June 6, 2008

summer kickoff

Currently reading: This Boy's Life - maybe I'm on a growing-up-in-the-'50s memoir streak.

The final weeks of teaching shrank rapidly into the final days, and the finalest of the final was today. Many hugs, promises, and forgotten items that I had to walk down to the office in a gigantic bag (explaining apologetically that my kids obviously take after me) later, I opened my cards and gifts (this is always a melancholy ritual for me. Parents are so generous at the end of the year, but the kids are so heartbreakingly frank in their wording - "Thank you for everything," from a certain kid, is loaded with a year's worth of memories packed into the word everything - and every gift or card is a reminder that they've left you.) One of my students (we'll call him Milhouse van Houten) gave me a $40 Barnes & Noble gift card as a farewell / thank you ... Tonight, after a year-end-hooray-for-summer celebratory dinner (floating away on one too many mango iced teas from Chili's - I am in a state of bliss right now, despite already missing my kids), I spent it (and them some) on:

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff
Candy Girl, Diablo Cody
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Stellaluna, Janell Cannon
The Beach Ball, David Steinberg / Liz Conrad

The last two are board books - birthday gifts for Meimei, Scott's two-year-old niece. The board book edition of Stellaluna was a nice find. I was thinking that come next educator week at either of the two Big B's, I should add Janell Cannon to my classroom library. I am a huge fan of Pinduli and Verdi.

A funny aside: Normally they'd just throw all the books into one big bag, but I think the clerk couldn't bear to put Diablo Cody in the same bag as Stellaluna. So I got two medium-sized bags instead. It's okay, I felt the same way.


Lauren said...

I love This Boy's Life. Hope you're enjoying it...
If you haven't already, try "Juniper Tree Burning" by Goldberry Long. She has a similar frank style and she does incredible things with time.

damned_cat said...

I really did enjoy it - mostly Tobias Wolff's boy-as-man voice describing everything they went through.

Thanks for the comment, and the recommendation!

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