Sunday, January 23, 2011
TSS - 1.23.11
The best laid plans.....I had great dreams of writing a week's worth of blog posts every weekend so that my readers would have something new to view throughout the week. Alas, that has not yet happened and here I sit writing another lengthy Sunday Salon. I am hopeful that this routine will soon change and I will begin to be more of an active participant in the blogging community. I have been rather faithful in reading your wonderful posts - and I have tried to be a regular commenter. Hopefully this activity will extend to my own blog some day soon.
Bloggiesta this weekend, but that fell by the wayside as well. I did keep tabs on your progress, however, and made notes of some things that I would like to work on in the future. I did manage to update my sidebar by deleting my Work in Progress chart (seeing how NaNoWriMo was completed nearly two months ago) and I also deleted my list of 2010 challenges. There are other items that I would like to address, however, like revamping my header to include better tabs; updating my labels for the past few months; consider adding the copyright protection information; learning how to make these adorable "buttons" and updating my book review lists.
Speaking of book reviews.....it has occurred to me that I have been too judgmental in my book review process. The majority of the books that I have read lately have focused on non-fiction subjects, like photography, photography manipulation, art, and self-help. Rather than review them for you, I have just assumed that these subjects are only of interest to me. but perhaps that has been an unfair assumption. Perhaps I should start reviewing these types of books and allow you to decide if you wish to read the post or not. So, that will be my new resolution. I will try to review ALL books that I have read, despite the potential limited appeal.
I have already decided on my next classic read, thanks in part to Amanda and her wonderful review of Jane Eyre. I read Jane Eyre for the first time about three years ago and enjoyed it, but did not really allow myself the opportunity to truly escape in her world. I have a student doing an independent study with me this semester and we have decided that this would be a good book for her to read. This provides the perfect excuse for me to re-read this classic and really delve into its study. I would also like to re-read the book before seeing the new movie release, due out in March.
Photos that Inspire by Lynne Eodice. Not only do I love viewing the beautiful photographs, but I appreciate the commentary that explains what makes it such an inspiring photo and the technical knowledge used to take the picture. This is the year that I really want to focus on the composition of a good photograph, and this book is enabling me to learn that first hand. I believe that once I learn the components of composition, I can then begin to learn the artistic expression of manual mode.
Lastly, I am slowly reading through the book, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. While I have always known that I have been a perfectionist, I never realized how it has controlled my life. It has been an eye-opening experience. I will not change my ways overnight - for this I am certain - but I am determined to learn to let go little by little.
I feel as though little time was spent in the classroom this week. We had the day off Monday in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and Thursday was a snow day. But I have decided that I am going to take a lesson from my students this week.....
I must confess that I have always thought of watching a movie as pure entertainment and therefore not a priority on my list of things to do (this relates back to that perfectionist tendency -- I must always be efficient). Often students in my class have discussed going to the movies - but my way of thinking told me that it was the lazy way to enjoy a good narrative. Reading the book and analyzing the language was the "true" way to enjoy a story. But lately I am noticing that ALL students discuss movies - even those who are voracious readers discuss the newest release or the cinematic interpretation of their favorite book. It seems as though all conversation in my creative writing class comes around to a movie reference.
In fact, it is not only from my students that I am learning this valuable lesson. Our beloved book blogger, Sandy, is not only a voracious reader but also an avid movie goer. Do I think she is lazy? HARDLY! Fellow teacher and book blogger, C.B.James even had a challenge last year that promoted the pairing of books and movies -- and yet I still could not shake this inaccurate thinking. Well, now is the time that I start embracing this narrative media. I have decided that it is ok to experience "pure entertainment" - and perhaps, I might learn something along the way.
I did manage to watch Fellowship of the Ring a couple of weeks ago and I did enjoy myself - while at the same time realizing that Middle Earth is not as difficult to understand as I once feared. This is an example where watching the movie has inspired me to read the book.
I have mentioned that I want to watch the new Jane Eyre movie when it is released in March. I just learned from Sandy that Water for Elephants, a book that I have wanted to read for quite a while, is going to be released as a movie in April. I have just decided to take this book off the shelf, dust it off, and read it over spring break. The Help, a book that thoroughly enjoyed and plan to read again, will have its film debut in August. I have wanted to read the Harry Potter books and watch those movies for several months now - but I have yet to make the time. I feel as though I have been an outsider for way too long and it is now time for me to join the party. Not only will I add more fun to my life - but I should be able to participate more in student discussions.