Current/Recent Reading List

08 August 2006

The cardinals have convened...

...and the smoke has risen, which means all scheduling decisions have been officially made. At least, that is, until the first teacher workday next week, when the bitchin' begins.

I don't know about other departments, but our English department's schedule seems always in flux, always up for debate. We are responsible for giving a first-week exam on honors summer reading, but it is a little hard to prepare for this if we don't know what we are teaching. It seems we never find out for sure until just before the school year starts (actually, I'm not supposed to know even at this point, but a helpful congressional staffer has leaked the information to me). All this adds anxiety to an already anxious time of year, and I DO NOT LIKE anxiety. Have learned to schmooze with it, but do not like it.

Anyway, it turns out I've got all English II (10th grade) classes, plus yearbook class, both semesters. I'm excited on one hand, because I know a lot of these kids from teaching them last year as freshmen. That is also a drawback, with a few of them, of course. Other drawbacks include: 10th grade is a heavy writing grade in our state, meaning tedious grading is in the offing; this particular 10th grade honors class is full of honors-level interpersonal drama (I'll give you all some tasty tidbits as we go along), and the particular summer reading for 10th grade is Les Miserable, which I have assiduously avoided reading in my thirty-six years. Guess what I'll be cracking open tomorrow? I'll have to get in at least 50 pages of Hugo a day for a couple of weeks, and I'm a slooooow reader.
All in all, though, I'm pretty pleased. Though I'm sorely tempted to just base my Les Miserable exam off of the libretto from the broadway musical soundtrack, which I am manly enough to admit I own.


Jimmy said...

I'm so honored to be the very first commenter!

I wrote a lengthy discourse in college on the "Maturation of Huck Finn" (had to check after all these years to make sure that "maturation" is a word - got an oxford dictionary I can borrow) that lifted it's major point straight from the opening monologue on track 18 of the "Big River" original cast recording.

Got an A, too.

SMP said...

You know, Jimmy, once again you're right there for me. I'm tearing up.

And it's really manly if you owned cast recordings all the way back to college. But then, we're not surprised, are we (about the manliness thing, that is)?

Marie said...

I so wish that my teenage children's teachers had a blog like yours...I'd tell 'em to just watch 'Les Mis' the movie and read the first 50 pages. Instead, they are both downstairs cramming the last 50 pages of 'Brave New World' and 'Catch-22' for their AP English classes. Poor them :-)
BTW--the Big Armed Woman sent me.

SMP said...

Thanks Marie,

Actually, I'm surprised Brave New World , especially, is still taught (I haven't read it, but do now own a copy now)but I've been told it is more relevant to the 21st C. than 1984 . Maybe your child can take solace in that.

I'm sometimes staggered by the number of well-established books I still haven't read.

Eric said...

Hi, SMP, first I like your hip-hop style blogger alias. Should make you very popular with the students.

Second, let me recommend Brave New World. I think you will really enjoy it and find it tickles your noggin. I haven't read in a long time but I remember primarily being caught up in the suspense as though I were reading a pulp spy novel (with a bonus side dish of interesting philosphical musings).

SMP said...

Of course, the ultimate irony with my hip-hop blog name is that I haven't a clue about what Master P either looks or sounds like - never heard one note of his music, as far as I know. And at this point I'm afraid to check it out.