Welcome July

Happy 1st of July! 

I am really excited to begin this new month.  It’s going to be the craziest and busiest month for us because we have so many friends and family members who are coming to meet our son, Cliff.  How blessed are we that many people love us enough to take time out of their schedules for us.  Thank goodness Cliff has been working on his selfie faces because I’m sure there will be plenty of picture taking and memory making!

June was an interesting month for us, and went out like a bang…literally.  Here are the highlights:

  • I spoke at my school’s graduation ceremony and watched my first group of students walk across the stage.
  • Dan wrapped up the school year and started his summer vacation.  It’s been great having all three of us home during the day.
  • I joined Bailey’s Gym to help get me closer to my pre-baby body.  I forgot how much I enjoyed working out in a legit gym.  The atmosphere inspires me to push myself more than when I’m at home.
  • Dan celebrated his first ever Father’s Day.  I wish I could have done more to express how much Cliff and I love him and what a phenomenal father he is.
  • I attended a week-long Advanced Placement Literature conference and got SOOOO inspired!  I have been developing my new courses and reading/rereading books like a curriculum planning-aholic.
  • Dan and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by watching “Hail, Caesar!” and eating a delicious dinner at home.  #NewParents
  • Two wonderful young ladies that graduated a few years ago came over to visit, and it was nice catching up with them.
  • Cliff also had his 3-month appointment and got a solid bill of healthy from his pediatrician.  We are working on his sleeping at night because it has been fluctuating lately.  The doctor suggested that he may be having some digestive issues because she noticed a pattern between the pace and quantity of his eating habits and his poor sleeping sessions.  She suggested some Mylicon, and that has made a huge difference already!

NOT my baby =)

What’s In Store for July

July is going to be hectic but in a good way.  Just because we will be entertaining friends and family doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals to keep up with.

Books/Reading & Curriculum Planning:

I want to review the books that I have included in my curriculums for this upcoming school year.  I have read all of them before, but not necessarily used them for direct instruction.  Also, with teaching a section of Advanced Placement Literature, I will need to revamp my teaching strategies to support a new way to analyze and write about the texts they will be studying.

One of the strategies that I took away from my week-long conference was to give students a specific task for their reading that qualifies under a “Seek and List” title.  For example: Read the poem, “Groceries” by Cathy Smith Bowers, and create a list of similes and/or metaphors for things that are damaged.  Then, choose two and explain how and why the author used these devices to create tone.

Goal: Review the following books & create “Lists”

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Health and Wellness:

New moms have a difficult standard to live up to when they’re trying to lose the baby weight.  I don’t like the term “get back” your body because that assumes that there’s a loss, a void, a deficit when you don’t have the same physique after having a baby.  A woman’s body is put through total trauma to carry and deliver a new life, and it should be handled with tenderness and love.  As a culture, we are too violent with our expectations that women should “snap back” and quickly.  EVERY SINGLE aspect of your life changes once you become a parent or add another sibling to the pack, so why stress about having a different body?  That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with wanting to be healthy and in shape, or ever aspire to fit back into your old wardrobe; I am someone who has focused on that specific goal now that I’ve had my son.  The difference is that I don’t demand it to happen before it’s time, or set unrealistic expectations.  I work out every day, true, but I also did that before and during my pregnancy.  I slowly built my cardio and strength training routines back up, slowly and carefully.  I am not back to my fitness level, but I am not beating myself up about it.  Some women may achieve their goals sooner than me, some may take longer.  Just like all pregnancies, like all babies, each woman’s journey is specific to them and shouldn’t be compared to others’.  With that being said, I do have a goal for July to help me get closer to my ultimate goal.

July Goal: Workout daily & fit into my black and khaki capri pants.

Ultimate Goal: Workout daily & fit into my old wardrobe.

*Notice I don’t have a weight or pant size goal.  I just want to fit into the clothes that I used to wear.

Family:

Clearly, it is going to be a full month for the Ferrari family!  My ultimate goal is to enjoy each and every moment that we will get to spend with our out-of-town guests.

My Book List for the Remainder of May

Sometimes it’s important to know when enough is enough.  I’ve had to do that with COUNTLESS boyfriends books: I did that with the Reached and Crossed by putting poor Ally Condie’s buzzkiller series; I was encouraged to read a few James Patterson titles, and not that they weren’t worth reading, they just were not for me.  After watching the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby and being reminded of how a truly ______ book can move me, I knew that something had to be done with my current list of reading material.

Life is Too Short

With this thought in mind,I am going to pass on reading the next Cousins’ War book, The Red Queen because I cannot be bothered to read the same plot line from a different bitter, power-hungry, quasi mythical woman.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t be watching “The White Queen” series on STARZ coming in August.

I might be a few (22) days late to be announcing the titles that I will be reading for May, but better late than never.

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The Great Gatsby

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American Psycho

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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The Great Gatsby the Movie Review

120 students

6 chaperones

3 buses

142 minutes of visual, auditory, and literary-to-live-action bliss

I’ve read other reviews that were not so complimentary to Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerlad’s The Great Gatsby, so my guards were down and my expectations even lower.  I am a true fan of Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet with the same leading man, but I also consider that when the film debuted, I was a hormonal, lovesick teenager who would swoon at a broomstick if it fell in my direction.

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Needless to say, I would have seen The Great Gatsby no matter what because:

A.) It’s a film adaptation of a novel that I love and appreciate

B.) There was a field trip already planned, so it was easy enough to join in.

C.)  Ummm, it’s Leo, so yea.

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Here are some of the gripes that other people have had about the film:

1.  The modern music juxtaposed with the 1920s era

2.  “It was too shiny”

3.  Too slow-moving

Here’s what I have to say about the grips that other people have had about the film:

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What I liked:

  • The acting was phenomenal.

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Some people have criticized DiCaprio and said that he has been too emotional or over-the-top in his acting, yet I cannot get enough.  I felt that he, and the other actors, were able to embrace the essence of Fitzgerald’s characters, and didn’t try too hard to add their own spin.  Carey Mulligan was a wonderful choice to play Daisy Buchanan; she was likeable as the story unfolded, and as we gained insight into her past, her charm, the audience was able to see why Gatsby would love such a woman so completely, yet be blinded by her inner character.  Joel Edgerton, who portrayed Tom Buchanan was able to execute an unimaginable brute that married Daisy and kept a dozen or more women as distractions from his husbandly vows.  I am not so much a Tobey McGuire fan, but he did a well enough job that I didn’t dislike Nick Carraway.

  • The essence of the novel rang true

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Many times when a book is turned into a film, readers’ hearts break.  So much can be lost in the conversion due to limited time, cinematic capabilities, and the in-tangibleness that can only be expressed in word.  However, the Luhrmann was able to include so many of the novel’s symbols and atmosphere that the audience did not miss any of it.  It was not overly obvious or “insisting upon itself,” but there was enough done by the part of the director, actors, and other film-making roles that I don’t know about that the anxiety, tension, joy, desperation, and hope was not cartoonish or missed.

  • The right balance of modern and traditional

I was never distracted by hearing Jay Z, Beyonce, Florence + The Machine, or will.i.am.  I enjoyed how the glamor of Gatsby’s parties, the excess of the life of the 20s was portrayed.  The balance was handled well.

Overall, I loved this film and appreciate its sincerity.  I would rate this as 4.5 out of 5 stars, and with that review I am off to reread the novel.

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