Monday, October 14, 2013

Books 24, 25, and 26...

Book 24 - The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

I started this book while waiting for a plane in Mexico, and I finished it in late September. It was entertaining, but I had to set it aside to read some other books that were assigned to me in one way or another. The Sisters brothers are brothers in the Old West who work as hired killers. It's funny in places, but it's mostly the sad story of loneliness and life choices that are ultimately unchangeable.

Book 25 - How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiousity, and the Hidden Power of Character

This was mostly assigned to me, but I loved it.  It's all about brain functionality and how we can groom children to have tenacity and character. Ultimately it's not intelligence that makes successful adults, but the ability to persevere and problem solve when faced with difficulty. It encouraged me as a mom and as an educator. Some day when I get my doctoral degree I think I'll study brains, as I'm fascinated at the possibility that lies there for even the toughest kids.

Book 26 - Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

I found this book by searching Amazon for Kent Haruf books and reading descriptions in the "you might also like" list it generated. The book wasn't necessarily what I expected, but I liked it anyway. I expected a quiet book, and it was more supernatural/violent/Stephen King-y. Thanks to a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon, I read about 75% of the book in one day. I didn't want to put it down.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Like a Ninja

At the Bryan vs. Consol game this year, some kids threw tortillas. This has some history because kids threw tortillas two years ago, so I guess we're always on the lookout for Mexican food at this particular game.

I probably shouldn't admit this, but I love a good natured high school prank every once in a while. I look at it as kids making memories that they'll talk about at their 20 year reunion, and as long as no one is hurt and nothing is damaged, it's just kids being kids. But the tortillas made me mad. Really mad. For two reasons:

1) Tortilla tossing mimics a similar incident when students of Texas Tech threw tortillas. As a good Ag, I was quite unhappy that our kids were trying to be like Tech. The tortilla throwing was classless when they did it, and it wasn't better when it was us.

2) My first thought as I saw a tortilla fly through the air was that someone is going to have to clean those up. Further, it seemed like it could storm at any minute, so someone could potentially be cleaning up wet tortillas. This prank was no longer harmless.

I should note here that out of the almost 2000 kids who go to my school, probably ten were actually involved. Also, they didn't do this in a mean spirited way. They really thought it was funny. I just didn't.

As soon as the flying tortillas started, we administrators took our stance on the sideline facing the stands, trying to see from whence they came. I stood with my hands clasped behind my back, searching the crowd and giving the meanest face I could conjure. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tortilla came at me. Well, not really at me, but next to me.

And I caught it. Like a ninja.

And the crowd of tortilla tossers cheered.

And I did my best to maintain my cool composure.

But I couldn't.

So I laughed.

See, I didn't mean to catch it. I live in a house where football is regularly played in the living room despite my protests, and wiffle balls don't really count as balls when you're bunting from the fireplace. It was instinct. Cat-like reflexes born of being surrounded by boys.

I tried so hard to get back to my mean face, but I had to turn my back to the stands because I could not believe I had done it. I had accidentally participated in this little game, and all I could do was laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

Eventually they ran out of tortillas, and next year we'll be extra vigilant in looking for them as they enter the stadium.

But I'll always be the lady who caught the tortilla.