Friday, December 27, 2013

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: December

After missing the Coffeehouse for so many months in a row (mostly because I wasn't really reading anything) I feel I am back with a vengeance!

The first book I finished was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  Our host, The Armchair Squid, has a wonderful teaching partner that I have come to consider a friend over the past year.  He gave my son a copy of the book for his birthday back in July.  My son tried but couldn't get into it right away.  I made some head way over the summer.  Once the new school year started, I was really pushed to finish it when I discovered several of my new student's were really into it.  I'm glad I went back.  I'm getting a LOT of pressure to try the sequels/continuation of the series, but I think I will wait a little bit.

The next book I finished was Heck by Zander Cannon.  It was a gift for ME from our host for my birthday back in October.  (Click HERE to discover our host's connection to the author!). I will admit I was initially skeptical about diving in.  Heck is not my "normal" sort of comic work.  I am so glad I dove in.

The book introduces us to Hector Hammerskjöld as he returns to his hometown after his father died. He bumps into an old flame at the funeral. Being "home" stirs up lots of conflicted emotions in our "hero". He inherits his father's house where he discovers a gateway to Hell in the basement!

When I was younger, I attempted to read Dante's Inferno after I was exposed to it via X-Men King Size Annual 4.  Cannon entitles a chapter where Heck visits Dante's famous city "Dis Must Be The Place." I love puns!

My teaching partner handles 85% of the ELA work load and asks our students to create book projects when they finish a book.  I did my first project this year on Heck!  I sketched one of the scenes from a slightly different angle.  The kids loved it!

My cousin recently posted a quote that I love.  ("Nobody is going to get any points in heaven by slogging their way through a book they aren’t enjoying but think they ought to read.” -Nancy Pearl.)  I didn't think I "ought to read" Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan but I really wanted to like it.  I like him and my mom was keen to share it with me.

Instead, it joins by Goodreads shelf of "Abandoned Books".  It just didn't click for me.  I was expecting funnier and it just didn't merit my time.  In fact, it stopped my reading resurgence cold!

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

1.The Armchair Squid2.Scouring Monk
5.Wishbone Soup Cures Everything6.What's Up, MOCK?!
7.The Writing Sisterhood8.A Creative Exercise

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"'s that man teacher!"

A group of students in the Art room next to my classroom heard our raucous math game this morning and commented "'s that man teacher!" when they heard my voice through the air ducts.  It made me realize that I am indeed a minority in my school and in my profession.  My teaching partner is a male and there is a male kindergarten teacher but that is it for classroom teachers in our elementary school.  We have some males in the Unified Arts and lots of them in the middle and high school buildings.

However, that isolation is nothing compared to that felt by the men who have led this country.  I'm not commenting on the "selfie" brouhaha or the sign language boner from the recent Nelson Mandela memorial service.  Instead, I was struck by these recently released behind the scenes photos.  I cannot imagine what these men talk about...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Captain Picard Sings “Let It Snow!”

It is December here in Vermont and the Green Mountains remain as green as ever.  No significant snow fall yet this season.

This video seems to be making the rounds right now.  I'm not sure where I saw it first.  The original song is one of my all time favorites!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December!

I like comic books.  I've been collecting comics for over 30 years.  I have 8,781 comics in my database with about 20 more lying around waiting to be entered.  I've brought comics into every classroom I've ever had and have shared my love with my students more and more in recent years.

 I am a fanboy but have recently slipped into a "grumpy-old-man, get-off-my-lawn, back-when-I-was-a-kid" sort of phase with comics.  I liked stories, back in the day, that lasted an issue or two.  I am NOT a fan of books these days that are one long continuous soap opera with no jumping on or off point.  I dropped my last superhero book from my pull list yesterday.

Awhile back, I intended to spotlight certain comics on the first day of each month.  So, without further are a bunch of comics, in my collection, that bear December cover dates!

Cover Date 1964
My 10th oldest comic book!

Cover Date 1975
Man, does this cover make me laugh!

Cover Date 1976
I love Neal Adams' cover art...but this is one weird image!

Cover Date 1979
One of my all time favorite covers!

Cover Date 1979
You can take the Justice League out of the 70s, but...

Cover Date 1980
Totally forgot I own this until I was scrolling through for this post!

Cover Date 1980

There aren't many December dated comics in my collection worth spotlighting!  But scrolling through the database gave me a bucket load of ideas of issues to donate to Goodwill!!

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