Sunday, April 11, 2010

After Easter

It's beautiful out there although there is a lot of snow on those mountains-a little late for the Olympics but yes, we do have snow but not in the city of course!  School is definitely spinning towards the end.  Big excitement this week is our musical with Holly Arntzen.  Having been through a few musicals before this is definitely an easier way to do it.  Our principal taught the kids the songs in music class and Holly will come in this week and work with the students.  We had lots of fun with musicals of the past but lots of work as well.  And ladies and gentlemen, in the four years I wasn't classroom teaching the work hasn't lessoned! 
In my own reading of late I have been on a bit on a mystery kick.  Many years ago I began reading Sue Grafton.  I had been having a stressful time dealing with ill parents, having to pack up my family home etc. and I would retreat to my ex-husband's cottage and swim and read the mysteries that my father-in-law had lying around, renewing an acquaintance with Agatha Christie.  Eventually I became aware that there were contemporary mysteries with grown up versions of my favourite childhood girl detectives, Trixie Beldon and Donna Parker.  I think the first I discovered was Kinsey Milhone.  The first book was A is for Alibi (published in 1983).  I just finished the latest, U is for Undertow.  Kinsey was born a year before me in 1950 but unlike me she is now only 38! The latest was great!  There is just something so satisfying about a good mystery with engaging characters in  an interesting setting. 
Another interesting mystery I picked up on the library shelf, was The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault.  This mystery is set at the head office of a dictionary company and two young lexigraphers (don't you love that word) find some strange citations that go together to tell a true story set in the past with people who worked in their office.  Now as someone who has been trying to increase my students' vocabularies this year, I found myself drawn to this mystery.  I have to tell you I have never even thought about what goes into making dictionaries so that alone was interesting.  I went to university with a Peter Funk (not that I really knew him) of  the Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary family.

Apparently mystery readers aren't really morbid but just people who like tidy endings.  And there are times that mysteries are just what I like to read.  Many of my students are mystery fans and the 39 Clues series is one they are enjoying. 

Speaking of needs to escape.  More cutbacks at our school due to an 18 million dollar shortfall.  Literacy may be the major goal at the VSB but the literacy team will only have a skeleton staff left.  I visited my old workplace on the 4th floor on Wednesday and the atmosphere was rather depressing.  Those of us who have been in the school system for a long time become almost used to the slashes that seem to come every few years.  Many of us keep wondering why we don't close some of our very small schools but that doesn't seem a popular solution.  One, of course, always has to wonder what our provincial government's agenda is and why they can't see how important a good public school system is.  I also personally find it depressing to see more and more private but partially government funded schools.  I also find it depressing that parents will do anything to send their kids to high schools rated highly by the Fraser Institute.  Hmm-back to reading mysteries...

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