Easter

2013/03/30

These colored eggs are much prettier than the giant heap of crawfish we consumed a few hours prior. Yay Easter. Good weekend.

Half the Sky

2013/03/29


Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women WorldwideHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a book. Parts of it were really difficult to stomach. Even though I thought the authors were very reasoned and not at all sensational in their reporting, the realities are just completely staggering and hard to fathom in their scope. I really liked how they alternated between hard facts and anecdotes. I also appreciated the measured tone of the book and the ultimately hopeful ending. It really made me think of morality in a much larger way than my middle class American conservative upbringing.


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The Signal and the Noise

2013/03/26


The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don'tThe Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't by Nate Silver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am a little conflicted about this book. Parts of it were hugely interesting and thought provoking, but I felt like he continually repeated his point and could have benefited from some editing. Listening to it without the benefit of all of the charts and graphs contained in the book made it a little dry. I find his measured tone hugely refreshing and satisfying even if it doesn't knock your socks off.


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Hello

2013/03/25

Hello little blog. I realize it's been awhile. I'm guessing you can see here in my face why. I am tired. And unfortunately at an age where it is markedly apparent at the end of every day just how stretched thin I am.

But still happy. The tired is a good one most days. I'm having trouble getting back in the groove after a glorious but non-restful spring break where SXSW and I had intimate relations. I feel like the remainder of the school year will be a real life application modeling exponential decay functions. (Algebra humor there folks, indulge me.)

A friend asked me the other day how teaching is going and every time I try to answer that question I find it more difficult. The only word I can find that is adequate is all-consuming. Good or bad just doesn't cut it. But then again, I've never been good at short answers anyway.

Teacher Man

2013/03/03


Teacher ManTeacher Man by Frank McCourt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a great and satisfying book for where I'm at right now. I love Frank McCourt and who knows why it took me this long to read the third of his memoirs. But thick in the middle of my first year of teaching it hit the spot it ways I can't fully articulate.

What I loved:
His honesty. It has been so long since I read his first two that I forgot how much I love his writing style. But especially applied to the crucible of teaching, it was just exactly what I needed. He lays it out in a very refreshing way.

What I learned:
That I'm not alone. That it's just the nature of the beast to never feel completely sufficient for the task.

A favorite passage:
I didn't always love teaching. I was out of my depth. You're on your own in the classroom, one man or woman facing five classes every day, five classes of teenagers. One unit of energy against one hundred and seventy-five units of energy, one hundred and seventy-five ticking bombs. And you have to find ways of saving your own life. They may like you, they may even love you, but they are young and it is the business of the young to push the old off the planet. I know I'm exaggerating but it's like a boxer going into the ring or a bullfighter into the arena. You can be knocked out or gored and that's the end of your teaching career. But if you hang on you learn the tricks. It's hard but you have to make yourself comfortable in the classroom. You have to be selfish. The airlines tell you if oxygen fails you are to put on your mask first, even if your instinct is to save the child.



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Haircut

2013/03/02

Sylvie has had short hair most of her life so cutting off her locks feels about right. Cutie.

The Night Circus

2013/03/01


The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book. Not without its flaws, but just a great story taken as a whole. The setting and premise were unique and kept me interested throughout the novel. Draws you in in the best of ways.

What I loved:
Just getting caught up in a good yarn. I feel like this book hit the sweet spot between candy and substance.

What I learned:
Reading is fun.


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Run

I've been opting to sleep rather than wake up and run all week, mostly out of laziness and exhaustion. But as my lethargy and headaches increased instead of decreased as the week marched on I knew I needed to get back. Despite the dark and cold, this morning I remembered how good it feels to move the body.

Cinnamon was thrilled.