Friday, March 23, 2012

Lesson 135: Hungry? (Part 1)

Here she is everyone!  Meet Katniss.  She's causing quite a stir in the literary world, and she's just emerged onto the big screen, arrows and all.  Katniss Everdeen is the main character in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy.  I'm just about to finish up the third book this weekend.  I'm burning the midnight oil on it because I am so afraid my students are going to blab the ending.  I've threatened and shouted and covered my ears and they know I mean business.  But they are kids and they cannot be trusted. They are sneaky little things.

I highly recommend reading the books.  I don't care in the end whether you like them or not.  To each, his own.  If you are reading this blog, then you most likely like to read.  A good reader is a deep reader.  Word is out that this is a story about a Godless society in the future where the annual event of the Hunger Games surrounds kids killing kids. Yes, that is true, but there is much more to the story than that.  You have to look beneath the surface to find the truth and beauty, kind of like cracking a geode.  It is a story about oppression, revolution, survival, and love.  It's a WOW.  It's the most unique and unusual story I've read since Harry Potter.  I appreciate any story that gets kids excited about reading.

I hope you give the books a chance, and like this pinterest pin reads:  May the odds be ever in your favor.  The odds this weekend weren't in mine.  The CPU (central processing unit) of my Lamp Post computer is in need of a fan or it is going to have a melt down, so Faraday (my name for my computer) is in the good and caring hands of Jerry my computer guy for the weekend for a sleep over, hence no blog movie. Just a youtube song post from the Hunger Games movie that opened this weekend: Taylor Swift's Safe and Sound. Scroll to the bottom to find it.

The odds were not in my favor earlier this week either as I suffered a cut on my finger.  A hack.  A chop.  A sideways slice.  All because of a boring cucumber.  Couldn't have been caused by anything fun like chocolate cake.  Bummer.  Looking at the still cavernous gash four days into healing, I realized it probably could have used a stitch.  It did cross my mind when I did it.  I am so absorbed in the Hunger Games  that I actually thought when I did it, Katniss would fix this herself.  Where are my needle and thread?  

Katniss is a survivor.  She's become tough not because she was from the wealthiest district which supplied her with the best weaponry and body armor.  She was from the poorest one.  Katniss was a poor girl with wicked instincts honed from years of hunting game for mere survival.  Katniss is tough.  So, I did what Katniss would do--made the best of what I had.  I wrapped my finger in a paper towel bandage, covered with masking tape.  It was ugly and bulky to deal with all week, but I thought to myself, Heck, I should make this thing useful so I drew an arrow on it with a Sharpie marker and used it as my "pointer" at school all week.  The kids loved it.

Here I am pointing at Willow, my favorite tree in my yard.  She got her leaves in all the warm weather this week. She's always the first to do so. The next photo is the close up of her tree top.  I like Willow because her branches look like my hair when I wake up in the morning.

This is Willow from the ground looking up.  And because I have The Hunger Games on my brain, I thought to myself, Katniss and Rue would sleep up there.  If you think that is bad, when I was running last weekend I found a dead robin on the road and I stopped to examine if it was actually dead or just stunned.  It was dead, but I thought to myself Katniss would eat that.   I told you I have a problem.

This is my neighbor's bush in full bloom with its bright yellow flowers--an absurdity for March around here.  The full week of mid 70 degree temperatures brought them out.  You can see some close ups in the following two pictures.  Can you see me?

Getting used to my sore finger tip reminds me of my Dad.  His friends now call him 9 and Three Quarters.  Not after the Harry Potter train platform to Hogwarts; because of his stubby finger.  He chopped the end of it off in his wood chipper about a year ago.  Interesting story:

It was the end of the school day and I made a quick run to the office to use the paper cutter.  Just a couple of quick whacks was all I needed.  When Eloise gets in a hurry, she tends to get distracted, and it took just one second of focus loss for my finger to slip and I hacked my  pointer finger  right at the first knuckle.  Ouch.  

I made a huge mess and had to clean it up and find a bandage and ward off help from well meaning co workers. I just wanted to get out of there and hide my embarrassment.  This made me late.  I returned to my classroom, frustrated and in pain.  I had to get home to my kids, whom my mom was watching until I got home from work.  Then my cell phone was ringing.  

My purse is always a mess and I had to dig for my phone, cussing myself for not keeping a neater handbag.  I saw it was my mother.  "Mom, I'll be right there.  I'm running late because.." I didn't get to finish because she cut me off.  I could hear an urgency in her tone.  It got my heart beating fast knowing something had happened.  

"Can you get home right away?  Your dad's had an accident and I have to take him to the hospital." Not what I needed to hear.

"What happened?" I managed to croak out as my hands were beginning drip sweat.

"Your dad just cut his finger off in the wood chipper."  Same finger I cut, in the same place, at the exact same time.  Mine stayed intact.  His, not so much.  Hence, his nickname.

My mother had enough of the wood chipper and encouraged him to sell it a few weeks later.  He wheeled it to the edge of the driveway and taped his For Sale sign to it.  No one was biting.  Perhaps it was because I wrote in really small print underneath WOOD CHIPPER FOR SALE (plus 1/4 of index finger).  We never found the finger, but I am not sure anyone ever really looked for it.  

You'll see the Speed Limit sign at the end of my driveway. Because I live next door to my parents, this spot isn't too far off of the place where the wood chipper once sat for sale.  And yes, someone did buy it despite the residual finger goo on the inside of it.   Those are my mailbox and paper box, slightly bent because they seem to get in my way when I am making that wide turn.  It is a reminder to drive safely to keep everyone in my house Safe and Sound away from accidents and wood chippers.  Safe and Sound.  That reminds me of the Hunger Games because it is the name of Taylor Swift's song posted below.

Taylor sings about the desolation and loneliness of the people of District 12.  I had to put my shot of this rainbow from last Sunday evening.  It went right over my parents house into the field across the street.  I want to take this opportunity  to remind all the People of Panem that eventually, after every tragedy, God will send a rainbow as a reminder of his promise to us.  Whoops.  I forgot again that Panem isn't real.  But God's promise is.  It's good to remember that ALWAYS.

I got to go tell Katniss that now (as you can see, I slid back into my alternate universe which I call my Happy Place when I'm lost in a book).  I got me a date with Mocking Jay and have to finish it tonight before my stinkers students blab the ending.  Don't forget to scroll further down the blog for Part 2 of this blog post.  Lesson 134:  Read the Book First, with the Official Movie trailer appears as the previous post.

Check them both out and most importantly, Readers, stay Safe and Sound.

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