Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There's Something Here, But I'm Not Sure What

As I was driving towards the local shopping city, I was thinking about this upcoming weekend. We're heading off to visit family in Michigan and to enjoy seeing 3 of my 4 siblings and their families.  I also realized I had a church errand I needed to do before we left.  And a couple of things occurred to me.

1.  I am the only sibling of my family that is a member of the denomination that we were baptized in.  My mother was raised and married in a New England Congregational Church, and the 4 oldest of us were baptized in that church.  Our youngest sibling was baptized in a Congregational church in another state, but we all attended Congregational/UCC  Sunday school.   While I was in college, my family moved to a state where they found a new church home in the local Presbyterian church.  My mom was a Presbyterian when she died.  However, skipping a long story, my mom was buried by the associate pastor of her birth Congregational (now UCC) church! Throughout college I worked part-time as a secretary for one of the associate pastors at the UCC church I attended and I moved my church membership there.   The pastor was one of the clergy who officiated at my wedding when I finished college.  Meanwhile, my sibs went to school and found new homes in other churches.  Nowadays they are Presbyterians, Methodists, and Lutherans, and 75% of them are active in their churches.    There's probably nothing important about this train of thought, but it struck me.  I think that even though I "knew" my sibs weren't UCC/Congregational, I've just always thought "we were a UCC family."  I realized for the first time, that for my younger siblings, they've lived longer as members of some other denomination than they did in our "home" denomination.

2.   I've been part of many discussions at church about how to bring young people into the church,  how to attract families, how to grow the congregation.  There's been a lot of "Why don't parents bring their kids to Sunday school?"  Well, why aren't we questioning ourselves?   My own children are not part of, and were never part of my church.  My husband is Jewish, albeit a non-religious Jew, but he was not willing for me to raise our sons in my church.  That has been my struggle, and my pain.  They've certainly been exposed to my active church life and Christian faith, but they are not members of any faith at this point.   I look at other active church members and wonder. What happened that their children are not here?    At 56, I am one of the "younger" active church members.  There is a whole generation of folks missing in our congregation for the most part - the 12-40's.  Our children and grandchildren aren't here.  They're not anywhere for the most part. We do have a small group of Sunday school children at present, for which we are thankful.  Maybe the next time somebody says "Why don't parents bring their kids to church?" I'll be brave enough to say "Here's why my kids aren't part of this church, how come yours aren't?"  A little like checking for the logs in our eyes???

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the Needles

Except for sewing on the really cute buttons I purchased for this sweater, this baby sweater is finished.

From Knitting Gallery

It's a Fiber Arts pattern Zarina #15 otherwise called Seed Stitch Cardigan. I can't find any web link for it. I got the pattern for free when I purchased the yarn at Fiber Arts, a lovely yarn store in Cape May, NJ over my April vacation. The yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino, and the sweater took exactly one skein. I have 42 inches of yarn left! I haven't sewed the buttons on yet, because I put them in a safe place until I needed them. I saw them in that safe place last week. Do you think I can remember where that safe place is now that I'm ready or them??? I Of course not!  I also need to gently block it.  The body of the sweater is all stockinette, which makes it a quick knit even if it's on size 3 needles.  The bands and the cuffs of the sweater are all in seed stitch.

From Knitting Gallery

 I loved working with the yarn. I love the little pocket too!

From Knitting Gallery

 This is baby present #2 of 3 which I started last night.

From Knitting Gallery

 It's the Easy  Lace Baby Blanket from the latest issue of Creative Knitting.  and I'm using Plymouth Encore from Webs  in honeydew.  It's only a 4 row pattern, and 2 of those rows are purl backs!  So this should be my travel knitting for a while.

I am awaiting a box of yarn from Webs.  My knitting buddy and I each ordered a bunch of close out sock yarn over the weekend.  Not that either of us needs more sock yarn.  But as I explained to a nonknitting friend of mine,  some folks lust over shoes.  We lust over yarn!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Middle School Literature!

Book #58!

