Pile on the Miles 2014

You may have noticed that I’ve taken on more of a running perspective on this ol’ blog of mine.  It reminds me of olden days when I was primarily talking about oatmeal toppings and treadmill miles.  Well this year, I am going to be participating in Run, Eat, Repeat’s Pile on the Miles 2014 challenge.

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Here are Monica’s guidelines for Pile on the Miles:

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You can sign up here: Run, Eat, Repeat & Pile on the Miles 2014

So what is my November goal?  I am setting my sights on hitting the century mark, 100 miles of running.  Right now, I am at 75 miles, but keep in mind that I will have the St. Augustine Half Marathon on the 16th and will continue to train for the Divas Half on December 7th.

I’m also looking for an exercise challenge for November because I really am enjoying the Burpees and Squats Challenge.  I will probably add those reps into the Toned Arms Challenge I came across Diary of a Fit Mommy’s challenge:

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Even though it’s only a 14 day challenge, I will be able to extend it out.

What are you planning on challenging yourself with in November?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

What are you reading monday

On Sunday morning, I had my long run scheduled for 9 miles, which is the longest that I have attempted to run in over 16 months.  I had two days of cross-training and strength workouts prior to Sunday, so I felt confident I would be able to complete my goal.  With one minor setback of having to calibrate my iPod nana, I was able to run those 9 miles without any issues.

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All of this to say that the remainder of my Sunday was devoted to complete one novel and starting another.

A student gave me Christopher Moore’s Fool when his English III class began to read “King Lear” two weeks ago.  I normally enjoy Moore’s writing style, but this adaptation of the bard’s great piece didn’t pique my interest as much as I had hoped.

3684856(Via Goodreads)“This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as nontraditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank . . . If that’s the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!”

Verily speaks Christopher Moore, much beloved scrivener and peerless literary jester, who hath writteneth much that is of grand wit and belly-busting mirth, including such laurelled bestsellers of the Times of Olde Newe Yorke as Lamb, A Dirty Job, and You Suck (no offense). Now he takes on no less than the legendary Bard himself (with the utmost humility and respect) in a twisted and insanely funny tale of a moronic monarch and his deceitful daughters—a rousing story of plots, subplots, counterplots, betrayals, war, revenge, bared bosoms, unbridled lust . . . and a ghost (there’s always a bloody ghost), as seen through the eyes of a man wearing a codpiece and bells on his head.

Fool

A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear’s cherished fool for years, from the time the king’s grown daughters—selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia—were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege’s side when Lear—at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester—demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father’s request is kind of . . . well . . . stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country’s about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart’s wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He’s already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit . . . and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he’s going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering—cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff)—to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear’s good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia’s twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, from repeated beatings . . . and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who’s amenable to shagging along the way.

Pocket may be a fool . . . but he’s definitely not an idiot.

My Review: 3/5 Stars

I started reading a new-to-me book quickly after for a local book club, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

13526165(Via GoodreadsBernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

I’m enjoying the quasi epistolary style that Semple has chosen to tell this tale, and I was intrigued to find out how this web of emails and direct narration comes together.

Reflective Teaching Challenge Day Twenty-One: My Hobbies

DAY TWENTY ONE

Do you have other hobbies/interests that you bring into your classroom teaching? Explain.

1.  Running

I started running when I was engaged and planning to drop a few pounds before my wedding in 2009.  I didn’t think it would be anything that would last longer than June 2010.  What I realized was that I had found an activity that both modified my body, but cleansed my mind, gave me a goal to work towards, and gave me a greater sense of pride in myself than anything had up until that point.  I began to read and study the art of running.   I signed up for races, developed my own personal training program, and bought into the hype.  Before I knew it, I had started running half marathons and enjoyed it!  I was a runner.

Running Goddess

 

I used all these things today on my long run; that's water, not Vodka

I used all these things today on my long run

Medal and Bib Love my Medal

I bring my love and history of running into the classroom to help demonstrate to my students that benefits of working through the difficulties towards a greater goal.  I share with them that there were many times, more times than not, I wanted to give up.  I wanted to stop right in the middle of a run, the middle of a race to walk back to my car and go home.  I knew the joy and pride I would have if I kept going, and knew the list of reasons why I had started with that first step, and kept going.  I also share with them the cathartic aspect of working through a difficult task.  Most of the time when I share this with students, it’s in relation to the usual school-related topics:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Homework
  • Studying
  • Coming to school on a regular basis

Ultimately, this connection works.  I hang up my race medals in my classroom as an allegory to those sentiments: Work Hard, Achieve Greatness; Learn Who You Are Through Your Struggles

2.  Reading

You cannot be a teacher and not have students assume that you’re a book nerd.  I grasp this assumption by the coffee cup handles and drink it all in.  Naturally, I share my love of reading with my students.  Not only do I let them know that I am a reader, I bring the hobby to school with me in all it’s glory and blemishes.  I let my students know that I have not read as much as I would like to; I”m not as well-read as I should be.  By letting them know that I am not perfect, that I struggle to maintain focus and interest in books as well as they do, they know that their experiences are normal.  Additionally, it shows them that I am interested in what they are.  It’s become well known around my school that I am huge John Green fan.  I show his vlogs, loan out my copies of his novels, and have even created an after-school event to watch “The Fault in Our Stars” on its premiere night.  Do I hyperbolize my fangirl status with John Green?  A bit; that’s not to say that my admiration is any less.  I do this because I want my students to know that I am undeniably enraptured with my love of reading and experiencing.

luv books

Books Collage

 

Matched/Crossed and The Hunger Games trilogy

Matched/Crossed and The Hunger Games trilogy

Read Books Collage

Book Collage

100 Book List One

Book 2

3.  Blogging

A few students know that I write my own blog.  Most of them know that I write, both creatively and for my own cathartic needs.  Similar to my love of running and reader, when I talk to my students about my own writing, I share with them both my triumphs, but my struggles as well.

Run a Sick Ass Blog

Daily Blog Schedule

Original blogging-topic schedule

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Two of my original headers for Fancy Oatmeal

Additionally, I use my own blogging experience to support my requirement for them to maintain their own blogs.  I run down the reasons for why students should write, always looking for new scientific and emotional reasons to further support my statements.  Here is an example:

MGUxMDU1NzExNiMvakFlSldrSWp5VlJpVEZrMkFXLXZDNV80LUZRPS82NXgxMjI6MTE5NHg3NDIvMTI4MHg2MjAvczMuYW1hem9uYXdzLmNvbS9wb2xpY3ltaWMtaW1hZ2VzL2NkeGVjbm54b2Z3bWpibHI4bm1weXFmcmxmbGx3Mm45OGoxdTVkODlsYWV0cDF1bjg1dzF2cTk0cWg5ZW5uZW0uanBn

Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write by Rachel Grate