It’s the final Friday morning of my summer, and I’m opening my mind to everything school-related. I’ve spent the last two weeks blissfully ignorant of these sorts of things, enjoying friends and family, prepping for the baby, and sitting on the beach eating up (though slowly) the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of The Brothers Karamazov. It’s going to be the last novel I read for a while. In my thinking of how I’m going to spend time this year, I’ve decided to take a school-year length hiatus from reading novels. It’s a bit heartbreaking, but also sensible and liberating. My free time will be in short supply this year, and I’m curious to see what happens when I’m not trying to squeeze in long works of fiction. I’m sure there will unexpected insights and consequences of this decision.
There is still plenty to read, and even though I’m relishing finishing the Dostoevsky, I’m transitioning to all the stuff that fills my head with great ideas for the coming school year. Catching up on my google reader subscriptions is a step. I’ve got 96 unread entries to skim through in my “Math Teacher Blogs” folder, and I think everybody knows how inspiring it can be to find great ideas there.
I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday to clear out some leftover gift cards on the following magazines:
Collected thoughts about Food from throughout history. Lapham’s Quarterly is a great periodical to have sitting around the home or the classroom. I was especially excited to find this one because this will be the third year that our 9th graders participate in a Fall Expedition about Food. I don’t teach ninth grade, but I will have an advisory group there, and I love talking about this stuff with colleagues.
One decision I made at PCMI is that I’m going to use statistics and data representation to frame this year’s student experience for the fall semester of Algebra 2. I already admire Good Magazine’s work with infographics, and I think this issue might make a nice source text for some of the work we do this fall. Again, it’s just great to have stuff like this lying around in the classroom – it’s always great for starting conversations with kids, to have ideas beautifully represented.
One of the main reasons I read novels is to gain ideas. I’ll miss that part about taking a year away. n+1 is a twice-yearly journal of ideas that come in essay and story form. I haven’t even cracked the cover yet, so I don’t know what’s inside – can’t wait though!
So there’s what I’ll be reading as summer transitions to the beginning of school. And starting next week, I’m going to make some sort of commitment to blogging for the fall. But I’m going to spend the last weekend of summer thinking about that too.