"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday Salon...Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

I am writing this blog post a day early since tomorrow is Easter and it promises to be a busy day.  I have a lot to share this week.

Weather: It is sunny right now, Saturday afternoon but around here that doesn't mean anything. Rain is a constant threat around here this time of year.

Holy Week: It was a full week of preparations for Easter. Wednesday we attended a concert at PLU of St. Matthew's passion. The program, Matthauspassion by Sven-David Sandstrom, was in German and included four soloists, a quartet of singers, a large choir, and a full orchestra. The next night we had a Maundy Thursday communion and a tenebrae (Latin for darkness or shadows) service to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples and the events that happened after it that led to the Crucifixion of Jesus. Then last night we were back at church to go through the stations of the cross, taking the opportunity to prepare ourselves spiritually for Easter. Taking the three events together I feel my heart turning toward the cross and prepared for Easter, or Christ risen.

Sad day: Tuesday we all arrived to school to learn that one of our students had committed suicide the day before. I knew this young man. He was a reader. He participated in all my library activities. He had just signed up to participate in the Cavalcade of Authors West event the end of April. Just the week before his death he had selected his sessions for the Cavalcade and had acted excited about going. His counselor had met with him about his college plans. He had a girl friend. He was doing well in his classes. Obviously something snapped, but it appeared he had all the pieces put together. All of us were caught unawares. We, his friends and teachers, spent the day in a fog of grief. Such a sad, sad day. What a sad end to a promising life. The juxtaposition of his death with meaning of Holy Week, a time of redemption, makes me doubly sad.

Kathy here: My sister came up for a few days and participated in many of the events of the week with us. We sat together at the Matthauspassion program and had a hard time staying awake. The hour was late, it didn't end until after 10:30 PM, and quite meditative. The combination was soporific on us! Ha! She also came up to school to see me in action one day. She even watched me teach a session on research in a junior US History class. She accompanied me to book club and sat through a discussion of a book which she hadn't read, Running the Rift. Thanks for the visit, Kath!

Before the Easter Bunny, there was the Easter Dinosaur...or that is what it seemed: Today our neighborhood hosted a big egg hunt. Participating houses put out a balloon, which indicated that the yard could be searched for eggs. At an appointed hour young neighbors ran through our yards looking for eggs. A half hour later, older children came through and cleaned up. As we were leaving the neighborhood en route to the Democratic Caucuses, we saw a group of children being led from house to house by a huge dinosaur. We all had a good laugh about that vision. Carly thought it had a very Easterish message... all the dinosaurs had to die so we could live (on fossil fuels.) Ha!

Democratic Caucus today: The three of us did our civic duty today and attended a caucus today in our precinct. The caucus system leaves a lot of the electorate out of the process but it does give the attendees a chance to speak their peace.

Books completed this week:
  • Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot... not sure I loved the poems in this volume, though they do contain some wonderful and quotable phrases.
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainier Maria Rilke...not what I expected, which I thought was mostly writing advice. This book contains advice on a whole host of subjects, including sex. Ha!
  • Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron...a book club selection. We had a very good discussion on this book on Wednesday mostly centered around the Rwandan Genocide.
  • Shipwrecked! The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy by Rhoda Blumberg... a gem of a book I found hidden on my library shelf when I was doing inventory this week about the first Japanese man to come to America.
Currently reading:
  • The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg...admittedly I haven't read a page of this book all week but I am determined to finish it. Progress: 33% (I said the same thing last week.)
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton...I have finally started this book (just barely) which is my Classics Club selection. 
  • Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart...another book club selection and my current audiobook. This book is a mystery set in 1914 New Jersey. Progress:33%
  • Teaching with Heart: poems that speaks to the courage to teach edited by Intrator and Scribner
Starting to make plans for Spring vacation...which will be a staycation this year. Ours plans for a trip to somewhere warm and relaxing fell through so now we are making creative plans for doing activities close to home. More on this next week.

