Showing posts from 2017

Review: Arrow Vol. 1

Arrow Vol. 1 by Marc Guggenheim
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Clearly meant to be a show tie-in without any real standing power on its own. Some of the stories had good roots, but none of them had enough breadth to really cement a storyline. They simply tried to put too-many threads into one package. They introduce a bunch of characters and have some good backstory, but everything else just feels rushed. I'm hoping that, with that out of their system, the next volume has some storyline to follow. Or at least, a complete story in each issue of the volume.

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Review: The Color Purple

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No Wonder it's taught in Schools.

Though I chose this book as a reread, having read it in high school. However, once I started reading it I realized I didn't actually remember it at all. It was a nice surprise. Not only are the characters believable but they're written in such a way that can make you deeply empathetic towards them. Though I've never suffered many of the struggles or in justices of the characters in the book I can relate to some of the stronger motivations in Celie. Seeing her change through the book as much as her core values stay the same while this whole Pantheon of people grow and change around her made for a story that kept you wanting to keep reading. And it wasn't too predictable. At the end I really did wonder if she was going to reunite with her sister or not and I don't think I would have been surprised either way.

I found it interesting that comma though I know I was taught …

Boca Ballet: La Sylphide

TLDR: I was disappointed to find out the ballet was performed by a school, at a local high school, but the show and dancers turned out to be lovely! So happy I went!

Last week I heard about the ballet La Sylphide, to be performed in Boca Raton on a day my husband was away on work. On those days I like to treat myself to the arts, since he's not interested in dance, opera, or classical music. I went ahead and bought the tickets (honestly I was intrigued by the thought of a ballet in kilts!) Though I went to university in Boca, I didn't get around much, so I recognized the name "Countess de Hoernle Theatre" as sharing a name with the large public park (and its small, lovely conservation area). It's really the name of the local high school's auditorium. Nope, not an arts school, like Dreyfoos, just a regular high school, with a significant patron. The auditorium was as you might expect, a bit dirty and shabby, and the seats are not especially sloped, so for the …

2017 Hatsume Fair - Morikami

Shane and I made our annual visit to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens' Hatsume Fair for spring!

We got there early this year, as in 20 minutes before it opened. Last year, we stood in line for an hour, just to have the "newcomer" line and the "been here an hour line" get merged. It was stressful, and getting there early made such a huge difference. We were able to go into the main entrance right as it opened, and there was really no line. We got our Japanese Mix Mochi balls right away, because last year they ran out! These delicious ice cream balls wrapped in rice gelatin and powdered with sweet rice flour, always a highlight for me.

20170324 Opera: Idomeneo (Mozart)

I had the opportunity to see the live broadcast of the Met's Idomeneo. I've been to a couple Met operas broadcast into a regular theatre, but this is the first time they had reserved seating and a little coffee/snack bar. The gentleman next to me (I was on the end) has season seats and we chatted a bit. It turned out that he couldn't read the subtitles and didn't know the story. So between scenes I tried to give him a brief summary of what just happened. It worked pretty well, but in the third act it became clear that he didn't realize Idamante was a trouser role (a role written for a woman to play as a man). He kept asking who the "white-haired woman was" and thought I misunderstood when I told him it was Idomeneo's son Idamante. He began asking things during the scenes, and people started shushing him. Honestly, I felt he was less irritating than the folks with their snack wrappers. All in all, I think I enjoyed the opera a little more with him the…

Review: Trespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland

Trespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland by Ken Ilgunas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard of this book when looking for an alternate to another hiking book I wasn't able to get at my local library, and I'm do glad I did. I chose to listen to the audiobook over a set of 8 hour drives, and it was the perfect time to do it. The long drive helped me feel like I was hiking with him, and his descriptions of the people and places he saw helped to paint a secondary vision for my own trip.

I saw a few other reviews mention that they felt the author "lost touch" with the original intent of bringing awareness to the Keystone XL, but I don't feel like it's the case. Firstly, because the KXL was really a secondary motivation for the walk in the first place and remains in that secondary position throughout the book. In addition, the author dips back into the KXL whenever there's an oppor…

Review: Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The narrator of the audiobook version fits well as the voice of Nathan Quinn, thoughtful, with a touch of slightly dazed with all the goings on. The story itself is interesting and amusing. Definitely a fun distraction read. The author's note in the end tells you how much of the science was real science, and has some very interesting tidbits. Absolutely worth the (very little) time.

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Biotechnology and the Holocaust

It's my first week of teaching high school (hooray, I survived!), and I came in two weeks after the Winter Break so I'm rushing to get the students ready for their state performance quizzes in Unit 5 Genetics. We've been slamming through presentations and notes, and just took our last quiz (before Monday's unit exam). I wanted something easy on them for Friday, but still worth the time.

The last section of Genetics is biotechnology. We talk about genetically modified agriculture, karyotyping, and the bacterial production of insulin through recombinant DNA. I decided to include part of the TED Talk "The Ethical Dilemma of Designer Babies" by Knoepfer and use the last half of class to engage the students in an ethics discussion.

As a small sidebar, I like to have the National holidays on the board (National Pie Day, etc) and I'd forgotten to look them up. My co-teacher noticed and wrote "International Holocaust Remembrance Day". It was a perfect …