Saturday, February 26, 2011

Libyan flag before the "MadMan"

This will always be the flag that I associate with Libya.

If you are a friend of mine, and know my background, then you will, of course, know that I lived in Libya from 1959-62, when my father was stationed at Wheelus AFB.

The current events in Libya are heartwrenching to hear and see on the news. My thoughts are that the people will be able to overturn this evil monster - Gadhafi, oh so many spellings! - and find their way to freedom.

As a child, I met the Queen of Libya briefly, nothing fancy, she was visiting the base, and I happened to be in the base exchange when her entourage came through. Although, my mother met her a few times when the Queen was in the hospital at Wheelus - mother was a Grey Lady with the American Red Cross, and consequently had these opportunities, of course at that time, one did not have to go through the type of security one does currently.

I have so many happy memories of living at Wheelus. In the fifth grade, our class was on the second floor of the elementary school, and it faced the Mediterranean Sea. We watched the beauty of the sea on calm days, and the violence of the sea during the stormy, rainy season. I lived one block from the beach, and spent many hours on the cliffs, and on the beach. Once again, I could enjoy the beauty and violence of the sea.

At Sabratha, I experienced my very first deja vu - for many years, I never revealed this to anyone, who would believe a 10 year old - but I knew that I had lived in Libya in a former life, during the Roman times. I still have moments when I wonder about this, I was brought up a Baptist (baptized in the Mediterranean Sea on Easter Sunday 1960), now I am a Lutheran. But over my lifetime, I have had many people come up to me and tell me "You are an OLD Soul", whatever.......

One very memorable day, I was walking home from school - about a mile from my home - I had to go through a swarm of locusts, that was one noisy, crunchy walk and the sky was pure black, even though it was only about 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Boys being boys, they would catch chameleons, and try to sneak up and put them on the girls' dresses - rumon had told it that if a chameleon landed on something red, the chameleon would burst - don't know if that is true or not, but those boys did their best to see if it was true. They could never catch any girls to get the poor critters on a dress.

Oh well, I digress and this is long enough.

My heart goes out to those who are trying to rid themselves of this madman and his parasitic family.

Good luck Libya!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"because of mr. terupt" second time........

If you think you are seeing double, well, yes and no.

You may have already read my review of this book. I am not changing my mind - it still is MAGICAL!

I just wanted to add that the other evening, I emailed the author, Rob Buyea, telling him how much I enjoyed this book. Today I received a lovely email reply from him.

And I quote "Thank you so much for your heartfel email. It means a lot to me. And thank you for encouraging teachers to use Mr. Terupt. I pictured a teacher reading the story aloud as I wrote it......"

If you are interested in contacting this author or any author, please do not ever hesitate - authors are people just like you and me, they love it when someone writes and tells them how much their book meant to you. I have a very dear friend in England, widow of an author that I had written to years ago after reading his book - we corresponded for years before his death, and then Clare, Robert's widow, and I became friends after his death.

WRITE that letter or email. Pound those keys or pick up that pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob, as he signed his email, even suggested that I encourage the teachers in our area to contact him about skyping with him - how about that?

Once again, I am hoping that you will consider reading this delightful book. Let me know - you are allowed to make comments on my blog!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hawaii' most active volcano

Hawaii's Most Active Volcano

Just went to the website for Hawaii's volcano, and came upon this incredible photo.

If you are interested in viewing this site

You can get maps of how the volcano is flowing, see still shots such as this, get current webcam shots into the crater.

Hope you will take a peek at this. I check it out daily.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia" a novel by Mary Helen Stefaniak

"The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia"
a novel by Mary Helen Stefaniak

1938, Threestep, Georgia, ain't never gonna be the same, now that Miss Grace Spivey has come to town to be the new teacher. 11 year old Gladys Cailiff, her older brother, Force, her pregnant sister, Mary, and the Cailiff's African American neighbor, Theo Boykin, all fall under the charms of Miss Spivey.

Miss Spivey is a believer of field trips, is "color blind" (during the highly tense time of segregation in the South), has an array of Arabian costumes, and loves reading aloud from her ten volume set of "The Thousand Nights and a Night".

