Business or Pleasure?

Still in that pleasure-reading drought, because I have been trying to plow through more lesson/course planning for my English courses this year. I’ve been plugging away almost all day today, reading a variety of poems and short stories and trying to figure out which will be the best to teach, and then making sure I have all the proper background and context information for those authors, highlighting all the literary terms I’ll need to explain for the students, and trying to schedule readings in a cohesive and illuminating order. In other words, I’ve finished rereading Their Eyes Were Watching God and have mapped out that unit pretty well so far, and chosen Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral as a short story to complement August Wilson’s Fences, our summer reading book. I’ve also mapped out my major assessments for the year and chosen which poems I’ll be teaching by Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks. I need to brush up on the Petrarchean sonnet, revamp my Bible unit to allow for changing texts, draw up my course bulletin for the fall semester (the one with actual dates), work on in-class essay topics, and then go through my website and make sure it’s up to date for both documents and calendars. And that’s only for ninth grade!

Anyone still convinced teachers don’t work over the summer?

One of my regular sites to visit is Jezebel, an often irreverent, always honest take on current feminism, especially with a young slant and an eye on popular culture. On Fridays, they run a feature called Fine Lines, where Lizzie Skurnick and a small stable of guest bloggers revisit old young adult novels like Go Ask Alice (not the sexy kind, though, because those will be covered in their new feature Shelf Pleasuring). I’m always excited to see posts on books I read as a young girl, although I’ve never been interested in YA lit as a scholar– it’s purely fond nostalgia for me!

Recently, I was thrilled to read a guest post from Laura Lippman, a Baltimore author of some really great mysteries. If you like mysteries or Baltimore, I highly recommend any of her books, like No Good Deed, the one I read yesterday!

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