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book sale

No matter how many books I have, I cannot resist a good book sale. For the past several years, I have attended the AAUW Book Sale, which is just fantastic. I went twice…once early in the sale, when the selection was still pretty good, and then back for the bag sale on Sunday.

Bag sales are the best. $3 to fill up a paper grocery bag.

book sale

I also keep my eyes open for the local library sales. The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library has made this a lot easier, by adding this calendar to their website. (The libraries also usually have bag days on the last day of the sale!)

book sale

As an English teacher, these sales have been SUCH a huge help in building up a classroom library. I’m probably going to run out of room soon, but I can’t stop! There’s another sale at a nearby library this week, and you can bet I’m going to be there…

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A Drawing

IMG_2354.JPG

My Julius Caesar stick people theater, drawn on the board in my classroom last year. Mostly by me, with some embellishments from students here and there…

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Okay, here’s where things get *really* crazy.

If you recall, at the beginning of this week, I had zero jobs. Oh, I’d taken steps to make sure I had work–getting my name on the sub lists of the schools where I’d been working and such. I also had an interview scheduled for a long-term sub job which would have started mid-September.

On Wednesday, Rand called me to let me know there was a sudden opening for an adjunct at his school…someone backed out at the last minute, leaving an intro English section without an instructor and the department head freaking out. We talked about it a bit, and I decided that it would be a good thing for me to do. Since classes start Monday, I had to jump right away to get paperwork in and such. (And also get to work on my syllabus, which is, um, not finished.)

So, one! One job! Ah-ah-ah.

Then, yesterday, I got a call from the principal at a school where I interviewed earlier this summer. It was a great interview, and while I was the #2 candidate, they did select someone else for the position. Well, that person took another job this week, and the department chair (who wanted to hire me in the first place) suggested that the principal call me to see if I was still available. And lo, I was indeed!

This position is another 1-year job, but rumor has it that this one has an excellent chance of becoming permanent. I’ll be teaching 9th and 12 grade English (Regents). I’ve taught much of the 9th grade material and some of the 12th grade material before.

Two! Two jobs! Ah-ah-ah.

This is my life. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to freaking out just a little bit about all of this, but I’m very excited too. I visited my classroom yesterday (I met with dept. chair to pick up some materials), and for the first time ever, I’ve got a completely blank slate. I can do whatever I want, and make it totally mine.

So, if anyone knows where I can get some free or cheap classroom decorations (posters and such) please let me know! ;)

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Things I’m bored with:

  • The crowd booing Simon every time he speaks on American Idol
  • Ryan Seacrest
  • Almost all of the posts on TV Squad and EW Popwatch lately
  • Almost all of the people who comment on said posts
  • Trying to make sophomores appreciate understand Julius Caesar

Things that are awesome:

  • That you can order Dr Pepper made with cane sugar (instead of HFCS) online
  • People who write hilarious reviews/recaps of Twilight
  • Pre-ordering Seanan’s book at Amazon
  • Life on Mars and Lost
  • Brian Dunkelman on My Name is Earl
  • Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert, no matter what the internet says
  • Having internet friends who will stop at Staples for you and mail you purple pens
  • The massage I got last night (if anyone needs a recommendation for a massage therapist in the area, let me know!)


Tidbits

Oct. 6th, 2008 05:11 pm
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Well, my general blogging malaise is still with me, but I’m poking in to share a few brief things.

Don’t forget to stop by this post and let me know who you are!

I’ve tried to deal with the sluggish loading problem by removing some things from my sidebar. It seems to have helped a bit. If I ever get the energy, I might try a new theme and clean things up even more. Or, I might just move the whole thing over to wordpress so I don’t have to deal with all of the pain-in-the-butt issues that come withh hosting my own blog. Meh, I don’t know.

I’ve been baking a lot lately. It seems to be my current way of dealing with stress/creative outlet. I’ve taken a bunch of pictures, which I will one day upload. I’ll post recipes, too. My most recent successes have been breads. I made a pumpkin bread last week that was yummy, but for the fact that it got a teeny bit overcooked around the edges. And yesterday, I made a (white) batter bread that is also pretty tasty.

