The Life of Bon: October 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Announcing Banned Book Club!

Today was our first official meeting of the year of the Banned Book Club.

You see, a couple of year ago Mr. Shields started the Banned Book Club- a club where rebel smart kids could get together and read the books their parents and snooty teachers won't let them read.

Last year I thought, "HEY!  I'm a rebel and I'm smart so I wanna join!  I wanna join!  Please, please, please Mr. Shields- (who from here on out I am going to call Jamie because I feel weird calling him Mr. Shields because that is what his students call him and I am not his student)- can I be in your cool rebel club?"   And he said, "Fine, Bonnie, do whatever you want just stop throwing a tantrum, will you?"  So I did.  I went to the meetings, I read the books, and I enjoyed discussions with a unique group of students at the high school.  Admit it, any kid who is joining a club so that they can rebel through reading is pretty much the coolest kid out there.

This year Mr. Principal tried to shut it all down.  He said we weren't allowed to teach the kids Banned Books.  Oh, but we are because it's after school hours!  Don't you try to shut this down on us!  So I said, "No Jamie!  Mr. Principal can't get away with this!  You must stop him! I was just starting to feel young and hip and rebellious!"  Or something like that.  Slightly less dramatic,  but you get my drift.  So Jamie went to bat for us and I sat comfortably in my room grading papers until I got the good news via email... Banned Books was back!

And thus it was that today we had our first meeting.  Jamie's BFF, Mr. Sundquist, also helps with th eclub and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be in the club just so that I could be cool.  You see, Shields and Sundquist and the young, hip teachers in the school.  All the high school chicas have crushes on them.  I figured if I joined in on their club I could be hip and young by association, right?

ANYWAY... What I have been trying to say this many paragraphs and circles and laps is THIS.  Today we voted on books to read for the year.  There were 50+ kids there.  They nominated books they would want to read and then everybody voted for their top three.  The nominees and winners are pictured.  (Notice to the left of each title is the number of people who voted for it.  R.I.P. Animal Farm, I guess nobody likes you.)

What would YOUR top three be?
And would you join a Banned Book Club?
And would you have joined on in high school?
And what are you reading RIGHT THIS MINUTE?!?
(I am reading What is the What by David Eggers.  It's about the transition of the Lost Boys of Sudan into American life.  It is fascinating, but also a bit tedious.  Plus it's 500+ pages.  I feel like I've been reading it FOREVER.)

You want to join in on my high school's Banned Book Club?  We're reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for November.  Read it with us and then we can talk books on the blog!  HOLLER!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Words of Wisdom

Before we do anything else you should know that
1.  Giveaway closes Wednesday. (On Halloween!)  Get your buns moving!
2.  Last call for November sponsors.  Speak now or forever hold your peace!

Moving onward...

It's been a little while since I shared with you the nuggets of pure wisdom that have been escaping my students' mouths.  They've really been on one lately, and I spend half my day trying to find a sticky note so that I can scribble down the hilarious crap that they are spewing. The picture above makes me students look like straight up angels.  Don't be deceived.  They are anything but. Below you will find some of the best of the best as far as quoting teenager goes. (An occasional italics means it's a comment by me.  I couldn't resist!)

Written Words of Wisdom- taken from the angels' writing assignments:

Women get smarter and smarter by watching what their husbands do.

This teacher is chill as hell.  Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

I cannot stand writing. I’d rather clean the bathroom all day or sit in despair and pick my nose than write an essay.

This book report is for my wonderful teacher. Yes, I would like extra credit for this.

Writing reminds me of old people because most of my language arts teachers were either really old or not very good looking at all.

I spike my hair up with gel every day it’s my best friend. Without it, I don’t know what I’d do.

A picture to describe writing is Ellen Degeneres because she is gay, but cool, just like writing.

The treatment to a woman should always be the best. But bad treatment to a woman that is a witch could possibly be excused.

Reading takes up too much time and it’s only good for someone who doesn’t have a life.  Should I be offended?

Gatsby was a flawed character because he thought money could buy him happiness and hookers.  Well, I am pretty certain that it can buy at least one of those things...

