Book of the Week: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Watch the video above to hear what I thought of The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins. Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained and, moreover, beardless.

Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable… monster*!

Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it? And what, most importantly, are they going to do with Dave?

The first book from a new leading light of UK comics, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is an off-beat fable worthy of Roald Dahl. It is about life, death and the meaning of beards.

(*We mean a gigantic beard, basically.)

A few other things I found interesting this week:

  • Kate Baer’s Curated Tweets [Volume 2] had me cracking up at my desk today. There are so many clever people in this world.
  • I’m Glad No One Tweeted My #PlaneBreakup Experience
    The world laughed along as Kelly Keegan tweeted out a couple’s disastrous uncoupling at 39,000 feet, but what does it say about us that we get so much joy from the public humiliation (and often public shaming) of others. I really appreciated this reminder from Bethany  Mandel to grant one another a little kindness when we happen to witness someone having a terrible day.
  • Librarians on Bikes Are Delivering Books and WiFi to Kids in “Book Deserts”
    This is just cool, and it makes me feel very proud of my fellow librarians. (I still get a thrill when I refer to myself as a librarian. Dream job all day.)

That’s it for this week. Have a happy Friday!

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Book of the Week: The Crossover

Watch the video above to hear what I thought of The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

A few other things I found interesting this week:

  • Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video 
    Hank Green (of vlogbrothers fame) makes some very important points about Facebook as a video platform. It’s an important reminder to think about who created all of those videos that are autoplaying as you scroll through your feed – often, the person gaining likes and shares is NOT the person who worked hard to create the content. As the PDS Digital Compass reminds us, it’s important to Credit Others. (You can read more about our Digital Citizenship initiative on the One2World blog.)

This little review+roundup is going to be a weekly feature, so if you have a title you’d like to see reviewed or an article to share, please leave me a comment!

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Middle School Magic and Mystery

Board_8-15

This morning, I officially started my first school year as a Middle School Librarian.

We’ve been working since last week, meeting as a whole faculty and in smaller teams, discussing protocol and personality.  I brainstormed with faculty members and set up my office. I met my Advisee students and put together Back to School goodie bags that 6th-grade-Corley would have FREAKED OUT over. I shelved books. I straightened my area.

I am totally prepared.

Also, not at all prepared.

There is such a crackling excitement in the air. I’ve been at PDS for three years now, so I’m used to the Back to School buzz. But this is my first year as a member of faculty, and everything is different on this side of the fence.

I always loved decorating my notebooks and book covers with white-out pens and inside-out paper bags. Last week, I tapped into those skills as I trimmed paper and used an expert combination of glue sticks, cotton balls, and the classic dye-cut paper letters to make my first bulletin board. I browsed the shelves to curate books to match my theme – Middle School Magic and Mystery.

This morning, as I wove my way through the suddenly crowded halls, protecting my coffee from backpacks and other hazards (priorities), I felt a sense of excitement and anticipation that I haven’t felt since my own first day of sixth grade (no need to say how many years ago). I can so clearly remember approaching my school with my new backpack and oversize Keroppi t-shirt (so cool), wondering if anyone would like me or beat me up or if everyone would ignore me entirely.

Middle School truly is a time of magic and mystery. By May, we will all have changed so much. We’ll spend this year learning, growing, and adapting as we grow into our new Middle School selves.

It’s the first day of Middle School all over again, and I know it’s going to be a great year.

And now for something completely different

This is going to be a post about a significant life change, so I’ll give you a second to buckle your seatbelt/put on your goggles/brace yourself in whatever manner you see fit. Just go ahead and continue reading when you’re ready.

Ready? OK. Here we go.

A long, long time ago, when Josh and I were wee college graduates just dipping our toes into the world of marriage and adulthood and career tracks, we talked about going to graduate school. Josh was confident in his plan – he wanted to get his Masters in Literature before he started teaching, and he had his acceptance letter in hand. I was considering different programs, mainly Literature and Library Science (and, for a hot minute, the Center for Cartoon Studies). Because I didn’t have a plan, and because we were broke newlyweds, we decided that I would work full-time while Josh was in school, and then I would take my turn after he finished.

look at those sweet, baby newlyweds

Just look at those sweet, baby newlyweds. Photo: The Schultzes

We moved to Asheville, and I hopped around to a couple of different jobs before landing at Earth Fare. Within three months, I was promoted from store employee to Web Manager – starting me in the direction of a career in web strategy, content, and digital marketing. I started out working for a great company, and each move I have made since signing on at Earth Fare has felt right and good – and yet there was always this mystery in my rearview mirror, the what if that I just couldn’t shake.

I’ve been at Providence Day School for three years, and I love it. Seriously. I’m young, but I was a serial job-hopper before I landed here, and now I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. I love the campus, I am amazed by the students, I seriously like the people I work with. And this spring, I posted a job to the school website that brought the mystery in my rearview mirror back into clear focus.

The job? Middle School Librarian.

As soon as I saw the request to post the job, I felt a pang of preemptive jealousy toward whoever landed in that position. My reaction honestly surprised me – I didn’t know how badly I wanted this until I saw the faintest glimmer of a chance that it might be available. After some serious soul-searching, sleep-losing, and talking with Josh, I decided to go for it. I put together a tumblr with a few of my initial ideas, submitted my letter of interest, and went through the interview process.

And I got the job.

Madam Librarian...

photo via

So, yes. Things are changing around here. Starting in August, I’m officially a librarian. I do want to start blogging again – but my content will probably have a more academic focus – think lesson ideas, book reviews, general commentary on libraries and librarian-y things, and reflection on my life as I finally pursue that Masters degree. Some things will stay the same – I’ll never stop posting Henry pictures. Some things will hopefully be brought back to life – looking at you, #ukulelewednesday. 

And mostly, I’ll be figuring things out as I go.

So I hope you’re with me! I think it’s going to be a fun ride. And if you or someone you know are a Charlotte local looking for work in the digital marketing field, drop me a line. I know a great place that’s hiring.

(PS – Just a housekeeping note – I’ve changed my blog URL to just www.corleymay.com, so if you’re following via feedly, bloglovin, or some other aggregator, you may need to adjust your feed settings. xoxo.)