Monday, September 29, 2008

100 Books

borrowed from this blog:

I am shocked to see that I read more than I intially thought, Mostly in middle school and high school. Now I am going to try to read the rest.
"The Big Read is a USA National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.

Look at the list and bold those you have read.
Italicize those you intend to read.
Underline (or color) the books you LOVE .
Share this list in your blog, too, if you like."

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Seriously? All of them?)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Umm..this is part of the Narnia Chronicles)(I actually read it to my oldest son when he was in the 4th grade
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (Loved Saturday, hated the movie of this one)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (Another double-mention)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (en Francais!)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Mayor Bloomberg announced that in these trying times more money needs to be cut from the already meager budget of NYC Public Schools.
I am scratching my head trying to figure out just where my school that is underfunded as it is will be cutting this money from. I guess we could get rid of a teacher or two or three. You see where that is going. Our class sizes are not big enough yet. Wee one has 28 children in his class. I guess that is a good size compared to other schools so I should really just shut it.
Now parents, educators, administrators need to start writing more grants to beg for money for their schools since programs are going to have to go.
Last night there was a fundraiser for the Susan and Tony Bennett Exploring the Arts
for Public Schools a whopping $1.2 million was raised. Bravo to them for seeing the need for Public Schools having an arts program. Now let me get to the inequity of having to beg for this money. My school in the "Elite" District has had a hard time trying to receive this money. I used to be one of the grant beggars umm I mean liaison for the school. I would call great programs asking what the criteria was for attaining certain art programs to come to our school. The answer I would inevitably get was "I am sorry but your school is not needy enough." I would always say but we are a public school funded the same way as the other NYC Public Schools. The response I would ALWAYS get was we were not impoverished enough. We did not receive Title 1 monies etc.
So then you wonder why we as a PTA have to raise money to purchase a teacher for an art program, or an extra aide, or text books or whatever our Principal can not get out of her meager budget.
Are our children not as eligible for the same art programs? They are after all in a Public School and we do pay the same taxes as other Public School parents.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Find the State

Try and see if you know where the State goes

Play Games at AddictingGames

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When does a street become dangerous

I know of a few schools in my area that have requested crossing guards, because the streets are heavily used. Heavy traffic, dangerous conditions for adults crossing but not deemed so for children. I wonder if they use the same excuse for Queens Boulevard?
How many children need to be mowed down before eyes are opened.
School buses have been taken away for some children due to budgetary restraints, or that is the excuse the DOE uses. So instead, children are expected to cross main intersections by themselves to travel back and forth to school. According to the DOE a main intersection near my house has been downgraded to country road. Okay well it was not but we were told that it is not a high traffic area. Well lets wee if it is not a high traffic area how is it that I as an adult have to run across this said street to get across it before the light changes, or that their are two traffic camera's positioned to catch motorists blowing the light. From what I heard it makes mega money a year close to a cool million a year. Damn if that is not a high traffic area I don't know what is.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Yesterday morning I was watching Meet The Press. Well actually I was changing channels and Tom Brokaw asked Rudy Giuliani about Barack Obama wanting to enact sex ed bill for kindergarten students. There is a whole uproar about teaching our precious students about sex. A sex education bill for our kindergarten students. Giuliani goes on about how the bill was not passed. Hooray now our students are safe, but are they?
I know here in NYC there is a sex education mandate for New York City Schools and our students, and that when my son was in kindergarten it was enacted for the first year. No notice went out to us that our children were going to be taught this it was by word of mouth. The curriculum was on the DOE website, not sure if it is now though.
I try not to get into politics because to tell you the truth it makes me crazy the lies that are told and how to decipher them.
I just love how they are speaking about this sex ed thing like it is not already being taught and that we should all be afraid of big bad Obama because he wants to teach our children about sex. What hypocrisy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What a difference a year makes

