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in the hoosegow

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's still raining

We held my months and months after the fact bachelorette party this weekend. My gal an I planned to go on a boat tour on the bayou but it's been unseasonably cold and rainy lately so we changed plans and visited the Fire Museum. Unfortunately it wasn't manned by muscular hotties, but we had a good time playing on the fire equipment and pretending we were running down citizens on the way to an emergency (maybe that was just me). After some deliberation of about 5 seconds, we decided that immediate consumption of Mexican food and margaritas was in order. Our waiter, Larry, promptly provided both. Finally, we had white russians while my fill-in maid of honor quizzed me about my husband. I had to drink cardemom liqueur for each wrong answer. Luckily I got most right. Then we made up new questions and made him drink creme de menthe. I think he secretly enjoyed that, although he was afraid we would ask him embarrassing questions.

Today we drove around, trying to figure out if there are other neighborhoods we could stand to live in. We found one, but it is completely lacking in properties for sale. Weird, in this economy. We came home to take naps, do laundry and read. Did I mention it's still cold and rainy?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

give it to the giver

A parent challenged one of the books I assigned for the first time this year. The book is The Giver. It is a challenging book, and it has won multiple awards. I think it was a good choice for this class. We began the year with a book about a natural disaster, with some fairly gruesome descriptions of the aftermath of a hurricane. We also read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, which describes life of a black family in the south in the 1930s. We read Brian's Song. We just finished our unit on the Harlem Renaissance. I guess I am surprised that this is the first complaint I've received!

I felt differently about it than I expected to. I sympathize with the parents and I can't say I think they're wrong to try to shelter their daughter for a bit longer. On the other hand, I believe this is a terrific book to use for reading & responding. I'm having the kids keep a log of their "impressions" as we go along. I plan to have them write about their responses, both emotional and logical. Could that happen using another text? Certainly! Do I plan to move away from this book? Well, my dean and others might get to make that call, and that's okay with me. It's more important to me that they read something that is challenging than that they read this book. I am interested to see how this plays out.