About Me

My name is Cassandra  (named because it sounds good in a board room, but really my parents were visited by the Greek woman, prophecy-giver, concubine, Apollo’s muse, princess):

(Currently) I like being liked. I have scribbles all over receipts in my purse. I carry far too many pens, but always want a very specific one.  I have two cats; one named after Twilight and the other named after French cheese.  I have a dog named Tucker Finnegan Murray. I’m getting married in April to a man who reads fantasy fiction (he might do some spotlight reviews, but I’ve only ever seen him write really corny poetry).  I own more watches than shoes.  More notebooks than da Vinci. There are not enough worries in the world that I haven’t already worried.

(July 2016) The blog just informed me that this “About Me,” not so short bio page, has been around for five years – almost six, I think.  It blows my mind that I’ve been tracking my reading and my growing up through this thing for that long. It’s true, I still wish I were a mermaid.  I still paint my nails wacky colors.  I still believe in singing in the shower, reading to live, and smelling before tasting really superb coffee, even though at night I’ve begun drinking tea.  Right now, my life is pretty stressful.  I have discovered that one cannot just become a mermaid, and one cannot just quit when life is hard.  This is a trial and error and as my dear friend Claire said, “life is a series of attachments and letting go,” and so here we are. Shorter hair, still curly, grown-up girl, still believes in fairytales, working adult, still believes in adventure through exploration.

(February 2015) I have glitter nails right now, no bottom coat.  It’s just straight confetti around her.  I’m still obsessed with words and forming them into fists, or warm slow-dancing, or the beat of a favorite song in my head.  This girl, she takes too many selfies, she’s too into the sunshine, and she drinks too much iced coffee (homemade).  She has a selfie outtakes blog on Tumblr with her boyfriend and markets her curly hair like it’s a sales item. It’s the twists and salty waves in it that remind her of summer, and sand, and the wind on water.  This is almost mermaid season, this is almost prime.

(October 2014) (thanks Whispering Gums for the heads up) I’ve taken to writing in a journal.  It’s pretty girly for me, it even has a pearl button, but damn am I angst-driven.  I read Sylvia Plath’s journals and I’m like, Wow, I’m a valley girl representing the South in my journals and she’s over here spouting metaphors.  Alas, there’s always someone who does it better.  It’s time for an update because I’m a real teacher, and when I tell lies, my nose doesn’t grow! I earned my official longterm teaching license a month ago, HUZZUH.  Now, the question is (should I blog about it) should I go back to graduate school in Education? I tend to still wear skulls on my shirt though (read previous bios).  AND CAN YOU BELIEVE I’M GOING TO REACH MY 500TH BLOG IN JUST TEN MORE BLOGS.  (mini-panic attack).  I need to step up my reading game for the holidays guys, I’ve been post-turkey reading all year.  I really need a blog where I can record the half-books that I’ve read. It could be called “All The Books I Almost Finished [and bowel movements]” Tell me your thoughts in the comments, or become a follower, I run a really fun cult here. XO.

(May 2014) This girl has been blogging for almost four years and it’s definitely time for the six-month periodic update.  It’s kind of like visiting the doctor except without all that blood letting and deep breathing.  I was sitting online and waiting patiently for the Challenge Rivals 2 newest episode to be uploaded on mtv.com.  I just can’t help myself, I watch far too much reality television with people stuck in houses with other people that they don’t quite like.  Lately, I’ve been into corny classroom stickers, making tissue paper hanging pom-poms and reading adult fairytales.  Just last week I made my first full unit plan for Shakespeare’s Othello and ran over three miles with the boy.  It’s summer, I’m boring and most of my days may or may not be filled with marathons of Law & Order.  If you’ve ever heard the “Dun, Dun” in the beginning of an episode than you know it’s the exact sound of your heartbeat which makes you feel immediately comfortable and ready to settle in to a horrid violent crime.  Anything else you would like to know, you can forward inquiries to the skull on my t-shirt.  He’s also online dating and d(r)eadfuldates.com  where he catfishes women by pretending he’s a zombie ex-boyfriend.