Tom was born in 1800. He died in 1898. He was 25 years old.

One of my English teachers never blinked and one looked like a man, but was actually a girl.

That’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t share it with anyone.  After a student admitted being so upset one night that he punched a wall and broke his hand.
He compares love to church and I don’t know why anyone would compare love to church because I kind of hate church.

Everything worth anything is worth something. I had to read this about four times until I figured out it was saying absolutely nothing.

Now I know that these Shakespeare characters didn't have video games or football or Nascar, but come on, do something with your life!

Now we all know women are crazy. (Opening line of an essay about gender inequality)

I hate to tell you, Teacher, but this book was not believable at all.  Star Trek was more convincing!

When you’re a child you’re supposed to be a kid, get durty, burp, and fart in public.

Words of Wisdom spoken out loud in class.

It’s so hot in here I’m sweating like a farm animal.

Was that someone's cell phone’s vibrating? It sounded like a robot farted.
He’s a smart kid, just says stupid things.

We chose to do our presentation on love. It’s important because, well… without love none of us would even exist... if you know what I mean... Teacher?  Do you know what we mean?
(Yes, children.  I know what you mean)
I’d rather read the dictionary than read this.
I hate short stories! They’re so freakin short!

Me: Keaton, what are you doing? Keaton: Smelling my wallet…

Me:  Curtis, are you awake?  Curtis:  Kind of.
If Language Arts was a person, I’d shoot it.
When you’re a child you’re supposed to be a kid, get durty, burp, and fart in public.

I can’t write a five paragraph essay! I’m just a person who is much more to the point that that.

My pet peeve is when people ask me for a piece of gum.  Gum is getting really expensive nowdays!

And lastly, I present to you...

Questions of Wisdom:

Was Mr. Moorman named Moorman because he is a Mormon?  Yes, because characters are always named after their religion...

What was Shakespeare's first name? Was it just Shakespeare?

What the heck is Hitler Youth? Is that like Junior Jazz?

What is Tahiti?

What’s a character list? Is that like a list of characters?

So World War II was in the 1400s?

Me:  Imagine that I am your mom, and that I smoked in high school...
Student:  Oh my gosh you did!?!
Me:  No!  This is hypothetical.  So I'm a mom, I smoked in high school and now I have a kid who is in high school.
Student:  Oh my gosh, you do?!?

I know what you're thinking- I work with a bunch of freaking geniuses, right?!?  What can I say, I am teaching the next Einstein!

Now chime in!  Which of these quotes is the winner?  I might even give my student who said it extra credit!  Or maybe candy...  Yah, let's go with candy.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Because sometimes you can't make it alone

Last week I got a text from my old mission buddy, Hermana Recinos.  (June 2007-December 2008 I spent tromping around the jungles of Argentina trying to get people to convert their lives to Christ.  I like to call it my "mission" although it sounds super spy like, and that's just the way I like it!) In the real world I am supposed to call her Ashley, but since I knew her for a year a half as Hermana Recinos, I just can't seem to convert to the new name. 
"Hermana Blackburn!  I'm coming to Utah next week.  Let's do lunch!" She demanded via text.
And I said, "You bet your sweet bippy!"
We called Hermana Cowles, our other mission bestie, and said, "Lunch date Saturday!  Miss it and die!"  And thus it was set for the best reunion of all time.
Because Recinos lives in Phoenix, it had been a year and a half since I had seen her.  Cowles lives in Salt Lake so we got together more frequently, but I was absolutely elated at the idea of having the three of us together for lunch.
Turns out it was the four of us because Recinos' boy toy, Bully came along.  With a name like Bully I was naturally afraid that we has going to try to beat me up, but turns out he was real nice and he sat there and listened to all our mission reminiscing without looking too terribly bored.  Any boy who can listen to chicks' sob stories about their months spent in Argentina can stick around as far as I am concerned. 

 Circa 2008. 
I wanted to write that caption because I feel super legit any time I use the word "circa".