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I need another ratings bar -- one for how much I personally liked a book, and how much I think my students will like a book. I know that this is a popular title with many middle school girls, so I finally got around to reading it. The setting is sometime in the future in what used to the U.S. A major rebellion among the districts against the ruling government resulted in a vengeful punishment that has become a mandatory sporting event akin to the World Cup. Katniss has volunteerred to represent her district at the Hunger Games, taking the place of her younger sister whose name was chosen in "the reaping." Twenty-four teenagers battle each other to the death, with one winner emerging victoriously. The fast-paced novel keeps readers glued to the book, and it is a very compelling read. I did stay up late to finish it last night, but I also found it disturbing. I'd recommend it for older middle school students. Katniss is a conflicted heroine and the author did a great job of portraying her world. This is the first of several books in the series, and I will most likely read the next ones.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keeping Track

I've been keeping track of the books I read each year on  Goodreads.  I try to write at least a short review of each, and I sort them various ways for my own amusement.  It started when I "guesstimated" how many books I read in a year in a conversation with another readaholic.  In 2008 I read 106 books, in 2009 I read 105, and so far this year I've read 57.  Now I suppose I'd feel very virtuous if I could tell you that these books were deeply edifying, educational, and enlightening, but for the most part, they are pure entertainment.  I have definitely read some very challenging books, most recently Parallel Journeys, but mostly they are mysteries, mostly they are parts of series with familiar characters and plotlines, and mostly they do not challenge my brain or my beliefs.  And I'm mostly okay with that.  I am constantly challenged by my work with adolescents so I definitely need the escapist reading.

Here's Book #56

A Grave Denied (Kate Shugak, Book 13) A Grave Denied by Dana Stabenow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Grave Denied is another terrific installment in the Kate Shugak series. Kate's "ward" Johnnie Morgan and his classmates discover the frozen body of a long-time Park resident in a glacial cave.  Jim Chopin asks Kate to help with the investigation, much to the jealous dismay of Dandy Mike, who's hoping to become Jim's assistant trooper.  As in all the other books, a few more murders/attempted murders occur before Kate gets it all sorted out.  What made this book standout for me was the inclusion of Johnny's journals.  I really liked his point of view about the events, and about Kate. Perhaps too, there's some foreshadowing for future novels as it's clear he has a major crush on Kate.  I also like the way Kate was honored by her community, and especially her reaction to their love!

View all my reviews >>

And here's #57:

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've always enjoyed Agatha Christie, but somehow had never read this one which introduce Tommy and Tuppence and the Young Adventurers partnership.  This was quite entertaining with very likable characters and a sensational plot ripped out of 1920's headlines.  I'm guessing it was written early in her career because while there were several plot twists, I actually figured out two of them on my own.  In other words, my own "little grey cells" were up this challenge.  I also think that she captured the flavor of the time quite well - or at least the stereotype of the era.  I haven't read other Tommy and Tuppence novels, yet, but will be putting them on my list.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The current Friday Five at at RevGalBlogPals is an invitation to share what I like or dislike about summer.  So here goes:

1.  The relaxed schedule!   I don't have to set my alarm for 4:45, I don't have get on the hamster wheel that has me driving to work at 6:20 and driving home again at 6:20, I don't have to cram all my errands and chores into Saturday, I don't have to always balance what I need to do with what I want to do.  I can stay up past 10 pm if I want to, or go to bed early.  I can have a whole 2nd cup of coffee instead of pouring the 2nd cup and leaving it on the table since I never really have time to drink it during the school year.

2.  My porch!  I love sitting on my porch in the glider/rocker I brought home from my parents' porch, a glass of ice water with lime and mint, and either my knitting or a good book in my hands.  Or sitting there in the dark at night, watching bats swoop around the yard, or the fireflies twinkling.

3.  Open windows!  Despite the fact that the birds can wake me up earlier than I wish them to, I love hearing them as the dawn breaks.  I love the sound of the wind and wind chime in my pear tree.  I even like the sound of the June bugs attacking the screen despite the fact that the sound terrified me as a child.

4.  The sometimes perfect weather like yesterday -- low 80°'s, brilliant blue sky, only the faintest whisp of a cloud, and no humidity.  If I could find a place to live that had weather like that most of the time, I'd be happy.  It's hot enough to go swimming, but not so hot that you can't still get chores done.