(January, 2013) It’s time for an update.  I’m actually a professional at something, finally.  A professional tap-dancing-in-front-of-a-classroom-of-hormone-driven-9th-graders. : ) YES, that’s what I’d like to call it.  I think I learned more grammar in the last four months than I ever learned doing anything else.  I also correctly learned how to write a five paragraph essay and perform well on a research project.  Too bad you can’t repeat college.  Well, what’s to say, what’s to say.  I’ve been analyzing the two connotations of “woo her with my sword” for Midsummer Night’s Dream lately.  I am in the process of writing Christmas cards which are scattered along my bed with the kiss stickers and penguin stickers that I will decorate them with in all their tacky glory.  I have curly hair, did I mention that yet, and cats.  Those are the two most important things about me: curly hair, and cats, two of them.  One is named after cheese (fromage) and one is named after Twilight (Jasper)(which I don’t regret).  DOUBLE PARENTHESIS! That’s like 20 points (almost as much as hitting a normal person steering a grocery cart with your car).  I jest.

This is me: curly, cats, sweatpants that look like jeans.

You can find my “While I’m Reading” experience at my tumblr: booksandbowelmovements.tumblr.com.  This includes quotes from the books I’m currently reading, weird inspiration book blabber, & bookishness in it’s entirety.  There may also be some potty talk.

(June, 2012): It’s time for those butterfly moments when I re-release myself to you with a new face, and a new attitude.  You’re looking at a girl with her very first full-time job.  And guess what, it’s working with teenagers and words – bah ha (not that I don’t already do that now at the teen center).  I am moving two hours away from everything I know to a town of wheat fields and roadside watermelon stands.  Obviously, Jasper the Cat is coming with me to be cuddled and coddled against his will.  There will be gardens, vegetables, and experiences in cooking that I’ve never actually had.  I just last month realized that garlic comes in a glove with teardrops of the actual food you use.  It seems I have some living to do.

I thought with all of this newness coming at me so quick – it was time for an update about me.  Now onto the normal likes and dislikes of this transformed girl.  I like freckles and how they appear like seeds freshly planted in the summertime across my nose.  I like pizza baked on the grill and the few times we failed at it before we got it right.  I love hiking, but I never actually go – in fact, I don’t even own boots, but I do own these rad Chaco’s.  I detest snobbery over strawberries (it’s a long story).  I like people to guess what stereotypes I come under by the clothes I’m wearing and then watch their faces while I break most of them over bread and cheese.  (mmmm cheese).  Brave is the first movie starring a princess that looks like me (although Little Mermaid is a close second, if her hair was just more springy).  I prefer cereal that crunches.

I dislike feeling the peas in the bottom of my mattress.

Enjoy the other “me’s” below.  Have some chocolate while you nibble.

The end.

January 1, 2012: It’s a new year and with all new year’s people feel the need to be new people, and yet here I am, the same curly-haired girl making silly mistakes, and reading, that I’ve been for my entire life.  We’ll, curly since age thirteen when I hit puberty and my mother’s genes kicked in.  It’s been a year of consistency for me; same job, same home, same bed every single night which is a bit odd.  I feel like I just came home from Australia yesterday.  Anyway, I’ve been eating a lot of cheese (& mexican food), taking endless photos of my cat in various laying positions since he is lazy and egotistical (typical male) and I’ve been working with teens and continuing my goal of being in college forever.  (Literally, I graduated and yet here I am taking classes for fun).  I feel like I’m filling out an eighth grade “getting-to-know-you” sheet so in an effort to be different, I’m going to tell you a few strange things.  I crack my knuckles to the point I wear overly large man rings on my fingers.  I like assorted shaped lamps with weird shades, I prefer books and bed clothes to people or real pants (doesn’t everyone).  I like to create half-finished products and I fake at being outdoorsy when really I’d just prefer to sit on the beach and read…without the sand touching me.  In short: I’m a cat lady who reads books and wants a bike with a basket and a small bell.   Please hear from the former “me’s” below:

