SOLSC: Day 17 #sol19


Just be nice.

My husband is always reminding me to “be nice” when I get into one of my moods about the state of the world as we know it in 2019. I’m so tired of hearing the news lately (since the last presidential election, actually). Shootings, hatred, bigotry, racism, cheating, attempts at placing people against one another…

I blame two institutions: the government and the media.

Although I need the government and the media in my life, I do not need anyone telling me what to be or how to be. I definitely don’t need them telling me what (or how) to think! It seems in the last few hours the news has only revealed to me that the government and the media wants me to STOP THINKING. That’s not going to happen. I’m not giving up on public education or libraries. They are a part of me. I will speak and act so that they are not taken away from me, in the midst of government scams and schemes.

Please read, and decide to support causes that are important to you and your family, and the generations to come. Support humans. Support love. It’s time to act.

Thank you for reading.

SOLSC: Days 15 and 16 are today! Whirlwind Trip to See Laurie Halse Anderson #sol16


Day 15: Chicago! My Nerdy Book Club friends, Kathy and Kelly, and I took a road trip to see Laurie Halse Anderson during Laurie’s SHOUT book tour. It was a fantastic, whirlwind trip and we listened to the conversation with Laurie and Mikki Kendall regarding #MeToo, rape, and culture. We heard from survivors and learned some valuable information that can help everyone to be better humans. My top takeaway was that we need to have these tough conversations with boys and girls, men and women — at home and in school.







It was nice to see Laurie again — we got our “annual” picture (which I realized this year will be semiannual, since she’s coming to #NerdCampMI) and spent time learning about important issues. The girls and I had fun visiting (and running into Sarah Aronson!). “Nerdy Road Trip” doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, we have a great time!

Day 16: Activist! Laurie’s visit to Chicago to talk about SHOUT and Mayor Pete’s accomplishment of reaching his donor goal of 65,000 supporters this weekend (and the sun showing itself!) inspires me. I will continue to advocate for better literacy education in our schools and access to books for all children. Life is good. #weareallhuman

SOLSC: Day 14 #sol19


Happy Birthday to my sister!

Judy is 22 months younger than me, and big and strong and loud (not like me!). I love her so much, but she’s a pain. You know? She would do anything for me and my family. I wish I could have been there for her today.

She’s been fighting a rare form of migraine headache for about a month now (a real pain – not a sibling rivalry pain)! One specialist gave her shots in the neck that made her feel better for about 3 days, but now she has to see a neurologist. I feel badly for her (I’ve had migraines before, so I know what they are like).

I’m thinking of her tonight as I head to sleep. I’m sure she won’t get much. Nite Nite, Judy! Feel better soon!


SOLSC: Day 13 #sol19 Story Time

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When I was in 2nd grade, I got into trouble for “refusing” to line up when my class was leaving the school library. No, I wasn’t a troublemaker.  I didn’t hear my teacher say, “Line up, class.” I didn’t see my peers forming the line. I was simply lost in a book, curled up comfortably in a beanbag chair behind a row of bookshelves.

As a 5th grade teacher, whenever I saw a student curled up in a corner, silently reading, I felt nostalgic. I quietly approached the student and told him or her it was lunchtime or time to switch classes. No trouble. Just information. Each student would wave me off, saying, “Hold on,” or “Just a sec.” The scene reminded me of…me.

I became a reading specialist after years of teaching all subjects in elementary school. I wanted a change. I wanted to read again – spend time reading and teaching reading. I worked with two students in particular I remember well. One was a young girl, just like me, who wanted to read and learn all she could. She loved reading, but she needed help. I introduced her to Building Up, a short text in our curriculum materials about skyscrapers.  She fell in love with buildings and structures, and ended up studying Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry, the famous design architects, for research projects.

The other student couldn’t read on grade level, but he wanted to try new books anyway. When we read together, he was happy — he learned about disgusting foods, and how people “croaked”, and fell in love with Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever 1793. 

I attended an NCTE annual conference and was lucky enough to meet Laurie Halse Anderson in person that year. She talked about research for her historical fiction books, her writing process, and her love of students and teachers.  I found out what it felt like to be “in the know” – meeting a favorite author and sharing a love of reading. I shoot a quick picture every time I see Laurie now, to show my students. “You know her?” they ask. I giggle, pinching myself as I take my love of reading and spread the “book love” through the schools where I work.  (Thanks to Penny Kittle for the phrase.)

After (finally) receiving my school librarian certification in 2016, I was hired for my dream job – librarian at a middle school in my community. I love being a librarian — it’s the best way to spread the “book love.” But then, the unthinkable happened.  That middle school dream job was cut. The school closed in June 2018 due to consolidation efforts in the district. I was devastated. How could I go back to teaching in a classroom, when I had finally reached my career goal?

Becoming a librarian brought new possibilities and new opportunities to my life. I started professional development sessions called “Picture Books are Perfect” – a series of sessions about how reading aloud and independent reading changes lives, and how picture books can help meet state standards, even in middle school and high school. With joy and relief (after nervously searching all summer), I also accepted a school librarian position at our district’s fine arts academy middle school! I continue living the dream as a school librarian, and I am happily employed again as the “book lady” for three schools today.

Libraries are important in schools, and certified librarians are needed to bring joyful and meaningful reading opportunities to children. I continue to advocate for real reading of books in schools. It is my pleasure to be able to provide literacy learning for students in my schools. I love the smell and feel of new books in each library shipment; I turn the books over and over in my hands, marveling at the cover art, reading back cover descriptions, perusing the first few pages, and searching for awards stickers. I’ve taught my students to do the same. We discuss plot, characters, perspectives, and theme in the library. I talk about meeting authors and attending author visits in the community. I invite my students and their parents to head to our new indie bookstore in town, and I pick up books to share at school.

I love being a librarian. But there’s something I love even more…

I love watching students fall in love with reading.

SOLSC: Day 12 #sol19

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I’m sad that my granddaughter didn’t get to come over today and play due to flu/pneumonia possibility. We were going to read new books. Maybe another time.

SOLSC: Day 11 #sol19


Just now I sat down to read some posts and cool down from my 6th cardio workout this month. I’m trying to reclaim my body, nutrition, and life benefits. When I sat down, I felt like writing, but honestly, I’d rather go to bed now. It’s National Nap Day, so my brain thinks I need a nap. But no! It’s still light outside (thanks to the time change in Indiana)! So I’ll stay awake until bedtime and write. What a way to wind down!

Have a nice evening!

SOLSC: Day 10 #sol19

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This weekend was fast and furious, slow and easy — and gone already! My husband was off work again today, so we went to Captain Marvel — the movie we’ve been waiting for. I liked it, and of course, I was left with some unanswered questions. The short tribute to Stan Lee was a nice touch. I won’t spoil it for you — decide yourself when you see it. I was left feeling the GIRL POWER — yes!

Pic from (Captain Marvel movie poster – March 10, 2019)

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