5.  Ice cream at the local ice cream stand, fresh veggies from the garden or in our CSA basket, and lots of fresh fruit -- local strawberries, local blueberries, and even  a few cherries from our tree in front, although the crows and squirrels get most of those.

Summer for me is the time to recharge my battery, to rest and vegetate, at least for a couple of weeks.  Then I can start my planning for the next school year - reading the new books I need to read, developing the new lessons I need to plan, getting familiar with new curriculum, and learning whatever it is I need to learn in order to head back into the classroom refreshed and rejuvenated.  If you're a teacher, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This and That and . . . More Books!

A busy, busy week.  Monday and Tuesday I spent working on ELA curriculum with a group of K-8 teachers.  I have another day of that work next week.  Wednesday we traveled down to North Attleboro, MA to meet our 2 sons. Younger Son is visiting from the West Coast and was spending a very short amount of time with his brother.  We met them both, took them out to lunch, and then brought Younger Son home so that he could attend a friend's bachelor party.  In fact, we dropped him off at another friend's house who took him to the party and then drove him back to our house at noon on Thursday!  Then Younger Son and Dad drove to Springfield, MA to pick up Younger Son's girlfriend.  They all got back here at 6:30 last night.  Once the travelers decide to rise and shine, they plan on climbing the local mountain.  It's a beautiful day to do that, but the morning's almost over, and they are still asleep!  Tomorrow they go to the wedding they came east for.  Meanwhile, I've also done some significant cleaning, had a lovely knitting afternoon with a good friend, and I've grocery shopped and cooked.  And of course, I've read a couple more books!

The first is another installment in the Deborah Crombie  Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones series:

Now May You Weep (Kincaid/James, #9) Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another winner!  Gemma James accompanies her best friend Hazel Cavendish on a cooking weekend in Scotland.  To her dismay she discovers that Hazel is meeting the man she should have married.  Meanwhile, Kit's grandmother is suing for custody, and Kit refuses to take a paternity test.  Of course a murder occurs over Gemma's holiday weekend, and since she's out of her jurisdiction, she can't run the investigation.  The focus of this installment is more on Gemma's relationships and her personal insights into her own motivations.  I really liked this one.

View all my reviews >>

The second book was completely different.  I read it because it's one of the books read in 7th grade, my new grade level.  What a challenging book!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm a middle school teacher moving to 7th grade next year, and I was given a pile of books that the 7th grade uses.  This one was on top of the stack.

Parallel Journeys is a nonfiction account of Helen Waterford, a Jewish girl who survived Auschwitz, and Alfons Heck, a powerful member of Hitler Youth.  The chapters alternate between Helen and Alfons.  Interspersed between their chilling first-person diary entries is the well-researched chronicling of the events leading up to and through World War II primarily from Germany's perspective. This will definitely be a challenging read for students, especially on an emotional level.

I found it scary too, especially when I see some of the blind, kneejerk reactions of many of us here in the US to 9/11, and now the economy.  Many people have castigated the German public for embracing Hitler's promises. What promises, from which leaders, are we embracing in our fears for ourselves?  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Week of Summer Break

I'm still waiting to sleep in!  I woke up at 4 am on Saturday, 3:30 am on Sunday, and 3:45 am yesterday.  Today however, I made it all the way to 5:30 am before giving up.  I realize that stress has been cutting into my sleep pattern, but it's also hard to sleep in when your alarm rings during the school year at 4:45 am.  And at this time of year, it's getting light at 4, and the birds are starting to make a racket.  Our yard has been blessed (?) with a multitude of crows this spring. They are quite loud!  Right now the 2 cherry trees in our front yard are loaded with cherries and the crows have taken up residence!  I was sitting on the porch Sunday afternoon and it sounded like I was in the middle of a crowded school cafeteria with all the noise!

