January 19, 2013

Just Checking In

It's feels that it's been ages since I wrote a post. Or visited friends. Or left any meaningful mark whatsoever in Blogland. Not sure that this post will be that meaningful, it's more of an update. A state of the blog, if you will.

As of tomorrow, my son will be in San Diego for one week. We did receive a brief call from him last Tuesday that went something like this:

"THIS*IS*MARINE*RECRUIT*HATCH*BAUM*CALLING*TO*SAY*I'VE*ARRIVED*SAFELY*IN*SAN*DIEGO*YOU*SHOULD*RECEIEVE*A*LETTER*IN*THREE*TO*FIVE*BUSINESS*DAYS*I*LOVE*YOU*GOOD*BYE"

shouted at the top of his lungs in about five seconds flat. There was more, I'm sure, but that was all I could catch. My husband and I were trying to absorb his words and shout, "I love you, too!" into the phone, while wondering who it was, really, that we were talking to.

Amazingly enough, I have peace. It's good to see him follow his dreams, become independent, pursue something honorable and difficult. It's too easy to take an easy road. To settle for less than what you sought. Monday will be only the beginning of week two, but I'm proud of him for seeking to become a Marine.

What else...oh, yes. I've encumbered myself with gadgets. It isn't enough that I had a first generation Nook, a Simple Touch Nook, and then bought the Nook HD. No, I had to return the later and buy an iPad mini.  I think the iPad mini by itself would be a wonderful tool, but it's conflicting with my iPhone and my nooks to the point that now I don't know what I want to read on. Or play on. At this point, the best thing for me to do is return to real paper and ink for awhile.

School did its best to bury us all with paper and ink this week as we filled in data on the children's progress. I won't even go into the bureaucratic mess that teaching's become except to say that it coincides with the bureaucratic mess my husband faces every day as the IT director at our county, and the bureaucratic mess my father faced this week in renewing his real estate broker licence. We're living in a land of bullshit synonymous with government and I'm not even going to apologize for swearing out loud here.

As for reading, I'm proud of myself for finishing four whole books so far this month. I must be on a roll because now I'm so enjoying The Strange Case of Origami Yoda with my class, Where The Mountain Meets the Moon for our One Book, One School selection, and Tad Crawford's A Floating Life. More on these titles later, but for now I'm relieved to have found my reading groove again. It's been too long.

24 comments:

  1. as long as he has his marbles...

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    1. I love you. I've got marbles. Good-bye.

      p.s. What do strangers look like?

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  2. Glad all's well with your son, and impressed with you for embracing the technology. My (original) Nook is still serving my needs (such as they are) but my office mate has a Kindle Fire and she watches Downton Abbey when she's eating her lunch, if she's not reading on it. I try not to be jealous. I really do.

    P.S. We're going to read The Age of Innocence together, don't forget, so Edith (and more Edith) is on our mutual horizon. I'm surprised by how refreshing she is, after all the Victorians and Henry J.

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    1. Oh, yes! When are we aiming for The Age of Innocence? I believe it's the 27th of January or so? I'll take it down from my shelf. As for watching Downton Abbey, I wonder if that's from Netflix or if she just streams it in...I have a free trial for Netflix which I'm pretty sure I won't let go. I love watching film

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    2. ...s on my iPad. Even if I can't seem to leave a comment with it very well.

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  3. I'm glad you've made peace with your son's decision. I know he'll make himself (and you) proud.

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    1. I think The Lord helps me so much with the peace aspect. But, one ultimately must decide to accept life as it comes or fight it, and I think it's much better to accept.

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  4. Congrats on the iPad mini and all the new options for reading. Hope you will get to visit your son and San Diego this winter. The weather is always good!

    A Floating Life sounds like my kind of book. Welcome back.

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    1. Harvey, I am crazy about A Floating Life. I'll probably finish it this weekend so I can give a full report.

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  5. "Little" check-ins mean a lot! I also have a new toy, an iPad mini, and aside from watching some TV on it (through Netflix), I'm not quite sure how I'll use it yet.

    Bellezza, enjoy the long weekend, and the extra time for reading (hopefully).

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    1. I actually prefer to watch movies on my iPad than read on it. When it comes to ereaders I like my Simple Touch best. It's small and slim and not like a computer screen.

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  6. I've been playing with my new Gadget also, & am loving my Nexus 7, all the best for you & your family.

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    1. My father has a Nexus phone which I hope is not similar to your tablet. None of us can figure out how to use it beyond answering the phone when it rings. :)

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  7. God, I know what you mean about the "bureaucratic mess that teaching's become". Almost every child in my house had progress tests last week that put way too much pressure on everyone. I can just imagine all the forms you have to fill out and test-taking you had to give. Remember the days of less paperwork and teachers had the support they needed to do their jobs?

    I've been curious about The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. I have an eight-year-old. Do you think he would enjoy it?

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    1. Any grade earlier than high school is too soon for all that testing in my opinion. I tell the kids it's to see how I'm teaching, which, in a large part it is. And I'm not scared of any bureaucratic machine; I'm just annoyed by it!

      As to Origami Yoda the post will be coming soon. My class is 8 and 9 years old and they LOVE it! I thought it would be a little old for them, but no, we made origami finger puppets to hold during read aloud and everyone is entranced by the stories.

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  8. I think we can embrace technology for teaching.

    I'm glad your son is safe.

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    1. Our district is beginning a BYOT (bring your own technology) curriculum which is quite necessary not only for information but so that we don't have to keep policing everyone's phones.

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  9. So many reading options! I've been on an e-reading kick for a very long time, but I've had a return to good ole paper lately, too. Looking forward to your thoughts on Origami Yoda!

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    1. There area many good things about ereaders, eh? Such as holding it in one hand with a beverage in the other, or having 300+ books in one slim case.

      As I told Vasilly, Origami Yoda rocks! :)

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  10. I've been pondering about whether I need to buy an ipad mini since I have an iphone and a macbook... But I figured I should make some headway into my TBR before I reward myself.^^ Origami Yoda looks amazing!

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    1. I think you're wise, Sakura. There does come a point, at least for me, where enough gadgets are enough. I'm a bit nostalgic for the days when I didn't have one of them. Do the benefits outweigh the time suck? One can only hope so...

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  11. I'm so glad you checked in ;) I'm sure your son will be fine and I think its amazing that he wants to serve his country. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to accept his decision, but I think you are doing amazingly well with it. Congrats on the iPad mini - how cool! I'm more of a kindle gal, but I have been debating getting at iPad. Of course, as many kindles as I have, I still tend to read my tangible books even more now. As far as your reading goes - wow! That is awesome! I've been reading up a storm lately, too and I love it! Must be the new year ;) Take care, Bellezza!!

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  12. Good for you for letting him go. It's so incredibly hard, isn't it? And yet there is no other sane or healthy option but to let them take their life and do with it what they will. That's easy to say and hard to achieve! I send big hugs. The worst is over now.

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  13. It isn't enough that I had a first generation Nook, a Simple Touch Nook, and then bought the Nook HD. Can I just say thank you for supporting Barnes & Noble?!?! :)

    We have 2 iPads in this house, along with a Nook Simple Touch and some other tablet (Nexus, maybe?), as well as hundreds of unread print editions of books. Guess which I use the most? The "real" books and my iPad, the latter of which I use to catch up on blogs and check my email. I've only read one e-book on it. Not hooked yet, but when I get around to Stephen King's chunksters, I think I'll be quite happy to read them on an e-reader.

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