Friday, September 24, 2010

After a Long Hiatus: Quick-Takes!

It's been a looooong time since I've done Seven Quick Takes, but I read Jennifer's at Conversion Diary today and just had to post my own quick-takes....


I am soooo excited about Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which is due to be released November 19. If we don't do the midnight movie thing, we'll probably slip into a Friday morning matinee. Harry Potter film releases are one (minor) reason I adore home schooling so that we can watch matinees while the rest of the Potter fans are in their respective schools.

And here's the brand new trailer for Part 1.


Speaking of movies, I am still sooo enamored of the third film of the Twilight Saga. Eclipse is my favorite of the four books, and after seeing it four times in the theatres (a new record...never have I seen a movie four times in the theatres!) So in addition to the countdown to Deathly Hallows Part 1, I'm also excitedly counting down the December 4 release of Eclipse on DVD.

So excited!


It's TV week. The fall line up is debuting shows old and new. And I admit it: I watch a lot of TV. With my chronic health issues, I am good for only the sofa from about 5:00 PM onward. So...I watch TV. And movies. And read. But TV is just good stuff...the shows I watch, anyway. These are the ones I tend to watch:

Sundays: Paranormal State (when it starts in October!)
Mondays: House, Dancing with the Stars, Castle
Tuesdays: NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, sometimes The Good Wife
Wednesdays: Survivor, Criminal Minds, The Whole Truth (new)
Thursdays: Bones, CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Project Runway, The Mentalist

(BTW, Jennifer Grey is my favorite on Dancing with the Stars. She can win this thing, especially with Derek as her partner--his first time with an "older" woman!.)

And on weekends I watch the shows that we tape when other shows are on, basically the ones that E asks us to record so that she can keep up with her favorites despite living in the dorms. I'm still acclimating to the balance between new and old. Two new ones I really wanted to watch are on at the same time: The Whole Truth with Maura Tierney (ER) and Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure, Numbers) and The Defenders with Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell (Crossing Jordan). I stuck with the former this first week and was totally intrigued.

The Rachel Zoe Project just finished this week. And I still have to watch the final few episodes of Rizzoli and Isles with Angie Harmon (Law & Order) and Sasha Alexander (NCIS) on TNT. Perhaps I'll do that this weekend....


So to switch gears from movies and TV, I'm going to be leading the discussion of two very different books for Logos, Lake Murray Community Church's's monthly literary discussion group. Because only two of us could meet last month, we'll have a short discussion of My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, followed by a discussion of Part 1 of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

Talk about two very different books--one about two sisters, one of whom has cancer while the other is her sister's donor, and the other about the allegorical journey of "Christian" on his way to the Celestial City. I think there are some very intriguing parallels between these two very different books written several hundred years apart....


Now that my first essays at our co-op Class Days have been turned in, I'm back to grading papers for the first time this school year. It's been a nice break, but I'm actually itching to get back to grading...which I predict will last only until I've graded my first two, or perhaps three, essays...depending upon how many serious grammatical issues I find.

Grading essays is gut-work...rather like detective work, really--abeit not-so-glamorous. One can have all the rubrics at hand, but assigning an objective grade to a subjective piece of writing that both point out errors so the student can remedy them while encouraging the student to keep doing what is done well is a fine line to walk. And I walk it with a blue Waterman fountain pen which allows me to write copious comments in relative comfort. My new blue Waterman ink refills arrived yesterday at Staples just two hours after my last refill ran dry. Perfect timing.


This weekend I'll also be tackling rough drafts from the Just So Stories I'm teaching at Brave Writer this fall. They'll finish pouring in today, and then I'll make suggestions of areas to narrow (not so many of those) and of areas to expland and explain through the asking of questions.

This class is full of younger writers, ages 7-14, so I need to find the perfect balance between encouragement and requiring real improvement. So by asking questions, I can find that balance...questions like: "I love your main character. Bob is a hoot! Can you describe him for me a little more so I can picture him better in my mind?" and "I love the interactions between the kangaroo and the joey. Could you write a conversation for them? I'd love to hear what they might say to each other."

It's a gentle drawing-out of ideas from students who are not used to writing multiple drafts of a story. It takes some delicacy and tons of encouragement, but it works. But I admit it: my passion is truly for teaching high school and university-level students which I do at Class Day and will be doing with my upcoming MLA Research Essay course at Brave Writer which starts in October.


I am addicted to Trader Joe's Maple Leaf Cookies. Sandwich cookies in the shapes of maple leaves, filled with vanilla frosting. Aaaaah...autumn decadence!

And YES, I know how many calories there are in each cookie. But I ignore it. Just this one time.

Wishing you all a Happy Friday,


paper roads said...

calories keep the joints well-oiled. that's my reasoning, and I'm sticking to it! ;-)

Susanne Barrett said...

I think I totally agree with you...once again. :)

Maple Leaf Cookies make the world go 'round, methinks. :)

Jane D. said...

Susanne - I want to try those Maple leaf cookies - my mouth is watering at the thought and with the picture x x x x x x

Susanne Barrett said...

Jane, they are absolutely *wonderful*! If it didn't cost so much to ship to the UK, I'd mail you a box! :)


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