Saturday we spent moving furniture again.  We've renovated 2 of 5 rooms and needed to get the furniture back into those rooms. We were under a deadline because Younger Son and his girlfriend will be visiting later this week and they need a place to sleep!  There were no available beds for them!  Sunday was church and church council.  Since the moderator was away, this vice moderator had to run an agenda-packed meeting after church.  It was after 1 pm when I got home, but we got a ton of business accomplished.  Yesterday and today I've been part of a team that's writing K-8 English/Language Arts curriculum for our district .  At least we're getting paid some extra $ for that work.  After my session today, I need to travel to the small city about 20 minutes away to shop for bed linens for the new guest rooms.  Tomorrow I need to act as chauffeur and meet Younger Son somewhere between here and either Boston, Providence or NYC  (don't ask --- he has a flexible itinerary!).  On Thursday, we will have to do the same to meet his girlfriend (again, don't ask!) I also have plans for a knitting session with my best friend.  Somewhere between today and Friday, the church moderator and I need to get together to work on some church issues, too.   On Friday I have an eye doctor appointment, and I'm supposed to get a massage.  The latter may be rescheduled depending on the plans of Son and Girlfriend which depend on the weather.  They are here for a friend's wedding but they want to climb our local famous mountain on Friday if the weather cooperates.  Then on Sunday, we have to get them to Boston for their plane back to Los Angeles.  So, for the first week of down time, I'm pretty busy.  But it's nice!  Now I just have to work on the relaxation piece, and I'll be all set!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Who am I?

I haven't posted recently for a couple of reasons having to do with the bustle of the end of the school year and the myriad of other items in my personal life that I've had to juggle.  But the main reason I haven't posted is that I just haven't figured out what I needed/wanted to say about the major transition I'm making at work.  I've been a basket case for the past couple of months stressing over the change in teaching assignment, hoping against hope that it wouldn't happen, and then really being angry about the change, and now just being really sad.  Friday was the last day of school and I was a veritable waterworks.  My eyes kept leaking tears and I had to stay silent several times because I knew if I tried to talk, I'd burst into sobs.  By the time I got home Friday evening I was so exhausted, I could barely stay awake for dinner.  Even today, I am still feeling worn out.  I realized though that a huge part of the problem for me is my complete loss of identity.  For 15 years I've been a 6th grade teacher.  My internet user name is based on that fact.  My locker combo at the gym is based on that.  It was hard enough the past 2 years to lose my identity as a social studies teacher - I never did come to grips with that, but now my grade level is gone.  I thought several times on Friday as I packed my room that this move was worse than retirement will be.  At least retirement will be a choice.  As I packed I wondered what to do with the little souvenirs I've collected - the "Best 6th grade Teacher" mug, magnets, etc.
I keep trying to concentrate on the positives:  big classroom, a closet, a good teaching partner.  But I'm not through the grieving process yet.   It's scary that I've invested so much in one identity!  I need to diversify and build my other identities - wife, mother of adult children, Christian,knitter, reader, friend, and I need to make friends with my new label - 7th grade teacher.   But I don't want to do that last one yet . . . deep down if I'm honest, I'm still hoping for a deus ex machina rescue!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And Then There Were Five

Just 5 more wake-ups until the end of this school year.  That's what the kids and I have been counting.  They have 4.5 days of school left and as far as they're concerned, they've been done for a while.  This week will be very easy in some respects since all the academic work is done.  In other respects, it will be a tough week.  We still have field day tomorrow (or Tuesday, if the weather doesn't cooperate)  to get through.  That's about 4.5 hours of outside activity:  relay races, egg toss, tug of war, etc.  They love it, but it's pretty wearing on this particular teacher.  Then we have another outside day at a local camp on Thursday.  In between we have Roman chariot races, ice cream making, book project presentations, and awards.  And I get to go into this week with one of the worst spring colds I've ever had.  Two nights of no sleep because of the nasal congestion does not make me feel rested and ready to go.

