Summer Reading — For AP Lang. 2017 – 18

During the school year I find it easy to find the time to pick up a book and read.  Between going to school and taking care of family responsibilities, grabbing a half an hour in the morning when I wake up or at night before I go to sleep to enter into the world of a book is practically a necessity, and it’s a rare day when I don’t do it.  The paradox is that during the summer, where my days are structured more or less around my own choices, figuring out when I’m going to read becomes another task, and if I don’t make a priority out of it, I can easily find the day slipping away and I have missed out on the chance to open up a book.  I’m not saying it’s a hard task.  I love to read.  But there are lots of things I love to do, and it’s easy to get caught up in those things, too.

Travel helped.  Between airplane and train rides, as well as settling in at night after busy days, I was able to read four books in the last 3 weeks.  Harum Scarum, by Keith Abbott, is an interesting collection of short stories in which characters grapple with conflicts about identity and pressures created by perceptions of others vs. perceptions of themselves.  The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston, is a nonfiction science thriller about Ebola.  It’s somewhat dated, since the last crisis two years ago, but still very interesting.  The True Deceiver, by Tove Jansen, is an interesting story about characters negotiating their own places in the world through manufacturing a relationship in which they both take advantage of each other.  Camino Island, by John Grisham, was a fun crime story and literary mystery.

As far as your blogs go, I’m looking forward to catching up on reading what you’ve been writing about.  Now that I’m home, that’s part of my summer reading plan. I’ve got a stack of books lined up, but I’m sure which I’ll dig into next.  As far as your summer reading goes, please feel free to post a comment here about what you’re enjoying, or blog about it.  Also, on Twitter or Instagram, post to #roreads.    And just a reminder, as part of your AP Language summer work, go to the Student Blog ELA 11 and AP Language tab at the top of this page and pick an issue to join the conversation about.  I will look foward as the school year starts to seeing the different viewpoints that you added.

Happy reading!

Dog Year

July 11, 2016 marks the day we brought home Finnegan.  I was not really a dog person at that point in my life.  Needless to say, this has changed.  Over the course of the past year, my life has adjusted to a routine built around companionship.  In the morning while I eat breakfast, eyes follow my every move.  There is no sitting down without the expectation of play time. Walks are mandatory, the longer the better.  Being away from home the past few weeks has been all the more of a reminder of how much I have grown to enjoy my dog.  German dog owners commonly train their dogs to the point where they can take them anywhere.  It is perfectly normal to see a dog under a table in a restaurant or waiting, on its own — not tied up, just sitting — for its owner to come out of a store.  I have learned to ask,  “Kann ich dein Hund streichen?”  Can I pet your dog? Finnegan isn’t yet well trained enough that he would rest at my feet in a restaurant, but I hope he will be some day.  Watching people with their dogs, and being away from mine the past few weeks has given me a fresh appreciation for the furry friend who came into my life this past year.  About a week into being here I did a google hangout with my family back home.  As soon as he heard my voice over the computer, Finnegan jumped up and ran to the door.  It was awful to hear his bark change from excitement to confusion as he listened but could not see or smell me there.  I didn’t know that having a dog could be like that.  When I see him again, I think my tail will wag as well.