Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A bit of Christmas Cheer

I read this to my daughter and now to my son every year during the holidays. I actually have the first 12 lines memorized I've read it so many times. May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!


by Clement Clarke Moore

or Henry Livingston

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

50 Book Challenge Update

For those of you who may not remember, (or care) I took the 50 book challenge from Shelfari. The idea is to read 50 books in twelve months. I have not posted on this in a while so I thought this would be a good time to give all of you the 411 on my reading.

Here is the finished list so far.

Old man and the sea
My Grandfather's Son
Sharks over China
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Screwtape Letters
Catcher in the Rye
The Coldest Winter
Mere Christianity
Count of Monte Cristo
The Black Arrow
The White Dragon
The Great Gatsby
The Black Arrow
Picture of Dorian Gray
Flight of the White Horse
The Bottle Imp
The Body Snatcher
Markheim (I am going to count them as 1 book)
Ranger's Apprentice book 1
Pools of Darkness
Pool of Radience
Shades Children
What We Carry
The Making of a Poem

So I've now read 26 books since July. I'm reading three books right now as well. "The Reagan Diaries", "Enter Three Witches" and a book on Haiku poetry.

I've also asked for three books for Christmas as well as a gift certificate to the used bookstore by my house, AND the super cool prep school gave me a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble, so I will have plenty to read for the rest of this year and the first part of 2009.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Normally I don't plug products, even free ones but this is pretty cool. If you use Firefox and you blog, then you should check out Scribefire. It allows you to update your blog without having to actually log into it. Very handy if your employer decides to block blogs. In addition it will allow you to add youtube content, manage your ads and more.

In addition, my daughter just finished a 30 hour fast to combat hunger around the world. They did all sorts of things including feeding the homeless this morning. She said that she didn't notice she was hungry until about 3pm (27 hours in) and that the last few minutes when they could smell the food were the hardest. Needless to say we're very proud of her.

And I'm catching a cold... ick!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Poetry Units

So I finished creating the unit for my 8th graders to start when they come back from their vacation, and I'm currently working on one for the 7th graders. I'm using the same basic plan as the one for the 8th grade but with different poems and forms, so that when I teach the 8th grade unit next year, I won't have to hear the "We did this poem last year" complaint.

I just finished doing the lesson for the ode and thought I would throw in a Haiku to remind the students to use complete sentences since we do Haikus the day before.

A good grade at stake

Complete sentences were used,

No red ink needed!

I wonder how many of my students will realized that it's a haiku reminding them to use complete sentences!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Better than I thgouht

Well, I just got my last grade for the fall semester at the three colleges I attended. And yes I did type the number three... don't ask. And I did better than I thought I would considering I was teaching full time and going to school full time.

I received A's in my teaching methods class and my English literature class, a B+ in my journalism class and a B in my speech class. The nice part is that now I can concentrate on teaching and the two week poetry unit I am creating for my 8th graders, which will become a 1 week poetry unit for the 7th graders.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Actually I was done last night, but you get the idea. I survived teaching 2 subjects and taking four classes. The big surprise was that I not only got an A in my Brit Lit class, but an A+ on my final paper. Now I figured I had written a pretty good paper but A+? Really? Either the paper is that good or the other students wrote really bad papers. Either way, I'll take the A and run with it. I also got an A in my teaching methods class. As for the other two classes I probably got C's in both of them, but I can live with that, although it will suck to break my streak of no C's at Nevada State College.

Now I can concentrate on teaching until the 20th of January when the circus starts again. The difference is that it's only two classes along with student teaching. Since I've been teaching all year, I'm not super nervous about 'student' teaching, I just need to make sure I dot the i's and cross the t's so I get my diploma in the spring.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Almost done!

I apologize for the light blogging but it's been really busy for me. Not only do I have the usual teaching and domestic thing going, but it's finals time for this desert rat. In the last two weeks I've had my final speech, my final project, my final paper and final articles for my college classes. I think I finally out procrastinated Karlana by working on my final paper during my daughter's birthday party.
The nice thing is now I can concentrate on my teaching for the next several weeks until the spring semester starts at the end of January. This means that I can redo seating charts, get caught up on my grading, lesson plans, thinking skills sheets and long range plans.