Archive for Education

A Long Time Coming: 5 Reasons Why I Agree With the Closure of ITT Tech

Posted in ITT Tech with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2016 by Jessica Crichton

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On Tuesday, September 6th 2016, ITT Technical Institute closed its doors forever.

Like the students, faculty and staff alike had no warning from the school beforehand — we were all planning our Fall quarter like nothing was different — but somehow it wasn’t a surprise.

Let me rewind a bit for context. I taught at ITT Tech here in Spokane for the past four years. My core classes were composition I and II, though I was also given to teach communications, group theory, research methods, and miscellaneous others over the course of my time there.  When I began, I was so excited. I was going to be a TEACHER! Of COLLEGE! I was going to use everything in my arsenal, from reading as a kid to graduate school, to get those students pumped for composition!

That… was optimistic.

Of course as a comp teacher at a tech school, I didn’t expect my math-loving students to embrace my class with open arms. I was willing to work for their interest. I wanted to inspire them to go beyond what they thought they liked. I tutored, stayed up late at night to give my students detailed notes on their papers, and worked out alternative curriculum that would both interest and challenge them.

Turns out, the school itself didn’t care about any of that.

Before I begin the obligatory list-of-things for blogs these days, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: my campus was amazing. The dean worked with us, supported us, and challenged us daily. He bent over backwards to give us the tools we needed to actually teach our students, and was always on our side. My fellow faculty members were kind and patient to a “T, and our students — for the most part — were eager and excited to learn. NOTHING about my campus here in Spokane has ANYTHING to do with what I’m about to tell you: this was all corporate. And now that I am free… I am free to tell you everything.

Here goes…

5) Faculty was the Bottom Priority

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When I started at ITT Tech, I took for granted that I would have a desk. And a computer. And a phone. And supplies to do my job.

And I did.

And it was good. But also kind of expected. Yet, about a year in to my work there I found out that this was not the norm at all campuses. Not even at most. In fact, it was company policy that NO faculty members should have any of that. Yup. We weren’t supposed to have desks, or computers of our own, or phones… or anything, really. As for supplies, officially they grudgingly allowed us to use pens and paper.

Yes, you read that right: we almost weren’t even supposed to use company office supplies.

At my campus there were only three people with keys to the supply closet, none of whom were regular faculty, yet EVERYONE had keys to the faculty offices. In other words: ITT’s precious pens were locked safely away even from us, while our own personal effects could be taken by anyone with the wherewithal to follow a staffmember through the doors.

Staples were a precious commodity; we joked that they could be used as currency among us. When the corporate side of the campus decided they didn’t like their copier, they got a new one… and gave the old one to us. We didn’t like it either. Didn’t matter. It was ours. Oh — and we weren’t allowed to teach more than four classes a quarter — with four being rare — because full-time was too much of a commitment for corporate to make to their teachers.

If you’re curious as to how corporate expected us to do our jobs without desks or computers, I’ll tell you what was told to me when I asked that logical question: we were supposed to share a few communal computers and phones. That was all they expected us to need. After all, we didn’t have to do anything like prepare curriculum because…

4) The Curriculum Was Written For us… by a Madman

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Composition was a train wreck of tangled genres, unrealistic deadlines, and homework expectations that would have been impossible for a full time student to fulfill, let alone working adults with families and jobs. There was no review of grammar or sentence structure at all; the curriculum jumped right into teaching the students to write a memoir on day 1. Why a memoir? Beats me. I STILL haven’t figured that one out. Assignments were often due before the curriculum had their lessons scheduled. The final research papers — due in unit 8 — weren’t even discussed until unit 6. Quizzes didn’t match their keys, and worksheets didn’t match the books. I was expected to lead my students through a quarter of curriculum that felt more like a minefield-laden labyrinth of words and terms than anything resembling a lesson.

I will never forget my first quarter teaching group theory, when the final exam was so off from its key that everyone failed. (Especially since they ALL got the last ten questions wrong by not writing any answers at all… because the exam didn’t ask anything… even though the key answered the questions it hadn’t asked.) I ended up correcting the exams myself — for each of the fifty students in my class — and most of them passed.

