Saturday, June 3, 2023

A Motivational Speech

I seem to have worked out my logging-in issues, thanks to some of your comments. I deleted cookies for the affected sites and that seemed to work. I didn't have to log in to Blogger this morning, so it looks like my computer once again remembers my identity. Whew!

I'm feeling very done with this school year -- very depleted. And we still have two weeks to go! We get out later than many American schools. Next week I have to focus in earnest on getting all the overdue stuff back, or extending it over the summer if that's what people want. There are also a lot of end-of-year events and parties to attend, and it's all rather head-spinning. Dave's end-of-year band concert is tomorrow, for example.

I'm a little dismayed because I've had Barbara Kingsolver's book "Demon Copperhead" on hold for ages, and I had finally gotten hold of it when a parent who's immediately after me in the hold queue came in asking about it. I confessed that I had it, but truth be told I have too much to read this summer anyway -- so I gave it to her. I'll just wait until fall for that one.

Barbara Kingsolver never writes a bad book, you know? I've read almost everything she's written and I've never been disappointed.

Anyway, instead of Kingsolver I'll finally be reading Jonathan Franzen's huge "Crossroads" tome, as well as Michiko Kakutani's book on the death of truth and one of our school library's controversial novels, "Me, Earl and the Dying Girl." But first I need to focus more on "The Magic Kingdom," which I have let languish this past week. I've been slacking on my blog-reading, too, and I need to get some exercise! Focus, Reed, focus!

(Photos: John is watching, and so is Nicolas Cage, apparently.)


Moving with Mitchell said...

Oh, you poor thing. Is that Abbey Road sign what the inside of your brain looks like? But no worries, John is watching.

jenny_o said...

I read that first photo as "John is witching" and was sort of confused but thought it might be like "wilding" which is a word now I guess... I tried once to read Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" and just could not get interested. Funny how different we all are as readers and a good thing writers are different too! I laughed over your title but only after I read the last sentence and got the meaning :)

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Thanks for capturing the image of the Abbey Road sign. It speaks of our times and I guess that as years pass it is always changing. There must be more than one Abbey Road sign?

Peter said...

I am about 100 pages into Demon Copperhead and loving it, I'm having trouble putting it down. You have something to look forward to.

Bob said...

I will say to Mitchell that there are many days when my brain feels like that sign ... though I'm hoping no Nic Cage.

Debby said...

I love Barbara Kingsolver too! I think it is amazing how perfectly she captures the nuances and the fragile binds that tie us. The relationships she writes about are so real!

Boud said...

Odd about tastes in reading. For me Kingsolver has got more and more predictable and self conscious as she goes. I liked her earlier work, but now she's writing the same novel all over again. So people waiting on the hold list at my library will be glad that for once I'm not ahead of them!

I think our local school district has about a week more before the year ends. The mild winter didn't use snow days so that's accounted for around now.

Focus, you can do this!

Michael said...

The end of the school year is always a frantic time. For me, I had to end a week before everyone else since I was retiring. It was stressful. The last day of school for everyone was yesterday. It will be weird for me in August when everyone goes back to school. I got a bunch of Barnes & Noble gift cards, and your post reminded me of Barbara Kingsolver! I have read at least three of her books, and I was never disappointed.

Marcia LaRue said...

LOL ... We all could use a good pep talk occasionally! Get what you have to do over these next two weeks and know that once that's done, you can kick back and relax and read to your heart's content!

Sharon said...

It sounds like you last couple of weeks of school are a lot like that sign, full and a bit overwhelming. Hopefully it will go fast.

Ms. Moon said...

This is always a stressful and frantic time for you. It will be over soon, but I'm sure- not soon enough.
I had not even heard of that Kingsolver novel but I've just googled it and it looks amazing. I will definitely want to read it.

NewRobin13 said...

Getting close to the end of the school year is always such a busy time. I had forgotten that part of all the years I worked at the university. Soon it will be over.

Red said...

the end of the school year is always stressful for staff and students too. Hang on you'll get there.

The Bug said...

You're almost to the finish line! But these last two weeks might be a bit of a struggle. Sorry!

I love Kingsolver too - I should put one of her books on hold for when I finish my current one. Thanks for the reminder!

Beth's Patio Chit Chat said...

End of the school year is stressful and anticipation abounds. I can imaine one or more colleagues has brains that look and feel like the Abby Road sign lol. Don't worry Steve, You Got This and soon you can stay up all night reading and not have to worry about getting up and ready for work.
On the other hand I can't rule out that if you do indulge in a night of reading and thinking of sleeping in the next morning that the Russians will not decide upon that moment to start a new construction project and the noise overwhelm the sweet dreams!
That would be a shame or that Nature will ensue chaos outside your window!
Don't mean to be negative, just something that would happen to me!