I’m a little bummed out about this whole Channel 4/Time Warner thing because of How I Met Your Mother. Thank goodness for the Internet, eh? I’m not likely to hop ship to a satellite service, because our cable comes with our condo association membership. Maybe this whole thing will be settled soon. Until then, iTunes will be my best friend.

I have watched none of Heroes (we watched 10 minutes into the premiere and got a little bored) or Chuck. Rand and I did watch Dirty Sexy Money last week, which we both continue to love.

I’ve now read most of A Raisin in the Sun, but have not yet started Of Mice and Men. I’d better get on that, as my class will be starting it later this week. (has anyone seen the recent version of A Raisin in the Sun w/Sean Combs aka Puffy or Puff Daddy or Diddy, or whatever name he’s using these days? I haven’t. Just curious.)

Okay, I need to step away from the computer now. Hope everyone’s having a happy Monday!

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I have to read both A Raisin in the Sun and Of Mice and Men within the next week.

We have open house tonight.

Interim grades have to be in tomorrow, and I still have a bunch of essays to grade.

I wrote six discipline referrals today.

Thankfully, I’m giving a test in two of my classes tomorrow…that should be a good opportunity for me to get some things accomplished.

In other news…I received an issue of The Martha (TM: Eden) in my mailbox yesterday, courtesy of Jen! ;)

I’ve been told to keep watching my mailbox, so who knows what the mailman will bring me next? Stay tuned, and thanks, Jen!

Reading

Aug. 28th, 2008 05:15 pm
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

I am positively overwhelmed by reading material right now.

Last week, in anticipation of the beginning of school, I ordered Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnne Johnson. (LouAnne Johnson is the teacher who wrote the book that inspired the movie Dangerous Minds.) So far, it’s fantastic.

I also received a slightly belated birthday package from Stephanie, which included Dead Until Dark, the first book in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series, as well as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

I bought a few books at the Scholastic Sale that I would like to read, including an Anna Quindlen novel I was unaware of.

Rand ordered me some cool books from Canada–a series of YA novels by Sean Cullen. You may recognize Sean from Last Comic Standing.

Or, if you’re like me, you may know him as a member of Corky and the Juice Pigs.

At any rate, his humor is weird and utterly hilarious. I’m very much looking forward to the books.

On top of all the reading I’d like to do for fun, of course, I have the required school reading…among the books I’ll be teaching this year:

  • A Raisin in the Sun (familiar with, but have never read)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (yay! one of my favorites!!)
  • Lord of the Flies (read, but it was a while ago)
  • Night (read)
  • Of Mice and Men (never read. saw the movie back in college)
  • American Born Chinese (haven’t read yet, but very excited about this!)
  • Romeo and Juliet (again, yay!)
  • Julius Caesar (um…yay?)

I did my master’s project on teaching Shakespeare to high school students, and just about every scholar agrees that Julius Caesar should be ditched from the high school curriculum. Apparently no one is listening. Ah well…I’ll do my best to make it interesting, and promise not to make them memorize and recite “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…” (which is the ONLY thing I remember about reading this play in high school. seriously.)

Hmmm…overwhelmed much? ;) In all seriousness, though, I’m beyond excited about this job. And I’ll try my best to squeeze in some reading for pleasure among all the edumacational stuff. ;)

Well, I guess I’d better get to work!

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Seriously, this day needs a do-over.

It started out just fine…except for the fact that I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, and so I did NOT want to get up.

I had a 9 a.m. appointment with the superintendent, where I was *officially* told that I have the job (of course, pending board approval…).

I don’t think I’ve talked about this online, but my provisional certificate expires at the end of January. I had to apply for an extension, but of course it will take weeks and weeks before it actually goes through. On the up side, I will be able to apply for my permanent certificate at the end of the year.

