Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain
Nathan's First Visit to Michigan (or why I have closure issues)
So, I never wrote about Nathan’s visit to the Great Lakes State. I was reflecting about that very fact in my journal, as it has been nearly a month, and I haven’t finished writing about it in there either. I have noticed a pattern. Whenever I go on vacation or do something that I really like, it takes me longer to write about the experience. I have narrowed down the possibilities of why I might do this to a couple things: 1. When I have an awesome experience (say traveling to a foreign country, etc.) I reflect on the experience or time spent for a while as I write about it, and with time I think of certain things I want to pay more attention to. 2. (And what I think is the real reason) I have closure issues. If I finish writing about something it is really done and over with. And I hated to see that week end. It was such a breath of fresh air to have a week off from school and work and have one of my favorite people in the whole world here with me (don’t be too awed by that fact Nathan, there are like 20 of you on that list, and you are below Ray Lamontagne… ha ha ha.) :)
So the blogs to follow will be about Nathan’s first visit to Michigan, which took place the first week of May.
I first discovered Helen Ward when I bought a copy of her The Tin Forest--the story of a man who in his solitude creates for himself a tin forest; once he builds a replica of the real things he desires, it is only a matter of time before real plants and animals begin to appear in the tin forest--at a used book sale at one of my old libraries when I was in grad school. What makes Ward stand out is that she always paints an intimate story, including details that pull you into the world of the story. I just love her!
We recently got a copy of Helen Ward's The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse; not a
new story, but merely a retelling and re-illustrating of a Aesop's classic. I LOVE
Helen Ward's artwork, which is a feast for the senses, so full of color,
lavish artwork that leaves you feeling as contented as that adorable
The hardest part of being the Director in a small library is that we don't have an HR person, so on top of everything else we do we also get to do the paperwork for the new hires, and retires. Thank God for the internet or these processes would take a lot longer!
One of my board members pointed out that though I'd been informed of staff retirements, I had to officially accept them with a letter...I am finding that a paper trail is an important thing. So, I found a short and simple letter on one university's HR website (sorry forgot which!?) and honed it to work for us. Attached is my sample of a retirement letter.
Is anyone else out there going through this process too?
I really hate reading books that fall under the same theme each week when I do storytimes--I get it, themes help reinforce learning, blah blah blah--I fall into the school of thought that if you love what you're reading, you communicate something just as powerful to kids! Fortunately, when I do school visits the teachers give me free reign, just glad that I am there and giving them a half an hour break from being in charge. :)
At a recent school visit I did a couple of stories I LOVE and also shared some Shel Silverstein poems to boot, the below storytime was with the first graders (the Kindergarteners have less time with me, so just some books geared toward to them).
The BEST 1st Grade storytime:
Extra Yarn, Marc Barnett, illus. Jon Klassen
How can you not love a story about a girl who has magic yarn that never seems to run out--she makes "sweaters for things that don't even wear sweaters," for Heaven's sake! aAnd Klassen's pictures are nothing short of WON…