Friday, June 10, 2016

A New Addition

So, I accidentally adopted a kitten this week...

It all started on Monday, when I I was cleaning out my classroom, doing all of the end of the year things a teacher is responsible for. I heard the most pitiful sounding "Mew" from somewhere, and intentionally didn't go looking for it. I'm a sucker for baby animals of any description, and cats are definitely my weakest of all weaknesses. But then, as I was driving off to grab lunch, I caught a glimpse of it and vowed then and there that I would take it when I got back if nobody else had.

Nobody else had.

I gathered up the little squirmy ball of fluff and took him back to my room while trying to decide what exactly I was going to do. First things first: get this boy to the vet; figure out how sick he might be. We ended up at 4 different vets--the first was closed, the second couldn't get us in until four, the third couldn't get us in until the following evening, and the fourth vet wasn't even in. So we settled for the 4:00. The vet confirmed that he had some worms, but all things considered, he was a pretty healthy 3-4 week old Bengal mix. I didn't intend to keep him. I put some posts out on social media hoping someone would be willing to give him a home.

No one did.

By Wednesday, I was in love with him and very much regretting my decision to bring him home in the first place. But what was done was done. On Thursday, I went back to the vet to pick up some medicine for him, and here we are. Friday. And my family is one animal larger.

Meet Bailey.

Bailey likes running, jumping, climbing, playing, and other cats...specifically their tails. He is a skilled user of teeth and claws, and I'm already dreaming of the day that he outgrows the violent kitten stage. My fingers and furniture are anxiously awaiting that time. But for now, this is where we are, and where we are looks pretty dang adorable.

Monday, April 11, 2016

[Book Review] Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Surviving Antarctica [Andrea White]
Rating: 2/5

I picked this book up when I found myself subbing for two weeks. I jumped into chapter 21 with the students and was very confused, as one is wont to be when starting from the middle. So I went back to the beginning to catch up. 

The whole time, I was plagued with mixed feelings. The concept of this book is cool: a dystopian society that selected 5 kids to reenact an expedition through Antarctica? Yes. Good. I'm on board. However, the execution of the story left a lot to be desired. Two of the characters were entirely indistinguishable from each other until the last 30 pages or so, and I didn't connect with any of them at all. 
The gravity of the kids' situation is never really delved into...there are so many scenes that could be catastrophic, but just peter out after a page or two. I found the writing be dull; I understand that it is written for a young audience, but the vocabulary really could have been improved significantly. 

My biggest issue with the book, though, came with the resolution of the story. It just ends. As a reader, I felt let down. I won't give things away, but the end was supremely unsatisfying in my estimation. Things wrapped up far too nicely, and the way it concluded brought up bigger questions about how the plot progressed as a whole. It created more plot holes than it filled. For me, the resolution killed any positive impression I had of this book. 

Honestly, I'm so disappointed that this is required reading for a class. This is one of those books that I feel will turn the kids off to reading, simply because the story isn't as well thought out as it could have been. 

Overall, I was underwhelmed.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

[Book Review] Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen]
Rating: 5/5

I wanted so badly to not like Pride and Prejudice, or at the very least, be underwhelmed by it. Prior to reading this, my exposure to the story included 5 or 6 failed attempts to read it, one viewing of the Kiera Knightly version of the film roughly 10 years ago, and three viewings of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But all that aside, I sat down a week ago and decided to give it another shot...mostly because I couldn't justify reading PPZ when I hadn't yet read the original. It was a means to an end, really.

I didn't expect to fall so in love with it. I really didn't. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I didn't expect to fall in love with Mr. Darcy (mostly because he's basically the human version of a cat. I love cats.) I didn't expect to be thoroughly amused by Mr. Bennet, and let's be honest, he's probably my favorite character in the book. I didn't expect to be so mad at Lydia and Wickham so often. I didn't expect to care so much, but here I sit, yet another girl that is completely sucked in to the beauty of this story.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't grinning like an idiot through most of the book. Seriously, my cheeks hurt. It's absurd. I get why so many people love this story. I feel like I'm cheating on Persuasion, which has held the place of my favorite Austen novel for five years. Whether P&P has actually replaced it remains to be seen. I'd have to give Persuasion another read to be able to make that final claim, but it's certainly a very close second at the least.  I'm sad that it took me so long to read it, but I'm excited to spend the foreseeable future on the Pride and Prejudice bandwagon.