New York State certainly doesn’t make it easy to ask questions of an actual live human being regarding teacher certification. There’s a local office at BOCES in West Seneca, but they apparently don’t take phone calls. Or voice mails. One phone number directs you to another phone number, which directs you to an email, which takes a good week to get a response to. Sigh.

Where was I? Oh, yeah…after the meeting with the superintendent, I went into my classroom for a bit…I’m still trying to organize, and get some things ready for next week. As I was typing up my course outlines, I realized how strange it felt to be calling myself “Mrs.” to me, Mrs. feels old. Matronly. It made me wish that Ms. had caught on as it was originally intended…to be the female equivalent of Mr. and not have a married vs. unmarried distinction. Eh. Whatever.

Came home and decided to try a new recipe in 500 Cupcakes. I spent WAY too much time and energy trying to make this recipe work properly. Something about tempering eggs. Gah. I went through nearly a dozen eggs (counting the one I dropped on the floor) and wasted a cup and a half of honey.

Thankfully, the resulting cupcakes are tasty. I took some pics, and will share sometime later. And what the heck…I learned something new.

My afternoon brightened when I got a package from Amazon containing some birthday goodies from Stephanie! Yay!

I was going to blog a bit about the weekend, but I’m out of blogging energy. ;)

I have new teacher orientation tomorrow and Wednesday. Woohoo! Here’s hoping I’m well-rested and a whole lot less cranky!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Life has been busy lately, and I’ve been online for only short spurts of time…I keep having to read 3 pages worth of twitter updates at once, and I have 663 unread items in my RSS reader! So if you’ve sent me an email, or left me a comment and I haven’t responded, don’t feel bad. I’m just a slacky slacky slacker. ;)

I now feel confident that I can let you all know one wee bit of exciting news–I have a job for this school year! It’s a long-term job, filling in for a teacher who is taking a full year of maternity leave. Orientation will take place next week, but I’ve been going in this week working on prepping my classroom.

For those of you who read the protected post, I decided to drop the community college stuff, at least for this semester. I spoke with the department secretary, who told me to just let her know if I want to teach in the spring. I just felt it would be too overwhelming to try and do it all right now. Truthfully, I’m kind of relieved at the prospect of having my evenings free!

(Aside…I wandered off in the middle of writing this blog post. I swear, sometimes I really do think I have low-level ADHD…)

Today, after attending SmartBoard training (whee!) I went out to the Scholastic warehouse sale (goes through Saturday, I think) and bought $30 worth of books I didn’t need. ;) I did, though, manage to replace my copy of Speak, which went missing last year. I suspect an 8th grader.

I’ve been doing a bit of reading here and there…if you follow me on twitter, you know that I recently finished Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, and that I loved it. Fantastic. I’ll have to do an update on what I’ve read since the last time I posted about what I’ve read sometime soon. ;)

Watching lots of the Olympics, of course. Some quick stream-of-consciousness thoughts:

watching the Olympics with TiVo is excellent

I love Bela Karyoli

I don’t love the new gymnastics scoring system

I cried when Nastia Liukien and Shawn Johnson won gold and silver in the all-around competition

I didn’t know synchronized diving existed until this year

why is there so much beach volleyball on prime time?

I realized that the last time I watched the (summer) Olympics with any regularity was 1996…y’know, Kerri Strug and all. Rand and I realized that summer 2004 was when we were first spending a lot of time together. 2000? I dunno. I might have been on vacation?

I think I probably had more Olympic-related thoughts, but they’ve flown away.

I’ll leave you with me, age 12, desperately wanting to be Mary Lou Retton (and not succeeding!):

eringmynast

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Mind you, I’m not complaining. For one, it seems that the weather is finally starting to cooperate, at least somewhat. For another, it means only 11 1/2 days more of *classes* to go (they still have exams after that, but my life will be much easier).

By the way, it turns out that I’m going to be at this job until the official end of the school year. As long as they’re paying me, I can’t complain. ;)

I just don’t know where the time has gone is all. Finally, the fact that it is June 2 means that THERE ARE ONLY 40 DAYS LEFT UNTIL THE WEDDING.