Two years in, my amazing dean gave me the freedom to fix the curriculum to work for the students instead of against them (you know, like most schools do). Things ran much more smoothly after that. Still,the official policy was to follow that unfollowable curriculum to a “T”. I have NO idea how teachers at other campuses did it without themselves and their students going insane.

I do know one thing, though: crazy or not, we knew exactly which students would be joining us on that train in each and every class, because…

3) You Lived and Died on Attendance 

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QUICK! Guess what instructor paperwork mattered the most to corporate?

Assessments? No.
Gradebooks? Nope.
Homework corrections and notes for the students’ benefit? Nah.

Attendance?

Dingdingding! We have a winner!

Every once in a while I would forget to input the attendance during class because, well, I was kind of distracted by the whole teaching thing. (Weird, I know.) Every time this happened, I’d get an email first thing in the morning from my dean, asking me to get to it asap. He was always very laid back — way more than I would have been in his position — but I could read the urgency in every one of those emails like it was written in the simple words themselves. ATTENDANCE HAD TO BE INPUTTED ASAP.

We had meetings about how to raise our attendance practices. I kept detailed attendance records — double copied — both digitally and on paper. If a student was absent, we had to take their information to the front desk before the end of the first hour of class so that the receptionist could call them and see why they weren’t there. (Some instructors chose to do this calling themselves; I’ve always hated talking on the phone myself.) Emails had to be sent. Forms had to be filled out. Records had to be noted.

Every. Time. One. Student. Was. Absent.

We’re not talking about kids, here. We weren’t worried that little Timmy had been kidnapped or that little Suzy was skipping to smoke out back. We taught grown adults who were free to make their own choices, even if they were bad ones. In fact, students could literally come to class, tell me they had to go right then for whatever reason, and still be marked present, officially.

So why did it MATTER so much?

If you guessed money, you win. What you win I don’t know. Maybe a broken trophy with the word “JADED” scrawled across it in lipstick? Whatever. You win. Enjoy.

Anyway, yes. Every time a student was absent there was a chance they would remain so…and their financial aid money right along with them. Corporate was afraid that if we didn’t hound the crap out of them, they wouldn’t know how very badly we needed them in class… because we cared… about their education.

Yeah. About that…

2) The Finance Office Ruled All

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I can’t tell you how many times I had to send students out of the classroom at the beginning of class to talk to the financial aid office. They missed lectures. They missed labs. They missed group activities.

They missed class. Sometimes hours of it.

But if a student got a red paper in my box, they had to go. No matter what. Classtime wasn’t as important as making damn sure their financial aid was in order so the school would get paid. If the finance officer needed them, they went. Even if that meant they waited outside the office for an hour while the rest of the class moved ahead of them.

Of course, that didn’t matter unless they actually wanted to know what I was teaching. They could pass the class even if they didn’t, because…

1) Academic Integrity was a Joke

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Let me preface this one by saying that I had some amazing students. They worked hard. They wanted to learn. And that’s what makes me angry at ITT Tech especially: because none of that mattered.

Failing students wasn’t quite up there with failing to mark them present in class, but it was a close second. This had nothing to do with caring whether the students deserved to fail or not, just so we’re clear. The school didn’t care about that. What they did care about was that the students didn’t leave out of discouragement because they failed a class or two.

I had a conversation with a recruiter a few months ago, and he told me that they were discouraged from telling potential students that it was a school at all. In fact, they were to push emphasis on getting a job so hard that students came in thinking we were a temp agency of some sort, and were blown away that they had to do schoolwork in the first place.

Think about that in terms of academic integrity.

I never gave A’s where they weren’t deserved, but I am ashamed to say that fear of low retention scores drove me to raise some F’s to low D’s just to bump up my own passing numbers. Many of these students weren’t failing because the work was too hard, either — we were encouraged to do what we could to make it as easy as possible to pass — but simply because they didn’t care.

At all.

Let me say that again: students who didn’t care about the work they were doing were getting passing grades. Grades that told potential employers that they knew what they were doing… when they didn’t have a clue. And they didn’t care, because they knew the policies. They knew they’d get a degree no matter what because they were paying for it.

