Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm Alive!

Oh. Emm. Gee.  I don't even know where to start.  The last month or so is an absolute blur--a lot of hard work, a couple of unexpected bumps in the road, a lot of excitement.  Mostly just life stuff but all at once, you know?

Anyway, this is probably not a return to regular posts just yet.  Both of my schools had their first day last week, and this week marks the first week of my regular routine--one school in the morning, the other in the afternoon--teaching my regular classes.

I got to meet most of my students last week, and I asked the rest of them to email me a little bit about themselves this weekend, and I am so stoked for this school year.  I am teaching such awesome kids.  I'm still pinching myself that I get to teach at both of these schools.

I've been driving myself back and forth this week--got my license in mid-August!  As nervous as I was preparing for the driving test (and actually taking it) I find that I am not nervous at all driving on my own!  I'm sure I will be the first few times when I go out on the expressway around town, or on the highway, but I've got the home-work route down pretty well.  However, my new school owns two small buses (like, seriously, not large vans, but true buses) that we are supposed to learn to drive in order to take students places.  I am not keen to do that anytime soon!

But the real reason I am blogging right now is because I picked up Eleanor & Park off my shelf around 11:30 pm last night, and finished it around 11:30 am today, with sleeping in between.  And it. was. glorious.  Reading, how I've missed you!  (Although I did get to read Ready Player One, since it was my new school's summer reading!  I highly recommend it--it's totally a YA book in a lot of ways, although the MC transitions from HS to adulthood partway through.)

Anyway, here are some barely-coherent thoughts on E&P!

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the perfect book to sneak into the busiest and craziest month of my life. I've been missing reading and I don't know when I'll find time to read another book for fun; it's been at least a month since I read a book off my shelf just because I wanted to and I was hurting for a good story. I got a great one.

Eleanor & Park is a love story that reminded me of how things actually felt when I was a teenager. There was a delicate balance at school, in the lunchroom, on the bus. Your life in school is different from your life outside school; one can change while the other stays (outwardly, at least) the same. Holding hands can be life-changing enough to make anything else seem unnecessary, for days or weeks or months.

The thing I loved the most about this book was how well it captured the awe on both sides of the relationship. The how could this amazing person possibly be interested in me? that can be so toxic when it's one-sided but so lovely when it's mutual. The complete fascination with another person's ears, or hands, or laugh.

I also love that both characters had lives outside of their blooming relationship, and their lives affected the course of their relationship in large and small ways. Park kept eating lunch with his same friends; Eleanor made friends of her own to eat with; both of them navigated the waters of their families' reactions to the relationship as well as they knew how. Eleanor and Park love music and comics, sometimes the same ones, but not always. I love that they disagreed sometimes--that this wasn't a relationship based on the kismet of complete similarity of opinion (which is probably feigned by at least one party in 100% of situations that ostensibly fit that description.)

Mostly I loved how perfectly this story was told, and how much it swept me away with it.

View all my reviews


  1. I read this one last week and totally loved it. There's always that fear when people rave about a book that it won't live up to your expectations. Not so with this one. I knew this would be a book that you loved as well! Happy to hear that work is going well and that you're enjoying both schools. I'm envious of your licensed driving status. I think I might need to copy you really soon. ;-)

    1. You can do it! You just have to find a good teacher and bite the bullet. Seriously, at the beginning of the summer, I was shaking for fifteen minutes after every driving lesson, and now it feels like I've been doing it forever. If I can do it, I know you can!

  2. Welcome back! I've missed your postings, lady! Congrats on getting your license, and on the beginning of your school year. I hope the term goes smoothly for you. :-)

    So glad you loved E&P. I adore that book! Have you read Rainbow Rowell's ATTACHMENTS? It's fantastic!

    1. Thanks! So far, so good--it's amazing how energizing teaching is now that I'm not in the NYC public school system. There's just so much extraneous garbage required of teachers there that I didn't have the energy I wanted to give to my students! Now I am free to teach my butt off, with accountability measures that make sense and good school support staff, and it's a blast.

      I am now very curious about anything else by RR--I have to figure out where reading fits into my new schedule. Oh, and do some damage to the Goodreads list I made in January of fifty books I was determined to read this year--I think I have thirty or so left! Eek!

  3. I loved ELEANOR & PARK too and your thoughts on their relationship were captured so perfectly. That's great that you're enjoying your new teaching positions already and that you're students are awesome. They're lucky to have a teacher like you! Hope things settle down a bit for you soon so you have a chance to relax and read some more! :)

    1. LOVE my kids. It's hard to believe that this time last year I thought I might be done teaching. I'm so glad I wound up in these schools! I totally have all of my energy and enthusiasm back now.

  4. I looooved Eleanor and Park. You should pick up her newest one, Fangirl!

    Good luck adjusting to the new school year, and with your driving test! :)


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