40 DAYS!

I am excited beyond words. I am also mildly panicking about the things still left to do. I’ll post more about the to-do list over at the wedding blog…

I also need to do the TC newsletter, which I always, always without fail, put off until the last moment. Ah, procrastination.

We had a nice weekend, which those of you who follow me on Twitter already know included seeing Iron Man. I loved it! I also watched the Lost finale, which I thought was very good. (One scene in particular had me weeping tears of joy. Those of you who watched it know which one!)

Slowly but surely, we are ridding the new place of boxes and putting things away. It feels really good…

And that is all. One more class to go for me, and I’m outta here. Enjoy the rest of your Monday! :)

Big day!

May. 14th, 2008 11:11 am
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

We are closing on the town house today! Well, technically, Rand is closing on the town house today. ;)

We’ll pick up the keys tomorrow and begin the process of moving in. Movers are coming to move our furniture and boxes and boxes of books next week.

This is so exciting!!!

I have two more trips to make out to the college to give back portfolios and turn in my grades. One class is completely done. The other class is almost done. I will most certainly be finished with my grades by this evening. Whew!

Today, I had to enter interim grades for the middle school students. It wasn’t difficult, but it’s always a challenge learning new programs. Thankfully, there’s always someone around I can ask for help!

I’ve seen several English jobs posted for next year, and I’ve been applying for them…keep your fingers crossed for me! There’s actually a job at the school where I’m working now, but I’m not certified. (It’s a 6th grade position, and I do not have the grade 5-6 extension. If only I had known how frequently that would come up…)

Okay, I should get back to work…happy hump day!

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Today and tomorrow are my last college classes for the semester. I still need to grade a bunch of stuff and meet with students briefly next week to give them back their work and discuss their final grades with them. Then I turn in the grades, and I’m done!

I just found out that I will not be teaching a summer session this year. I was only available for one class–an evening class during the first session–and they weren’t able to give me that class. I couldn’t take any day classes, obviously, because of my current long-term job, and I couldn’t do session II because of the wedding/honeymoon.

Time-wise, I’m fine with that. Financially, though…this is going to make things tricky for me for July and August. I’m pretty sure that the part time work I’ve been doing for the past two summers is not available this year, but I’m going to check to make sure.

So if anyone knows of anything, please give me a holler. I don’t think I can bear to do the temp agency thing again.

Other than that, I’m consumed with moving tasks and wedding tasks. Soon, I will be able to breathe again…

TGIF

Apr. 25th, 2008 10:18 am
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Halfway through the last day of my first week. It’s going fine…the end of April is a weird time to come in to a classroom. Spring fever has hit–hard–and so it’s going to be difficult for anyone to keep a class under control. But overall, I really can’t complain. I’m reading The House on Mango Street with my 8th graders, and they seem to be liking it so far.

Yeah, I know I haven’t been blogging much…it’s not even so much a matter of time as it is a matter of mental energy. I updated the wedding blog this week, and I regularly update my twitter feed . (You can see my most recent tweets on my sidebar, too.)

Met up with Jen last night for dinner and margaritas at Cozumel, and that was great. :)

Tonight, Ookla and The Fibs are playing at Nietzche’s. It’s an early one–I believe the show starts at 6, and Ookla will go on around 8. I’ll be there, if anyone would like to come by!

That’s it for me. Happy Friday!

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So today was my first day at my new job. It went very well, but I’m beat. Not so much because the work was so exhausting, but because I didn’t sleep very well last night, and I got up way early so that I could get in and get settled. Other than some technical issues, which will hopefully be resolved tomorrow, all is well.

Over the weekend, we saw a couple of movies. Friday night, we went out to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which I found very funny. (there was that one moment when I cried, though…darn Kristen Bell…) Saturday, we finally watched Enchanted, which has been sitting here since it was released on DVD. Squee! Loved it.

We’ve also been (re)watching the third season of Arrested Development, which is always fun.

