A Few Things

First: I am back from my trip to Iowa for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. I’m very proud of my students! They worked hard and put everything into their props and performance. They placed 21st in their Division, which is good for a first time team and coach. While some of the kids have been to Worlds before, for a few it’s either their first time as a division two team, or their first time period. It was such an amazing experience! We made friends with a team from Singapore, watched their performance, and had them show up at ours. We even traded shirts with them! Their coach, Madeline, was nice and we talked while the girls traded Facebook names.

Second: Hatfields & McCoys the mini series. It’s incredible, but I can’t watch it because it’s too heartbreaking! It is hard to believe something like this happened between two families.

Third: Adam Lambert’s Tresspassing album is amazing. I love every single song on it, and that’s incredibly rare for me. “Outlaws of Love” is probably my favorite song on there.

Odyssey of the Mind World Finals: Iowa here we come!

Tomorrow morning at 7:10 I will be on my way to Iowa for Odyssey of the Mind World Finals! Very excited because it’s such an honor to be able to go, it’s a blast, great times with my students, and I’ve never been to Iowa. I’m actually landing in Nebraska and since I’ll be taking a bus from Omaha to Ames, I count the time in Nebraska as a new state! After all I’ll be able to take pictures from outside an airport!

Pictures will be posted when I get home! I can’t wait to see what it looks like. 🙂 Maybe I should make sure there are no letterboxes in the area so I don’t miss out on an opportunity to get a box I wouldn’t usually be able to get… hmm…

See you on Memorial Day!

Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K: Boston, May 5, 2012

I survived.

I mean, I survived the day, but not the race. Sort of?

I didn’t win, I mean to say. I was definitely dead. I lost all my flags, but I DID complete the race – my first ever 5K – even if I did come in 386 out of 393 in my heat. My time was 1:41:54.4

Not good, I know, but not bad considering the entire course was mud and I fell half the time I tried to run.

Still, it was a blast. I enjoyed every moment and it was well worth the pain. Even today I feel aches in my legs and ribs, yet I feel accomplished. After all, I did run part of it, and I screamed a lot at zombies.

By a lot of mud I mean HOLY MUD. Up to my HIPS in mud at some points. And I was filthy at the end. It was pretty awesome.

The picture to the left shows my friend, Jess -sorry I stole your picture! – in one of the water obstacles. It was a river of mud with logs tossed it. When I passed by this area, someone behind me came running through very fast and face-planted right in the skunk cabbage. Nasty!

If you want more pictures, check out the website: Run For Your Lives

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

I’m still on a dystopian fiction kick. The last few have been zombie related, but this one is different. It has science fiction and horror elements to it, and without my students’ recommendations I may have missed it. Yet again, I regret not reading it when first suggested to me. (Are you sensing a trend? I certainly am. Note to self: read what people recommend right away.)

Lockdown is the first in the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. Like The Enemy, the book takes place in London. Teens accused of murder are not given a fair trial and are thrown in the prison known as Furnace. In this first book, the main character, Alex, is framed for his friend’s murder and thrown in the penitentiary. What he encounters there is unlike anything he could have ever imagined.

I loved the book because of the characters. While yes, he and the others have committed some crimes (Alex is a thief even if he isn’t a murderer, and his cellmate, Donovan, did kill his mother’s boyfriend but after he had beaten her numerous times), they are still sympathetic characters. I was conflicted. I wanted to dislike them, but I couldn’t. Donovan smiled too often and was too humorous. And Zee was another great character that brightened up the gruesome story.

The novel is dark. There were scenes that left me haunted by the images left in my mind, and others that left me reeling and feeling sick like the characters. The author is excellent at describing the conditions of Furnace and the mindset of all the characters.

If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, British YA authors, or dark novels that explore a character’s mind, check out Lockdown and the other books in the series.