In the High Peaks

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Books--in a Different Genre

I'm near the end of Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James; oh, how I've loved it! But the time seems to have come for reading in a completely different genre from my usual reportage.

I urge readers to skip over the following paragraph unless they want to be bored out of their skulls:
I've been delving back to my interest in Young Adult and Children's literature. This reawakening is based on my wish to rekindle my awareness of these genres AND the fact that it's conceivable I may be teaching a course in Children's and YA Lit in the fall. I'm saying maybe, might, possibly, because the course may be assigned to another professor. But I have had a lifetime of involvement in both Children's and YA Literature. I would LOVE to teach this course, and although I know for a fact I have every credential needed to teach it, I am NEW, and that counts for nothing at all. Sigh. Whatever I teach next fall will be okay, but it will rankle if I am not chosen for the Children's Lit course, because I know I have much, much more experience teaching this literature to children and young adults than any other person in the department. But I know I'm lucky to be teaching at all!

I'm reading a recently published YA novel, Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz, an award-winning author and poet living and teaching in El Paso, Texas. I am finding the novel to be so beautiful, so bright, so full of the angst of young people who grow up without love and nurturing (sounds like the lives of all my students). The main character suffers from alcohol addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, as do many of his fellow patients in a special psychiatric facility. Everything--the relationships, the insightful therapists, the young adults are so true--it is an astonishing portrayal. It's a fast read and well worth the trouble for any human who struggles and is desperate to triumph.

My second-generation Kindle is giving me fits, just as the first-generation did, yet my Barnes & Noble NookColor is a breeze, even though the Nook is sketchy in YA lit offerings. It has many children's books, however, in full color. Fun!

Spring is wanting to spring here. We still have a depth of two feet of snow in the woods, but I've taken to walking on our road. Migrating birds!! Oh, a wealth of birdsong is heaven to the ears!

Oh, dear!!! Temperatures on Monday are supposed to hit 80+ degrees at the college, and I teach in a hot, hot building, in the afternoon, with a southwestern, full-sun exposure. Ugh! No airconditioning whatsoever. Ugh! Last class is May 5, then the exam period.

If I teach this summer, it will be in buildings that have a wee bit of AC.

But, and this is a big BUT, I will only teach one course per summer session (there are two). So I'd be teaching four hours, two days a week. That's workable, I think.

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to time for reading! Stay tuned for the May Reading Blast!

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