Happy Easter!


24 comments:

  1. Happy Easter! It sounds like a very busy, and sometimes stressful/sad week. When is your spring break?

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    1. It starts April 4th. We are off cycle this year with you guys.

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    2. I would prefer your Easter break. Since we go to school until June 23 this year, the later the better.

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  2. Sounds like a really emotional week! So sad and sorry to hear about your student. Hopefully the weekends spiritual activities have helped you to process your feelings a little bit.

    Your currently reading list looks awesome! Girl Waits With Gun is one of my favorite recent reads and Edith Wharton may be my favorite classic writer. I love her books. I hope you enjoy all!

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    1. Oh good, I am glad to hear you like Girl Waits with Gun and Edith Wharton. I'm pretty psyched for the books actually, both of them.

      Yes, it was an awful week but the spiritual activities helped a lot.

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  3. Happy Easter! And with that, such a sad note to your post. How awful about your student. His life seemed so promising. My prayers going out to you and the family.

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    1. Thank you for the prayers. I am praying for the family, too. Such a tragedy.

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  4. What a full week you had. So sad to hear of the loss of your student. Having been a volunteer at a suicide hotline for many years, I know that it is the people who are most set on suicide that are most difficult to recognize because their sadness lifts at the thought of what they are going to do and that furthers their resolve. Suicide leaves such devastation in its wake.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps that was the issue. I suspect it was much more spur of hte moment. But we will never know. Sigh!

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  5. What a rollercoaster of a week for you and everyone at your school too. My prayers and thoughts are with you during this time.

    I understand about staycations. I was going to be going to my parents today for Easter, but am just hanging at home for a four-day weekend. At least, I'll have time to read...if I get to that.

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    Replies
    1. We are planning some fun activities which won't take us far from home.
      Thanks for the prayers.

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your student. Prayers for all those affected by this tragedy.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Prayers are appreciated ...for the family and the whole school!

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  7. So sorry about the loss of your student. That is so sad.

    Your neighborhood egg hunt sounds fun! We passed a yard on our walk yesterday that was strewn with eggs.

    I actually kind of like caucuses. I remember back when that's how most Party business happened, so it doesn't feel inevitable to me that there would be primaries. Parties, after all, aren't written into the Constitution. There are any number of ways that we could organize ourselves and this might be the time to decide that two powerful parties isn't that way.

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    Replies
    1. Well, the Bernie people were out in force and were very excited which was fun.

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  8. You've certainly been reading some interesting books! Now you've renewed my interest in Running the Rift.

    So sorry about the loss of your student. The death of a young person is so difficult to accept, but suicide is another thing altogether. I will hold you and your school community in my prayers.

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  9. Gorgeous tulips!

    So sorry about your student...there is nothing sadder than a life lost, especially one so young.

    Enjoy your books...I have The Age of Innocence, and have had it for a while. I should get going with it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  10. I guess my comment disappeared...trying again! Gorgeous tulips, and the books look good, too. I hope to read my copy of The Age of Innocence someday.

    So sorry about your student! Very sad.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support. Yes, it was and is awful.

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  11. Beautiful photo. Very sorry about your student, ugh doesn't make sense. I can't imagine the parents. It appears Bernie took Wash State over Clinton. Hmm. Does that surprise you?

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    1. No. It didn't surprise us that Bernie won WA state. He is doing well in all caucus states. We were in the minority at the meeting.

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  12. Oh, Anne, I am so very, very sorry to hear about your student. That's so sad.

    Glad you had a nice Easter weekend with your family - the neighborhood egg hunt sounds like fun!

    Enjoy your books this week -

    Sue

    Book By Book

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  13. I am so sorry to hear about your student; working in the schools we seem to have to deal with illness and death more than most. And doubly difficult when it's the young.

    We are doing a staycation during our week off as well. It's kind of a relief actually! My brother and his family are visiting from the UK so we're hanging out with them, which is wonderful.

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