Category Archives: Library

hey, whatcha need? 2

When I was a student, I went through my days knowing that I had a place in my school building. There is no doubt that I was awkward, but I navigated the system of education with relative ease as a reader, a quick learner, and a rule-follower. These are gifts I was given because my […]

saving my life. 3

Right around the time when I was congratulating myself for having taken apart and then put back together various technology carts so that every single teacher had what they needed, all the laptops in my building died. It’s a long story involving old laptops and an operating system upgrade but the point of the story […]

lived in. 3

One of my pet peeves is when teachers tell students to be quiet because this is a library. Not anymore, I say! These days the library is a dynamic learning environment. Despite the silence you remember from your childhood (when I got in trouble at both my school library and the public library for volume […]

specificity. 5

Sacredness requires specificity. The grand esoteric themes of theology have their place, but love takes root in those specific moments when we voluntarily and intentionally enter one another’s pain. “God so loved the world” makes sense when love has a name and is lying in the manger. The Incarnation (big theological concept) comes alive in […]

saving my life. 1

In my library, we have some great new books and circulation is up for the year. There have been classes scheduled almost every day and I have helped with projects and computer issues and books on tornadoes. It’s been the best kind of busy, and I have been the good kind of tired. I do […]

god be with you. 6

“It was a long while ago that the words God be with you disappeared into the word good-bye, but every now and again some trace of them still glimmers through.” -Frederick Buechner I forget every year. I forget that the school year fizzles out nowadays. I forget that students just stop coming to school once […]

saving my life. 2

This week, I have been sick. Kleenex and cough drops and advil have been essential. My mom took care of Atticus even though I was home (I took two naps that day). But let me tell you about the poetry. I spent weeks deciding which poem I would carry on Poem in Your Pocket Day. […]

the lost sheep. 9

For the first time, I had to cut students from my Battle of the Books team. In the past, I have been lucky that the number dwindled down to the magic number of students I am allowed to take to the competition. But not this year. This year I had to choose. There was one […]

storytelling. 0

I forgot how hard it is to start at a new school, how long it takes to build those relationships with the students. I forgot how hard I worked at my old school to make sure those kids knew that I cared about them. I was used to the rhythms of affection and tough love […]

My object in living is to unite. 7

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Today I am carrying around the last stanza of Robert Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time.” But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are […]

The Maze Runner by James Dashner 2

Last year, one of the young men at my school who read The Hunger Games came up to me with a question (which I won’t put here, because it’s kind of spoilery). I couldn’t give him the answer, because it was also kind of spoilery, so we talked about it when he was done. When […]

For the end of Banned Books Week. 0

Today is the last day of Banned Books Week. I didn’t really do anything to celebrate this year. Except I have been listening to the Harry Potter series on my runs and walks around the neighborhood. Yay for access to books that other people disapprove of! Every year, I think, “Maybe next year I will […]

Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer. I think he might’ve been our only decent teacher. 6

This spring I had the very great pleasure of walking our art teacher through the Harry Potter books. Oh, the texts that she sent me as she raced through them. Oh, the conversations we had. Oh, the ways I listened to her predictions and tried to keep my not-very-good poker face. I even gave her […]

The books are whispering. 6

In the Library by Charles Simic for Octavio There’s a book called “A Dictionary of Angels.” No one has opened it in fifty years, I know, because when I did, The covers creaked, the pages Crumbled. There I discovered The angels were once as plentiful As species of flies. The sky at dusk Used to […]

Many things made me laugh today. 2

But this was the one that made me laugh the hardest. I know there are actual inspirational posters like this. But I am much more familiar with the ones from Despair.com. Which leads me to the obvious joke that this one, of course, comes from Hope.com. (What? You were totally thinking it, too. I’m just […]

I know that story, I was sitting right behind you. 3

I don’t want to jinx it, but the two classes that I am currently teaching seem a little bit less challenging than the two that I had in my last rotation. I think I am going to have some rowdy boys again, but there are rowdy boys and there are rowdy boys. I think these […]

Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours. 5

I have been in some discussions lately about censorship and freedom of speech, mostly because of those Time and NYT articles about Sarah Palin and banned books and I am not getting into all of that here because that’s not really what this blog is about. You should just know that I do care passionately […]

Of what is past, or passing, or to come. 0

When Mike was still getting up a whole lot later than I was, we put a little travel clock in the bathroom so that I wouldn’t have to open the door and disturb him with bright blinding bathroom light to know what time it was in the mornings. Now that he and I get up […]

This week by the numbers. 7

Sweaters with apples on them: 1. Sweaters with apples on them worn by me: 0. (I hope you knew this already.) Times I sang the “Jeans Day” song this morning: At least 5. (I got to wear jeans! To work!) Times before this week I have been jealous of Mike getting to wear jeans on […]

“There was never an age in which useless knowledge was more important than our own.” 3

If you’ve been around here at all to hear me talk about my high school days, you know that the thing that made them bearable was the Quiz Bowl team. Those hours spent in my school library shaped me in so many ways, and I look back on them with pure pleasure. There’s not much […]