Plays and Marie Kondo

School starts today, and I am about 75% ready. More importantly, though, I’m requiring one of my classes to blog every week, so I figured I better get back into it myself post haste.

Here’s what happened since my last update:

1. I won the lottery to see the touring production of Frozen, which means I got to see it for $29 (once the fees were added in). My seat was to the side of the stage so some of the action was cut off, but for $25, I have so few complaints. It was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see how they changed the production to make it work on stage (rearranging scenes, adding scenes, more songs, different ways of getting the characters in the same room, etc.). The biggest change was that they made Elsa and Anna’s dad less terrible than he is in the movie, though he’s still not great. Oh, and Elsa’s motivations and fears are just a little bit clearer.

The best part was probably the young woman behind me who LOST HER MIND when “Let It Go” started. The gasp of joy she let out when those first few notes started was just such a highlight. (It also helped me forgive her for singing along with the other songs prior to that–just a little.)

2. I also went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child up in San Francisco. The effects in the play were mind-blowing. The guy in front of me kept losing his mind–like, legit LOSING HIS MIND–every time some bit of magic happened on stage. I could see him trying to figure out just how they did everything, and he would turn to his girlfriend (?) every time like, “Did you SEE THAT???” Hahahaha, it was (sorry, not sorry) magical.

The play itself was really spectacular. My friend asked me who was the cursed child, Harry’s son or Draco’s, and, really, there are, like, six cursed children in the play, if you count the two kids, Harry, Draco, Cedric, and SPOILER. (I know you know that I’m not telling you.)

The guy who played Scorpius was really good, and I thought Harry was also perfectly cast. It’s always wild to me that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are my age, and so, you know, they were actually MY AGE on stage. Wild.

I wish I had re-read the play before I went because I could not remember a lot of the fine details, though none of the big twists or reveals came as a shock, and I would love to compare how I imagined it to how it actually played out on stage. As it is, I will just have to re-read it at some point in the future, I guess.

3. I also finished one book:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is probably the best self-help book I’ve ever read. It’s grounded in spiritual practices like gratitude, and it has clear, actionable steps that can be taken immediately.

I listened to the audio, so A+ on the narration as well. This is a book in translation, so some of the terms were awkward to my American ears, but I got over that pretty quickly.

Also, my favorite part about this book is all of the stories about a tween Marie Kondo trying to tidy her family’s home, so it was like having a bonus middle grade story in the pages of a self-help book. Hot tip: I would 100% read a good middle grade novel about a girl trying to tidy up her family home while realizing that she really needs to deal with her own stuff instead. Come to think of it: that’s probably why I liked this book so much. I saw the adorable middle grade novel within. Also, of course, I can now easily find all my clothes because I use the KonMari folding method.

View all my reviews

4. I am going to have to step up my reading since, again, I’m requiring my students to do so much of it.

Have a great week, everyone!

More abandoned books! #IMWAYR

(I don’t know why I am feeling the exclamation point for post titles so far this year, but I’m going to leave it.)

The title, btw, is only a little misleading. I mean, I did *finish* a book, after all.

SadieSadie by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio, and I love a full-cast audio, so this really delivered. Rebecca Soler (narrator of The Lunar Chronicles) narrates all of Sadie’s parts, and she is the actual best so that was A+++.

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My first reading update of the new year! #IMWAYR

Welp, I said I wasn’t participating in any reading challenges, and then here comes Audible with their three  audiobooks in three months challenge, complete with a $20 gift card if you complete it.

Audible Challenge 2020

And if you thought your girl wasn’t going to read and WIN MONEY for doing so, then you don’t know me at all. Not to mention I have (a) plenty of audiobook credits to spare and (b) a 20-minute commute Monday-Thursday while I teach the winter session. So. Here we are.

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#AMonthofFaves Winter Reading

I was still in the throes of wrapping up my semester Monday and then I spent all day today traveling, so I’m coming to this one a little late. It’s a combo Month of Faves / It’s Monday (Tuesday)! What Are You Reading? post.

Mon. | Dec 16 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading – Your fave reads from last Winter, or seasonal reads you love, or books on this year’s winter reading list.

I’m going to focus on the books I plan to read over winter break (the next two weeks!). There are three of them, though I may, of course, finish more.

 

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Five Random Things

1. This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I want to give a shout out to all my colleagues and teacher friends past and present. They inspire me every day and help me in so many ways. I was going to try to list just how they do that, but I realize that it would just be too much to catalog because it’s just that much and that often. I am just truly grateful to have so many awesome people in my life.

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Patti LaBelle and Step Aerobics

Today is the last day of class before the end of NaNoWriMo, and my students are very studiously working on their drafts, so I figured now is as good a time as any to update.

1. First, let me just say that watching my creative writing students write during NaNo has been such a delight. They come in and get right to it. Headphones on, laptops or notebooks open, and away they go. I have put a prompt up on the board every day (some requested it), but I have no idea if they’re using them–I just know that they’re intensely focused on writing. It is a joy to behold.

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TV! Music! Books!

Ugh, allergies are kicking my butt. But I will not let them keep me from writing this post.

First, I am writing this while I attempt to make waffles on my new waffle maker. I am not off to a good start as I misread the waffle directions because the numbers were blurry. (I though it said 1 1/2 cups for both the mix and the milk, but it said 1 1/3 cup and 1 1/4 cup, respectively.) Does this mean I have to start wearing reading glasses? I think this is definitely a writing on the wall situation.

ask me to stay
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Okay, maybe not Pacey’s writing on the wall to Joey situation, but still.

Second, TV has been very good to me this past few weeks.

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#ReverseReadathon Wrap Up

This weekend, I participated in my first ever readathon, Dewey’s reverse read-a-thon. As a wrap up, I’m going to answer the questions from the Hour 24 Closing Survey.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

I have a regularly scheduled appointment on Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m., which is fine, but after that, instead of going straight home, I decided to run some errands which both ate into my reading time (though I did listen to an audiobook in the car) and also exhausted me, which led to me falling asleep for the last three hours of the read-a-thon when I intended to take a 10-minute nap.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

Okay, as a reminder, I planned to read the following books:

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Students, Books, and Lean on Me

Today, I had a student come by the office to talk about his grade because he didn’t like it.

clueless travis
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Which, you know, that happens. He didn’t think he deserved the grade he got, so I went through the paper with him and showed him how he didn’t do what I asked for or misrepresented the text.

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I finished a book! #SOL18

I was going to say that maybe I had broken my March reading slump, but then I checked how many books I finished last March (five) and realized that I’ll probably finish five books this month. So I was just being dramatic as usual.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot MysteryThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, yes, this was very good. As this was an audiobook, I should point out that I really enjoyed the narration.

Continue reading “I finished a book! #SOL18”