Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The summer ahead....

Yesterday, I made a list of my summer commitments to give my administrators at school. It made me a little sad, seeing how few open days I have over the months of June and July. My friend Laura is thinking along the same lines.

I'm actually getting a little jump on things by leaving this weekend for a super-quick trip to Paris (if there is ever a tragic phrase, I think that might be it)...for the QQML conference, where I will be presenting with my dissertation advisor. It's the last of the lingering UNT things. A joint presentation was a condition of a faculty research grant we received, which will cover most of my airfare. I'll be back in time for graduation.

"Take a camera on your vacation" -- LC

The first week of May, I will be at home, having postponed my Haitian excursion due to vision issues, but my husband will be at a conference, then that next week is all our state conferences -- Alabama School Library Association (Monday, June 8), the Alabama Educational Technology Conference (Tuesday, June 9 to Thursday June 11), and our quarterly Alabama Library Association meeting (Friday, June 12).

June 24 to July 1 will be ALA Annual in San Francisco -- Batchelder meetings, Odyssey awards, and a presentation on the Common Core are on my horizon there.

July 7 to 9 I will be working with our state department of education in Montgomery on technology integration for our new Social Studies course of study.

July 11 to 18, I will be in the Boston area for the Walden Woods project for some Thoreau-based professional development.

July 24 to 28 will be an actual vacation -- Key West for Hemingway Days.

Our teacher institute is August 8. Eek!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The scariest thing ever to happen to me...

Not the tornado. No, Friday I woke up with a painful right eye. It got worse throughout the day. I spent the weekend in my glasses (which I almost never wear), noticing that my eyes hurt extra much when I tried to read Agatha Christie's Third Girl (my comfort reading). I listened to Z, Therese Fowler's Zelda Fitzgerald biopic, with my new bluetooth earbuds instead.


With my eye still very red and abraded feeling, I called into school this morning, and went to an ophthalmologist. It turns out that I have a corneal ulcer, something that, if not treated, can lead to "the loss of vision" full stop. I have pills, eyedrops, and an appointment to go back in a week. No contact lenses or eye makeup in the meantime (not exactly the look I was after in graduation season).  I am rather blind in my glasses, which the ophthalmologist said were too strong for me in any event. I have a feeling this is going to be a protracted ordeal.

It's only the briefest suggestion of what it would be like to be restricted in my most normal practice, but it gives me a new appreciation for my senses. I cannot wait until I can read again.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Sometimes, when I attempt to describe my dissertation research, I feel ridiculous. "I found that kids who read comics and other forms of visual narrative enjoy reading more and use the library more than peers who only read text."

Of course they do. But we live in an era where we have to prove *everything*.

Just like it's obviously beneficial to read aloud to children, and it helps to let them choose the books.


Really, have we lost all sense? When we have to go around constructing experiments to prove the worth of the arts and other public goods, I get even more apprehensive about our society.

Meanwhile, our president wants to hook everyone up with ebooks, just like Comcast wants to provide low-cost internet to households in poverty. There are such better ways to spend our money, but I guess it's up to us to prove it.