Monday, May 31, 2010


Some high school art students took photos around the school a few weeks ago. This is me in action. After lunch, the kids have reading time. Here, Sammy and Jedd had asked me to read them a story. I love the expression on Sammy's face! I'll definitely miss my kids!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The kids got to visit a nearby fire station today. They got to spray water, put on a fireman's outfit, and even learned how to do CPR on a dummy.

Lots of fun. I only have 5.5 more days with these pumpkins. I'm really going to miss them!

Saturday, May 01, 2010


"Sit up straight. Pretend there's a string coming out the top of your head. It's pulling you even straighter .... and straighter ... Now, close your eyes... Take a deeeeeep breath. Hold it. P-p-p-p-p-p, blow if out slooooooowly. Again..."
This simple breathing exercise has been one of my favorite tricks to calm down my 16 pumpkins. It works like a bomb. Every time. Even with the squirmiest kid, whom I have come to believe is the real-life version of Dash in The Incredibles.

But that's actually beside the point.

As is the fact that my kids have been learning about the sense of hearing this week, and thus made drums, guitars, you name it. They've been making shakers and testing different sounds. It's been a noisy week.

Add to that the fact that my research class concluded this week, which meant that I ferociously worked on completing my dissertation proposal. Which I sent in this morning.

That concludes this busy, noisy week.

Submitting today's paper is a significant milestone insofar as my studies go, as this document forms the road map to completing my dissertation. In it, I had to spell out exactly what my dissertation will be about, and how I plan to address my research. It also includes a detailed timeline to help me stay on track. Chapter by chapter, month by month, it leads me all the way to graduation. If all goes well, I should be able to graduate next summer.

For the past several months, my classes have been dovetailing, even overlapping. I've not had a chance to legitimately take time off and not have another deadline looming.

Today was different.

I was able to exhale. Big time. It will be a few weeks before I get feedback from my professor regarding changes I should make to my proposal before submitting it to the academic affairs committee for their approval.

I went to see Daisy, my favorite stylist, for some color and a cut. I had dinner with friends and didn't have to head home to do a few assignments. I watched a mindless movie.



And then I made a little pile on my nightstand of books I want to read in preparation for my writing, while waiting for my first rewriting assignment.

The book at the very top? This one. Then this one. And this one. And this and this and this one.



Though it was great to have the chance to simply take a break today, this train has slowed down for just a brief moment.

Maybe I should ask my little Dash for some of his speed so I can zip through my work just like he zips through his. (I can hear his little voice so clearly: "Miss Booysen, I'm done! What can I do now?")

A year from now, I, too, should be able to say, "I'm done!" But I already know what I want to do after that. Go and relax on a beach in Hawaii with some good friends. And take along only books like this one.

Or maybe not.

(I have actually been reading some non-class-related books on the side, by the way. Finished up Stones into Schools this week, and recently also completed the sequel to Left to Tell, about the Rwandan genocide.)

Needless to say, the biggest bulk of goods to be shipped this week in preparation for my move? Books. Can't imagine life without them!