This month I resolved to read two graphic novels every month this year. Graphic novels are one of my weaknesses, I am not great at reading them, and as a result I struggle when students ask me for recommendations.
On January 20, I completed the first graphic novel. I chose Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party, written by Nathan Hale. The premise is that Nathan Hale, a famous spy, is about to be hanged for his crimes, but he tells stories to the hangman and the British soldier while they wait. In this section of the series, Hale takes on the subject of the Donner Party. Hale’s tone is very serious, while the hangman is somewhat more comedic, and provides some humorous relief to the more depressing and horrific sections of the tale. One of my favorite sections was the graphic representation of all of the families present in the Donner party. It was on pages 42-43, and really helps to illustrate the scope of the people involved. I think this series would be really beneficial for anyone that is interested in history. Also, if you have students that struggle with connections to history, or understanding, the graphics throughout, and the connections, should aid those students.
If you would like more information on the series, the author does have a blog with additional information.
Last year sometime, while driving my son to daycare in the blue – blackness of early morning, I had a scary thought. What if the bulk of writing I did on this Earth was commenting in the margins of student essays? What if most of my work ended up disregarded and in a landfill? I’m sure part of the depth of the melodrama that day was due to the earliness of the hour, and the volume of essays I was in the midst of grading, but it did really start me thinking about what I wanted from the future. I had talked to our previous librarian about getting enrolled in a school librarian certification program, but the timing had never seemed quite right. When our librarian had to retire earlier than she had planned, I really thought I had missed my window, but then the library aide at the time asked if I was going to apply. For once, I decided to take the plunge, and both apply for the position, and to a school librarianship program. I knew getting the job was a longshot, but against all odds I was hired. I am loving the library thus far, and I am so excited to learn and grow throughout the program. My favorite moments of the day are when I help a student, or a teacher, find something they need. It isn’t that the library is less work, but it is more of the work I really like – planning, collaborating with teachers, and working on programming to encourage reading.
I have thought about starting a blog for awhile now, but there has been substantial dithering. Over the summer, I started to research blog construction, and even started some post drafts, but ultimately decided to wait. I did some prior blogging with students on Kidblog.org when I was a classroom teacher, but it was a contained site, and only those with permission could see it. While I am starting this blog for a class, I hopeful it will grown and change as I really embark on a new stage in my career, I was hired as the district Library Media Specialist in a small rural school district, and I am concurrently getting my library certification. I have a lot to learn, and am excited about new adventures.