(August, 2011): It’s been eight months since my last “about”.  My dreams have changed, my four post canopy bed has not, really (other than my mother buying me new bedding yesterday.  At twenty-three, she still picks out my bedding.  It doesn’t have flowers this time though, it’s more geometric).  I am currently studying to be a teacher so that I can rant about literacy and books to four classrooms full of children a day.  I work at a teen center for “at-hope” youth (my friend Jemeka made that up and I quite like it) and have learned more about gangs in the last six month than I ever expected too in my life.  I also work for an award-winning, international literary magazine (#humblebrag) and am on hiatus from writing any dead-grandmother poetry, or Virgin, Catholic poems.   My father (faj) is old, my mom has red hair.  I live with them and my slinker cat, Jasper (named after Twilight).  I read cult classics, literary fiction, too much poetry, and I’m currently obsessed with magical realism.  To learn more about me from a few months ago, see below.  This one was less fun than the last one – I must be aging.

(When I returned from Australia): It has been almost a year since I started blogging and therefore, on this daylight’s saving night, I thought it was about time that I updated myself.  Right?  I guess this is a bit more than just dying my hair (or buzzing my head like Britney, eeeeeee).  I am still curly-haired, more mermaid now though and I am back from my tramping around the globe and instead, living at home with my parents and four legged friend, jas.  I read a lot (what an interesting sentence).  I write a lot (of utter nonsense, women’s poetry, catholic-ness etc).  I am currently on a meat strike because of lent and I never knew how hard it was to not eat chicken.  I prefer cats to humans.  I prefer rocking chairs to desk chairs.  I prefer to  hang free, and be hair covered then wear a bra or shave (I conform still though because….well I don’t quite know why).  If I could wear petticoats like Alice in Wonderland everyday, I would, and I would also drink tea everyday (I do).  That’s about it for right now in my life.  I have wonderful people supporting me as well (all over the world, one of the most important, literally across the world) and that’s me.  Me, before the next big step of graduate school, hopefully.  Keep all your limbs and dexters crossed.

(When Blog was started…) I am a curly haired girl who has decided to take a year off after college to travel the globe.  I like to consider myself a writer, but I’m pretty much just a “diddier” that tries to write things down because I over-analyze and people-watch way too much.  I’m probably an old cat lady already with my first little man being Jasper Dean Mannes.  I am in love with the outdoors, but pretty much recluse myself to the front porch.  I’m a person who likes to sit inside their own head. I’m pretty obnoxious, and flakey so if you want to follow this blog, I suggest you catch up on your Seinfeld (Fox 1130-1230 Monday-Friday) and realize that talking about absolutely nothing can be quite exciting. So, enjoy, as I am, this trip around the world and e-mail me if you miss me, because I’m sure I’ll be missing you too!

Where you can find me (I’m creepily all over the internet):

I do not have a facebook, or myspace.
Here is the latest picture I genuinely like of myself, taken by Christine (my old college roommate):

Painting the sidewalk Red, they were out of Roses.

236 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Nadine Rose Larter says:

    Hi there,

    My name is Nadine Rose Larter and I am a new author. My first book will be available in print very soon and I am looking for a few book review bloggers who would be willing to accept my ebook in exchange for a review.

    I know you must have a ton of books on your nightstand already (I know I do!) but if you would just consider what a hugely good karma inducing act of good will this would be I would be forever grateful and massively in your debt.

    Please contact me if you are interested.

    Thanks for your time,


    PS – books and bowel movements? That’s awesome! Haha!