Last year wee one had a teacher that at times can be very mean. If she likes your child, your child will do fine. If from day one your child rubs her the wrong way, well you had better watch out because all holy hell will break loose and your child will have a bad year.
It goes on year, after year, after year.
Mr. Pissed Off and I had a meeting at the very beginning of last year when we noticed a gigantic behaviour change in our child and we knew why. Remember I have been at that school for awhile.
Last year at dismissal if my last name was not being bellowed, it was one of two other parents who had a child that pissed off Mrs. I need better medication or need to retire.
So the difference this year wee one has a mellow teacher, very mellow the kind that teaches your child. He bounced out of school yesterday with a big toothless grin. Mrs. Mellow wanted to get my attention so she waved gently for me to come to her. A nice wave with a big smile, no screaming my name so the whole damn school could hear it.
She told me that wee one forgot a homework assignment. I thanked her and told her it would not happen again but in his defense he was ill the night before. Her response, in such a sweet voice. Oh that is okay, next time just write me a note.
Last year it would have been that I was the crappiest parent in the world and wee one was the devil's spawn.
To say that I was dissatisfied with last years learning experience and my normally bright child tanked on his E-Class last year compared to the past years of being the highest scoring child in his classes has nothing at all to do with the fact that screaming at a 7 year old all bleeping day does not teach them a damn thing but to shut you out.
For the life of me I am still scratching my head trying to figure out if they know I am such a bitch why the powers that be would decide that they needed to piss me the f*** off.
I was nice and quiet about all this last year because I know that they read this blog. I don't care anymore. He is my last child in the system and I am going to make sure that the rest of his days go smoothly. He is bright and is going to stay that way.
Have a great year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If I had 10 million dollars to spare

I too would open a charter school. It seems these days anyone with a few bucks to spare can open up a charter regardless of how much experience they have. All it takes is name recognition and the ear of the Mayor.
Way back when oldest guy and middle one were in elementary school I said I wish I had money to spare to donate a large chunk of money to the school so we could have all the services that were denied to our small school because enrollment was low. One of the things I did not want was to squeeze more children into our small school. You know like charters do.
If I had $10 million to spare and I truly wanted to "educate" children I would find an alternative building to place them in. Unfortunately I am an idealist and I don't get how charters get away with this year after year. I know that there are parents out there who think that charters are the best thing that happened to their little mop heads since the invention of sliced bread. I wonder how they feel after little Johnny is thrown out of the charter because they just don't make the cut. That is something that is not ever published in the bias rah rah Bloomberg is the great education Mayor press.
Now if anyone can open up a charter school how about a group of parents and a group of handpicked teachers. Who has better experience on how a school should be run? Not the Mayor of Klein. No matter how much they change the stats in there favor they sure as hell haven't really done such a great job. I haven't noticed any change in the schools. Except that my school lost a lot of money. With that and another volatile issue. Now my freaking PTA has to whore themselves more asking for more money so we can purchase what we lost. I think that it is disgusting that we have to dig deep into our pockets and give our money to a PUBLIC school. I do pay taxes and plenty of them. So far the only thing that has not been taxed on me is the air I breathe, or at least not yet.
It is against DOE policy for parents to pay for a teacher, but the DOE plays dumb to it. I remember when that parents can not pay for a teacher policy came in effect. I was there when it happened. Rudy Crew was the Chancellor. So when the letter from my PTA comes out any day now and asks me for a large donation I am going to be pissed again but I will roll up my pennies and give it because we really need that copy paper, and of course an art teacher.
If I had $10 million I would open the Pissed Off Mom school and make sure that every one of the 300+ children that attended wee one's school had a well rounded education with UNION teachers.

5 days into the school year

and wee one has already had his first little foray with throwing up. Lovely. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that during extended day he was cleaning desks?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

McCain accepts the nomination

Love the comments about what schools need.
More competition

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Putting Children First

Well school has begun. A new year, and a new year of DOE spin. The literature I received welcoming me back says it all. New York City Public Schools. Putting Children First.
Hmmm lets see, putting children first by announcing 18 new charter schools to squeeze into schools at the expense of others. So what children are first in those 18 schools? The charter children who had better make the cut or the squeezed in children who are now shoved into an overcrowded class.
Putting children first. How is it that when your principal knows year after year that there are some teachers that how do we put this nicely. Emasculate your child because he/she does not fit into her cookie cutter approach to teaching makes them feel less than the child they are. So by the end of the year your child has not learned a thing and has to be detoxed the whole summer and taught to be whole again. And believe me I am not the only parent who feels this way, and I am not the only parent from last year who has had to do this.
Children first, when a brand spanking new school is built and 2 days into the school year the school is so overcrowded that they are turning children away from their neighborhood school.
When the Mayor and his minions think that they are doing an A one job, decide that they need to form a non profit company to lobby to keep Mayoral Control of schools. Like we did not know that was coming down the pike. I mean how could the Mayor and his little friends keep their little gravy train of "tax write-offs", wait not tax write off doing the right thing for the children, after all they are first.