Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: EXTREME COLD EDITION!!!

What's Up Wednesday is a meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to bring reading and writing bloggers together once a week. Go to Jaime's blog to add your link and check out posts from other writers!

What I'm Reading

Four or five things at once--but all re-reads!  I'm wrapping up Beauty Queens in class, so I just completed a re-read of that. (Satire!  Sex-positivity!  Intersectional feminism!  Why isn't this in every classroom everywhere?)  I'm also teaching Persuasion in a different class and I'm really enjoying coming home to Austen and tea every day.  About a week ago I picked up Divergent so that I can re-read that in time for the movie AND work my way through the whole trilogy--I cannot BELIEVE it's taken me this long to get to Allegiant.  Plus, my book clubs at my other school are reading The Sound and the Fury and Great Gatsby.  I've taught Gatsby before, which means that I don't need a full re-read, but I haven't gone back to The Sound and the Fury since I read it in college and--much to my surprise--really enjoyed it. 

What I'm Writing

...Work stuff?  Tests, quizzes, prompts for response papers, curriculum materials.  But I've got a project simmering in the ol' brain crockpot (ew) and it's starting to bubble (sorry this metaphor got gross.) 

What Else I've Been Up To

Nesting!  Having a house is a lot of work.  (Thank GOODNESS for the snowblower my mother gave us, and also for Mr. S's willingness to get up early and snowblow...all the fricking time.  This is a real Buffalo winter.)  

OOH!  And because it's so disgusting out all the time, we finally went ahead and bought a piece of indoor exercise equipment!  

At the moment it's hanging out in our living room, which isn't the prettiest, but it means I use it pretty regularly.   Eventually it would be nice to put it upstairs, either in our room or the "rec room" (board games, table, yoga mat, keyboard).  But until we can get three-pronged outlets up there so we can plug in a TV, I know it will just gather dust.  So, one thing at a time.  I am horribly out of shape and biking is hard, but it feels SO good to be moving again.  

What Inspires Me Right Now  
My students!  I feel like this is my go-to answer, but seriously: I work with such great kids.  My upperclassmen at the one school are incredibly thoughtful, articulate, and motivated, and my freshmen at the other school are so curious, open-minded, and full of energy.  Mr. S said to me recently that he thinks the reason I'm a good teacher is that I'm so interested in what teenagers are interested in, and I think he's right.  I find my kids completely fascinating, and the things they have to say about the world are so, so, so smart and important.  

What's up with you?


  1. Hey, nice to meet you. Keep things bubbling in your crockpot; it isn't gross if you just call it that I think! Best of luck with your stationary bike. I don't have much room in the apartment, and I've been pretty good about exercising every day no matter how frigid it gets; though I do need to be aware of the 'frostbite danger zone' temperatures.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm in awe of you going out for exercise; I'm hoping to once it gets a LITTLE warmer and less icy/slushy, but for now it's definitely a no-go.

  2. It's nice to meet you, and I have to say, I wish you were my English teacher when I was in school. You sound fabulous! Have a great week.

  3. Ha! I thought the brain crockpot was a great metaphor! I always compare my writing process to my tea maker (you know, bubbling and steeping). I've been meaning to do a post asking people what they would compare their writing process to, so I'm glad I'm not the only one with a small appliance metaphor :D

    I hear you on the exercise issue. I'm pretty much hibernating these days and I badly need to get on the treadmill. Have a great week, Jess!

    1. See, I like the tea thing so much better! I may steal that :)

  4. I haven't read The Sound and The Fury since college ^^; I like The Great Gatsby, although I prefer Tender is the Night :)

    An exercise bike sounds like such a great idea, especially when there's a TV nearby ;)

    Have a great week!

    1. I should read some other Fitzgerald! I didn't care for Gatsby in high school and it's only in the last few years, as a teacher, that I've come to love it.

  5. This winter has been crazy! Even back in NYC, we're freezing our butts off. Enjoy the bubbling project in the brainpot! (I think that's a great gross metaphor!)

  6. Tea + Persuasion = One of the best pairings ever. :-) That whole crockpot analogy was pretty funny if kind of gross lol. I'm glad you've got these ideas bubbling in your brain. Can't wait to hear/read what you come up with! We have a second hand treadmill and I swear that thing has been so handy. Who wants to go outside and exercise when it's minus chilly as hell out? Glad you guys have a good alternative too. Also, I'm having snowblower envy again. (This just reminds me that I need haul my butt outside and shovel at some point today. Ughhhhh.) Have a wonderful week, Jess! :-)

  7. I haven't read Beauty Queens yet but I have a copy on my shelf and I'm excited to finally read it soon. That's awesome you read it with your students.

    I hope you're staying warm up there! Smart move to buy indoor exercise equipment. We bought a treadmill off of the previous owner of our house. We finally cleared out enough space in the basement to use it, so once my ankle is totally healed (I sprained it a couple of weeks ago), I'm excited to use it regularly.

    I hope you get to make some time for writing soon!

  8. The crockpot was perfect! Brain stuff is a little gross... and that's okay!
    I hear you about the weather, too. The nostril-freezing cold finally broke, which means tonight, we're supposed to get 9 more inches of snow! Yay! (srsly, I just want to go for a short jog outside and not freeze to death or get clocked by a snow plow.)


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