I will have to add the author of the book to my reading list. I don't know why I said reading. The way my eyesight is going it looks like I am going to have to start going the audible route since my son is urging me to give it a try.
It breaks my heart but not being able to see is frustrating.
Even blog reading is sometimes frustrating if the print is too small. I know that the laptop has a feature to make print bigger and easier to read, I just have not found it yet. Sigh. I will ask my daughter when she comes to have a look and see if she can help me. I know it has to be in here somewhere.

Hang in there and you will soon be celebrating along with many students, school staff and others who look forward to the last day of the school year! Have a great day.

Beth's Patio Chit Chat said...

I Figured it out and I fixed the font size all by myself and I can read now... It might be a great Saturday after all. And I didn't have to ask for help... Yay, I will take it... Have a great day!

Margaret said...

Unlike you, I'm not always a fan of Kingsolver. We read "Flight Behavior" for Book Club and I found it preachy and somewhat tedious, although well-written. That said, "Demon Copperhead" blew me away. One of my all-time favorite books. Difficult and painful to read at times but oh, so human. Her voice for Damon/Demon was spot on. My school district gets out on June 26th. No one is very happy about that!

Dee said...

I loved Demon Copperhead, I think you'll find it worth the wait. I've been hot and cold with Barbara Kingsolver but this one I didn't want to put down. I marvel at her being able to write a young boy/man so well.


ellen abbott said...

I enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible but that's the only book of hers I've read.

Hang in there, it's just two weeks.

Jennifer said...

Focus, Reed! Focus!

The end (of the school year) is nigh! I promise. It will be here before you know it and then you'll have plenty of time to read. :)

Catalyst said...

I've one short story left in T. Coraghessan Boyle's collection, "T.C. Boyle - Stories". I've admired his writing for years but I must say I'll be glad to let go of this book. I have no idea what's next for me. Maybe just back to browsing cookbooks! 🤓

Ed said...

I've never worked a job that let out for the summer but I imagine it feels much the same way for you as it does for me when my kids return to school in the fall and suddenly, I have hours of free time again during daylight hours!

Kelly said...

I loved Kingsolver's early books, but have only read one in recent years. My book club chose Unsheltered and the majority of us did not care for it. It kind of put me off from wanting to read any others.

Ellen D. said...

The school year will end so quickly! Hope you have time to get everything done but it will be waiting for you when you go back so don't worry about it! Job security!

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: Ha! YES! That IS the inside of my brain!

Jenny-O: It does look like "witching"! It's interesting you couldn't get into "Poisonwood." That might be her best-known book, though "The Lacuna" is my favorite.

YP: There are plenty of Abbey Road signs but for some reason this one seems to attract more stickers than any other. I've photographed this sign several times, actually, because it IS always changing.

Peter: Oh, good! Glad to hear my anticipation is not misplaced.

Bob: Ha! Yeah, I'd rather not have Nic Cage living in my brain either.

Debby: Yes, and I think she has an amazing capacity to bring political and social elements into her work without seeming overbearing.

Boud: Interesting! Well, not everyone's going to love any given author, I suppose.

Michael: Well, what perfect timing. You have an idea for some reading material to purchase with your gift cards. :)

Marcia: Oh, and I am SO looking forward to it.

Sharon: They really are. I hadn't intended the sign to be a visual representation of this chaotic time, but now that you all mention it, it seems that way! (Maybe it was subconscious.)

Ms Moon: Everything I've heard about it is very positive.

Robin: Yes, I've just got to hold out for a few more weeks!

Red: Little by little!

Bug: Definitely! She's good summertime reading. (Or anytime reading.)

Beth: I'm glad you sorted out the font size, but definitely try some audiobooks! I have many friends who listen to books rather than physically reading them. The Russians have been relatively quiet this weekend, surprisingly!

Margaret: She can be a bit preachy, it's true. I guess if there's any criticism of her that's what I sometimes hear.

Dee: She really is amazing. She's written male characters before, as in "The Lacuna" and part of "Prodigal Summer," and she always does it well.

Ellen: Two VERY LONG weeks! LOL

Jennifer: Ugh! It doesn't help that I'm so jealous of those of you who are already out. :)

Catalyst: I love his stories but reading a book of stories is always a challenge for me. I don't like having to shift gears and start all over again with every "chapter."

Ed: Yeah, I guess parents have the reverse experience of teachers!

Kelly: Oh, interesting. I really liked "Unsheltered." But I know others who didn't care for it. Don't give up on her!

Ellen D: Ha! That's true, but I hate leaving things "messy." :)

Jeanie said...

Well, you won't be without reading material this summer, that's for sure. Odd about the school timing, especially since you probably have even fewer snow and weather days there than they seem to here!