I was not the only teacher doing this. In fact, it was an epidemic because we had to. When you have a classroom of students who don’t want to be there, who feel duped into doing schoolwork in the first place, whose continued attendance is the only thing standing between you and your abysmal, but vital, paycheck — you do what you have to do to survive.

So let me make one thing clear: I FULLY SUPPORT the government’s decision in this matter. ITT Tech was a farce as a school. It contributed to the demise of secondary education in our country — education that I consider vital and honorable — and I’m glad it’s gone. Its death will pave the way to healing the value and depth of education in our country once more. I very much look forward to seeing that happen.

That said, I do hope that those students who worked so hard for so long to get degrees that are now worthless through no fault of their own, will be given a shot at proving that they are worth so much more than that POS of a school they attended.

Because they are.

And I want them to know that I am still here, cheering them on, from the other side of the crater ITT left in all of our lives.

By the way, I have worked for Gemiini Systems during the day for the past 6 months. When they found out about ITT, they stepped up and offered me more work. If you know anyone with children who have developmental disabilities please pass their website on. Thanks!

Words of the Day: -opia Edition

Posted in definitions, learning, Writing with tags , , on January 6, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

I forgot what “day” I was on. Initially, I was annoyed with Myself. Then Myself reminded I that I much prefer words to numbers. With that recollection, I decided to begin categorizing these posts appropriately. With this in mind, please enjoy the -opia edition of today’s words! ~JR

Utopia

yo͞oˈtōpēə/
noun
  1. an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More.
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    Pictured: A Cornucopia Utopia

Cornucopia

ˌkôrn(y)əˈkōpēə/
noun
  1. a symbol of plenty consisting of a goat’s horn overflowing with flowers, fruit, and corn.
    • an ornamental container shaped like a goat’s horn.
    • an abundant supply of good things of a specified kind.
      “the festival offers a cornucopia of pleasures”
      cornucopia_with_fall_gourds_cut_outs-r59b59aefa587478caf2f19c8714b4700_x7saw_8byvr_50
      Pictured: A cornucopia that causes myopia

Myopia

mīˈōpēə/
noun
  1. a condition in which the visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye resulting especially in defective vision of distant objects
  2. a lack of foresight or discernment :  a narrow view of something

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Pictured: An environmentally myopic dystopic

Dystopia

disˈtōpēə/
noun
  1. an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
    1984_ingsoc
    Pictured: A dystopian symposium

It’s Almost Here! Book 3 of Guts and Glory!

Posted in book signings, Books, Family, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2014 by Jessica Crichton

You’ve been waiting patiently.

You’ve been wondering when it would be OUT already.

You’ve looked for SOME sign on this website  that it is actually coming.

Well, here it is!

August, 2014…

At Spocon, Glamirita, and Here on this Website…

The Official Release 0f…

“RISE OF THE NEFARIOUS NUMBOTS”

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The third and FINAL volume of “Guts and Glory, Freedom Fighters of Nil” is almost here!

Check back here soon for exact dates, and spread the word!

My Top Seventeen Middle Grade Books of all Time!

Posted in Books, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2013 by Jessica Crichton

If you follow my blog regularly, you know that I have just begun my final Master’s thesis on middle grade children’s literature. I’ve been asked by more than a few people exactly what kidlit titles a graduate student would possibly want to study, and why. So I decided to post the bibliography portion of my final document proposal here, with a short note on each entry as to the “whys”.

Submitted for your approval: the top fifteen middle grade books of all time, according to Jessica Rising. (Your mileage my vary; in fact, I hope it does! Please add your own entries in the comments below so we can build this list high!)

1) Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Columbus: Weekly Reader Books. Print.

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If you’re breathing, chances are you know who Alice is (though maybe not her last name — it’s Liddell, incidentally), that the Mad Hatter isn’t angry but he is totally nutso, and / or have had some kind of argument over weather Lewis Carroll’s classic work of children’s fantasy is about math, drugs, both or neither. As an undeniable staple of classic kidlit, leaving Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland out of a study on children’s books would be like leaving Shakespeare out of a study on classic adult literature. I, for one, am not about to make that kind of literary foible, you can be sure!

