Thank you for the thoughtful comments I received when I asked about your reading/viewing experiences of To Kill a Mockingbird -- they are really helpful! I will reply to them, but for now, I can't resist directing your attention to something incredible:

Firestorm Erupts Over Virginia's Education Goals

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?! I thought Sue Sylvester was fictional....
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    indescribable indescribable
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Have you read/seen To Kill a Mockingbird?

My eighth graders are reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Right after Thanksgiving I will lead a two-week media unit that includes showing the movie version with Gregory Peck. I have too many ideas, and I want to pare them down. If you have time to help me by responding to some of these questions, I'd really appreciate it!

- As an adult, what do you wish you had learned about watching movies/television when you were in school?

- Have you read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird? How old were you when you first read it? What did you think of it?

- Have you seen the movie To Kill a Mockingbird? When was the first time you saw it? What did you think of it?

- Have you seen the parody animated short How to Kill a Mockingbird? If so, what do you think of it?

- What do you think is important for a middle school student to learn in a media unit that needs to incorporate the classic film version of To Kill a Mockingbird? Of the following, which do you think is most important (please write your own if it's not here):
1. To become more thoughtful consumers of popular media in general.
2. To acquire the specific vocabulary and skills that enable students to analyze films.
3. To use moving image media as texts to practice reading and writing skills.
4. To engage deeply with a specific movie, because such skills are transferable to multiple kinds of texts.
5. To be exposed to a broad range of media that offer different perspectives surrounding the main text.
6. To be a fun experience, because pleasure will make everything else more memorable.
7. To reflect on the students' own values and personal history with media consumption.

Argh! Why can't I just have it all?

Well, I can go to sleep. Yes I can.

Good night!

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One toe at a time

Dear friends,

I felt so moved and loved that so many of you commented on my post about Sesame. Thank you.

I miss participating on LJ. It takes time, and I'm not sure if I can do it yet, but I want to try.

The last time I was a semi-regular LJ participant was in summer 2010. That was when I became so depressed that I couldn't work or live independently anymore. I had been fighting my mental illness almost continuously since 2002, and something in me gave out. I surrendered the last piece of me of which I was proud -- my pride.

A lot has changed since then. I participated in many treatment programs. I still see a therapist once a week, and I'm still working hard to build a life that I want to live, but I believe that the worst is past. It still feels miraculous to me that I almost never want to kill myself anymore -- the thought has hardly crossed my mind twice this year, and it used to be a daily if not hourly struggle to think about something else. I have also switched careers, although I'm still in education: I am getting my certification to teach high school English. I now live in New York City, although I don't know how long I will stay. I now like myself much of the time. That still sounds weird to me, but I like it.

I'm going to start slow. I hope to make a post once a week, or once every two weeks. I plan to answer comments. However, I don't think I'm ready to start reading my friends page yet, even though I want to catch up and reciprocate. So please, if there's something new that you would like to tell me about, or if you would like me to check out a post, let me know in comments or send me an LJ message?

I am so grateful for the friends I've made here. You've helped me to weather some of the worst storms in my life. As I rebuild my life, I hope to recover this precious part of it as well.

elephant trampolene!

pride and joy

Same-sex marriage was legalized in New York State late last Friday. I feel happy and moved and proud to be a New Yorker. It's another step toward greater equality.

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PS: It was extra-special and fun because I was there with zandperl , who I haven't been in touch with for some time, and we got to hang out and catch up :) .

a small story

I've been away for a long time, and don't know when I'll be able to "come back" fully. I miss LJ -- I miss keeping up with my friends here.

Today I wanted to write something, anything, with a beginning, middle, and end. This was the result. I don't know yet if I like it, and I feel nervous about posting it and then disappearing again. But I've been trying to take more chances, so here goes anyway:

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burning chopsticks

I just...

...killed a spider with my bare hand before I knew what it was.

I'm going to go amputate my hand now. Just as soon as I find my bone saw.
taking a break

there is a ship, and she sails the seas

I've been doing the w word (let's not speak of it!) and therefore have been extra vigilant about my spending. So far so good -- I bought four rice bowls, but that was only $4, and rice bowls are very practical *nods emphatically* My Amazon wishlist reports alarming growth, however. Must...sit...on...hands....

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In the next installment, a tour of the ship that indulged my inner pleasure-seeker and that provoked my inner Marxist.