My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Schooled by Gordan Korman and we're about to be...

I FINALLY read SCHOOLED by Gordan Korman. I'm not sure why it took me so long because lots of people recommended it to me, but I did. It was great (is that the lamest thing to say ever?). But seriously, I loved SCHOOLED because it showed how one kid, no matter what a clueless, misfit, can change a school for the better. SCHOOLED is the story of Capricorn, a boy raised in a commune and homeschooled until he was thirteen, and his forced entry into public school. He's never seen money, eaten pizza, or been in a school. He's never watched television or seen a girl his own age, so you can see where the fun begins. In keeping with 8th grade tradition, Zach, the obligatory jerk of the story, plans to nominate the biggest geek in the school (Hugh) for class president, so they can ridicule him at assemblies all year. Enter Capricorn, and he become a shoo in for the part. Trouble ensues, as you can imagine, especially when the class president gets access to the student council checkbook... I loved this story and plan for it to be the next read aloud to my family (yes, it's great for all ages). I will say, though, that it felt a lot like STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli as I read, which isn't a bad thing, I LOVE STARGIRL, another must-read, but it felt like I'd read it before. Still, a great message, worthy of writing a hundred books about. And speaking of 100 books, I knew Gordan Korman had written several mg and ya books (if you recall, I spoke about NO MORE DEAD DOGS a while back--hilarious), but I was stunned to read in the back of the book that he's written over 50!!!! He must be 200 years old--ha ha. ANyway, his work feels like Jerry Spinelli to me, which is a high, high compliment because I really think Spinelli gets kids.

So as the school year begins, I have pledged to begin teaching Latin at home to my kids. It is as neurotic as it sounds, but I think they need it. I want it to be fun and relaxed, so I'm debating how to teach it. I think I'm going to go for quality rather than quantity, and phrases rather than the traditional approach. Not sure yet, though, but if any fellow nerds have suggestions, please share.

Redneck Mom's guide to the First Day of School Eve:
1. Put the kids to bed EARLY even if that means they lie wide away and yell for water for hours (yeah,we bring them the water)
2. Make sure everyone has two matching shoes in the same size
3. Make sure backpacks are emptied of last day of school mess and filled with the darn school supplies that cover your dining room table; Kleenex usually has to be carried separately due to its size and bulk
4. Make lunches with really good stuff to make up for the fact that the poor kids will be trapped in an institution all day for the next 180 days
5. Pray for their teachers, classmates,carpool and kids
6. Plan breakfast for the rest of the week because these first few mornings will be HAIRY
7. Plan clothes for everyone (red on top, remember, for first day of school pizza)
8. Kiss them and hug them and tell them it's gonna be okay because no matter how cool your kids are, they're a little nervous

Have a great day! P.S. I have a story running in tomorrow's News and Observer (complete with picture of me in a bikini!), so check it out. Lifestyle, I think, is the name of the section. Under 'Summer Memories'.


Anonymous said...

Hey, congrats on your article!
I'll look for it.

Dorothy said...

Great news about your aritcle. Is there any way you can give us a way to read the whole thing like Jody does on FB with some of hers? I don't have access to N&O but would love to read your article.

Donna Jones Koppelman said...

I put a link on facebook, but I'll get one on the blog, too. I need to put a link to all my magazine stuff or at least scan it in and have a way to access it. Thanks so much for reading! xox

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman