Summer To-Do List 2015! And some updates, y'all

Friday, June 12, 2015

Well, hello there! It’s been a while, but let me catch you up to speed on Things That Have Happened:

1) I got a letter back from Obama and several letters readers have forwarded me from their senators/congressmen about my post onteaching in a Title I school. Yes, party poopers, I know that most likely the letters are not penned by the actual president or congresspeople, but it was good to feel heard. I also sent the article to my governor and wrote to him as myself (not as Love, Teach).  Haven’t heard back yet, but I feel good feelings about that letter. If I don’t hear back from him or get a super vague response (“Thanks for your letter, schools are important, I like schools, here’s all these things I’ve done that kinda look like helping schools”) I’ll just send a pizza to his office with a note that says, “Sir, I’d like a ‘pizza’ your time. Email me at to set up a meeting.” That’s friendly and attention-getting and disarmingly weird enough, right?

2) I signed my contract to teach 6th ELA at a small, non-Title I public school next year! I feel really good about my decision. I reached a point where I knew that if I didn’t take better care of myself, I would be useless in any classroom.  I know the transition—like any transition—won’t be seamless, but I’m looking forward to a new challenge. I’m not ready to leave the classroom just yet J

3) I’ve written two Buzzfeed articles! Check out my Teacher Edition of “Would You Rather," and my post on how life-changingsummer is for teachers. What fun! Also, I don't work for Buzzfeed. 

4) I AM ALMOST DONE WITH GRAD SCHOOL. One more semester! I’m getting my Master’s in Writing, and while I love my program, it’s really, really hard being a full-time student and a full-time teacher. I’m ready to have my nights and weekends back.

Okay, now that we’re caught up, IT’S SUMMER! And you know what that means….

My Summer 2015 To-Do List

One of my favorite things to do every summer is make a list of all the great things I'm going to do. It makes me feel accomplished in a fun way, and it also prevents me from doing nothing all summer besides Netflix and eating Chocolate Lucky Charms. Here's this year's list!

1) READ. 

I read for grad school until my eyeballs are ready to fall out, but now I can catch up on books for fun! On my list this summer are:

1) The Goldfinch (just finished!) by Donna Tartt
2) The Magicians by Lev Grossman
3) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandell
4) The Secret History by Donna Tartt
5) Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
6) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
7) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Read them with me! I’ll do a follow-up in August of what I thought—I’d love to hear from you! It’ll be like a book club, except we’ll have to eat our book club snacks in separate places. And we don’t have to invite that annoying lady.

2) Take a barre class!

Though I enjoy being a teacher, I’ve always had the nagging feeling that I missed my real calling in life, which is to be a ballerina. Though I probably look as close to a ballerina as my cat, Hugo, looks like a pterodactyl, and though I’ve never taken a ballet class in my life, I’ve always had this obsession with the ballet world. I watch ballet documentaries. I go to the ballet in my city. I once spent a summer hanging out a coffee shop way too far away from my neighborhood because I read in a program at a ballet that an absolutely beautiful male ballet dancer went there often. (I never saw him. LIES!)

I think a barre class would help me reconcile my actual life and my dream life, don’t you? Yes, me too.

Moving on.

3) Make an awesome meal and invite neighbors!

My neighbors are terrific humans. One is a teacher and is wickedly funny, the other is an older gentleman who feeds the feral cats in our complex. I see my family and friends a lot, but I don’t see my neighbor friends all in one place a lot, so I would like to bribe them into hanging out with me via food. And not an easy meal or something that I make all the time, but special food. Food-food.

Right now I’m thinking roast chicken, whiskey-glazed carrots, homemade biscuits, tomato salad, and either blackberry cobbler or lemon bars. OR MAYBE BOTH BECAUSE IT’S SUMMER, and summer is for treating yourself, am I right?

4) Go to the art museum!

I just finished reading The Goldfinch, so now I want to go look at all the art ever.

5) Take a picture of Hugo in a bow tie

Because it’s the right thing to do. Look at him. Doesn't his face just scream, "I WON'T BE HAPPY UNTIL I HAVE A BOWTIE ON"?

6) Think about structure/format of a book I could write

Notice how vague I am when goal-setting. I like to stay un-quantifiable. Write a book? Nope. Start writing a book? Nope. Think about starting to write a book? Sure!

