Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm a History Geek says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Thanks Library Girl!

Those Dead White Guys....

Really did know what they were doing .

Last week was “Constitution Week”. Believe it or not,, all public school students must be exposed to the Preamble of the Constitution on or about September 17th. It’s the law. While I love history I don’t like teaching The Constitution in September. It’s to early in the year for 5th grade, who are still discovering America and the little ones are still struggling with The Pledge of Allegiance.

However, Congress decided they solved all of our problems and having nothing better to do mandated Constitution Day a couple of years ago. To ensure it’s done my principal delegates it to me since I see all the classes.

This year I tried something new – I turned my Mr. Magoo puppet into James Madison and had him “read” a new book by Picture Window called “The U.S. Constitution. Actually, he paraphrased it, since parts of it were totally over everyone’s head.

It turned out rather well – the kids loved the puppet – even the 5th graders who think they are to sophisticated for puppets. James of course did quite a bit of improvisation depending on the grade level he was addressing. James’s voice got hoarser and hoarser as the day went on and James’s alter ego went home exhausted.

James read and explained the Preamble some 40+ times. It is one outrageous statement. Those Founding Fathers weren’t staid, conservative, white men. They were wild eyed radicals intent on creating a form of government like no other. They did it too. And did it well.

I do wonder, if in this post 9/11 World if our current Congress would ever manage to pass it, shoudl it ever have to come up for a vote again?

I do know that if they did our current President would veto it in a heartbeat.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Houston, We Have Found the Motherlobe

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad garage sale day till the last sale – which was not advertised and we almost didn’t go to – my friend was hot and my friend was tired.

“Let’s just do this one, it’s only a few blocks away. I said. Then we can call it a day”.

It’s almost noon. Old house in the “arty part” of Houston. Sale was in the back, in a garage apartment occupied by a self proclaimed ‘natural healer & herbiest”. We walk up and there are 2 big tables piled with books. Big, thick fat books. Books without dust jackets and shiny picture covers. Books published by Gulf, Mosby, Wiley & Academic Press. I scan the first 3 and suddenly have $600 worth of inventory in my hand. We each fill up 2 boxes.

“Folks just give me books” says the guy, “ I need to clear them out, in fact just threw some away, go look”. I lift the lid of the trash can and pull out the first book - $250. Gives new meaning to the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

“Got more inside – you want to go look? “. Is the Pope Catholic?

2 hours later my friend calls her husband to come and pick her up – there isn’t enough room in my car for all the books.

I have 12 boxes of academic, technical and medical books, all of which I scanned. Most rank in 2,000,000 and up but for those prices they can sit and wait for a buyer

I paid: $100!

My friend has the same. And paid the same.

The “Profits” screen of my Axim read $10,000+ when we’d finished.

On my way home I stopped at a sandwich shop next to Half Price Books to grab a bite to eat.

For some odd reason I had no desire at all to go inside and check out the Clearance Shelf.

I wonder why?

P.S. We went back twice during the week and bought still more books.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

13 Reasons I Love My Job

Thirteen Things I Like About My Job

1. Kids (well most of the time)
2. I get paid to read aloud
3. I have a ironclad excuse to buy puppets, kid lit & lava lamps
4. There is a ready made appreciative audience for any new cake recipes I want to try out.
5. Computers to play with and on
6. Long holiday breaks
7. Wonderful staff
8. Even more wonderful principal
9. 10 commute
10. Outstanding leadership from our library director and staff
11. A new and different project ever year
12. Never the same and never boring
13. Getting paid to do what I’d do for free!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Reading, Reading, Reading

Many eons ago my district somehow started receiving review copies. They are still arriving, though not in the numbers they once were. Any librarian who is willing to read one and write a short (25 words) review gets to keep it for their library. Hey, I can read for books - such a deal!

Oddly, not everyone jumps at this chance - a couple of years ago our Library Director had to insist that everyone read at least 10. A librarian who doesn't want to read? Maybe they should re-think their profession.

The reviews are due on Wednesday so this weekend I underwent a reading marathon. One problem with selling books is that one doesn't have nearly as much time to read them as one would like.

This weekend it rained. And I read. And read. And Read.

Some good books, some bad books and some really bad books. Children's literature is all about graphic novels and fantasy these days. Neither genre appeals to me but I plowed on. Picture books are featuring computer generated art and after a bit all the illustrations start to look alike. All the children have abnormally big heads, stick legs and bug eyes.

The most memorable: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It reminds me of ,The Giver, both have an ending that stays with me way longer than I like.

Book I most enjoyed: Shelter - a book that brings home "many people are just one paycheck away from a homeless shelter". Laura should read it to George.

Book I never want to read again: Hot Dog and Bob - if this had any redeeming virtues they certainly escaped me.

Latest trend - precocious 2nd or 3rd grade girls - all of which are a carbon copy of Ramona Quimby. And like all carbon copies they are fuzzy and blurry and not nearly as sharp as the original.