The tween students.

The school year has begun and true to form, September is already passing quickly. Students as well as teachers are still sorting out their routines, their schedules, and their roles on campus for the next four months. This is an easier task for some than it is for others. It’s still fairly easy to pick out the students who are just starting school for the first time. The look of shock hasn’t quite worn off yet.

Please forgive the low quality of the photo. This is one of the very few pictures of my home office before I started the Great Book Reorganization.

I work at a community college, where there are no admission requirements beyond a high school diploma. We are the Statue of Liberty of higher education. We take the tired and the poor, and many of our masses really do huddle together, especially the small cadres of smokers grabbing a quick fix before class starts. Because of the absence of entrance requirements, students need to take a placement exam in math, reading, and writing to see if they need remediation in these areas, or if they already have the skills to embark on college level work. Continue reading

Snarky, sassy, smart.

Those three words are the tagline for Wordbitches, a fantastic blog on which three snarky, sassy, smart women share their thoughts on all things writing. It’s also where you can find my post today in my first ever guest blogger spot. I’m excited that I can make my debut in the midst of these dedicated and talented women.

So join me over there today, and don’t forget to take a walk through all the other great stuff Leanne, Elena, and Trish offer on Wordbitches. I’ll be back here on Wednesday for the final item in my Bêtes Noires countdown.

Finally, just a word of thanks to everyone who left such great comments and compliments on my Freshly Pressed post of last week. It was a thrill to experience that for a second time, and I loved hearing all of your language learning experiences. I now get the even better prize of having more great blogs to explore and enjoy!

An unexpected lesson

A quiet, peaceful stroll on Utah Beach.

The beach was far from crowded, but there were some people braving the wind and the colder-than-seasonal temperatures. Some were there for a quiet walk, and others were there to remember or commemorate. It was not the same Utah Beach that greeted lookouts for the German army on June 6, 1944. The sleepy Normandy countryside and breezy, sandy beaches were being overrun by American forces as the D-Day invasion of France began. Continue reading