March. proper noun. The month of the start of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Women’s History Month, Easter (sometimes), my sister’s birthday, and spring break (and all the teachers said amen).
Life has been swinging right along, and March has disappeared exceedingly fast. Maybe it’s the weather that has not been awfully temperamental by Minnesota standards. More likely it’s that my plate has been full recently. Read on to find out all that I’ve been loving. Linking up with Leigh Kramer, as always.
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith. This mystery redeemed my opinion of J.K. Rowling’s adult fiction. (I attempted, but strongly disliked, The Casual Vacancy.) She is the queen of intriguing little details and story-winding. It works well for mystery. I’m excited to read the sequel.
The Selection – Kiera Cass. Think dystopian world meets The Bachelor for teens. It’s light and fun, but the ending – one of those read the next book to find out who Maxim chooses! – was frustrating.
Self-Raised – E.D.E.N. Southward. The sequel to Ishmael, a book I was introduced to by the boyfriend. While Ishmael was all about the main character’s rise in society through moral perfection, this one held much more intrigue as a side character attempts to escape a scoundrel of a husband. Fun fact: the author was friends with Harriet Beecher Stowe and is among one of the female writers who influenced Northern politics after the Civil War, according to a random book I noticed in a bookstore.
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie – Jordan Sonnenblick. Steven is just a drummer with a crush on the hot girl in his eighth grade class…until his brother gets cancer. This is more sassy – and less weepy – than your typical cancer story, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Currently reading: The Lake House – Kate Morton; The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown.
Lincoln –I know this movie is old news, but if you’re behind the times like me, watch it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It touched on all aspects of Lincoln’s life, from his role as a father to his tenuous political relationships, with artistry. Bonus if you watch it with a history major.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding II – My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of the movies that my family has practically memorized, so we all went to the sequel together on Easter weekend. The plot isn’t as original as the first, but it got just as many laughs from us. Especially from my parents, who thought it was hilarious to watch a movie about rekindling marriages with their children. We thought it was… awkward…but funny.
Parks and Rec – It’s possible that I need to add some variety to my TV watching, but I’m at the point in the show where the Leslie/Ben thing is just beginning and everything is delightful.
Hamilton – I knew about the opening number to this Broadway show from the Oscars performance. Then the boyfriend introduced me to the rest of the songs and the actual storyline. A story about a Founding Father told in epic hip-hop? I enjoyed it so much that I downloaded the entire album for the long drive home. I don’t normally grin foolishly while driving down I-94. Or listen to 90 minutes’ worth of podcasts about a single album. Definitely did with this one. Two of my favorites are below.
On that note, I also discovered NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast through their episode on Hamilton. It’s smart and nerdy and fun – the kind of NPR I can get behind.
The Piano Guys Pandora station has also kept me sane during some long after school grading and planning sessions.
Listing the small, good things that happen at school in the same notebook where I write all of my notes and to-do lists.
Crack broccoli. Oh my yum.
My meme/classroom rules bulletin board. Kids actually look at it. Except one of them once walked up to the board, pointed to the picture of Grumpy Cat, and asked “Is this you today, Ms. Christenson?”
Having brunch at J. Arthur’s with a friend. We had good conversation – and a single pancake massive enough that I got 3 meals out of it.
Going to a Piano Guys concert. My college roommate got Piano Guys tickets for her birthday, and I was the lucky duck who got to accompany her. Watching them perform the 8-hand version of “What Makes You Beautiful” and seeing them bring actual bagpipes on stage for a mash-up of “Amazing Grace” and “Fight Song” was amazing, to say the least.
Flying to Washington DC. I spent my spring break with some of the very best company. We drove to Harper’s Ferry, wandered through the National Gallery, ate out an irresponsible amount, and went to a concert at the Kennedy Center. While he worked during the week, I joined him for lunch and learned how to use public transportation so I could check out the fascinating exhibit on news coverage of 9/11 at the Newseum, the Air and Space Museum, and some fun shops.
Celebrating my sister’s birthday. We got donuts and went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Can you tell she likes dessert? The next day, my whole family got together for a Rend Collective concert. Their Irish feisty-ness is such fun.
Celebrating Easter. I didn’t have any extra time off from school, so I fit 12 hours of drive time into a regular weekend. It was worth it to play Dutch Blitz and eat a lot of Absurdly Addictive Asparagus with my family.
Teaching. It has been a month of a lot of progress and a little frustration. I read somewhere that adolescents misinterpret emotions and directions up to 40% of the time. I’m beginning to believe it may be more like 70%. On the bright side, my students make me laugh, and I am gaining quite a list of interesting quotes, like this one: After looking at my example on the board, one student said, without sarcasm, “You’re really good at the ELA thing. You should go pro.” My response: “Yep. I did.”
What have you been into this month?