30.4.09

Swine Flu

Having lived through a norovirus epidemic at work, I'm not all that worried about the swine flu (although having a compromised immune system might be a problem). However...

Thing One's niece attends St. Francis Prep. She had swine flu. Thing One's boss' daughter attends St. Francis Prep. She had swine flu. Thing One's boss? Yep, he has swine flu. So how is Thing One doing? HPOW has consulted lawyers, locked and disinfected at least one room, and has asked him to take the rest of the week off. He feels fine, despite having had a flu-like thing two weeks ago. Having seen his doctor last Saturday for an annual check-up, he even has a clean bill of health (for now).

MPOW is staying open... for now. With AP exams set to start next week, I can't see schools wanting to close (although the College Board should consider a reschedule given the heightened sensitivity to this outbreak).

I've been working with my 8th graders, asking them to synthesize their research know-how to find out the truth behind the virus (surprise! you can't get it if you eat pork products). Perhaps they'll be able to help quell any fears in our Middle School. Still, people are nervous and the media aren't helping.

Yes, it's a pandemic. Yes, washing your hands will help. Yes, you have the right to be concerned. But no, you don't have the right to panic and spread fear. Just get informed. And be careful out there.

6.4.09

Notable Quotes

My family did the same ridiculous thing on their trips, posing in every picture they took, the landmark out of focus and obscured behind them -- a subtle and subversive proclamation that my family, with their clothes wrinkled by travel, the boredom poorly masked by the we're-taking-a-picture-now smile, was far more important than the eye-candy that had inspired removing the lens cover.
Cheeni Rao, In Hanuman's Hands

1.4.09

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Wow! What a quarter: 57 books read (35 in March alone). Reviews for all books can be found on Lazygal Reads.

Biography
A Different Life, Quinn Bradlee
The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris

Children's/Young Adult
Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson
The Amaranth Enchantment, Julie Berry
No Such Creature, Giles Blunt
Darkwood, M.E. Breen
Skeleton Creek, Patrick Carman
Fire, Kristen Cashore
Al Capone Shines My Shoes, Gennifer Choldenko
The Secrets of Greymoor, Clara Gillow Clark
The Plague, Joanne Dahme
Never Cry Werewolf, Heather Davis
Along for the Ride, Sarah Dessen
If I Stay, Gayle Forman
The Homeschool Liberation League, Lucy Frank
Operation Redwood, Susannah T. French
Deep in the Heart of High School, Veronica Goldbach
The Softwire: Worm Hole Pirates on Orbis 3, PJ Haarsma
A Taste for Red, Lewis Harris
North of Beautiful, Justine Chen Headley
Breathing, Cheryl Renee Herbsman
Need, Carrie Jones
Skunk Girl, Sheba Karim
Also Known as Harper, Ann Heywood Leal
The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, Kristin Levine
Well Between the Worlds, Sam Llewellyn
Fragile Eternity, Melissa Marr
Jack Tumor, Anthony McGowan
Peace, Love and Baby Ducks, Lauren Myracle
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
Twenty Boy Summer, Sarah Ockler
TMI, Sarah Quigley
Punkzilla, Adam Rapp
When the Whistle Blows, Frank Slayton
Strange Angels, Lili St. Crow
Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork
Chasing Lincoln's Killer, James L. Swanson
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nagaru Tanigawa
Access Denied (and other eighth grade error messages), Denise Vega
Peace, Locomotion, Jacqueline Woodson
Absolutely Maybe, Lisa Yee

Fiction/Literature
The Crow Road, Iain Banks
You or Something Like You, Chandler Burr
The Moonflower Vine, Jetta Carlton
Don't Cry, Mary Gaitskill
The Believers, Zoe Heller
The Taqwacores, Michael Knight
The Blue Notebook, James Levine
The Bellini Madonna, Elizabeth Lowry
While I'm Falling, Laura Moriarty
Love or Something Like It, Deidre Shaw
The Weight of Heaven, Thrity Umrigar

Horror
The Birthing House, Christopher Ransom

Mystery
Darling Jim, Christian Moerk
Bone by Bone, Carol O'Connell

Science Fiction/Fantasy
Dark Volume, Gordon Dahlquist

Books on Mt. Bookpile: 339
Added: 67
Net Gain: 10