Thursday, July 17, 2008


This week, I've been attending the Coalition for Essential Schools (CES) conference here in PDX. I'm lucky, because it IS in PDX, but it's the national conference so I'm able to "network" with some big whopadeedahs on the national scene. Also, I've been able to take two students along with me (and Caan, the counselor, who is also attending with us). The conference has more than lived up to my expectations (which were admittedly low to begin with), what with the high level of professional dialogue occurring and also the fantastic food (thank you, Sheraton!)
But even though I've had this really fantastic week to be one representative of MACA on a national level, at a relatively small workshop, and learn some really intense things (think discussions on race, equity, social justice; one of my workshops was entitled "The Unexamined Whiteness of Teaching"), I've been distracted. Poor Hubby, I've neglected him for days. All I've been doing is reading the blasted Twilight series. I started the first book on Sunday afternoon, and dangit if I haven't just finished the second. And I'm thoroughly into the third. Harry Potter didn't even keep me reading for so many hours on end. I blame my in-laws for encouraging this.
On one level I'm a little embarassed that a teen romance about vampires has hooked me so intently. So, I tell myself that I'm reading so I can connect with my students. And I tell myself that it's a New York Times best-seller so I'm not the only adult who has appreciated it. And I tell myself that it has more than 500 pages so that counts as real grown-up reading. But I can't lie to myself any longer; I've finally found a non-Austin romance that I can let myself get carried away by.
And now I have to wait until August 2nd for the fourth book to come out.


Danika said...

I'm with you on the Twighlight thing! Okay, I have to admit I had to get past the first 100 pages of the first book because Ella came off as a whiney baby but after that I couldn't put them down. Brent learned to not even TRY to talk to me until I'd finished them. I think you're absolutely justified in plowing through those for uh, literacy's sake!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I was hooked from page one. My mother in law had warned me that it took her a while to get hooked, so I knew to be patient, but I didn't expect to get so involved so quickly.
James, too, learned to leave me the heck alone. I had to tell him last night, "I've missed you today, so I will be sitting here next to you on the couch while you watch TV, but I will be reading and we will be doing our own things."

Gage & Jessica said...

I wanted to tell you that Stephanie Meyers has been in our ward for the past 5 weeks, because they own a home up here. She is really sweet. She was very curious about the demeanor of skunks. I doubt skunks will get a cameo in her next movie though.

Stargirl said...

Ha ha ha! That's fantastic. Let her know that if she needs to study skunk behavior that our door is always open.

Skye said...

So, by "CES" I guess you didn't mean "Church Educational System?" like I was first thinking?

Twilight is all the rage with the girls in my ward. I read the first book too. Teen stuff, as you said, but definitely a page turner.

Stargirl said...

Oh yeah, by "CES" I was referring to "Coalition of Essential Schools," a national organization of schools that strive to attain ten "common principles", which are: Learning to use one's mind well, Less is More (depth over coverage), Goals apply to all students, Personalization, Student-as-worker/teacher-as-coach, Demonstration of Mastery, A tone of decency and trust, Commitment to the entire school, Resources dedicated to teaching and learning, and Democracy and equity.

In short, not your typical schools. I was telling James yesterday that I'd like to work for them after I'd taught for a while.