Lessons I Learned About Kidney Stones:
1) The staff at my local emergency room is super nice.
2) Almost everyone I know has either had a kidney stone or knows someone who had one.
3) It's pretty much like going through labor but without the baby at the end. Though my body seems to have more trouble with simple illnesses than most people. Instead of passing the stone after a couple of days of pain, like most people, I had my stone for over 4 weeks until I had to have a procedure to remove it.
4) When the doctor said, "You might have some irritation after the procedure", what he really meant was that if my stone was really stuck -- which it was-- I'd have a week of searing pain that I could dull by taking pain medication every 4 hours.
5) Watching Being Human is an excellent way to spend a week living on the couch and taking around-the-clock pain medicine.
6) Filling a tube sock with rice and nuking it in the microwave for 60 seconds makes a wonderful heating pad.
7) In conclusion, kidney stones are more fun than any human should be allowed to have. ;)
Sprinting Back Into Regular Life:
The minute I was well I subbed almost every day. On the last day of my job before Thanksgiving the principal told me that Ms. D. had broken her ankle on her trip and asked if I could sub all next week too. I said, "Sure. Why not?" Then I spent Thanksgiving weekend making fun, educational lesson plans, cruising the library for good books, and designing samples of the projects we would do. Whew!
Fiction Books Finished:
The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart (** 1/2) - Talented orphans are recruited into a secret society. While the beginning pulled me in, I found the middle a bit slow. The book has a good message about advertising and seems to be quite popular but for some reason I didn't enjoy it that much. [Ages 9 and up]
Gregor the Overlander & Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, by Suzanne Collins (*** 1/2) - When eleven-year old Gregor tries to stop his two-year old sister "Boots" from falling down a laundry chute, the two of them are sucked down a wind tunnel and land in the world of Underland. There he meets giant bats, cockroaches, rats, and the nearly translucent Underlander humans who believe Gregor just might be the warrior they've been waiting for. This is a great middle-grade fantasy series. Underland is a fascinating world full of appealing characters. It would make a good classroom or family read too. [Ages 9 and up]
The Cabinet of Wonders, by Marie Rutkoski (***) - When the Prince of Bohemia steals a clockmaker's eyes, twelve-year old Petra decides to steal her father's eyes back. This middle grade fantasy-- set in a slightly magical 16th century Prague-- starts out slow but builds to an exciting conclusion. [For ages 10 and up]
Non-Fiction Books Finished:
Woman: An Intimate Geography, by Natalie Angier (*** 1/2) - An enjoyable book on the female body. Angier describes menstruation, fertilization, and menopause in ways that not only explain but inspire. Her chapter taking down evolutionary psychology is especially welcoming.
Teaching Outside the Box, by LouAnne Johnson, (*** 1/2) - The movie Dangerous Minds is based on LouAnne Johnson's first teaching experience with low-income at risk high schoolers. Since then Johnson's had a wide range of teaching experiences and gives good advice for teaching reading and English to students from upper elementary school through high school and college -- emphasizing both strong class management and how to motivate students to learn.
TV- Top 5 Favorites of the Month (In A,B,C Order)
(The) Big Bang Theory, current season 3 - I like the way Penny and Leonard's relationship isn't the focus of the show.
Being Human, series 1 - is an enjoyable unique supernatural story about three twenty-some adults sharing a flat together in Bristol. Instead of the usual save-the-world plot, this story about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost is mostly a story of new adults dealing with the day-to-day dramas of adulthood, relationships, and coming to terms with who they are. [ I watched the 6 episode series on itunes.]
(The) Good Wife, current season 1 - Out of the dozens of new shows I tried this season, The Good Wife is the only one I've stuck with. Julianna Marguilies is wonderful as a woman trying to breath life back into her law career after her husband has been jailed in an Eliot Spitzer type situation. The legal cases are interesting and I like the way this show doesn't spell everything out for the viewer.
Mad Men, current season 3 - turned out to be my favorite season so far. It started out slow but built to a series of satisfying conclusions.
Supernatural, current season 5
1/2 day- Art teacher at another school
1 day- Media teacher at my regular school
1 day - Ms. D's 2nd grade
1/2 day - 1st grade reading at another school
1/2 day - 1st grade reading at another school
5 days - Ms. D's 2nd grade