I’m going to admit that I do not know a lot about Common Core. What I do know is that it sets educational standards and no one seems to like it much. This reminds me of another attempt to set educational standards: No Child Left Behind.
We do need standards in education. While the right continues to scream about teachers’ unions and blame them for the decline of education, the left screams that we’re not spending enough money. The truth is probably in the middle left.
But, here’s the think: Common Core had bipartisan support when it was passed and now the GOP is turning against it in a big way. They’re accusing President Obama of illegally using Federal funds to make States follow the guidelines. Wait, how is that illegal? And, why can’t the GOP ever just come up with an idea without it being an attack on the President?
I’m beginning to think that they didn’t get enough hugs when they were children.
Disclaimer: I have to say that I was given by Penguin a galley proof of Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer on August 6th. Penguin would like me to post a review on their site, but it is not required and they have not asked me to review this book on my site. I have chosen to do this of my own free will and they have not compensated me in anyway.
Five Days Left will not be released to the public until September 9, 2014. I seriously suggest that you pre-order it from your favorite bookstore. Seriously.
Without being halfway done with the book, I started writing this review. I wanted other people to feel what I felt while reading the book – the ups, the downs, the anger and tears.
Julie Lawson Timmer (whom I’ve never met, but who has a beautiful first name) knows how to grip you – just by the premise. In five days, Mara – a young mother living with Huntington’s Disease – will kill herself, leaving her young daughter motherless and her wonderful husband wifeless. In five days, Scott – a teacher with a baby on the way – has to give up his foster son, whom he’s raised for the last year. How’s that for a premise? When I read it, I knew I had to read the whole book.
Your heart will ache for Scott. He loves Curtis, his foster son, as much – if not more – than he loves his unborn child or his wife. Having to turn Curtis over to a just freed from jail mother is breaking his heart. His best friend, Pete, doesn’t understand his pain. And, his wife, who wasn’t big on the foster idea in the first place, cannot understand how losing Curtis takes precedence over the new baby.
Mara is a take charge woman who is being beaten by a disease for which there is no cure – I’m not even sure I can describe her and do her justice. She’s a lawyer, her husband is a doctor and they have an adopted daughter. Life would have been perfect, if Huntington’s hadn’t knocked on her door and decide to stay. We find out – via flashbacks – about her symptoms and how she was diagnosed. Now, more than a year after her diagnosis and months after losing her partnership at a law fire, Mara sees the handwriting on the wall. She is done and it is time to go.
The way Timmer intertwines Mara and Scott’s stories is wonderful. Their stories will grip you and not let you take a breath. Do not miss this wonderful, amazing read.
And, on another note, for those keeping track – this is book 7 of my reading challenge and I have 93 more to go. Not too difficult, that’s one book every three days before next June 23rd.
Today, I was driving a couple of friends’ kids home. Right in front of us a man misses a curve and smashes into a light pole. He backs up, a little too close to my front end, and takes off. So, we followed him. Long story short, we realize that he’s drug or high, so I hit the emergency button and am connected to OnStar. We explained what’s going on and within minutes, I’m speaking with a Racine dispatcher, who takes down my information. We follow the man to his apartment building, the police thank us and we leave.
Not only were the two kids with me impressed with OnStar, I was grateful to know that I had this dispatcher who was able to give the police my location and follow me via GPS to help. When it was done, OnStar called me back for being a good Samaritan. That’s a laugh – I wouldn’t have been able to do that without their assistance.
The police needed more information from us, so we met a very nice officer at the scene of the accident. He told us that the man was apprehended.
Good job, OnStar!
I’m just crabby today – so crabby that Cheryl told me not to talk to anyone at work, so I don’t get fired. So, I’m venting here. WTF? What’s wrong with the world? Is everyone brain damaged? First, the new updated Facebook app – why does it just keep saying Setting up and not doing anything. I realize this isn’t life or death, but can’t anyone do their jobs? Is that too much to ask?
And, then traffic – learn to drive your freaking car, please! Could you just do that? Use your blinker, don’t follow so closely that you have to slam on your breaks causing a two hour snarl, because you can’t drive. I’m lucky I made it to work today!