2) Cooper, Susan. The Dark is Rising. New York: Scholastic, Inc Publishers. Print.

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Written by the daughter of James Fenimore Cooper, The Dark is Rising by celebrated novelist Susan Cooper is a Newberry Honor book, and as been the favorite of many generations of children. It’s classic fantasy with a real-world twist of history and ancient Celtic culture, and a deep resonance of the human condition that few other children’s books have ever emulated.

3) Dahl, Roald. Danny the Champion of the World . New York: Alfered A. Knopf (1975). Print.

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Having published a myriad of well-known and beloved books for kids, Roald Dahl is arguably one of the great pillars of modern kidlit, so leaving him out of the study would be a gross oversight. Still, which of his wonderful, witty kids’ books should be included to represent the whole? That was my dilemma. In the end, I opted to forgo fantastical whimsy in preference for a life-lessons story every kid can relate to. After all, there are enough fantasy stories in my list already, and the whole point of my study is to prove that kidlit emulates the human condition just as deeply and profoundly as its adult counterpart. For anyone who has read Danny, its inclusion for this reason should be a no-brainer. It certainly was for me!

4) Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story. New York: Penguin Books (1996). Print.

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Most know of The Neverending Story from the popular 1984 film adaptation. However, Michael Ende’s powerful fantasy book about the importance of imagination and hope in a sometimes fearful world is as relevant to today’s children as it was when it first appeared in Germany under the title of Die Unendliche Geschicte back in 1979. As both a classic kid’s book and a well-known fantasy epic through the last  three generations, including The Neverending Story in my study just makes sense.

5) Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. New York: Scholastic (2003). Print.

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It’s current. It’s popular. It’s a Newberry Award Winner. And, perhaps most importantly, it resonates deeply with modern children. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is such a perfect modern counterpart to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that not including it as at least a comparison between classic and current kidlit would be a terrible oversight. But even beyond that, Graveyard is a great story in its own right, which is a must for inclusion on my list. Plus, keeping up with the times is very important for any serious writer, and while I adore the classic titles I grew up with, there is wonderful kidlit from every era to explore — including our own.

6) Collins, Suzanne. Gregor the Overlander. New York: Scholastic (2003). Print. 

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Gregor the Overlander is a modern middle grade story. It’s also very popular, which speaks for the mindset of today’s children, and the societal impact of fiction on child culture and vice-versa as a whole. Suzanne Collins herself is a highly gifted and beloved children’s writer of our modern age, though her most famous series, “The Hunger Games”, is YA rather than MG, the age-group focus of this particular study.

7) Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Harper Collins (1993). Print.

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Back to classics! Whether you wanted to or not, chances are you read To Kill a Mockingbird in school. For me, it was ninth grade English and I fell in love with it instantly.  There is a reason this book has been studied by schoolkids all over for generations — it is the epitome of the human condition, the very thing that makes literature worth reading, writing and studying. Some would argue that this is more of a YA title than MG. However, I have set up certain conditions (clearly outlined in my full thesis), as to what is considered MG for this study. One of those conditions is the age of the protagonists being between 7 and 12 years. To Kill a Mockingbird fully meets this requirement, and I would feel very remiss to leave it out.

8) L’Engle, Madeline. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Laurel Leaf Imprint, Random House Publishers (2005). Print.

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Best described as a modern classic, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is quickly taking its deserved place among the ranks of the timeless. Though it is usually classified as a fantasy book, Wrinkle actually mixes fantasy with science fiction to form a deeply relevant story that has touched the hearts and minds of children for so many years now. It is also a Newberry Award winner, which I must admit I have been a little biased towards for this study. After all, there is a reason certain titles earn that prestigious award!

9) Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: Harper Trophy (1994). Print.

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Like Alice in Wonderland, C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an undeniable staple of classic kidlit. That alone gives it an instant place in my study; its timeless ability to fascinate the hearts and minds of children from so many different generations makes it a perfect example of how children’s literature directly effects and mirrors society. Its metaphor, too, is a perfect example of life-reflected-in-literature, which can’t be ignored.

10) Palacio, R.J. Wonder by R.J. Palacio. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers (2012). Print.

