The book that won the Newbery Medal for children's literature, "The Higher Power of Lucky", has the word scrotum in the first few pages. It talks about a dog being bitten on the scrotum by a rattlesnake. There's a big thing about whether or not libraries and bookstores are going to carry it. I'm so not for censorship, but I'm riding on the line of whether or not it's "appropriate" (I hate that word) for the audience it was intended for. I'm teaching sixth grade for the next seven weeks and something happened that really solidified my view...

The bell had yet to ring and there were some students in my class. A few were going back and forth saying, "You ask her."

"No, you ask." It went on for a few minutes and being that this was the first time I'd had the class I thought it might be something like, "Who are you?" I said, "Ask me what?"

"He wants to know what a douche bag is."

So I wasn't exactly expecting that. I had a quick answer of "You probably don't really want to know yet." I felt pretty guilty for that answer because I would have hated getting it, but the group seemed all right. All I could think about was the word scrotum and all this controversy about it. That book is right in there with the age group my students are, and I would not want to have to explain what a scrotum is. Even if I answered it indirectly, in a truthful kind of way, like, "It's part of the body." "It's part of the male anatomy." That doesn't answer everything. They would dig until they got it; it's their job to.

Holding Hands

I don't know why people don't hold hands more often these days, and I'm not speaking specifically about couples. I think that holding hands should be something like a hug. Sometimes when I'm next to someone, I have the urge to place my hand on top of theirs - a simple sign of affection. I guess it's throwing it back to elementary days, where I walked around at recess holding hands with my friends. There's something sweet and personal about it, and I wish it was one of those things people didn't grow out of.

Friday marked my last day at Northwest Classen High School. I'm moving to the middle school at Northeast Academy tomorrow. I'm excited, but also super sad. I was completely comfortable and happy at Northwest. I LOVE the students there and can't believe I won't be their teacher again for the rest of the semester. I also really loved the teachers who I was around every day. I'm going to miss getting to say "Quigley" throughout the day in addressing my mentor teacher (Mr. Quigley). I feel so lucky that I love teaching. I really look forward to going to school and enjoy coming up with ideas to keep things interesting. It keeps my on my toes, and there are very few things that have that ability...I get bored easily, but have a certain power to keep myself from being bored too often. We're waiting to see if Jake gets in accepted at OU and also to get my teacher certification test scores back so I can start applying for jobs. We can also figure out where we'd like to move to once those two things take place. Life is exciting right now, but it also feels a bit like a waiting game...

I would be Ann

When people decide to call me by half of my name, they always choose the first half, and I wonder why. If I had to choose, I would rather be an Ann than a Brie. That's all.

Maybe it's not all. The only people who really call me by just the first half of my name are people who I love an awful lot, so it has become more like a nickname than my name being cut short...

I only have two weeks left at the school where I'm currently student teaching. I'm pretty sad about that. I love Northwest Classen High School like I never thought I could. The students amaze me everyday. It's like the potential of the world bottled up inside of an old classroom with young minds that could be great minds with just the right lesson. One new idea could spark a life-long passion within them. I'm sure I will love my new school just as much, but there's a certain dynamic at Northwest that almost makes me giddy.

I've decided that I want to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. I don't want to do it, however, until that is all I have to do. I don't want to be teaching full time and trying to wring out the juices of creativity. When I graduate in May, I will have achieved a four-year degree in three years. I didn't really have much time to explore different areas as much as I would have liked because I was so busy with all of my required coursework. I don't want it to be that way when I am in a program specifically focused on writing. I've been playing with the idea of writing a piece that follows a family of illegal immigrants. I want a large focus to be where they came from - how their former home compares to being in a place they had to break the law to get to. I want people to understand why other human beings think it a necessary move to cross the border into a new country...and not just generic surface understanding. I don't know how to go about finding a family to document just yet ;). It might be neat to get several different famililies' perspectives.

I can't wait for May to get here...more specifically Cinco de Mayo - the day we graduate, YES!


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