  2. Joseph Rinaldo says:

    My name is Joe Rinaldo, and I have published an ebook entitled, A Spy At Home. I would be most grateful if you would review it for your blog. I’ll provide a free copy for you to read in Word, pdf, or html format, whichever you prefer.

    Garrison’s story begins when he retires from the CIA. In retirement Garrison shares the pain he inflicted on his family during his life abroad. Noah, Garrison’s adult son with Down syndrome, a form of mental retardation, doesn’t trust dad when he returns home. Experience has taught Noah that dad always leaves again. Over time they grow closer.

    Louisa, Garrison’s wife, gradually accepts her husband back; however, accepting him as her husband and trusting him with her child present two separate obstacles.

    Tragedy strikes, and Louisa dies. Garrison becomes solely responsible for Noah, who has developed Alzheimer’s, common in aging people with Down syndrome. This disease tears at Garrison’s heart. Noah ceases to be himself and relives a life his dad knew nothing about.

    Thank you for considering A Spy At Home. If you are willing to review my book, please email me at rinald47@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Rinaldo

  3. Guide Bobby Fleury says:

    hi there, just visiting your site. I like your Creatine Nonfiction link, i am very interested in that type of writing.

    Bobby in Canada, Alberta to be exact.

    • Cassie says:

      Guide Bobby, You should subscribe to CNF. It’s a great creative nonfiction literary magazine. Also, I saw that you live on a reservation have you ever read Sherman Alexie or Louise Erdrich. They’re both impeccable Native American writers. I’m pretty obsessed with Erdrich especially Love Medicine.

      If you decide to read them, please let me know what you thought.

  4. Guide Bobby Fleury says:

    No I have not read those authors. If I come across their books I will pick them up, read them and then let you know. I can do a book review!
    I might make a subscription later on thanks.

    I subscribed to your wordpress blog. look forward to reading more!


  5. Sally Panayiotou says:

    Hi, thank you for visiting my writing blog – it’s brand spanking new, so you’re currently in an elite company of about six people! Love your blog – a lovely balance of being quirky without feeling like you’re trying too hard.

    Make sure you get round to booking that plane ticket to Europe – I can vouch for London’s amazingness (just as much a word as self-absorbedness) and the rest of Europe isn’t too shoddy either.

  6. nell's dish says:

    I like all of your “about me”s. I just went back and re-wrote mine a few times over the last couple years – but I like reading each one to see how you’ve evolved over time. I think I’ll start doing that too! Looking forward to reading more from you. Thanks for finding me first. :)

    • Cassie says:

      Aww yea, I definitely think you should leave them and see how you’ve grown through blogging. It’s really fun to look back on old posts and think, “Did I really say that?” or “Wow, I’m awesome…” Haha. Especially if you have a big head like me.

  7. borkadventures says:

    You had me at bowel movements. I’m glad you popped by my blog today because now I have found your blog and am really enjoying it! Looking forward to reading it as regularly as a morning constitutional in 2012!

    -Mandy @Adventures in Borkdom

  8. thatgirlwhit says:

    oh i love this so much! i have such along list of books to read and countries to travel to. i’ll happily follow along and peek into your happenings via blogworld. if you don’t mind!

  9. hannahkarena says:

    My curly hair was the exact same way! Nobody believes me when I try explaining that it was pretty much poker straight until about fifth grade.

    • Cassie says:

      Jen – you’re awesome. I will totally nominate a few others write a bit of a blog about this later this week. Thank you. And YOU deserve it. I love reading your blog.

  10. Dog's-ear says:

    Love the curls. My wife irons hers out every day much to my dismay. And is there anything better than curling up w/ a book & a cuppa tea whilst in yr PJs? Bookworms unite! Dig yr blog (even tho I just dipped my toe in it so far).

    • Cassie says:

      Thanks for the compliments. And all through high school I straightened my curls and then I realized curls gave you psychic powers and made it easier to whip your hair to music and decided to stop. You should tell your wife that – she’s blessed. : ) And there is NOTHING better, you’re so right.

