Thursday, December 6, 2012

books and thINGs i like lately

Last week was my first full week of not student teaching (my last week was the week of Thanksgiving). I have to be honest, I was rather despondent and ridiculous last week. I missed it. By "it", I guess I mean "them"--students.  I knew I would miss it, I just never knew how much. I didn't really get much done, except for an inordinate amount of moping. It was a sad thing to behold.

However, this week, I have been able to begin enjoying my time off before the 1st of the year when I will begin subbing. Isn't it terrifying exciting??? I have finally begun to read, knit, decorate, and clean...all things I love (maybe not the cleaning, but it was me.) I have been reading though... a lot...I love it.


First of all, I read The Shack. It has been a very long time since I have read an overtly Christian book. I was reluctant to read this. A couple of students had recommended it to me and I had tried to make a point of reading anything (anything...I started a biography on Jerry Kramer...I didn't make it) that a student is excited about reading. So, with a sigh, I borrowed a copy from someone and sat down to read...

I was shocked. I expected to hate it. I expected it to be cliche, and corny, and disgustingly predictable. It was really none of those things. It was refreshing, and rich, and descriptive. William Young helped me look at the trinity and presence of God with a new perspective that changed me. A way that was able to rid itself of all the theological trappings that dried it out for me so long ago. It was beautiful and it made me remember after posts like this and this, that God is good. He is always, completely and entirely good and worth knowing. I had to read this book in digestible chunks, as it is the type of book that held a mirror up to my soul. My own doubtful and fearful soul. I loved this book.

I also read a young adult novel Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. I was surprised by this as well. It started out a little bit slow, but once I got into it, it became worthy of a book hangover--staying up so late to finish a book that the next day is a little "rough" to get through. It's a book about conformity, and love, and finding yourself in a world that wants to make you anything but. I had never really read Spinelli before, and I grew to love his style in this book as well. 


I loved this. Elf on the shelf was something which when I first heard about it years ago, seemed like a good idea. Then with the onset of Pinterest, it has become a monster. A truly terrifying, and unruly, Christmastime monster. Moms everywhere are going to great lengths to make this doll seem "alive" and mischievous in their homes with sinks full of marshmallows, and even shaving bald spots on dad's head.  This post pointed out some of this ridiculousness and made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

This. It's an interview with Barbara Kingsolver. She is the author of one of my all time favorite books, The Bean Trees. She also wrote Animal Vegetable Miracle and The Poisonwood Bible (which was on my list to read, then the dog ate my copy of it). I love (love love love!) learning about authors. I especially love when I connect so much with them. That's how I felt with this, like she is an older version of me or maybe I'm younger version of her (not that I'm saying I'm even half the writer she is). She even raises sheep, spins, and knits. Yep, we'd be BFF's if we really knew each other.

Finally, today I found out that you can get a masters degree in storytelling...yep, you heard me, storytelling!!! I had stopped by the school I student taught at to tutor (I do this on Thursday's now. It's to ward off my pathetic despondency). Today, I was invited to sit in on my old Language Arts class because they had a storyteller. She was wonderful and she made even those rough, tough football players sit on the edge of their seats and laugh out loud right along with her. It was beautiful. She also told me that although she doesn't have one, you can get a masters in storytelling. Babe, you're totally okay with moving to Tennessee so I can do this and get a degree that I'm positive will make us lots of money...right?.....right?

So there you have it, my life after student teaching (and before subbing)....