Monthly Archives: November 2010

Number 96 – Oskar Schell

I have already written a post about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer,  but I also wanted to write about Oskar Schell, the main character.  He is a 9 year old boy, but oh so much more than that.  There are so many things about Oskar that are incredibly endearing.  He’s an inventor who invents things that will make all our lives easier.  He’s a Francophile who is constantly describing his raison d’être.  He only wears white and is always playing his tambourine.  He is a brave little boy who travels far and wide to solve a beautiful mystery.  He is a vegan and a pacifist.  You need to read this book.



Filed under Books I love, People, People I wish I knew, Things

Number 95 – Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

As I’ve said before, I loved Reading Rainbow when I was a kid.  This was one of my favorites.  It’s an African folk tale, but is surprisingly similar to Cinderella – I suppose this illustrates the universal theme of pride before the fall.  Mufaro has two daughters who are very beautiful but one is rude and the other is generous and kind.  The story is well written and quite lovely.  The illustrations are beautiful.  I love the rich, vibrant way the illustrator recreated the African landscape.  I probably checked this out of the library a dozen times and I even bought myself a copy a couple years ago.  It’s a great book, but you don’t have to take my word for it.


Filed under Books I love, Things

Number 94 – Val King

During grad school I had quite a few instructors.  I took more classes than anyone else in my program (in addition to getting my Language Arts endorsement, I also got my ESL endorsement and a Cultural Competency Certificate… I think I ended up with almost twice the credits as my classmates) so I had the benefit of learning from additional talented teachers and professors.  One of my absolute favorites was Val.  While I learned a lot of things about education in most of my classes, I learned how to teach from Val.  She had such a wonderful classroom presence and taught us in a very organic, hands on way.  When she taught about a method, she actually used the method.  This was a great strategy because we got to see how these ideas worked as students.  This makes it so much easier to translate these ideas now, as teachers.

While Val was an incredible teacher, she was also a very lovely person. I would love to have the chance to work for her someday as she is also a principal in Springfield.  I’m sure she runs a successful, respectful and fun school.

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Filed under People, People who have taught me

Number 93 – Sally Yazwinski

Yes, people do ballet in the Peace Corps. Duh.


Sally was one of my Peace Corps friends.  I liked her from the first day.  She had a really cute scarf (which isn’t why I like her, but it helped).  When Jesse and I were rescued from our first host family in Sumgayit Station (I will get to this in a later post), we got to go live with Sally’s cluster in beautiful Corat.  Corat was a sweet little beach town compared to The Station.

Sal is a very funny lady.  She cracked me up all the time (and cracked up at everything I said, thus making me feel very good about myself (I bet she’s laughing now if she’s reading this (are you laughing, Sally?))).

Sally and Kelsey came to visit (before the roses were blooming) last spring and it was so, so, so great to catch up with them.  Although we only lived in the same part of the world for a very short time, I know that Sal will always be a great friend who will always mean the world to me.

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Number 92 – Teaser Firecat Frosaker

Teaser was my first dog and she was the best darn soccer player who ever lived.  She would run full steam round and round our backyard dribbling the soccer ball with her nose.  She was truly amazing.  She was a  Welsh terrier and she was a good little dog.  She could bark and jump with the best of them.  Teaser loved our backyard on Ridgeway (but not our garage on Spyglass).  When I was in middle school she ran away to become a TV commercial star and to live in the lap of luxury.

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Number 91 – UofO Art Museum

I have many beautiful memories of going to the art museum on the Oregon campus.  I really appreciate that my parents introduced us to art and museums at a very young age.  In my memory (which is probably a little bit exaggerated) we went to the museum alll the tiiime.  And I loved it.  It felt like an amazing sort of playground.

My favorite things about the museum were the courtyard, the doll collection and the Asian thrones and other furniture.

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Filed under Placed I have learned, Places, Places I have been, Things I love

Number 90 – Skiing

Skiing at Sun Valley in 5th grade - I know you're jealous of my neon pink pants

I learned how to ski when I was about 5 years old.  My mom was a ski instructor at Willamette Pass, so she was up skiing most weekends, so my parents decided it was about time for me and Dan to learn.  Also, since I was until 10 and mom worked there, it only cost 50 cents for an all day lift ticket.  Pretty sweet deal.  I’ve always loved skiing.  I have been known to say, “This is the life” while on the slopes.  And that’s because it is.  The life.  For reals.

You are jealous of my head band now. Again, Sun Valley but this time during middle school.

There’s really nothing that compares to a clear, sunny day with perfectly groomed (like they are capable of doing at Sun Valley) fresh powder.  Nothing beats it.  Nothing. I love how quiet it is on the mountain.  The air is so clear and bright.  I absolutely love the squeaks and swooshes the snow makes under my skis.

Mom and me at Willamette Pass


During college I followed in my mom’s tracks and taught skiing at Willamette Pass.  I think I skied somewhere between 30 and 40 days that season.  I was so good that year, let me tell you.

I can’t wait to hit the slopes this season!  Soon, very soon!

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Filed under Placed I have learned, Places, Places I have taught, Things, Things I love