I still have to get my room packed ready for the move up to 7th grade. This week will be tough for me.   I've worked with members of my team for 3 years, 5 years, 7 years, and over 10 years, so this is going to be very hard emotionally for me. I'm heading off into uncharted territory and I just pray I have the energy left to do this.  I plan to use the summer to really relax so that when school starts again, I have lots of reserves to draw on.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

And a Few More Titles

First, an adult book:

Angelology Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The premise of Angelology was interesting, and I really liked the mix of Judeo-Christian theology, Greek mythology, and folklore.  Descendants of the fallen angels and humanity locked in a battle over their individual futures -- how could that not be an exciting read?  Trussoni's book is packed with bits of fascinating information, and she's created a very detailed world.  But I felt the pace of the book was plodding, at least until the end, and then it speeded up so fast, that I felt I was being left behind.  I was really disappointed in the ending.  I felt it was too abrupt, and left too many strings untied.  If there is a sequel, I don't think I care enough to find out what happens between Verlain and Evangeline.

View all my reviews >>

And now a few books I've read as I try to find new books for my classroom library, especially as I'm moving up a grade level:

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book from Jerry Spinelli, a popular author among my students.  I read it in fact, upon the recommendation of one of my 6th grade boys.  Will Tuppence is a bit of an oddball; he's a great chess champion,and he's devastated by the news that the protons decay.  This book is his personal journal.   His entries are dated by the  # of days past the news that scientists destroyed a proton.  He is best friends with Mi-Su, with whom he shares a passion for astronomy, pizza, Monopoly, and B.T, their daredevil skateboarding friend. Will is also plagued by his preschool sister who purposely sets out to drive him crazy. All is well with the 3 friends until Will sees B.T. and Mi-Su kissing at a star party.  Things get very awkward among the 3 of them, as Will works out friendship and relationships.  And a family crisis, helps Will understand his sister's behavior.  I could see why my student enjoyed this book.  He's very bright, has a passion for things most boys aren't interested in, and has a pesky younger sister.  So I think he identified with Will on a lot of levels.  I'm not sure how popular this book would be with other boys, but I think my girls would enjoy this book.  While I like some of Spinelli's books better, this one will go on  my classroom shelf.   

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
   Mary Jane Auch's historical fiction tells the story of Margaret Rose Nolan's first experiences in 1911 New York City as an immigrant from Ireland.  Rose, as she prefers to be called, eventually finds work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, but not before she experiences some scary moments.  She makes friends with Gussie Garoff, her landlord's daughter and a labor union activist.  This novel does a good job of presenting the difficulties many immigrant girls faced without going into explicit detail. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire is treated similarly.   This makes it a good candidate for use in a middle school social studies or language arts classroom. 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Will Hobbs is one of my favorite authors, and I had the chance to meet him once too.  Our 6th grade used to use his book Far North when we studied Canada and one year, we invited him to speak to our kids.  My husband and I picked him up from the airport and hosted him at our home for dinner.  He was a charming conversationalist, and our students really enjoyed his presentation.

Go Big or Go Home introduces us to Brady and Quinn, cousins who enjoy extreme adventure.  Brady narrowly misses being hit by a meteorite.  He recovers the space rock, names it FRED and then strange things begin to happen.  Space bacteria have infected him, and he discovers a surge of strength and stamina he's never had before.  For once in his life, he's able to get the better of his cousin Quinn in basketball, biking, and whatever else they try.  But soon, a strange paralysis overcomes him, and Brady's life hangs in the balance.  This is a mix of humor, science fiction, and adventure, and a very quick read.  It didn't work as a read-aloud for me, but a couple of students read it by themselves, and thought it was "pretty good."  It's definitely a much easier read for many of my students than some of Hobbs' earlier books like Far North, Ghost Canoe, or Downriver.  Personally, I liked those earlier novels better.  

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cables and Lace Baby Blanket

From Knitting Gallery

This is what I've been knitting for the last month.  I used a pattern called Heavenly Blanket from Coats and Clark, and I used 6 skeins of Plymouth Encore (worsted) in aquamarine.  Once I got the pattern memorized it was a pretty mindless knit, although the k4 together every 4 rows slowed me down some.  This blanket is for one of 3 baby boys that are on their way early this fall.