Traded in another box of CDs for store credit…we went to Record Theatre, then to FYE with the stuff they wouldn’t take. I got a copy of Duma Key out of the deal, which I hope to find some time to read, uh, sometime.

And since I’m barely focusing at this point (seriously, I keep getting distracted by shiny things. it’s taking me way too long to finish this lame update entry), I’m going to call it a night and go do something that involves, like, zero brain cells.

Later!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Whenever I start writing “a little bit of…” I always start singing “Mambo #5″ in my head. Is it wrong for me to kind of like that song? ;)

Ahem. Anyway, it’s been a busy week. Grading? Almost done…yeah, yeah, I’ve got class in an hour and a half. What’s your point? I’ve ventured out of the apartment to grade papers a couple of times this week. Yesterday, I walked down the street to Starbucks and got myself a sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte, sat with my shiny new iPod (which I did find a wee bit of time to play with this week–more on that later) and graded papers. It was most productive.

While I was at Starbucks, a random guy came up to me to tell me that he liked my hair!

“I love girls with short hair,” he said, “and I just had to tell you that yours is adorable.”

Aww. *Blush*

He also said that he noticed I had a ring and figured I was engaged. “Yeah,” I said. “I am.”

“That figures,” he said. Then he told me to have a great day, and left. I feel for the guy…I’ve totally been there…but random compliments are never a bad thing!

Today, I spent some time grading at Caffe Aroma before meeting Rand for lunch. We went to Tru Teas on Elmwood, which is a really cute place. I’d love to go there for high tea sometime! (I’ve been to high tea exactly once–in Scotland) I had the ginger carrot soup and an order of hummus with flatbread. Yummy!

Today, I had my manicure and pedicure. While I was having my toes done, I spent some time rereading The House on Mango Street, which I’m going to start teaching next week. I have, so far, made zero progress on preparing lessons.

And, I think I can talk about this now publicly…Rand and I are going to be closing on a town house in approximately a month. Can we talk about how crazy I’m going to be for the next couple of months? Teaching? Moving? Planning a wedding? Ack! Good thing I’ve got yoga to keep me somewhat grounded and sane. (Being back in class this week was awesome, and I SO needed it.)

Okay, I have to run. These last few papers aren’t gonna grade themselves…

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Gah.

Where’s the vacation part of this week? Hmmm? Sigh. Here’s what’s on my to-do list:

1. Write TC article due tomorrow (this is pretty much done, but may need some tweaks…)

2. Work on invitations (I’ve done a little bit. the reply cards are gonna be a nightmare, b/c the printer doesn’t seem to want to print them straight)

3. Work on getting a final for-real guest list including all necessary contact info.

4. Grade a bunch of papers (*weep*)

5. Get together w/my little b/c it’s her birthday this week.

6. Plan lessons and gather materials for next week.

7. Go to two yoga classes, b/c I missed last week.

8. Get a mani/pedi.

9. Wash springy-summery clothes I took out of storage.

10. Play with iPod.

11. Walk every day.

I’ve about given up hope of ever catching up on the blog posts I meant to write…but I have uploaded photos!

That’s all for now. Happy Monday!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

So, I’m in the middle of writing my article for Toasted Cheese which needs to be ready to go up on the site, oh, Tuesday. Procrastination is bad. ;)

The weekend has been lazy and generally relaxing. This is a good thing. Rand and I talked about going out to a movie, but didn’t see anything that we wanted to go out for. We want to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but that isn’t out until next week. Ah well.

We found ourselves in possession of a wee bit of extra disposable cash, so we went out to eat several times this weekend. Yesterday, we went to May Jen, and I had the yumtastic ginger garlic chicken. And we have leftovers, which will probably be eaten tonight. Mmmm…leftovers.

We’re in the process of decluttering, and took a couple of boxes of CDs and DVDs to trade in. We spent way too much time doing that today! While we were in F.Y.E., I asked a salesperson what music was playing. It turned out to be a new release called Unfold by Marie Digby, which I just decided I need to buy on iTunes. (only 6.99, and I still had some credit left from a gift certificate Samantha gave me for Christmas. Yay, me!)

