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!

And the winner goes to…

Although my two year blogiversary is coming up, I still feel like a total newbie. I still have much to learn about blogging, about managing my own writing, and about building an online community of support. Writing can be a lonely business, and it takes time.  There needs to be a commitment to writing that brings us away from other things in our life that we may also enjoy: friends, family, hobbies…

Imagine my delight, then, when M.Howalt over at Muse X-ings left me a comment to say that I had been given an ‘Irresistibly Sweet Blogger Award’. I’d seen them around in different incarnations. I’ll make the admission right now that I don’t know if there is any specific criteria behind the various awards, so I decided to make my own. But first, I want to thank M.Howalt sincerely for the accolade, and also for her support and comments. She’s a great writer, too, so go check her out!

The rules for this award are to reveal seven random facts about myself, and to pass the award on to a number of other bloggers. I chose to match the number of bloggers to the number of facts that I  reveal. I like the symmetry, which is perhaps a bit peculiar, but I’ve come to embrace my little quirks. And here are seven of them: Continue reading