I have a special bond with these two girls.  Not just because we are buddies and have the same sense of humor and like to make stupid faces and giggle.  Our bond is deeper than that.  Deeper because we suffered together.  We went through pain and difficulties together. 

I absolutely loved my mission and the lessons I learned.  But it was hard.  The hardest thing I had ever done.  It tested me and tried me and stretched me in ways I didn't think possible.  I was miserable.  I cried.  I missed home.  I knocked on doors through hours of insufferable heat.  I faced rejection, I watched people I cared about make bad decisions, I begged people to come to Christ- most times without success.

In days that were dark and difficult for me, these two girls were the light.  These girls were Heavenly Father saying to me, "Hey Bon.  I'm going to throw some crazy stuff at you.  It's going to be so hard.  You're going to be lonely and homesick and you're going to wonder what the heck you're doing out here.  But I'm going to give you a couple of people to help you.  People who know what you're going through and that will be great friends to you, not only while you are here in Argentina, but for the rest of your life."

I clearly remember a conversation I had with my mom before I left on my mission.  She asked me what I was most nervous abou,t and I said I was nervous to lose all my friends.  I had such a great group of roommates- girls I absolutely adored.  We studied together, we lived together, we partied together.  They were my life.  I was sure they would all get married and have babies while I was gone and that I would come home a friendless, hopeless awkward returned sister missionary.

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that!" My mom was quick to answer, "You will make new friends while you're there!  You will build relationships that are just as strong as the relationships you have at home."

I was doubtful.

Turns out she was right.  I have kept in touch with these two girls in the four years that we have been home.  We have visited, slept over, and enjoyed countless lunches out together.  We've been through good times and hard times together.  Both were at my dad's funeral.  I will never forget how Hermana Cowles got off work in a heartbeat and how Hermana Recinos drove eight hours in winter weather to be there for me.  You can't buy these kinds of friendships.

I will forever be grateful for my mission and the the things it taught me.  To love.  To trust.  To sacrifice.  To pray.   I will forever be grateful for the person I became during that time.  But maybe most of all... I'll forever be grateful for these two girls who helped me through it.

Pictures from a post mission trip to visit Hermana Recinos in Phoenix. 
I think it might just be time for another visit? 
What do you do to keep in touch with important friends?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This is what a vacation looks like

Once again, I sit in utter shock and amazement to see the amount of effort it takes to summarize a vacation.  This post has more pictures, and all the witty Bonnie-isms you could hope for.  Scratch that.  No witty Bonnie-isms.  That whole phrase is just too weird.

Due to: the absolutely exhausting week (worst part about being a teacher, no one does your work when you leave.  This week has been busy busy busy playing catch up), the crank in my neck, and the fact that my eyelids are literally drooping as I write this I will tell you now there will be no editing or proofreading of this post.  Take as is.  There may be many a typo. 
Knock yourself out.

Tuesday, October 16 Oh, where to start with Tuesday. Tuesday was like hell on earth. Or hell on water? Monday night the ship captain came on and told us we would be changing our route because Hurricane Paul was on the loose. I tell you what, that Paul's a bully. I woke up Tuesday morning to rocking and lurching and thrusting of the non sexy variety. We were on the outskirts of a hurricane- powering by it in order to reach Puerto Vallarta by the next day. I tried to get up, consequently puked in the toilet, somehow managed to go up on deck where I found lots of other weary sea travelers. Plates were crashing down, kids were puking their guts out, and the captain came on to announce he had been driving for 30 hours and was very tired. Not exactly music to my ears. By the late afternoon the storm had passed and by the evening I could eat dinner. But it was a rough day at sea, and I tell you, I never had so much respect for Captain Sparrow as I did after Tuesday!

Highlights: Vomiting in the cabin toilet? No. Vomiting in the restaurant toilet? No. Vomiting in the innocent face of a ten year old stranger? Yes. (Gotcha! The third one didn't happen) Watching our waiter, Patrick, do a dance for us at dinner, and Hubs was up for round two at karaoke. This time a solo act!