Here's a close up of the pattern:

From Knitting Gallery

I Forgot Book #44

A Fine and Bitter Snow (Kate Shugak, Book 12) A Fine and Bitter Snow by Dana Stabenow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kate Shugak is moving on with her life, and there are plenty of hints as to where it might go.  Dan O'Brien, park ranger, is being strongly "encouraged" to take early retirement as the pressure builds to expand drilling rights in the ANWR and in the Park. As Kate attempts to use her contacts to keep Dan in the Park, a pair of elderly conservationists are brutally attacked in their home.  Kate and Jim Chopin team together to find the perpetrator.  Once again, the Alaskan wilderness and way of life shines.  Stabenow has created such strong, believable characters that it's easy to "forget" they are fictional --- it was a delight to see Kate start to live again, after the personal devastation wreaked in previous novels.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Books # 40-43

What can I say?  I love to escape into books!!

Book # 40

href="">Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another good entry in the series.  I think I read this one years ago -- I had the deja vu feeling, but I didn't remember the culprit or the reasons why.  I definitely like how Deborah Crombie is developing her characters as well as the relationship between Kincaid and James.  I also continue to be surprised that she is not a British author; her settings are so evocative!

Book #41:

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the 2nd installment in the Richard Jury series, and I enjoyed it more than the first one.  Richard Jury and Sergeant Wiggins are called out to a small Yorkshire village to investigate the murder of Gemma Temple, or is it Dillys March, the long-lost ward of Sir Titus Crael?   There are a number of possible suspects, all with good possible motives.  Grimes does a superb job of creating detailed characters, and in addition to fleshing out Wiggins, Melrose Plant, and Jury, we're introduced to the delightful Bertie Makepeace and "chatty" Percy Blythe.  She also serves up a good dollop of humor: I laughed out loud when Plant convinces Aunt Agatha that he's being followed by the dastardly agent provocateur Mr. Todd!

Book #42

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is a fantasy/romance which is not my favorite genre.  I found it a bit too heavy on the romance for my tastes.  Donna Hatch has created a believable world that was easy to picture. I also liked her characters. 

Book #43

a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px">The 101 Dalmatians The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I LOVED this book!  Until recently I didn't know that the Disney movie which enthralled me as a youngster, was based on a book.  (I don't know why, since just about every great Disney flick was based on one!)  The book of course was a bit different than the movie, and even better.  I loved the way the story was told from Pongo and Missis' perspective.  In the book, Perdita is a stray who becomes a foster mother to the pups.  I also loved the humor of the book.  It's a bit more sophisticated than that of the movie.  I wonder a bit if I would have enjoyed the book as much as I did had I read it as a child.  


 That's all that's left of this year.  Ten more days.  Out of those 10 days, there are actually only 5 days of teaching time.  I wish that we would re-think our end of the year activities, and put them all in the last week of school rather than spreading them out willy-nilly.  It's hard enough to keep kids focused, and when we keep interrupting academic time for the fun stuff, it's impossible to get them back.  Plus it makes it that much more difficult to do anything meaningful.

This past week:

Monday - Memorial Day - no school
Tuesday - Regular Day (but some students visiting elementary schools as ambassadors)
Wednesday - Regular Day  (but many kids out of school for Solar Car competition)
Thursday - 5th Grade Step Up AND a school-wide assembly-- Our 6th graders spent the morning watching a movie while we did the orientation with the 5th graders. The afternoon was an assembly.
Friday - Regular Day (more student ambassador visits)

Next week:

Monday - Regular Day
Tuesday - Regular Day
Wednesday - Annual Walk to local ice cream parlor- (1/2 day of class time)
Thursday - Regular Day  (band and chorus students on a field trip)
Friday - All school  Kickball Round Robins

The last week:

Monday - Field Day  (all day outside)
Tuesday - Regular Day
Wednesday - Regular Day
Thursday - Field Trip  (outside all day at a camp)
Friday - Last Day

I have to pack up my room too during the next 10 days.  I am heading back up to the third floor of our building and will be teaching 7th grade next year.  While I appreciate very much that I will get back to teaching social studies, I really don't want to leave 6th grade.  I love working with the younger students, helping them transition from elementary school to middle school.  I created the 6th grade social studies curriculum too,  purchasing many materials over the year to support it out of my own money.  Now I have to learn a whole new curriculum -- again.  And the fact that it's move #7 makes me crazy!

So it's 10 days more of 6th grade. . . .