machine at the University fitness center. Yowza. The Regime has been temporarily suspended, pending a full recovery of my poor back and thighs.

*this is a completely arbitrary number on Ashley's part, as she doesn't own a scale and, consequently, has no idea how much she actually weighs

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Books Read in 2008

Among the Hidden, Margaret Peterson Haddix**
The Babysitter, R.L. Stine**
The Babysitter II, R.L. Stine**
The Babysitter III, R.L. Stine**
The Babysitter IV, R.L. Stine**
The Baby-Sitters Club #1: Kristy's Great Idea, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phonecalls, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #3: The Truth About Stacey, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #6: Kristy's Big Day, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #31: Dawn's Wicked Stepsister, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #38: Kristy's Mystery Admirer, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #44: Dawn and the Big Sleepover, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #45: Kristy and the Baby Parade, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #46: Mary Anne Misses Logan, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #47: Mallory on Strike, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #48: Jessi's Wish, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #50: Dawn's Big Date, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #52: Mary Anne + Too Many Babies, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #53: Kristy for President, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #55: Jessi's Gold Medal, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club #58: Stacey's Choice, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #1: Baby-sitters on Board!, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2: Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #3: Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #4: Baby-sitters' Island Adventure, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #5: California Girls!, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #6: New York, New York!, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #7: Snowbound, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #8: Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #1: Stacey and the Missing RIng, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #4: Kristy and the Missing Child, Ann M. Martin**
The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #6: The Mystery at Claudia's House, Ann M. Martin**
Bella at Midnight, Diane Stanley**
The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
Bluford High: Search for Safety, Paul Langan**
Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
Captain Wentworth's Diary, Amanda Grange
Chloe Does Yale, Natalie Krinsky
The Cider House Rules, John Irving
The Clique: Revenge of the Wannabes, Lisi Harrison**
The Clique: Invasion of the Boy Snatchers, Lisi Harrison**
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Viera Rigler
Congo, Michael Chrichton
The Crossing, Gary Paulsen**
The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love, Rosie Rushton
The Dead Girlfriend, R.L. Stine**
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart**
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
The Dollhouse Murders, Betty Ren Wright**
Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist, Liz Kessler**
Encyclopedia Brown Mystery Collection, Donald J. Sobol**
Enthusiasm, Polly Shulman**
Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan**
Enthusiasm, Polly Shulman**
Ever, Gail Carson Levine**
Fear Street: Cheerleaders: The First Evil, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: Cheerleaders: The Second Evil, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: The Knife, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: Lights Out, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: Secret Admirer, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: The Secret Bedroom, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: The Stepsister, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street: Switched, R.L. Stine**
Fear Street Super Chiller: Bad Moonlight, R.L. Stine**
Flush, Carl Hiaasen**
Forever..., Judy Blume**
Four Things My Geeky-Jock-of-a-Best Friend Must Do in Europe, Jane Harrington**
The Fourth Bear, Jasper Fforde
Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess, Alfred de Musset
Gen 13: Netherwar, Christopher Golden and Jeff Mariotte**
The Ghosts of Charleston, Edward B. macy and Julian T. Buxton III
Gossip Girl: Because I'm Worth It, Cecily von Ziegesar**
Gossip Girl: You're the One That I Want, Cecily von Ziegesar**
Gossip Girl: I Like it Like That, Cecily von Ziegesar**