Threestep, Georgia and residents are in for some real eye-opening, when Miss Spivey decides to revive the annual town festival, only she plans on turning the town into an exotic Baghdad Bazaar, with costumes and sets all over the main section of town. Things get out of hand, and Miss Spivey suddenly disappears, but wait, Gladys's sister, Mary, begins the telling of a tale that comes right out of the "Arabian Nights".

Mary's tale begins in 1916, on the Arabian Peninsula, revolves around a camel driver - there are camels on an island off of Georgia - Sherman's march through Georgia, an enchanted pitcher from a ninth-century war, the journey of a young Muslim from his African home, and many more surprising stories.

Yep, Threestep, Georiga, ain't never gonna be the same now that Miss Grace Spivey has come and gone.............

Hope you will give this one a shot.......

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Mommo, the bogeyman" a Turkish film by Atalay Tasdiken

"Mommo, the bogeyman" a film directed by Atalay Tasdiken.
Jay Weissberg, of Variety magazine said of this film " A heart-wrenching tale....lensed with static beauty."
James and I finished watching this film last night. It is a very beautifully photographed movie, at the end of the film there is a line "inspired by a true event", what an event!
Set in a small village in Turkey, we follow the lives of brother and sister, Ahmet and Ayse, whose father has left them with his deceased wife's invalid father. The grandfather is attempting to make arrangements for them to move to Germany and live with their aunt, but circumstances and events in Germany cause this effort to come to a halt. Ahmet and Ayse's father has remarried and his new wife has refused to let them come live with them, one of her sons is a first class bully causing much trouble for Ahmet. Scorned and ridiculed by other children in the village, Ahmet and Ayse spend all their time together. Ayse's main desire is for their father to love them and take them back, but he is too much of a wimp to stand up to his new wife.
There is what is called "children's house" in Turkey, one surmises either an orphanage or worse, a place where the children are put to work - even though under age.
The ending will just make one sad, glad to be an American, and filled with rage that these conditions still occur in our modern world.
The young actors in the film, are real-life cousins, and first time performers. They give such incredible performances.
Hope you will consider this one.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Because of mr.terupt", a children's novel by Rob Buyea

"Because of Mr. Terupt" a children's novel by Rob Buyea

Rob Buyea, teacher and wrestling coach at Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Massachusetts, has achieved a "Magical" story, not since I read Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass" have I experienced this magic. Rob has used a unique method in staging this story - using a journal style from the viewpoint of 7 students in Mr. Terupt's class, each viewing the same event just from each student's perspective.

John Irving, says of this book "Even the accident toward which this novel is inevitably headed is no accident: it is as masterfully set up and skillfully concealed as the rest of this riveting story."

Our cast of characters are

Mr. Terupt - rookie teacher to a class of 5th graders at Snow Hill School

Jessica - Jessica and her mother have left California, since her parents are divorcing, she's

the new girl who is smart, with great perceptive powers, having a difficult time

fitting in with the group

Alexia - not much you can say about the class bully, just hope that she will see the error

of her ways and become a more likable person

Peter - class troublemaker, all time prankster, who has good qualities, if only he could

control himself

Luke - the class brain, who is intrigued with Mr. Terupt's approach to math

Danielle - overweight, who needs to learn how to stand up for herself, and to stand up to

Alexia, who pushed Danielle around

Anna - the world is too much against her, her mom made a "mistake", shy Anna suffers

because of it

Jeffery - hates school, can't be friends with anyone, has a terrible family life

Mr. Terupt shakes things up when he announces that the group will be working with the Collaborative Classroom - this is not well taken by Peter, or Alexia, however, Jeffrey comes out of his shell, which is noticed by Jessica. Jeffrey eventually confides in Jessica a "terrible dark secret" about his life.

And then in February, "THE Accident" happens, a small event in most cases, but not in this case. When Peter releases the snowball no one expects it to be so life altering for not only the class, but their families as well.

Mr. Terupt MUST, he just MUST come out of his coma.

Whether you have children, grandchildren or not, this is a very thoughtful, powerful book, and I would highly suggest that you consider reading this one. IT is JUST MAGIC!

I have suggested it to several teachers in the community, and each one has asked the same question "Is this a good read aloud?" YES.