And, then, can’t you take care of your pets? For the love of Christ, I am tired of seeing homeless, abused pets everywhere – in the news, on Facebook, on news sites. Is it too much to ask that when you make the decision to buy Fido that you take care of him? And, can we please decide as a nation that you only get one chance at owning a pet? No more of this you got one dog, but that didn’t work out so we’ll give you six others in succession to determine what the issue is. The issue is the humans suck! I know, some people can’t handle their pets. We had to give our cat, Jack, to friends because he was miserable in our house. He and our three cats couldn’t find a way to tolerate each other. I’ve felt guilty about this ever since. It breaks my heart.
I can’t take anymore pictures of dogs with one eye, cats with torn up faces and the scars. It’s breaking my heart and I can’t save them all – I’ve rescued four animals and our dog is a problem child – I cannot bring another animal into our home. I donate, I give. I can’t do anymore – so just stop posting this. Please, could I go one day – just one FUCKING day? Is that too much to ask of my fellow human beings that they act like animals and care a little about the people and animals around them?
Somedays, it is just so hard to hold it together. I’m sure I’m just crabby and I’ll snap out of this – like I always do, but help me out here – BE A FUCKING DECENT PERSON TODAY and go help an old lady cross the street, thank a vet, donate to charity, volunteer or just make someone laugh and post that. Put that on your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
Please, don’t even get me started about Ferguson…
A couple of months ago, I joined Penguin’s First to Read program. This is where they email you a list of books and you basically put your name in a drawing to have the opportunity to read the book before anyone else does – you’re getting a change to read the book’s proof copy. How cool is that?
Well, I threw my entry into Friendswood by Rene Steinke and I was selected. Except, my stupid email put the email into spam or something, because I never received it, which meant, I lost my opportunity to read the book before anyone else did.
But, the book was just published last week, so there’s hope that I’ll be able to pick up a copy of it soon. I’ve read an excerpt of it and the book is fantastic.
That brings me to One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. I wasn’t selected to read this one, but it was one of my choices. I read a very short excerpt and I can’t wait to read the rest. I’m adding it to my reading list. This book was released on 7/1/2014.
There are others I put a bid for:
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters — I wasn’t selected, but I’m reading an excerpt
The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman — I was selected to read this one
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer — I’ll be reviewing this one in a couple of days, as I’m almost done reading it.
Remember how I said that I was planning on making at least one person laugh every day? Well, I have kept this up. But, when the world lost Robin Williams, we lost a lot of joy and I’m only one woman. The whole world seems a little sadder. I was at a party this past weekend and everyone mentioned how much we lost.
So, here’s my idea: Everyone who reads this post should agree to make one person laugh every day. Hey that person can be you. The world can be a cruel and difficult place. But, we can make it better.
For the next 30 days, promise to make one person laugh. Mention the challenge to someone else. As people go through their 30 days, the world will become a happier place.
You just have to believe.
I have a good sense of humor – or at least – that’s what I’ve been told. But, I can be angry, cruel, mean and sometimes damn right evil to other people. And, I’ve been thinking this past week, I need to make a change – I need to be the change.
If I want the rest of the world to be full of sunshine and lollipops, well, then I need to pass around some sunshine and lollipops.
From this day forward, I’m going to make it my life’s work to make one person laugh out loud everyday. I’m not going to miss a day. No matter how nuts I have to appear, I’m going to be the person who brightens other people’s day. The person they look forward to seeing when I walk by their office or their cube.
I’ve already got my laugh in for today. A co-worker, Amanda, always has candy on her desk – including star bursts. I love star bursts and when I can and when I pass that way, I always take a star burst. I was teasing her that she needed more and told her that I would pick up a bag for her. She said, as I was leaving her office, that she has a full bag, but she isn’t putting it out until all of the yellow ones are gone. I marched back into her office, emptied the candy dish of the remaining 12 yellow star bursts, turned over the candy dish, said, “You’re out” and left to her cracking up behind me.
Yep, it feels good to make people laugh, so that’s what I’m going to do.