The Blog

January 8, 2017

The blog that no one reads, but that’s OK.  How do you get people to start reading your blog.  Next time, I need to start figuring that out.  I like how Jim Burke does it on his page. Anyway, here we go, tomorrow begins another semester.  I’d like to say this is my 21st year, but I don’t even know anymore.  14 years in East Los Angeles, One year at LAHSA, One Year at Art Lab, my third year at Daniel Pearl, One year at Margarita, two full years of subbing.  Do I include subbing?  Anyway, here I am, the night before a new semester.  It seems to take me more time, not less to plan.  It’s been a long weekend planning.  There’s hope.  A new semester.  A new year.  Hope for my students.  Hope for me.  A novel.  Hope that we’ll have a great Get Lit team this year. Hope that I’ll go to the gym in the morning. Get a new beginning. And I’m in Kaldi right now and my daughter is working here too.  I am a lucky man.  I understand it’s a cliche, but sometimes I think my heart will explode.





January 7, 2017
Best laid plan, but I’m back and blogging, getting ready for the semester. Worked on organizing calendar for the semester. A lot of work tomorrow. Read a book by Symorski, have the name wrong, but it’s a popular book on lesson designing. Really disappointed, I thought it would offer more than an overview of great ideas Anyway, on a positive note, watched Spiderman tonight with the fam, really helping me think of structure. So the structure, beginning in love with a girl who is out of reach, gets picked on and is growing up, becoming a jerk to his aunt and uncle even though he doesn’t mean it. Then the bite. Peter has one friend who is rich and has his own father problem. I guess their kind of kids who don’t fit in. He finds his power but is neglecting his family more. Learns about his powers through hurting the bully. A nice little scene of him and Mary and Jane getting to know each other. The wrestling match works really nice, he wins but is denied the money. He lets the robber go free and the guy kills his uncle. He then has a new goal of killing the murderer. Once that is done he needs a new goal. Realizes he has to use his power for good. Only a new villain appears and his best friend is seeing the girl he liked. Still trying with Mary Jane, but only so much. Suddenly a new villain appears and we’re off with a new goal. I need to incorporate this into my own novel and keep writing in this ever day.

December 27, 2016
So, I’m trying a blog. Hopefully, I’ll keep it going, but I never know about keeping things going consistently. I will try. Off write now, in Tucson with the family but school is always, always on the mind. I’ll be back in California on Friday and I have 4 letters of recommendation to write. Also, need to seriously start looking to next semester. I’m currently reading a great Y.A novel called “Serpent King.” It has a great feel for all that’s right and wrong with small town life and yet seems to understand the universal problems of figuring out where we all fit in in society and how no matter what we are so much more than where we live. Also, need to get back to my writing. I haven’t written anything in the last month and this blog is pretty much it. But it’s a start.
11:03. Just finished The Serpent King. Wow. This guy can write. OK, next book: I have a book about the hero’s journey as I try to figure out how to structure my own novel.

December 29th
A day lost, back on track. Yesterday I went to Bookman’s out here. Trying to get my classroom library stacked for the new semester. Bookman’s is a great used bookstore in town. Every year, my mother-in-law, before Christmas runs around to the three stores in town and trades in all her used books, and gives me all her trade credit so I can use it for my classroom library. I have one more store to hit this morning. Still, my classroom library seems so depleted from one semester and all the books not returned. Still, about ten days till I go back. The next semester looms. A lot to do, and so far not a lot done. Still, it’s a break and I’m enjoying the rest. Students are emailing me, making sure I will get out their letters of rec, due on the first. Just saw the new Star Wars movie and in the meantime reading the Vogler book on The Hero’s structure. I think I’m starting to find my way back to writing. I’m really getting a feel for the different acts and how character goals change, depending on what happened in that act.

January 3rd
So much for everyday, but I’m back. OK, for break I finished another book, Angelas Ashes, so at least I’m ready to give a test and discuss it. Now I need to figure out how I’m going to implement writers workshop, projects essays. The three books for 10th Grade Honors: Part-Time Indian, Lord of The Flies and I know How The Caged Bird Sings. Three books I like. Lots to do tomorrow.