  11. Jessica says:

    Ok, so I thought you had me at ‘books’, but then my eyes continued along, and you most definitely had me at ‘bowel movements’.

    Thank you for leaving me some blog loving.

    I think your photo a day posts are great, and I am looking forward to hearing about books I need to read!

    I wish I was more of a reader. So, I’ve set myself a goal for 2012 too – to read 12 books. Completely puny compared to the fact you’ve already read 13 o_O, but hey, it’s a start.

    x jessica

  12. Amy says:

    Hello Cassie, many thanks for the like. You sound like a really interesting person, so I’ll definitely be following your blog from now on.

  13. Ari de lucia says:

    Hey Cassie,
    Wow you have blown me away, I am not much of a book reader but my mother and daughter are. Sometimes I wish it did not skip a generation:) I think life is so much better when you read. BTW thank you for stopping by my photog and commenting on one of my pics, I truly appreciate it.
    See you around soon :D

    • Cassie says:

      Aw, thank you so much. And I love the pictures on your blog, I’m sure I’ll be back to check it out again soon. By the way, you just need to find a book that you really love to get you started. What do you like in movies?

      • theotherwatson says:

        Hahahaha, a memoir you say? …Actually…I do have 10 more novellas to write….maybe I could make one a memoir? Wow, I have never even tried with the idea. I wonder though if it would be possible to make it sound good without coming across as pretentious or dull? Hrmmm…. you’ve given me something to ponder on :P

  14. Jude says:

    Hi Cassie
    Thanks for visiting my photo blog and liking my feather! I’m also a writer – not conventionally published, but I have e-published myself on Amazon Kindle. Two books – a true romantic adventure and a fantasy novel. Trying to focus on a sequel to the fantasy but keep getting sidetracked. Love your blog, you look like a busy lady who’s full of enthusiasm!

    • Cassie says:

      Jude, Thank you for writing. It’s always nice to meet fellow writers (obviously, you’re a writer with a blog). Good luck with your fantasy sequel and thank you for your compliments.

  15. Michael Fishman says:

    This is maybe the best blog name I’ve ever seen. If there are two more important things in life I don’t know what they are.

    • Cassie says:

      Haha, well thank you. My family members are avid poop-talkers. We often bring it up. Once, on vacation I counted how many times it came up in conversation so it seemed perfection.

    • Cassie says:

      Noel, I think if you click on the fish box it will bring you to the creation website. I’m not one hundred percent on that though. If not, just Google website fish. Glad you like them.

  16. chicana writer says:

    Greetings Cassie,
    I’m always interested in finding out more about the people who find my blog. Yours I must say is very interesting and hard to keep away from. You have some great tales to tell and I am hooked.

  17. lapetiteveg says:

    Cassie– just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a “versatile blogger award.” Not entirely sure how the whole thing came about, but I was nominated and I thought I’d pass it along to you as well– I do so enjoy reading your blog. Feel free to ignore it, no offense taken, but wanted to give you a heads up! The “rules” are on my most recent post.

    • Cassie says:

      Thanks lovely. Hopefully, I will be able to blog and nominate others when I get a chance. Work is crushing any sort of time management that I thought I had.

  18. The Blissful Adventurer says:

    Cassie, your blog title moved (pun intended) straight to the top of my favorite all time blog names. I can tell we are going to be WP friends. Thank you for stopping over to my blog and I am so excited to follow yours

  19. Alexandra D'Italia says:

    Yes, I leaned into my narcissistic tendencies and Googled myself. I found that you enjoyed my essay, Teeth. Thank you so much. I love your blog. Another cat lady, Alexandra

  20. chocoskin says:

    Oh hi you! First of all your blog’s a blast lol I RARELY see good blogs about books nowadays (except my own, haha). No bur seriously, love your site. And no I haven’t read The Hunger Games but EVERYBODY’S obsessed with it right now here in Sweden, including my two younger siblings who just saw the movie…

  21. suth2 says:

    Wow! You are quite a lady! You have received so many blog awards. I can understand why as your blog makes terrific reading.
    How long did you spend in Australia when you were travelling?

