Saturday, May 24, 2008

For the last several days, in between getting ready for Summer Reading Club and dealing with interruptions of interruptions, I have been looking into graduate school. I fought the urge to go back to school for years, nay, for decades. Suddenly, I not only want to get a Master's Degree, I want to get a Doctorate. Go figure.

Of course, I also want to publish a blockbuster book, win a huge pile of money, lose fifty pounds, and write a song that will become an iconic celebration of life and love - oh and master the accordion - and travel the world, particularly Japan and Ireland - and find a way to provide affordable health care to everyone. I'd like World Peace, too.

The last I checked, there were still only 24 hours in a day and I need 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night or I get very, very grouchy.

Now, if I wanted my graduate degree to be in something sensible - like Library and Information Sciences, for instance - I could start next January and by the time I hit my next big birthday ending in zero - I'd have a MLIS. But I want to get my doctorate in......ready?.....Folklore OR Storytelling. They have graduate programs in these subjects - in Australia and Britain. University of Texas offers a Graduate Certificate in Storytelling that can be part of an MLIS. University of PA offers a graduate course of study in Folklife and Folklore. I don't live anywhere near Texas and I can't afford U of P.

Maybe I should work on the blockbuster book and the iconic song instead. In the meantime, I'll practice the accordion. Lady of Spain here I come.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Well, I was home sick on Wednesday and I decided to read Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture.
(I linked to the actual lecture not to the book.) The book is NOT the last lecture. It is an expansion of the lecture. You can watch the lecture. And I am listening to it right now.

WARNING: Keep a box of tissues handy when you read this book because Randy is dying. At the same time, the book is pretty upbeat. Why is it that some people are blessed with boundless optimism and energy and the rest of us spend our free time playing Spider Solitaire?

Read it. Randy is still alive at this writing BUT he doesn't have long. Right now in the lecture he is playing footage of a group of students going on the "Vomit Comet" so he can experience weightlessness.

So cool.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hilary McKay has completed her Casson family series with another book about the youngest member in the family, Rose - or Permanent Rose as she is sometimes called. Forever Rose chronicles Rose's difficulties in Class 6 with a particularly unpleasant teacher; the family woes of Indigo's friend, David; Eve 's (the Mom) bronchitis; a night in the Zoo; whatever happened to Caddy and her fabulous ex- fiance, Michael; and a stellar performance by Dad - all tied up very neatly on Christmas Day. The British surely love their Christmases.
Did I enjoy this book? Well, of course. But I am disappointed that Sarah, Saffy's best friend, did not get a book of her own. She is not technically a Casson but I'm not sure that should matter. She's there all the time!! And without her and her conveniently well-off and very flexible parents a lot of Casson adventures would not happen at all. Maybe I should email Ms. McKay and tell her what I think.
Still, I like the un-self-conscious mind set of 11 year old Rose. She just assumes that people see the world the way she does. And when they don't, their attitudes are unsolvable mysteries that she has no time to worry about. And Rose does worry about things. It's part of her job. She worries about her family and about starving children in Africa and making shoeboxes of gifts for poor people and her flawed and talented parents and David and her American friend, Tom, and...well, she has her hands full. Read the book. Fall in love with this quirky family again.