Thursday, December 20, 2012

Santa Teresita Book Drive SUCCESS!

We currently have FOURTEEN boxes of books to send to Santa Teresita, with more scheduled for drop-off tomorrow morning.  That's enough books for the students at Santa Teresita to each take home more than one book, or for their new library to add some great titles to their collection.  About half of the books are mint-condition hardcovers that will be great in the school library.  ALL of the books donated are fantastic choices for the K-8 students at Santa Teresita.  It's been fun to go through them and see what all of you used to read (or perhaps what your younger siblings have been reading recently).  Nina Sarian donated some really excellent titles for the middle schoolers, and they were in such pristine condition that I had to ask if she'd even read them!  She had, of course, and clearly takes great care of her books.  Haley Shewfelt's family donated a huge box of books that was so heavy I had to ask Mr. Pariante to carry it across the Library for me.  Someone left three bags of amazing series books perfect for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders.  The recycled bags were marked Water Polo, but that's all the info I have.  Anyone know who the mystery reader is?  We even received donations from an 8th-grader who knew about the book drive because she attends sports camp on our campus.  The kids will be getting some classic kid favorites, like Curious George, Arthur, Magic Tree House, Captain Underpants, Animorphs, Spiderwick Chronicles, Hardy Boys, American Girl, Guinness Books of World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and so many more.  On behalf of the Book Club, thank you all for your generosity.  Books are my favorite gifts to give!!!  I can't wait to present the books to the teachers and principal of Santa Teresita.

Veritas Shield Features the Library

Did everyone read Carra Liwanag's article in the Veritas Shield, "Discovering the library's history in pages from the past" (page 12)?  I hope so!  If you haven't had the chance, stop by the Library to read her article and see a display of some of the books she mentions.  Not only is the article extremely well researched and written, it's also totally fascinating!  Carra did such a thorough job.  She came to the Library several times to follow up on some her interview questions.  She hunkered down in the back with a pile of old books, looking through them for the most unusual and interesting tidbits.  She read an entire novel published in 1909!  Speaking of which, I wanted to make sure you all know about the film versions of The White Sister by Francis Marion Crawford, the romance Carra refers to in her article.  Film adaptations of the novel were made in 1923 and 1933!  The 1933 version stars Clark Gable (of Gone with the Wind fame), and the movie posters for both versions look pretty steamy!  Perhaps a viewing at FSHA is in order....?
1923 movie poster
1933 movie poster

Many thanks to Carra for showcasing our Library's long and rich history.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Girlfriend Theology

This week I had the great pleasure of participating in Girlfriend Theology, a process/project happening in the Religion I classes.  Girlfriend Theology is about storytelling, women and girls coming together, listening to one another, reflecting on their shared experiences, making connections, and all that other great stuff!

Earlier this year, Mrs. Tramontin
and Mrs. Dawson issued an open invitation to the women of FSHA to share stories of their adolescence with the girls, who would then participate in a discussion of the stories.  The girls would be asked to share their personal connections to the stories, their ideas about the wider themes in the stories,  where they see God in the stories, and how they might apply the lessons of the stories to their own lives.  I knew right away that I wanted to participate.  Some of my best friendship moments happened during campfires at Camp Cheley, youth group meetings at the church I attended when I was in high school, and in the lounge of the sorority house where I was very briefly a member in college.  I am well aware of the power of sisterhood! But, what to write??? So many things happened during my teenage years!  What was memorable?  What stood out?  Where might our girls find meaning?  And then it dawned on me.  The perfect first kiss.  What more memorable moment could there be, really?

I read my story to four groups of freshmen this week, who now know much more about me than I know about any of them.  The experience was remarkable in its variety. Each group of girls latched onto different themes from my story, making no two discussions alike.  They talked about friendships built and broken, how boys might feel (though who can really know the answer to that?!?), feeling lost, feeling found, feeling  in-between.  They talked about purpose, decisions, consequences, dreams, and God.  They talked about Ryan Gosling and Nicholas Sparks.  They talked about love of all kinds.  Through these discussions, I could see girls making connections to one another, realizing they are not alone in their innermost thoughts and feelings.  I may have seen some friendships blooming before my very eyes, or some anxieties fading away, or some confusing thoughts finally becoming clear.

And here's the really great part: my story had very little to do with it.  While the story of my first kiss provided the context, and the entertainment, the discussions were about the girls.  The girls and their thoughts/feelings/ideas/fears/joys/faith/doubts/beliefs.  Girlfriend Theology gave them a way to dig in to some issues central to their lives, with structure and security...and sisterhood.

I loved it.  I hope I get to do it again.  Thank you, Mrs. Tramontin and Mrs. Dawson for inviting me to be part of this process.  Thank you, wonderful, thoughtful girls, for making me feel welcome, for responding so beautifully to my story, and for taking risks when you shared your thoughts with one another and with me.

GIRL POWER!  Love it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tweeting Wars in Real Time

Ok, this might be the most amazing use of Twitter and Facebook anyone could ever imagine.  These people are Tweeting and Facebooking The War of 1812 and World War II in REAL TIME.  Meaning, they are posting events from those wars as they would have happened, minute to minute, hour to hour, in many cases with links to photos or primary source materials about those events.

So, for the War of 1812 tweets, the posts are all happening EXACTLY 200 years after they occurred.  How?  Who?  Amazing!!!  Here's an explanation of what this guy is doing.  And here is a link to the Twitter feed of the War of 1812 events.

On to World War II.  This one is being done by the University of Coventry in England, and they plan to continue for five years!  Take a look at the Twitter feed.  And here's the Facebook page.  Clearly, they have to be selective in terms of what they've chosen to post, but still.  I want to be part of this project!  How did they think of this?

I'm freaking out.