    • Cassie says:

      Why thank you. It’s very exciting. I lived in Australia for eight months when I was twenty two. I have a ton of blogs on it in the archives. I loved it.

  22. suth2 says:

    I also nominated you for the Kreative Blogger Award. Your blog is terrific. I think one of the purposes of the award is to generate more traffic. It looks as though you get plenty of traffic already.

    • Cassie says:

      You’re too sweet. Your metaphor for blog awards cracked me up. Dear Lord. Everytime I read his name I think Grinch…I can’t help it.

      I haven’t ever gotten a “beautiful blogger” award so I’m very excited. :)

      Will go now to read your things about yourself.

  23. smallhandwriting says:

    You seem so open and completely yourself within your writing. It’s refreshing to read. I have a quick question though; how did you get your blog to become so popular?

    • Cassie says:

      Well, thank you. Honestly, by doing exactly what you just said – I’ve been completely myself in my own little space. Bad comma placement and all. : ) I think also it helps when you reach out to the blogging community around you. I am always reading book reviews in the “reader” section of wordpress just to find new things to read and meet new people – that always helps. Create a little network of people who think like you.

    • Cassie says:

      You are so sweet! I would have never known that if not for this award so thank you, thank you. I will go read your facts about yourself right now and check out the other blogs. : )

  24. The Other Watson says:

    Hello, so, because I know you have all the time in the world right now (har har…) I nominated you for another blog award bahaha. But this one is cool, and involves listing your top 5 books of all time, which I would actually be curious to know!
    Anyway, no rush with it obviously, but you and your blog are just too awesome not to nominate for this:

  25. Writes2escape says:

    Hey, Cassie!
    Can I say that this is the best ”About Me” I have come across on the blogosphere! Seriously, this deserves a gold star. I can’t draw one here so a bright, imaginary one would do!
    Love your blog!

    • Cassie says:

      Thank you so much! That just made my day. : ) I try to be as clear about myself as I can be I guess. I love a good gold star, I’m imagining a pretty robust one right now.

  26. Angeline M says:

    I have to thank you for the visit over at my place today, or I never would have found you. Been looking through just a couple of your posts, well, actually just one, but love what I see.

  27. klumpigy says:

    Hey, just a fan of yours passing on the Inspirational Blogger Award thing, I linked you on my blog ( hope you don’t mind!) so if you wanted to play along to just read the post and follow the rules. Love your blog!

  28. maedez says:

    I love your blog. It was one of the first ones I discovered after making the switch to WordPress. I only nominated a few blogs, and all of them are ones I truly love.

  29. cricketmuse says:

    Are you still dealing with ninth graders? I have five sections this year–130 lovely little blocks to sandpaper the burrs off of before sending them on to sophomore year.
    P.S. I adore the fishies.

  30. Gloryteller says:

    I’m fascinated with your title, for everyone has Books and BMs. Some have too many, some not enough, but hardly anyone appreciates them enough, nor knows their deeper meanings. ;)
    Good work. Keep it up.

  31. Angela says:

    Love your voice and creative energy, Cassie. Those kids are lucky to have you. I teach high school English and composition, too — never a dull moment. Thanks for visiting my blog. Cheers!

    • Cassie says:

      Well thank you so much, dear! You are pure awesomeness if you also teach high school. I just know anyone who teaches high school is like a family member to me. :)

      • Cassie says:

        I sure hope so! Have fun with your students. I would love to hear if you’re doing anything absolutely wonderful or anything that you think went really well. I’m always trying to steal ideas. :) I will cite you in my lesson plans at the very least. Haha!

