Summertime Service

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This is my mom’s classroom right before we get to work putting it together.

Since my mom has been a teacher for over twenty years, I have experienced first-hand all of the work that goes into teaching, both in and out of the classroom. I am well aware of all of the extra work that goes into teaching a few hundred new students each year: planning lessons, grading homework and tests, and an abundance of meetings. I’ve done my fair share of helping my mother with lessons, PowerPoints, grading tests, and sitting in on meetings when I was younger. However, most of my job as a teacher’s child came in at the beginning of the year before my mother’s new students arrive on the first day, and at the end of the year after they’ve gone home for the summer. In order for the school’s janitors to thoroughly clean every room of the school, or to potentially change classrooms, teachers must pack up their rooms at the end of the year so that everything is off the floor and walls, but also be able to put it all back before the students return in August.

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Like Mother Like Daughter

Many people do not realize when I first started seriously considering which college I would attend sometime in middle school, LMU was near the absolute bottom of the list. It wasn’t because there was anything inherently wrong with LMU– I didn’t want to go because that’s where so many people around me figured I would go! They thought this because my mother had recently gone back to school to receive her Ed.S., or Educational Specialist degree, through LMU and I suppose they thought that would make me have a preference for the university. Now that I look back on it, it makes sense why so many people assumed LMU would be one of my top choices, but back then it definitely didn’t make any sense. Every conversation about college eventually brought up my mother’s decision to further her education and the more times people asked if I wanted to go where she chose to go, the more irritated I became.

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While my mother attending LMU had a large and incredibly beneficial impact on where I would eventually go to pursue my own education, at first I wanted to do anything other than follow my mother’s footsteps to college.

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The Fault in Our Blogs

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My whole life has been affected in one way or another by my love for books. As an only child who was rather shy and who didn’t have many friends outside of school, one of my favorite things to do was clean and reorganize the little bookshelf I had in my room. I only had a few dozen books back then but they were my most favorite possessions. Girls my age at the time were obsessed with horses and dolls; I was obsessed with books. I loved to read so much that I quickly figured out how to read and walk at the same time. It seemed like a waste of precious time to simply walk places- I could also squeeze in one more precious page, sentence, or word. Looking back, I think I was always  meant to be an English major!

Certain books stick with me for years after I initially read them and, in some cases, make me want to read them over and over again. Some people do not understand why I choose to read books again before enough time has passed for me to forget what happens so I can be at least a little surprised with the end. I find more in between the pages of a book each time I reread it. I remember what was going on in my life as I was reading a book for the first time when I reread it.  I’ll think to myself, “I was at this part while in the waiting room at the doctor’s office,” or “I finished this book at 2 a.m. on a school night…that may not have been such a good idea.”

I have always struggled between wanting to read a new book I’ve been dying to read for months (maybe years!) or reading a

"Why can't I read seven books at once?"

“Why can’t I read seven books at once?”

TFiOS movie poster with Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus.

TFIOS movie poster with Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus.

book I particularly enjoyed for the second or third time. One of my favorites I have read a handful of times in the past two years is John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which has recently been released as a film adaptation and proved to be a box office hit. The Fault in Our Stars, commonly abbreviated to TFIOS by its fans, tells of sixteen-year-old stage IV cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster. While attending a weekly support group, Hazel meets Augustus Waters who had a “little touch of osteosarcoma” a year and a half prior to the time of the plot. They almost instantly hit it off and the two of them are left to navigate the two worlds of adolescent romance and the tragedy of cancer simultaneously.

While a great deal of the novel focuses on the growing romantic relationship between Hazel and Augustus, the most profound aspect of Green’s book was the way in which Hazel and Augustus saw and interacted with the world around them.

Warning: Massive TFIOS spoilers lie ahead!

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