(If you have a good idea for a book I can write about teaching, be a doll and let me know so I can cross this one off my to-do list. )

Not sure how many posts I’ll have for you over the summer on here, but stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for updates and for our book club meeting in August!

Unrelated: I am writing this on my stomach on the floor of my apartment and Hugo just hopped on my back, curled up, and fell asleep. A gift, this kitten is.

What's on your summer to-do list?

Lovey love,



  1. Fangirl was amaaaaazing. I loved it and never wanted it to end. Can't wait to hear what you though!

    I'm going to spend my summer writing curriculum and traveling and sleeping and reading and eating ice cream and sleeping some more. I start my National Board Certification process in the fall, so I want to soak up as much downtime as I can!

    Congrats on the new position, and happy summer!

  2. I have been following your posts and enjoy them. You rock ! I too understand the challenges of teaching and getting a masters, just finished my Masters of Science in Reading in May. Add my own 4 kids into the mix and life was pretty scary for 2 years. I'm happy for you on your new position. Keep your chin up and keep inspiring those young writers. btw...I can't wait to read for fun this summer!!

  3. I will finish reading The Signature of All Things, and then spend some time with the noir mysteries I love so much (and haven't reread in like three years, which for me represents enormous restraint).

    Also I will properly set up my new apartment. I moved in during spring break, which means half my furniture is still in storage because who moves and teaches at the same time? No one. So my books are on the floor and my TV is on a chair, and finally I will do something about that.

    And I will sleep. A lot. With no alarms set.

    I shiver at the very thought.

  4. Oh gosh, if you wrote a book, I'd probably buy one thousand copies. You are definitely my favorite teacher blogger, so to see that you're - at the very least - thinking about writing a book makes my heart happy!

    Also, Fangirl is fantastic. Really - everything Rainbow Rowell writes is fantastic. And, the companion novel to Fangirl comes out this fall! Yay!

  5. First, congrat's on the new job. I got a new job in Feb. and even though it's a long (for me) commute, I love my colleagues & they love me and that makes a world of difference. I hope you find that you've landed in a good place. Second, I admire your restraint on your to-do list. Mine is a lot longer. Actually I found a list from (I think) last summer when I was on my knees looking for something that fell on the floor behind my desk. I only had one thing crossed off, so I'm recycling that list. My reading is some of the cozy mysteries that my husband & mom keep laughing over -- and the book a colleague of mine suggested (Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown). Enjoy your break!

  6. 1) Finish unpacking all the boxes. We just moved...bleh!
    2) Decorate our new home so it doesn't look like a house a squatter could use. Hence #1.
    3) BUY ALL THE THINGS! to decorate of course...
    4) Attempt to have a social life with someone besides my couch and my baby.
    5) Maybe go swimming... maybe. My couch i really nice though.

  7. Congratulations on your new job! I will be starting a new job at a new school this fall, too. I had been teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade for the past decade. Now i'm going back to the high school level. Scary, but exciting! No one has made this comment yet, but as a Doctor Who fan, i just have to say, tell Hugo that "bow ties are cool!"

  8. So glad to hear you are still going to be teaching. I was very sad for the students you wouldn't be teaching. I hope our new position is all you hope it to be. Good luck!

    And The Goldfinch was amazing! I just finished Girl on the Train. I couldn't put it down. And Counting By 7's is next on my list. Enjoy your summer!

  9. I LOVED The Goldfinch, but found A Secret History wayyyyyy too long, not because of the number of pages, but because it seemed very drawn out and repetitive. Glad you're staying in the teaching biz!

  10. My goals? The usual, which means nurturing my vegetable garden until I have too many tomatoes and peppers. It's a good way to spend summer. After the frenetic pace of teaching, gardening forces me to slow down and take life at a more natural speed.

  11. Since you asked, I have an idea for your book. (And by the way, I love your writing. You make me laugh. Hanging out waiting to see the male ballet dancer was very funny. :-)
    Write a book about the lessons you learned in your first five years of teaching, and for each lesson learned, include one of your funny stories. It needs a good title, obviously.
    It would be practical and helpful because there are many "do"s and "don't"s we must learn as teachers, but it also be a great read because it would be funny and most of us can relate, although we can't write it all down quite as well as you do. Blessings! Deana

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