Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back to school!

I spent most of the month of July away from home. Some of it was for fun, some of it for intellectual and professional growth. I missed my spoiled cat and my sweet husband terribly. I read some big, long grown-up books. I ate some really ascetic meals, and some that were downright voluptuary. I was wonderfully lazy. I managed without a laptop (but did use the available public  business center and campus desktops a bit). And it was interesting to see how friends, fellow teachers, other tourists were using or weren't using types of computing.... I also spent more time in nature than is usual for me, but something I really hope to keep up, something that is easy to say given our mild summer here.

We have a mere two days left of summer break, then our teacher work days. As of the latest update, we'll have three months in the vocational building until we can stretch out in our fabulous new digs. Though I wasn't sure about leaving home for another five nights just next month, I'm looking forward to IBBY. I think that group's concentration on international children's literature through a comparative lens the closest to the scholarly work I aspire towards, and I am a little dazzled by the attendees, and curious about how different countries are handling things like ebooks. Mexico City has seemed less "other" since I discovered there is a massive Starbucks in the conference hotel. 

More practically, I'm working on ways to use ethical concerns surrounding photojournalism to talk about intellectual freedom issues with young people, all rooted in our Newseum talks. And, from the NEH Dickinson seminar, I want to capture my new understanding of how the publication history and the successive packaging of Dickinson in anthologies reflects the treatment of her work, and is representative of that of other women. 

Goodness, it was a luxury to have the time and space to think about such esoterica, and to hear absolutely nothing about college-and-career-readiness for a bit.   

And, of course, I'm excited to see what the new trends happen to be, this school year.

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