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I initially chose Wonder because it is a very modern (published in 2012), award-winning middle grade book that is right now making the rounds of literary fame through book clubs, raving reviews and bookstore center isles. When I chose it, I hadn’t yet read it, and was ready to take it off the list if I felt it didn’t make the cut. Of course, as you can see here that didn’t happen. What did happen was I found yet another wonderful example of the human condition reflected in a children’s book. The lesson in Wonder of not judging each-other is deeply woven into the storyline and narrative style, both with the main character being so unique himself, and the narration switching points-of-view between him and many others in is life whom he has touched. In this way, the story shows that not only does everyone have feelings they aren’t always proud of, but everyone has a story to tell that directly effects how they see others and the world around them.

11) Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief . New York: Hyperion Books (2005). Print.

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The Lightning Thief is included in this study as a modern popular title, with Rick Riordan being a huge success both in middle grade and young adult circles. When studying how literature impacts a society, one must include the literature that society most craves, as it is a direct mirror to the psyche. Also, as a modern adaptati0n of  classic mythology — the precursor to most original fairy tales — Lightning can be studied in relation to the evolution of children’s literature over eons of time. This alone, as I am sure you can understand, is invaluable to my study.

12) Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1997. Print.

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It would be a very difficult thing indeed, to study middle grade literature and its place in society without including “Harry Potter”. The impact that JK. Rowling’s boy wizard has had on modern children and modern society as a whole is almost deafening, and that impact is only continuing to grow. My study would literally be incomplete without it, and its absence would certainly remove a large chunk of relevance that I am not willing to lose. Though the later books can be classified more as young adult titles, the earlier ones are clearly middle grade, and The Sorcerers Stone is the very earliest. That, and the fact that it began the whole phenomenon is why I chose this particular title in the series.

13) Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee. New York: Scholastic, Inc Publishers. Print.

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Another Newberry Award Winner, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli deserves its place on this list for its poignant yet simple vision of life as an outsider, and what it means to belong. One argument against children’s books being relevant to deep study is that they are shallow and only relate to the shallow minds of children. Now, ignoring the obvious fallibility of children’s minds being shallow in the first place, Maniac Magee blows that entire argument out of the water. It is simple to understand and entirely relatable for middle grade readers, yet so deeply conveys the human condition that I challenge any adult to read it and not see it as a masterpiece in its own right.

14) Patterson, Katherine. The Great Gilly Hopkins. New York: Harper Trophy (1978). Print.

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As another Newberry winner, The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson already deserves a spot on this list. Still, there have been many Newberry winners and honors over the years – including another title by Patterson herself — so why is Gilly so special? Like every book on my list, Gilly reflects society and the human condition, which are key elements in weather a piece of literature is considered worthy of inclusion into the canon of  scholarly study. The story is deep and meaningful, especially to children who feel like outsiders in their world. The themes therein of family, devotion, and the pain of loss are just as relevant to adults as they are to all the children who have read and loved this book.

15) Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Dover Publications; abridged edition (1998). Print.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is already an undeniable classic. Its inclusion to my study is twofold. One, I simply love Mark Twain and can’t stand to do any study without him included — call me biased. And two, as an acknowledged classic that fits perfectly into my definition of middle grade children’s literature, Huck Finn will lead credence to the study of kidlit as a whole. Win-win!

16) White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1952. Print.

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A classic Newberry Honor book, Charlotte’s Web is, like Alice in Wonderland, a staple of children’s literature. The mismatched friendship of Fern the girl, Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig is a perfect example of how children use their everyday surroundings to better understand themselves and others — a lesson that even adults often must continue to learn. The basics of respect and understanding emulated in Charlotte’s Web will continue to be relevant to mankind as we enter a future that is bright with promise, hope, and peace.

17) Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. The Witches of Worm. New York: Dell Yearling, 1972. Print.

