Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Great to be a Sports Fan in New England!

Wow, how lucky are we to be fans in New England? The Red Sox didn't just win, but swept the World Series last night (allowing me to finally get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight)!! What a season and what a future we have with our young players. The Patriots are having an incredible season - 52-7, wow! Tom Brady is on pace to smash records and Randy Moss just can't miss. And lets not forget BC football (ranked #2) - what a game Thursday night against Virginia Tech. Being a BU girl I typically don't cheer for BC but since BU doesn't have a football team anymore (another topic for another time), I will gladly support the Eagles in this case. The Bruins and the Celtics are also looking good. Patrice Bergeron had a scare on Saturday but he's been released from the hospital and the prognosos is good. My kids have no idea how lucky they are. They're 10 and 8 and have both been around for two Red Sox World Series wins and three Patriots Super Bowl wins. I asked them how many Super Bowls they thought I'd seen the Patriots win and Colin said 7 or 8. He was quite surprised when I told him that I'd only seen three. Times have changed for Sox and Patriots fans. Congratulations Red Sox and Red Sox Nation!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Yesterday was a beautiful day, sunny, and in the 70s. Unfortuantly, I spent over two and a half hours of that beautiful day at the emergency room with my son, Colin. He and his brother Sean were wrestling, as boys often do, and Sean ended up pushing Colin off his bed, causing him to hit his head on his bookcase. Needless to say there was a lot of blood and it didn't take long to determine that a trip to the emergency room would be necessary. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to grab a few books before heading out. We have been reading Judy Blume's Fudge series together and were close to finishing one so I brought the next one as well. Though he wasn't up to reading himself, he was happy to have me read to him. A young girl who was also waiting to be seen moved closer so she could enjoy the story, too. We had finished Fudge-a-mainia by the time we reached the second waiting area and were well into Superfudge by the time the doctor finally arrived in the examining room. Reading these books really helped pass the time for both of us. I can't imagine how miserable he would have been if he was simply sitting in the waiting room, feeling sorry for himself, with nothing to distract him (not to mention how miserable I would have been in his company). There are many instances in our lives that require waiting and down time. I highly recommend keeping something to read with you at all times, whether in your car or in your bag, so that you can make the most of wait times. Getting your oil changed or waiting to see the dentist is much more pleasant if you can read something you enjoy at the same time. Try it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Teen Read Week

Yesterday marked the beginning of ALA's Teen Read Week with the theme of lol@yourlibrary. In keeping with this theme I thought I'd write about some funny books that I've enjoyed but it occurs to me that most of the books I read are not exactly laugh out loud funny. I know there are some, but I do tend to gravitate toward heavier subject matter. I will confess that even though it isn't meant to be a comedy, I did find myself laughing out loud at times while reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Some of the things that came out of Christopher's mouth were just hilarious! Another book that comes to mind is the Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin. Though I read this several years ago I do remember laughing out loud at some parts and crying at others. It was recently made into a movie starring Scarlett Johansson (which I did not see, so I won't comment). Jimmy Buffett's books are also entertaining and light. I really wanted to head to the tropics after reading A Salty Piece of Land. Some of his characters are outrageous. I guess I should branch out and start reading some lighter stuff. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me lighten up my reading?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Attleboro's Big Read

Like Norton's One School, One Book, program but on a much larger scale, the city of Attleboro has embarked on a reading program of its own. Called "The Big Read," this town-wide initiative has the town reading and talking about Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Bishop Feehan and Attleboro High Schools have gotten involved, as have many community groups, including the Larson Senior Center, the Attleboro Garden Club, and local churches. A variety of free activities have been developed to accompany the book, including numerous book discussions, guest speakers, and movie screenings. Though I read this book many years ago, I thought it was worth another look and I was not disappointed. The book recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, yet it is as relevent today as it ever was. This futuristic look at the dangers of censorship, the effects of mass media, and the dangers of a too powerful government (to name just a few), is particularly important today in the face of political correctness, reality TV, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you haven't read Farhenheit 451, or if like me, you haven't read it in a long time, it is well doing. Several copies are available in the Norton High School Library.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Why I Love SSR (Sustained Silent Reading)

We've been doing this SSR thing for about a month now and it seems that things have settled down a little. Students and teachers have had time to adjust to the idea and I'm hearing far fewer complaints, laments, etc. than I was hearing earlier in the year. Now I understand that change, even positive change, is often difficult and takes time. That said, let me tell you why I love SSR.

As you know, I love to read. What a treat it is to be able to do something that I already make time to do at home, in the middle of my work day! I have my SSR book that I keep here at school and I have another book that I am reading at home. I'll admit that I haven't progressed very far in my SSR book as I often have customers during this time, but I'm not complaining. I am happy to put down my book to assist students with finding books for themselves. Which leads me to another reason why I love SSR. Kids are reading more! I usually see several students per day during SSR who are returning a book that they have finished and looking for something new. Students also stop by between periods (an even better idea since it doesn't interfere with their reading time) to check out books. I realize that with homework, part-time jobs, sports, and activities, students feel crunched for time and often don't make time to read. Now that they have been given the gift of time, some kids have rediscovered their love of reading for pleasure. Hopefully facutly members are making the same discovery. If you haven't been completely converted to an SSR lover, please keep at it. Don't think of it as "one more thing I have to do," but rather, embrace this time. It's probably the only part of the school day in which you can read whatever you choose, just because...