Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Twentieth First-Day-of-School as a Teacher and Librarian! and My Week in Books


I don't know how many first-day-of-schools I've experienced. I was only two when our across-the-street neighbor, Mrs. McCain, graciously allowed me to attend her playschool as a favor to my mom who was exhaustedly expecting the arrival of my younger sister. I had three years at Mrs. McCain's school, and then private kindergarten, and on to eleven years of grades 1-12 (I skipped second grade), three years of college (finished early), and five years of graduate school, my own kids' first-days, and my years of first-days as a teacher and a librarian. 

There's nothing like the first-day-of-school.  The sewing of school clothes (for my mom, this was an all-summer task). The school supply shopping. The anticipation. Arrival at the school. All the kids in shiny-shiny clothes, with shiny-shiny shoes. The box of perfect crayons. The desk with a label on it, your name in careful print: Debbie or Debbie A. or Deborah A. Your name tag. Brand-new black-and-white composition book. Sharpening the pencils for the first time, on and on and on. Complete silence. Even the class bad boy.

This is a momentous first-day for me: it could be my last first-day. It's my twentieth first-day as a teacher and a librarian and I'll turn sixty in November. Do the math, and you'll see that next year at this time I could be sunning on a beach in the Caribbean somewhere. 

Or not. Maybe I'll be at school again. The call to first-day-of-school is strong in me, almost like sap rising in sugar maples in spring. 

Whatever happens, I'm going to enjoy every day this year like it's my last first-day and second-day and thirty-third day and one-hundred-and-forty-seventh day. Like we should live every day of our lives.




What Arrived in the Mail

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story

Still a Work in Progress by Jo Knowles       
 The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner





What I Finished 

Moon Over Manifest
I read all the Newberry books a few years ago, but they just keep awarding the Newberry Award to new books. Moon Over Manifest is one of these...more



When Breath Becomes Air
A sad story. I knew that, going in. I knew the author, not even finished completely with his education, had cancer and would die. I knew Paul Kalanith...more


Somebody's Heart is Burning: A Woman Wanderer in Africa
How long have I had this book sitting on my shelf? Months? Years, even?

Somebody's Heart is Burning is a memoir of the author's time in Africa. She has
...more


Sea Change by Frank Viva
Poor Eliot. His parents are sending him off to Nova Scotia to stay with relatives for the summer when all he wants to do is piddle around his own town...more





What I'm Reading Now

So happy I discovered this series, both the books and the videos.






What are you reading today? Have you read any of these? Any recommendations?






What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

37 comments:

  1. I like it. Coming in, I thought you were going to focus on best books for the first day. The one that always comes to mind, for me, is LEO THE LATE BLOOMER. Haven't been over to your blog, or many blogs, in a while. Nice job.

    James Preller

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you'll come again soon.

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  2. I don't get to experience that first-day feeling for another month as I now teach adults part-time, but you're right - that mix of excitement and nervousness... There's nothing quite like it:). Hope you have an amazing teaching year and your class is a delight. This is my Sunday Post - https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/sunday-post-28th-august/

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  3. Who says you have to retire at a certain age? If you love your job keep having those first-days. :)

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  4. Enjoy your first day, as I know you will, and I know you'll enjoy your retirement whenever it comes- the books keep on coming whether we work or not.

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  5. I love the first day of school feeling! It feels like a fresh start and I love new pens and notebooks even now. I do wish it started just a little bit later though. We are not early risers! Have a great week and a great first day!

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  6. You have complete silence at your school? Whoa. That must be something ;). But seriously, I like your attitude in living your life: enjoying every day like it's your last first day or not.

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    1. Everyone is so quiet on the first day. Except for the occasional child sobbing, "Mommy!"

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  7. Sea Change looks like it's a gorgeous object as well as a good read!

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  8. I always loved that first day of school! I still get that feeling every fall when the weather starts to cool down a little and I'm driving by the university here. Enjoy all your "days"!

