Monday, March 16, 2020

Update on My Activities

I am trying to psych myself up for listing books on eBay.   I am having trouble doing so, due to my fear of contracting COVID-19.  I am afraid of going into my post office or anywhere, for that matter.  I was happy that my post office smelled of Lysol on Saturday morning, but I remain concerned.  My fear is not good for my mental health, although my caution is better than being cavalier about it like all the people who packed Walt Disney World on its last night open.

I tend to be a worrier.  My school district said on Friday, as we released for spring break, that it intended to have school on Monday, March 23.  My thought was, Sure you are.  I wasn't going to worry about it.  By yesterday, I had a niggling concern about it, which increased today.  I can't help it; that's just how I am.  I had no intention of going back on March 23 and had even left the stack of worksheets and sub directions on my desk.  The plan was to start using my personal leave, if necessary.  But I didn't want to let my students down.  They need someone to actually explain the problems to them.

Fortunately, the Oklahoma State Department of Education voted today to cancel all public schools in Oklahoma through April 6.  Whew.  That, at least, made sure that every district will close, which would not otherwise have been the case.  Best of all, we are not allowed to grade papers.  That made me laugh.  I left my few papers at the school with no intention of grading them before school resumes.

I personally think that the school year is over.  I don't see how we can go back before the end of the year, which is supposed to be on May 22.  It's odd to think that I could actually, for all practical purposes, already be on summer break.  I'm not going to enjoy this extra time, since I'm so worried about all the people of the world.  It weighs on me.

I have such great students this year.  I'm mourning a bit, since I believe the year is pretty much over.  I figure that at some point, probably in June, we will go back to wrap things up.  This is so sad.

I also wonder about my salary.  I do have money in savings, so I will be okay, regardless.  Also, I understand that the federal government is apparently going to see that workers do not take losses.  Therefore, I am not concerned about the money.  I am merely curious.  Will the district continue to pay me even though I have served only 75% of my contract?  These are interesting times.

I have felt, since January, that this is the most significant world event of my lifetime.  I never expected to live through anything like this.  Everything about this event is surreal, and the United States has not quite reached the really bad part.

Enough of that.

I read Christopher Pike's Spooksville series a few years ago.  I really enjoyed those books.  I love everything Christopher Pike, for that matter.  I am such a Pike fan girl.  Squeee!

Anyway, a television series based on Spooksville aired from 2013 to 2014 and was cancelled after one season.  I decided, since I am now on extended quarantine, that it was high time that I watch the shows.

I purchased the entire season of 22 episodes on YouTube for $24.99.  The series can also be purchased on Amazon and other places, probably at $24.99.

I have so far watched three episodes and am on the fourth.  Honestly, the books are better.  Isn't that almost always the case?  The one exception is Twilight, where the films are better.  In fact, having read the books makes the films really good, since I understand Bella quite well.  But I digress.

The problem with the Spooksville television series is that Christopher Pike's humor is not present.  That is an epic fail.  I love Pike.  He is so funny.  Take away his voice, and the story falls flat.  Ugh.

I will keep watching, however.  The shows might get better.  They are interesting enough to watch, even though nowhere near as good as the books.

I also started reading the Harry Potter series again the other day.  I have read most of the set more than once.  I have read the first book several times.  I have stayed away from Harry Potter ever since I read the seventh book for the first time due to a distaste that I developed as a result of the hype and some comments made by J. K. Rowling.  I found an old blog post from 2013 where I explained my grievances.
I read the first four Harry Potter books at about the time that the fourth book was published and volumes five through seven during the following several years as each of those titles were published.  I dearly loved the first four Harry Potter books, but I was somewhat soured on the series due to some dissatisfaction with the final three books.

Part of the problem was the extreme hype surrounding the series.  I hated trying to enjoy something while news reporters who likely had no interest in the series prattled on about various plot details.  It was so annoying.

I recall joining a Yahoo! Group and reading all of the speculation surrounding one of the characters.  I was then greatly annoyed by a Rowling interview in which she effectively shot down the speculation by making a statement about not understanding how people could be drawing certain conclusions.  That effectively ruined it for me.  Sometimes authors need to keep their mouths shut.

The funny thing is... Rowling's comments from that interview were purposefully misleading.  Again, authors need to keep their mouths shut and let their books do the talking.  She ruined it for me.

Furthermore, Rowling's books became wordier and wordier with each new book, and it became apparent that little editing had been done for the last three books.  The fifth book was particularly awful in that at least one-third of the text could have been removed, thus making the book far less boring.  The epilogue at the end of the seventh book was stupid and should not have been included.  It would have been far better to have had more falling action than to have included that nonsense.

Someday I might read the Harry Potter series again, but it is going to be a long time before I consider doing so.  I have too many bad memories of not enjoying parts of the last three books.  If the books had been carefully edited, that would never have been a problem.  It's a shame, really.
So here I am.  It has been nearly 13 years since I read the seventh and final book in the set for the first and only time.  I can carry a grudge for a long time.  It is only due to COVID-19 that I am reading Harry Potter again.  Otherwise, it might have been another 13 years.

Upon this reading, I did not enjoy the first book very much.  Overall, I found it boring.  The plot moves too slowly.  I have started the second book and am liking it very much.  That's a good sign.  I probably can read through the entire set, although I expect that I will have to skim a lot in books 4 through 7.  I wish that the publisher had actually edited those books and reduced the length somewhat.  Remember:  Less is more.


Tai said...

Couldn't you arrange for the post office to pick up your packages from your home? If selling online makes you too uneasy now and it won't be a financially burden, pause your shops. If your regulars, don't understand too bad. :p

Jennifer White said...

I do not trust my postal carrier to get my packages to the post office safely. He uses Bluetooth to talk on the phone constantly, and he makes many mistakes.