Gossip Girl: Nobody Does it Better, Cecily von Ziegesar**
Gossip Girl: Nothing Can Keep Us Together, Cecily von Ziegesar**
Gossip Girl: Only in Your Dreams, Cecily von Ziegesar**
Half-Moon Investigations, Eion Colfer**
Halloween Night, R.L. Stine**
Halloween Night II, R.L. Stine**
His Dark Materials: Northern Lights, Phillip Pullman**
His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife, Phillip Pullman**
His Dark Materials: The Amber Spyglass, Phillip Pullman**
Hoot, Carl Hiassen**
How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls, Zoe Dean
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, Ally Carter**
Inquiry-Based English Instruction: Engaging Students in Life and Literature, Richard Beach and Jamie Myers*
I Read It, But I Don't Get It, Cris Tovani*
The Jane Austen Book Club, Karen Joy Fowler
Just Ella, Margaret Peterson Haddix**
The Last Temptation of Christ, Nikolas Kazantzakis
Less Than Zero, Brett Easton Ellis
Let the Circle Be Unbroken, Mildred D. Taylor**
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow**
The Locker, Richie Tankersley Cusick**
Lords and Ladies, Terry Pratchett
Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
The Nanny Diaries, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich*
Nightjohn, Gary Paulsen**
Odd and the Frost Giants, Neil Gaiman**
The Once and Future King, T.H. White
The Open Shadow, Brad Solomon
The Other Boleyn Girl, Phillipa Gregory
The Other Woman, Jane Green
Peeps, Scott Westerfield**
Peter and the Starcatchers, James Barry and Ridley Pearson**
Pirates of the Retail Wasteland, Adam Selzer**
The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot**
The Princess Diaries Volume II: Princess in the Spotlight, Meg Cabot**
Rising Sun, Michael Chrichton
Sammy's Hill, Kristin Gore
The See-Through Kid #1: Getting Even, Elissa Snow**
The See-Through Kid #2: Wacky Wedding, Elissa Snow**
Shakespeare's Secret, Elise Broach**
Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar**
The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom, Lisa Delpit and Joanne Kilgour Dowdy*
The Snowman, R.L. Stine**
The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black**
The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black**
Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli**
Stitch ‘N Bitch, Debbie Stoller
Superpowers, David J. Schwartz
Sweet Valley High #3: Playing With Fire, Francine Pascal**
Sweet Valley High #34: Forbidden Love, Francine Pascal**
Sweet Valley University #12: College Cruise, Laurie John**
Sweet Valley University #15: Behind Closed Doors, Laurie John**
Through Ebony Eyes: What Teachers Need to Know But Are Afraid to Ask About African American Students, Gail L. Thompson*
ttyl, Lauren Myracle**
Tunnels, Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams**
Twilight Saga: Twilight, Stephanie Meyer**
Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Stephanie Meyer**
Twilight Saga: New Moon, Stephanie Meyer**
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer**
The Uglies Trilogy: Uglies, Scott Westerfeld**
The Uglies Trilogy: Pretties, Scott Westerfeld**
The Uglies Trilogy: Specials, Scott Westerfeld**
White Teachers / Diverse Classrooms: A Guide to Building Inclusive Schools, Promoting High Expectations, and Eliminating Racism, Julie Landsman and Chance W. Lewis*
The Wish List, Eoin Colfer**
The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs
The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis**
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, Margaret Cho
Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
The Ruins, Scott Smith

Graphic Novels:
The Complete Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Bill Wellingham
Fables #10: The Good Prince, Bill Wellingham
The Killing Joke, Alan Moore
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, Alan Moore
The Sandman #1: Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman
Y: The Last Man #10: Whys and Wherefores, Brian K. Vaughn

Becoming Naomi León, Pam Muñoz Ryan**
The Corrections, Johnathan Franzen
Eldest, Christopher Paolini**
Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War, Harry Mazer**
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostovo
The Hours, Michael Cunningham
In Her Shoes, Jennifer Weiner
Kneeknock Rise, Natalie Babbitt**
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Douglas Adams
Lush, Natasha Friend**
My First Year as a Teacher, edited by Pearl Rock Kane
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Oddballs, William Sleator**
Rant, Chuck Palahniuk
Riding Freedom, Pam Muñoz Ryan**
Soundings: A Democratic Student-Centered Education, Mark Springer
What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things That Matter Most, Todd Whitaker*
Zlata's Diary, Zlata Filipovic**

italicized - in progress
bold - educational research
* - for school
** - YA