      • Angela says:

        Hmmm….not sure they will think any of it’s too wonderful, at least not until AFTER the fact, right? What are you teaching this year? We’re doing moderns — Evelyn Waugh. TS Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, CS Lewis, and Graham Greene. No Shakespeare with my high schoolers, but am doing it with my junior high for the first time. Suicidal? Maybe…..

      • Cassie says:

        I love that you’re teaching moderns. I am teaching a collection of ransoms. Fahrenheit, Night, The Odyssey and Othello. I think they all create really great arguments about what society is and could be. I’m actually going to the Holocaust Museum this weekend so I’m very excited to gather even more experience to help teach Night. Not suicidal with Shakespeare and 8th graders unless it’s Midsummer. Then it’s a mess.

      • Angela says:

        I absolutely agree with you on the issues all of those works raise in common — perfect! And WHY in the world do people think Midsummer is remotely appropriate for anyone under the age of 21???? Seriously? It’s about as close to a drug-addled vision as was possible in Shakespeare’s time. It’s probably my least favorite of the plays. . . .WE have a holocaust museum here, as well, and I’ve not been yet. Maybe I will teach Night and some war lit. next time I do 20th century. There are two memoirs, as well, by a priest who survived concentration camp — Fr. Walter Cizek. Don’t think you’d be allowed to teach it in public school. Have you ever read/taught The Things They Carried? I did it with juniors and they loved it. We did found poems with LIFE war photography — I did a whole war unit…..

      • Cassie says:

        I HATE Midsummer. It’s already confusing for young readers with the language shift and then on top of it the plot makes no sense and has NO POINT. My students hate the humor other than “Hand me my sword!” and even with that one I had to explain what he meant by sword, haha.

        I am OBSESSED with your idea of doing found poems with LIFE war photography. I am TOTALLY stealing this idea. I’m going to have my students cover research standards to find an article that they feel goes with their photo and then create a black out poem using the article to explain the picture AND THEN compare the picture and poem to the themes of Night. OHMYGOSHI’MSOEXCITED! I am definitely going to look into those memoirs – maybe there’s another informational piece or section I can gram from them.

        I LOVE The Things They Carried. The men killing that baby beast stays with me to this day. That is one of the most beautifully brutal books that I’ve ever read. I am so happy students are getting to read that, it’s a true gem.

      • Angela says:

        Oh my goodness — you are cracking me up with the “sword” thing! That’s one of the best things, for me, in doing Shakespeare with teens — they actually pick up on things that I never notice, and then having to explain things lends a whole other element to my ability to articulate things appropriately. I did Julius Caesar with my limited English kids — call me crazy, my whole department thought I was nuts — and I remember at the end, I was having them act out scenes. Two boys who’ve had brushes with gangs and are very macho are being Brutus and Lucius and at one point Brutus says “Come on my right hand,” meaning “Move over here on my right side.” Well, the whole class erupted. I was mortified but rolled through it with grace and humor. We were able to laugh about that and they loved that they didn’t get in trouble. Some of the best discussions I’ve had with my kids have been with the Bard.

        Feel free to steal my idea! Nothing’s sacred between us teachers! ;) I know my kids were really moved by the combination of the visual with the texts. It’s one thing to read about it, but it’s another thing entirely to SEE it. I also brought in my grandpa’s letters he wrote home from his time on a destroyer in the South Pacific and then Glenn Miller records — yes, records — and played those. Most of the kids had never seen a record, had no idea what was going on. But the music from that time is a very interesting contrast to the reality of what was going on with the troops and in the concentration camps.I also had them do I AM poems — can’t remember the format of those — with a character from one of the texts we read. They had to illustrate those. Loved it. Not sure if any of that’s of interest, but steal away! :)

        I think the memoir I suggested is actually a priest that was in a Siberian concentration camp….now I can’t remember. I find it interesting that Night is OK on the public school list, but no other camp bio/memoir from any an author of other faith perspective is acceptable…..ahhh, the implicit censorship we deal with! I always advocated subversion in my classroom — I’m sure you’ll find something you can use. HAVE FUN!

