Friday, June 18, 2010

Save a Tree

Like most things I accomplish, doodling happens when I'm bored. I've always had a fondness for the Henna art form. I think it's amazing how intricate the designs can get and the symbolism behind some of the art. So, why bother wasting paper, when I can doodle on myself!

*Note: this isn't actual henna, just a really awesome liner from Sephora. :)

This Pretty Much Sums Up My Summer So Far

Dear Kindle,

I love you! Early on in life I learned to love to read. Inspired by mother, and several teachers, I developed my own interests and favorites and read voraciously up until high school. In high school and college I then fell out of love with reading. As stubborn as I am, I've never done especially well with being told what to do, and it was a new concept being told what to read and how fast to read it. I felt like the teachers had no taste in books, and none of the selections ever seemed to appeal to me. It got a little better in college, but I was so bogged down with text books and studying that if I was reading for pleasure I felt guilty because it meant that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be. Enter my savior in reading: the Kindle.
I started admiring this quirky piece of technology from afar. Way out of my price range, it was difficult to justify any reason for buying it for myself. I started to wistfully talk about it with my mother the summer that I graduated as we planned our trip to Germany. Wouldn't it be awesome if I could take this handy little e-reader with us to have on the plane and in the car instead of lugging around books? In the end, I chose to abstain, and it was ok because the trip was jam packed, and I didn't do much reading anyway. The suggestion, however, was not lost on my mother, a fellow bibliophile.
Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I opened my gift from her and found the product of my ramblings from months before! It was beautiful! Sleek in design, and capable of holding more books than I could ever hope to read, it could fit with me anywhere and be pulled out at anytime! It's one of the swankiest gifts I've ever received to say the least.
This first year of teaching was a tough one. I feel like I traded my personal life and the people that went with it to the effort of keeping my career afloat. At night, I'd go home, and still stress about school. It was an unending cycle of worry. One Friday night, after a ridiculous week, I picked up the Kindle and started reading. I read four books that weekend. It was wonderful. I didn't think about work, I didn't feel stressed, my heart wasn't trying to book an escape, and I was at ease with my life. Naturally, I liked the way I felt, so I continued reading. Since January, I've read 35 books. I feel that I can say with certainty that that's the more books read than I read in 8 years in high school and college combined. I've slowed down recently simply because I've run through my list that had been building up over time, but I still keep it with me and pull it out whenever I can. At the park, at home, at the pool, you’ll find me reading away!

Dear reader, I need help: I’ve run through my reading lists. I need suggestions!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Aloha, For Now....

As those who know me are well aware, I was pink slipped from my current position. This year has been a whirlwind of turbulance, but has been a fantastic learning experience all the same. With the uncertainty of my next move, I made the executive decision that the rats could no longer stay with me ( I had a hunch that they wouldn't mix well with the cats).  I found a woman willing to take them, and the children decided to write her a letter so that she would know how to take care of them:

Dear Ms. Blythe,

Thank you for offering to take care of the rats from now on. We would like to tell you some information that we think will be helpful to you in order to take care of our rats.

First, their names are Petra and Piper. Petra is a hooded rat, and looks just like the picture of the rat you sent! Petra can be shy, and takes a while to get used to people. It took a long time for her to come out of her shell and hang out while we were in the classroom. Piper is a sandy blond color with a pink nose. Piper is a playful rat, and if you ever leave the cage door open, she is the first to try to get out and explore the world.

These two rats LOVE to eat fresh fruits and vegetables! They also eat lots of different kinds of seeds and grains that are mixed together in their rat food. Their favorite foods include strawberry yogurt treats, carrots, star fruit, grapes, and apples. They will eat, but don’t like broccoli and celery as much as other vegetables.

There are a few helpful hints that we feel as a class may help you when you take care of these rats. They can get a little stinky, and Ms. Dickinson has to give them baths every so often. They aren’t crazy about it, and they tend to try to get away and squeak. They always smell better afterwards though. Also, don’t forget to clean out the cage! They make a big mess, and it gets smelly if you forget! They don’t bite people, but be careful, if you stick your finger into the cage, they might forget that it’s a finger and mistake it for a snack! Ouch!

We hope you take very good care of the rats, and would love to get an email seeing how they are doing some day.

Good luck,

Ms. Dickinson’s Class