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The Witches of Worm was given to me for Christmas last year. Before that, I hadn’t even considered including it in my study, as I didn’t know it existed. A Newberry Honor book, Witches is everything that award emulates — depth, spirit, a reflection of the fear and emotional pain that every human being goes through, no matter what their age. Another book of metaphor, Witches personifies that theme within the mind of its pre-teen protagonist as she struggles to come to grips with the loss of her childhood, and the realization of her mother’s own human failings via her discovery of a very strange stay cat. As a children’s mirror to societal psyche and the human condition, it’s difficult to find a better story than The Witches of Worm.

So, there you have it — the seventeen books I will be studying and critiquing in my master’s thesis on middle grade children’s literature, and why they have been included. Of course, these descriptions aren’t detailed, as this is a short explanation only. However, if you have any questions or relevant additions / arguments to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section. And thanks for reading!

Update From a Writer MIA: Part 1 ~ Graduate School, Theses Proposals, and Teaching Writing

Posted in Graduate School, Writing with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by Jessica Crichton

So it’s been a while since I blogged, and I’m feeling a little neglectful for that. How ya been? Ya good? Good. That’s good to hear. I will say, though, that there are some great reasons for my MIA status these last two months — events in my life that have changed oh, so many things. The bulk of these events are over now, for the most part, so that I can finally take a moment, breathe, and catch you all up on what’s been going on.

First, as usual, is school.

My previous term was over at the end of July, but of course that meant that the vast majority of July was spent doing schoolwork. I can’t honestly even remember if I posted my final paper here or not. I probably did — that time is hazy (for reasons I will explain in a bit). I am now completely finished with prerequisites, and will be entering into my final thesis proposal next term, starting October 1st. I am also taking a class on teaching writing, just in case I can’t repay my student loans with my writing alone. This should be an adventure, as I will be teaching undergrads who aren’t usually English majors. Stay tuned for some ranty blogs! oi. (Though my Facebook friends may be thankful that I have a distraction from their posting foibles for once!) As for my thesis, I am planning on creating a whole new literary theory, JUST for children’s books, based on Joseph Campbell. It should be fun! Watch for updates on that, for sure!

Anyway, so after school was out in July I STILL didn’t have a moment to breathe, despite the fact that the kids were gone to their dad’s for the summer. Why?

The HOUSE.

But that is an entirely crazy, epic adventure that I must put into a separate blog for reasons that will easily become apparent to anyone who reads it.

Stay tuned…

Entering the Fray… Again

Posted in Family, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by Jessica Crichton

It’s August (as if you didn’t know), which means that a million children are bemoaning the imminent loss of Summer and a million parents are cheering the soon-to-be return of school.

Can you hear it? I can, even though my own little bemoaners are far, far away in a strange land called South Dakota at the moment.

In about three weeks my children will return to my fiance’ and I from their annual summer at Dad’s. Well, all except Emily who will be entering 8th grade, the year which their father has requested they spend with him in order to make an educated choice as to where they will live through high school. My eldest, Cisily, will be returning to me from that same 8th-grade-dad-time last year. She will be entering high school here in Spokane, having made her choice to attend the same school her father and I both did so long ago.

All that is to say I will have four of my five children home with me in less than a month. One will be entering high school, two will be in elementary school (5th and 2nd grades), and one will be going into her last year of preschool. Did I mention I’m also going to graduate school in October and have thrown my professional writing career into full gear this summer?

AND planning a wedding for June. A big wedding. With a theme.

Oi.

But I look at everything I’ll be doing this coming year, and, once the dust from my head exploding settles, I realize one very important thing: it’s all good! I have five beautiful, healthy children, have been accepted into graduate school to study children’s literature which I adore beyond words, am a professional writer which for me as a child was akin to becoming a superstar, and am getting married to the man of my dreams in a big, family-and-friends-filled wedding extravaganza.

I am so very, very blessed.

So I decided to write this blog, so that when the poo hits the windmill (and it will, I’m sure, many times), I can read this and remind myself… it’s all good.

How is YOUR year looking? 😉

John M. Cusick

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Paper, Mud & Me

Books, Ceramic art more

Treble City

Cody, the Arang-a-roo and the Omni-zoo

Indigo Sea Press Blog

Indigo Sea Press Blog

Lou Treleaven

Children's author, writing coach and playwright

Young Kwak

I am a photojournalist, sports photographer, and sometimes a commercial photographer and videographer.