I am a Great Aunt ('cause I am old) https://contests.washingtonian.com/contest/2017-cutest-baby-contest/entries/1669
WELCOME! I am looking forward to reading, writing, discussing, debating, laughing, celebrating, and learning right along with you. Quick--describe this class so far IN THREE WORDS. Go! Mine? Lucky Villa 13
I love Fall. I love football, colorful leaves, and crisp weather. I love the beginning of school. I love getting to know my new students. For me, Fall sounds like a high school marching band. Fall smells like pumpkin muffins right out of the oven. Fall looks like shiny sneakers and neon notebooks. It will always be my favorite season. What is yours?
You, my writers, now have an place to practice your writing. Class chat is a space for blogs and comments. Please be mindful, purposeful, and positive. Have fun.
Repeat after me: "The book is always better than the movie." Yep, it is true. Now I will admit that some movie adaptations are close...but overwhelmingly I prefer the written version. So, even though I was excited that Hollywood decided to make The Book Thief into a movie, I was a bit skeptical. It took me months to see the film, but I am glad I finally did.
The acting, casting, setting and music made the story more magical and less...harsh? The scene with Hans and Liesel walking down the basement stairs with he vocabulary on the wall made me cry (what a typical Language Arts teacher's response, right?) I especially liked Rosa in the film--probably because she seemed more human--when Liesel found her on the bed with Hans' accordion? Powerful. Max was better looking than I expected (for a dying man!) but his relationship with Liesel was just what I had imagined. And Death, who could forget his voice? Yes, the narrator sets up the film version and calmly tells his tale. It works!
For those of you who read this book, you remember the WORDS are POWERFUL theme in this novel. The movie made the words even more powerful. Well done. If you get a chance to see it, respond here so I can read what you thought.
What a talented writer John Green is--The Fault in our Stars is powerful, engaging, and emotional. The characters are teens living with terminal cancer. The topic scared me away. I didn't want to connect with these characters. But so many of you told me I had to read it...so I did. Thank you, Dana, for lending me your book. I need to buy my own copy now. It deserves a place on my shelf. As a Language Arts teacher, the reference to Shakespeare should have pulled me in right away. In his play, Julius Caesar, Cassius says to Brutus, "The fault, dear Brutus, in not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." When you guys read this play in 10th grade, come back and explain that line...I know you will understand it even better. Can we change the future? Is our life today, this day, up to us?
I grew to love Hazel, the wise-beyond-her-years bibliophile (yes, I used a stem word). I understood the love her mother had for her--a tragic love, really. And I immediately fell in love with Augustus (Gus), whose sarcastic wit and positive view on life (even his) is contagious. As their friendship turns to love (we know it before Hazel) I was rooting for a happy ending. But can there be one? There will be no spoilers here (but have kleenex close by). This is a story that will stick with you. Even I learned a thing or two about life and cannot wait to visit Amsterdam. As you probably know, the film version is planned to be released on June 6, 2014. Let's go see it as a group! Those of you reading The Book Thief for your Holocaust unit--Markus Zusak, the author, described The Fault in our Stars as "a novel of life and death and the people caught in between." Perfect description.
So here I am covered with papers to grade (yes, you guys, I do read EVERYTHING you write) and I am trying to hide from them so I can read...Divergent, by Veronica Roth. This YA novel was published in 2011. Where was I? How did it take me this long to dive into this series? I have read 135 pages in one sitting and I wish I could find time to keep reading. If you are looking for a book similar to The Giver, here it is. That same question pops up: should YOU have any real choice in how YOU live YOUR life? In this world you choose (at age 16) one of five factions...or be factionless--a fate worse than death, some say. Does every person fit into one faction? Think about it...do we, in our world, only fit into one group? I certainly hope not. But what if that is the way of the world...I will read on (as soon as I finish your essays) and keep you posted. Some of you have read this book, I am sure...what do you think?
Hero. A word that is sometimes used without thinking. What does it really mean? Who qualifies as a hero? Is a hero born or made? Our classes began talking about heroes on day one and now our first FORMAL essay is due on Tuesday. What is YOUR definition of a hero? I believe each one of you has thought about the word in a new way thanks to our tour of heroes. We studied historical heroes, everyday heroes, disney and comic book heroes, global heroes and close-to-home heroes. We debated about Lance Armstrong's rise and fall and followed Carl (UP!) through the hero's journey. We read stories, articles, and poems about heroes. Our list of heroic traits got longer and longer. The Superman cape came off.
Hero. Find one. Thank one. Inspire to be one.
"Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heoic makes heroes." -- Benjamin Disraeli