Rand bought the full Northern Exposure box set with his credit. We also traded in a bunch of CDs at Record Theater and bought a few new things with the credit (and we still have a bunch of credit left). Sadly, we have a small selection of stuff nobody wanted. Sniff.

I still have some photos from Rand’s birthday that I have yet to post…I treated him to dinner at Marinaccio’s, a place neither of us had ever been. We both enjoyed our meals very much. More on that soon. Besides the dinner, I (with contributions from both our parents) bought Rand a new iPod…he wanted one with more space. So guess who else gets a new (slightly used) iPod? ;) Of course, now I have to go through the process of getting what I want onto the iPod. Oh, the trials.

I also have some photos of my pretty, shiny new earrings that people who follow me on twitter heard about yesterday. They will be posted soon.

Oh, and that long-term sub job I mentioned at the beginning of last week? I got it. Since it’s a shorter period of time than my other job (and in a different district), there are no benefits…but it is steady work, great experience, and a wee bit more money than I’d be making as just a day-to-day sub. I went in on Friday to shadow the teacher I’m filling in for and meet the kids and my soon-to-be coworkers. It seems like it’s going to be great, and I’m very happy to have the experience. This week is spring break, so I’ll be starting a week from tomorrow. :D

More? I’m sure there is, but I should probably get back to work…hope you’re having an excellent weekend!

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Blah. I hate this cold, rainy, grey, yucky crap.

Also, I kind of miss BufBloPoFo. I liked having a predetermined topic every day, particularly when I’m feeling so blah.

I’ve been working a lot, and that’s a good thing.

I’m currently at the college, waiting for students who had scheduled appointments with me to show up. Sigh.

(Aaaaand…they didn’t show. Figures. I’m out of here…)

Yeah, I’m grumpy. Here’s hoping the sun shows itself soon…

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

So, I remembered that the Depew School Board meeting was last night, so I had to check the paper to see what happened. As expected, a bunch of people showed up to talk about John Green’s book, Looking for Alaska. Some of them were in favor, others were opposed. the board will review the book and make a decision next month.

Reading this story made me SO HAPPY that I am no longer required to attend school board meetings. I did this back in PA for a couple of years, and briefly covered Sweet Home for the News.

Of course, one of the people who showed up to bash the book was a member of the taxpayers association:

Jan Wiercioch of the Depew Taxpayers Association called the novel “disgusting.”

Back in my hometown, we always had a member of the taxpayers association ON the school board. “Taxpayers Association” should be code for “I’m a raving lunatic.” Basically, his job was to make sure that the district never spent money on anything. Seriously, I think that guy voted no to everything that came before him.

My favorite quote was this one, though, from a parent:

“Would any of you read this aloud at a board meeting?” Miller asked the seven-member board. “What’s next? Free condoms and unisex showers?”

Incidentally, this was from the parent of a 9th grader. The book is being proposed for 11th grade English.

I cannot wait to read this book.

Don’t forget to visit John Green’s webpage.

PORN!

Feb. 2nd, 2008 03:19 pm
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Ah, now that I have your attention…

I’m wondering if anyone in the local blogosphere has picked up on this. It’s getting a lot of attention on the book/YA lit blogs I read. I first caught it on Meg Cabot’s journal, and I just saw it on Cecil Castellucci’s LJ.

The story is that some teachers at Depew High School wanted to teach John Green’s book Looking for Alaska. (I haven’t read the book, but it’s now at the top of my to-read list) Because the book does deal with some potentially touchy issues (SEX! he talks about SEX!) they jumped through all the proper hoops…sent permission slips home, offered students the opportunity to read another book if their parents did not sign the slip.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Parents of kids who aren’t even in the class are trying to get the book pulled. Because it’s apparently “pornographic.” It’s filthy and evil. *eyeroll*

The author addresses the situation here, as well as on this video on YouTube:

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