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The Skin that We Speak by Lisa Delpit

This is one of my favorite books about education.  Delpit really dives into the cultural aspects of language and the importance of student language.  This book is a great start for any teacher interested in social justice in the English classroom.

Spring Semester is over… Hooray!

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Monday evening marked my last class of the semester.  This semester was both incredibly challenging for me and extremely rewarding.  This was the first semester I was a full-time student, in addition to being a full-time teacher and a full-time (though it feels part-time) mom to a beautiful 16-month old girl.  I felt like most of my life was spent reading, making to-do lists, driving (in rush hour traffic over the Howard Frankland!) or cramming some writing into what ever little free time I had.  The important part though, is that I learned so much.

First, I learned exactly what I want to study.  I discovered that my passion had a name and had a theory, and I devoured everything I could about it.  I began to learn how to mold all of my coursework to fit my design, and it was incredibly rewarding.  Everything I read and studied this semester will lead me to my dissertation, and that is a good feeling.

I also learned to be confident in my abilities and to rely on my peers for guidance.  I had a proposal accepted at a national conference, and I also became immersed in a research lab with a group of fellow students.  I gained valuable hands-on experience in qualitative research and began to feel like a real doc student.

Perhaps most importantly, I learned that I can handle it – the whole thing.  Mom, student, teacher, wife, daughter – it is manageable.  Of course, I have the most amazing partner who is able to support me and everything I do.  It was hard, but I was able to do it and reap some serious rewards from it.  I now know that I have the ability to finish this program and carve a name for myself in academia.