Lowlights: Check highlights. It involves vomit.

Wednesday, October 17 We finally arrived in Mexico and we were off that puke invested ship faster than you can say "vomito!" Hubs and I were sent ahead to find excursions for the rest of the fam. I busted out my Spanish, but still got us practically nowhere. It wasn't until my bro, Dennis, arrived and bullied those Mexican thieves down to a reasonable price that we were off to ziplining, jumping in lakes, and wading in the warm, warm beach water. Thanks Hurricane Paul! (My eight year old nephew, Sam, informed me the water was so warm because of the hurricane. The kid's a genius and if you are interested I will hire him out to tutor.)

Highlights: Seeing a man in a bright blue speedo, watching my niece play in her half tutu/half swimsuit, authentic quesadillas, and feeling ground beneath my feet. PLUS: A trip to Mexican Wal-mart with a funky looking shopping cart and two desserts at dinner, Oh my!

Lowlights:  They were out of queso at the Mexican beach restaurant.  Come on, people, it's queso! Por favor!
The effects of Paul

 Me and my sis.  Can you tell we're related?


Thursday October 18  We were up early and hitting the beach once again.  We got beat up by a bunch of waves, ripped off by some tenacious Mexican salesmen, and  worked over by the sun.  I think it was after this day that we realized the fierce cruelty of the Mexican sun.  He isn't kind.  No, he isn't.

Highlights:  The most interesting thing washed up on shore.  Why, it was a normal fish trying to eat a puffer fish!  A local swimmer came over and took it into his own hands to rescue both fish by trying to get Mr. Puffer out with sticks.  When that didn't work he started shaking big fish to try to get Mr. Puffer out.  They both died.  And we were all eyewitnesses to the most fantastic fish journey of our lives.

Lowlights:  My nephew, Davy, totally beat me in the "How much can I eat on a cruise" contest.  He inhaled that food.  Everytime I saw him he had food in his hands.  Most often pizza, second only to the soft serve ice cream cones.  He put me to shame with his food consumption.

Friday October 19 Cabo!  We were off the boat bright and early.  8 am!  On vacation!  Our time in Cabo was limited to hours- we were supposed to be back on boat by 1:30.  Curse you, Paul!  Larry ruined my first cruise and now you ruined my second!  We hit as much Cabo as we could in a few hours, taking a "glass bottomed" tour around to the best sites.  We pretty much got ripped off, but hey, it's all part of the experience, right?!?
Highlights:  Snorkeling, watching my brother, Reed, walk around the beach with his flippers on, jumping off the rocks into the water, the biggest waves I've ever played in, the warm warm warm sun, not a cloud in the sky, and breathtaking views.  For dinner, Patrick started messing around with the napkin on Reed's head and boy did I get a kick out of that.  Later it was time for a shimmy dance by Patrick and this time Hubs even joined in.  Spicy!
Lowlights: Not enough time in Cabo.  It was the part of the cruise I was looking forward to the most and felt a little like I got highjacked by only having a few hours there.  I want to complain to Carnival, but then I remember a hurricane doesn't necessarily fall under the realm of what they can control.

My sister is always sporting sweet hair like this.  Please check out this post for her best hair ever. (Hint:  It's the last picture in the post.) 

Kathryn lived in India for a year so she can pull off sexy Indian outfits like this.  The rest of us cannot.
Saturday October 20  A full day on the boat, with a cruise ship hauling butt back up to Long Beach.  We swam, we ate, we laid around and wondered if we could return to real life. I did my best to put the stacks of essays that awaited me out of my mind.
Highlights:  The best food I had the whole cruise- a steak salad at lunch.  Absolutely to die for.  Lots of time playing with nieces and nephews, and one gigantic family photo (Will show later.)  A goodbye to Patrick, an unsightly sight at dinner, and one last trip to the hot tub late at night.
Lowlights:  Packing.  I always put off packing as long as I can because I figure if I don't pack them I'm not really going home, right?
Can you tell we're looking a little sunburned? 

 After lots of hard work, Hubs has officially stolen this girl's heart.