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.

The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian Review

part-time-indian1  (Summary via Goodreads.com)In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

My Review:

The reason why I even found this novel in my hand was because it is a required reading for my first summer TESOL course through the University of Cincinnati.  I have heard of The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian before, but it never registered with me to be something I would pick up “next” to read.  I am very glad that I did, and very eager for my class to begin, because if this is the type of literature that my professor chooses, then I am in for a great 8 weeks.

What I really liked about this novel:

  • A strong, relatable voice from the narrator, Junior

“I grabbed my book and opened it up. I wanted to smell it. Heck, I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. That’s right, I am a book kisser. Maybe that’s kind of perverted or maybe it’s just romantic and highly intelligent.”

  • The mood and tone of the novel was present, yet not preachy

“Do you understand how amazing it is to hear that from an adult? Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It’s one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they’re the four hugest words in the world when they’re put together.

You can do it.”

  • Alexie created characters that allowed the reader to connect with them, even if on a “I hate that guy” feeling

“My grandmother’s greatest gift was tolerance. Now, in the old days, Indians used to be forgiving of any kind of eccentricity. In fact, weird people were often celebrated. Epileptics were often shamans because people just assumed that God gave seizure-visions to the lucky ones. Gay people were seen as magical too. I mean, like in many cultures, men were viewed as warriors and women were viewed as caregivers. But gay people, being both male and female, were seen as both warriors and caregivers. Gay people could do anything. They were like Swiss Army knives! My grandmother had no use for all the gay bashing and homophobia in the world, especially among other Indians. “Jeez,” she said, Who cares if a man wants to marry another man? All I want to know is who’s going to pick up all the dirty socks?”

  • The conflicts that Junior faces are real; there was never a point where I felt that Alexie was “piling on” or becoming overly sentimental or dramatic.  This is something that easily could have happened during the death of Junior’s grandmother or his father’s best friend, Eugene, or the overall state of poverty, discrimination, and abuse that exists on the reservation.

“When it comes to death, we know that laughter and tears are pretty much the same thing.

And so, laughing and crying, we said good-bye to my grandmother. And when we said goodbye to one grandmother, we said good-bye to all of them.

Each funeral was a funeral for all of us.

We lived and died together.

All of us laughed when they lowered my grandmother into the ground.

And all of us laughed when they covered her with dirt.

And all of us laughed as we walked and drove and rode our way back to our lonely, lonely houses.”