      • Cassie says:

        You are awesome with your records, dear. I am just loving this conversation we have going!! You’re inspiring me so much. Love that you did Caesar and kept your expectations high, that made my day, lady.

  32. cabraseniorlibrary says:

    Hello there and thanks for being a follower of The Cabra Senior Library Blog this year. We are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Library/Librarian category of the 2013 Edublog Awards.

    Best Library/Librarian Blog vote now!
    As you are interested in our blog perhaps you’d like to take a few minutes to vote for us? Click on the link below or the badge to visit the voting page.


    Thanks again for your wonderful support in 2013 and all the best for 2014.
    Stephen Bull

  33. ljgodbolt says:

    I love your blog- it’s really sweet and I really like your writing style :) Do you ever wonder if one of your students will read your blog? And would you mind if they did?

  34. bwhite21 says:


    Thank you for reading my blog review of “The Elegance of the Hedgehog.” Sometimes I think good reviews are earned by merely throwing in some pseudo-intellectual references. This is ironic in the case of this book as it purports to be critical of pseudo-intellectuals.

    If you read my prior review of “You Deserve Nothing” you will note it is plot driven and therefore more engaging for high school students. Toss in sex with teacher, drinking, parental disinterest, Paris, etc. and it is a far better coming of age novel, which has a message. It is not great Lit, but it will be a quick read. I previously reviewed other books that were very well written which you may want to consider reading. I don’t read romance, most science fiction, fantasy, or mystery. You will find non-fiction and fiction however. Currently reading “O Jerusalem” (very interesting non-fiction about the fight for the city during the creation of Israel); “Kamchatka” (still undecided about, but may be a good young adult read); “The Death of Artmeio Cruz” (first Carlos Fuentes novel I have read. Likely read more); “Crusoe’s Daughter” (first Jane Gardam novel I have read).

    One of my favorite books is a historical fiction novel “The Cellist of Sarajevo”. It is about the siege of Sarajevo. It is great adult and young adult reading, particularly for boys (even those who reluctantly read).

  35. Lo says:

    I have to say this cracked me up! Especially the part about being boring and watching marathons of Law and Order. I love SVU and have seen every episode and know the “Dun Dun” all too well! :)

    • Cassie says:

      HAHA! Ah! A fellow fan. I could watch SVU all day if they have a marathon. I especially love the marathon names because they’re usually after one character on the show. LOVE IT.

      • Lo says:

        Oh my goodness I love USA for their marathons!! I don’t really like the show right now… I prefer old-school SVU with Elliot and Benson kicking butt. I am not an Amaro fan (but I absolutely love Danny Pino); I’ve seen every episode of Cold Case, so I find it hard to see Amaro when I originally loved him in Cold Case (the characters are too similar), but overall GREAT show!

      • Cassie says:

        AGREE SO MUCH. I loved the older ones. I’m sad to see both of them go. I LOVE Cold Case too. I feel like the chick on that show is one of the prettiest people on television, she’s like spooky pretty.

      • Lo says:

        Wait both of them go… is the show ending?? I haven’t been keeping up with it!

        Yes! I felt the characters were so real on Cold Case! I agree with you sooooo much! I’ve always wondered if she did anything else.

      • Lo says:

        Bummer! Well I don’t like criminal intent, but I wish they would come out with another one as heart-wrenching and addicting as SVU.

  36. barnstationery says:

    Hi Cassie :) I wasn’t sure how to contact you besides leaving a comment. Nevertheless, I wanted to see if you would be interested in doing a giveaway of one of my library stamps? I have more specific details, but din’t want to write a “novel” on hear ;). My email is danielleaime@barnstationery.com. I hope to hear back from you.


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