Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring breaking

One of the oft-touted perks of working in schools: all those breaks! We used to have two-week breaks twice a year, but now I'm down to a single week in spring (sigh)... But I'll take any opportunity to blow town, see new things, and escape the quotidian... It will all be there next week. All that sort of obscures the fact that we schoolteachers actually don't have any latitude over when we might want off....I'm already anticipating a show-down between a Thanksgiving-week jaunt and ALAN.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I voted!

I carved some time out of a busy Friday to vote in the ALA election. With all the stress coming through the ALA Council listserv about the number of At-Large Councilors, it was really a wonderful experience to see so many familiar names on the ALA, AASL, ALSC, YALSA and Supervisor's and Educators of Library Media Specialists section ballots. We have some incredible people in our profession, and their generosity is really heartening.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Part of the reason I love, love, love to travel is that I'm able to shuck off the stress of always being plugged in and put away my phone and my computer for a few hours. Nonetheless, during my get-away this past weekend, I was describing the current dialogue about the size of ALA Council and its efficacy with my husband, who likened it to the degeneration of discourse online that he is feeling as journalist."Social media is ruining our lives," was actually the way he put it Friday afternoon.

I guess I'm still convinced there's more good than bad in being connected most of the time...and I was tickled to see this digital-divide bridging campaign on buses and signs around the city:

About Connect Chicago:

Connect Chicago is a loose network of more than 250 places in the city where internet and computer access, digital skills training, and online learning resources are available—for free. 
The work of these people in librariescollegescommunity centersworkforce development centers, and public housing help create a vibrant culture of learning, making Chicago more globally competitive and an all-around better place to live and work. 
Connect Chicago is here to help all Chicago residents get connected— no matter where you are in the city, on the skills continuum, or in this universe of access and training providers.
Meanwhile, I haven't heard too much about this recent, radical FCC proposal for free nationwide wifi. That could be a game-changer.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

On little mamas

This morning, an eight-months-pregnant student showed me the 4D ultrasound pictures of her son, absolutely ecstatic. And this week, I read one of the best pieces of student writing I've ever encountered, by a teen mom. She said it was "the first story she'd ever completed," In a zombie apocalypse tale to rival Carrie Ryan, one line especially stood out: "The only joy she found was in her child."

I mention this because reading about this NYC ad campaign all week has made me livid. (I will not post a picture, I don't want to have to look at those shaming images ever again.)

These teen mothers need all our help and support. I had a "family library" at my old school, full of board and picture books. I would talk to pregnant teens and those with children about talking to their babies, developing their vocabularies to get them ready for school. And I have seen many teen parents with completely supportive families and well-adjusted children. One mistake does not HAVE to ruin their lives. And kindness, asking about the baby and how they themselves are doing, does not equal endorsement of premarital sex. It is the same concern I try to show all my students.