    And, what did I finish reading this week? Lily and the Octopus! I read the last bit of it on break at work yesterday afternoon (BIG mistake) as I was trying to recover crying my eyes out before getting back to business, but I really loved this book. Thanks for the recommendation way back when!

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    1. So happy you enjoyed Lily and the Octopus so much!

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  9. I love those first days of school, and for a while, I thought I would be a teacher, too...I did all the preparation after getting my B.A. degree...and then veered off course and got my M.A. in counseling instead of the credential, to fit in with the social work career I had stumbled upon. But nothing that happened to me changed how much I always looked forward to first days of school.

    My mom used to make new clothes and a new book bag (that's what we had, 100 years ago, LOL).

    Enjoy your year and your books, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. No backpack for me either...I had a fancy school bag, too.

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  10. I only get to experience that first day of school via my kiddo. The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner looks really interesting, I'll be keeping an eye out for it. Hope you have a wonderful first and ever day of school!

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    1. This might be Jennifer Weiner's first children's book.

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  11. I adore the first-day-of-school tradition, but I can honestly say this was the first year I was content staying at home :) It took me a good two years to acclimate to retirement (and truth be told, I am still involved in school albeit in a very limited capacity). You will know when the time is right for you, but I think it is great you are savoring each day this year as if it will be your last.

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  12. Your opening post is just gorgeous Deb. I am almost half your age and also a teacher of sort (drama and extra maths, English and Afrikaans). And yes - there is nothing like the first day of school. My life is changing tremendously end of the year as we will be moving to a small town. I'm not sure if I'm going back to teaching or trying something new. Maybe like motherhood.... Still praying. ANYWAY - I've seen that Midwife story somewhere else, also love that type of books. Keep me posted! Hope you will have a really awesome week. Here's my Sunday Post: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/08/the-sunday-post-double-up-to-100.html

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  13. Well said, and happy first day (and first week and all that). Whether it's your last year or not, hope it's a wonderful one. The Littlest Bigfoot looks nice and so does Moon Over Manifest. I've never seen a whole episode of Call the Midwife but I've seen the show when it's been on and it looks well done.

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  14. That first-day feeling - so much potential! Have a great week :)

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  15. congrats on your 20th!! amazing. Your young students are fortunate to have you

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  16. I am starting my 37th first-day-of-school this year and I, too, will turn 60 during the school year. Will it be my last. I want to read the book When Breath Becomes Air. Is to it too sad?
    My Sunday Slon post

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  17. Happy first day of school! I haven't had nearly so many (no kids and rarely employed in an academic setting) -- I still love the energy this time of year.

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  18. I love the cover of Sea Change, and as for the premise, you had me at Nova Scotia.

    Tomorrow marks my ninth first day at this school, my eighteenth in Oregon middle schools, and my twenty third first day as a teacher. Still got over a decade until retirement. Enjoy your first days, whether they're the last ones or not.

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  19. I love that you enjoy the first day of school so much... but how exciting thinking that it may be your last or there could be something different out there.

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  20. I loved school and first days. Lots of good reading there.

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  21. Somebody’s Heart is Burning sounds like my kind of book. I've been reading about Africa lately and this would add another country to the list of countries I've visited in books.
    Happy reading!

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  22. I do love the excitement of first days, as I am a kindergarten teacher. I hope you are able to decide if this year is your last or you will be enjoying lots of reading time in your retirement hopefully somewhere relaxing!
    I see you are reading Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse. I read this a couple of years ago for my book club, we all enjoyed it.
    Have a lovely first week back at school and happy reading!

    Amanda @ mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com

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  23. I haven't had a first day of school in a very long time, but I hope you have a wonderful year.

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  24. When Breath Becomes Air was such a good book. The Africa Memoir looks good. Interesting picks this week. Happy Reading!

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  25. Have a great (last) school year. & kudos to all the years you've been working in schools. !

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  26. Yeah, looks like a good week! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading

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