What does YALSA stand for? Young Adult Library Service Association. I actually utilized this website when filling out my Bingo Card for YaLit class this semester and I love it. This week I spent some more time exploring the sight and checking it out and of course I had to have my Goodreads account open to add more lists to a TBR list that I will never complete. I like having goals I will never accomplish because it keeps me going. If I had created a TBR list that I knew I could accomplish in one summer it would make me sad because there was nothing to look forward to after I had accomplished my goal.

There are a several different lists for book awards and book awards are a great way to find books. These books are obviously good since they received an award but book lists always get me thinking about the author and then I go find more books by them. I can never stop promoting Goodreads because it is the best but when you add books up in the right hand corner it gives you book recommendations based on the book you just added. I have found several books from Goodreads recommendations.

My favorite lists are Picks for Reluctant Readers and Teens’ Top Ten Award. Picks for Reluctant Readers are guaranteed to be good books because they are mean to get reluctant readers reading. Teen’s Top Ten are books picked by teens, and who is a better judge of YA lit than teens. I also explored the Odyssey award which is given to Audiobooks. I did not know there was an award for Audiobooks and it is extremely cool. I loved reading the descriptions and explanations for why the award was given. I found several books from that list that I am excited to read.

One thing that surprised me while reading through the lists were how many books I had read that were on the lists. I don’t really think about what award(s) the book has won before I read it so it was a big surprise to see all these books I had read had won an award(s).

I most definitely want to keep utilizing this site when I become a teacher. It’s a great site to find books that have been vetted but it is also a great site to tell my students to use. Students can explore the YALSA blog or the Hub, which is devoted to all things Literature and Teen. They can also explore the lists of books that have received awards and add them to their TBR lists. Students can follow YALSA on Twitter as well.


Daily Create #2

#tdc1544 Turn Monument Valley into a Surrealistic Landscape.

I had a lot of fun with this one because I have been studying Surrealistic art. I don’t know if I what I accomplished would be considered Surrealist by André Breton but I am pretty proud of what I could do with what little resources I have. 17544863034_15be1546d8_o.jpg

I did add my own signature just for fun but I got this photo from Flickr Creative Commons user Alexander Russy.

Learning to Unplug #DigLit

I didn’t have a phone until I graduated high school and then it took me only one year to buy an iPhone. I desperately wanted an iPhone and now that I have it I question if it really was worth the money and the monthly bill.

How could you not have a phone?! Well let me tell you it wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t have gotten left at a basketball game and had to go home with a friend until my mom was done with her meeting so she could come pick me up (did I also mention I didn’t have a car until second semester of my freshman year of college). It wasn’t easy living without a cellphone or a car but I survived and personally I think I am the better for it. I didn’t get caught up in the Snapchat or Instagram craze (for the record I have a Snapchat but I do not snapchat. I only reply to snapchats people send to me. I also have a Instagram account but I never posted anything so I deleted the app and I have no idea what my login information is) and I learned to not post to Facebook every day. I also didn’t have a Twitter which is a fact I was proud of until I had to get one for my Digital Literacy class and  my Adolescent Literature (either way I had to get one).

I don’t really use technology. I rarely post to Facebook and usually it is some kind of big life event so relatives or friends who live in other states can get a life update. I mostly check FB for pictures of my cousins kids because they have some adorable children. Also my friends are at the stage in life where they are having kids. I used to laugh at pictures like this but now I have become that person.


I’m going to be honest once my classes are over I’m probably not going to check Twitter at all or tweet because social media isn’t a big deal to me. Pinterest is a big deal to me and I know that I waste time on Pinterest but unlike feeling bad about using Facebook , I feel relaxed and happy after looking at Pinterest. I really love Pinterest, except for one thing: SPOILERS! I watch all my TV shows on Netflix because I hate regular TV. All my tv shows usually take about a year after airing on regular TV to come to Netflix and by then Pinterest is exploding with spoilers especially about a certain Walking Dead couple that wasn’t a couple in the last season. GRRRR!!!

I really agree with Paul Miller in his TED talk below that there needs to be a balance. I don’t think all social media is bad because without it I wouldn’t be able to see pictures of friends from my old high school and their adorable children. I wouldn’t have found awesome book recommendations and without Pinterest I wouldn’t have learned to love my   Introverted Self.

I think as a society we have become addicted to our phones and they have become our safety net. Over spring break I was having problems with my phones internet connection so for about two weeks I was without internet and found myself relying on wifi. I thought it was going to be awful and couldn’t wait to figure out what was wrong with my phone and fix it, but I ended up having one of the best weeks of my life. I just relaxed and didn’t worry because I knew there was nothing I could do. I learned to let go of technology and it was really relaxing. I got my phone fixed, but I find that I really do not use my phone’s internet capabilities that much. I tend to still only use it when I have wifi and just put it aside when I don’t. Sometimes I even forget I have a phone, and when I check it I have a thousand notifications and at least one text message from someone delivered three hours earlier.

I think I could turn of FB, Pinterest, Twitter and maybe Netflix (I don’t know why I said maybe because I know I would break down in the first 12 hours) for several weeks, but my one guilty pleasure that I know I could not do without is Dragonvale. It is a really stupid game that I have, but I think everyone needs a guilty pleasure :).

This summer I am working at a bible camp and one of the new rules is no cell phones and while it kinda freaks me out I am actually looking to unplugging for the summer.

Surrealist Film #DigLit

This week I wanted to focus more on Surrealist film and so to give you a taste I’m going to share some famous Surrealist films with you.

This last film reminded me slightly of Rene Magritte’s painting The Lovers.

I admit they are all strange and don’t really make sense and I kinda skim watched. I personally prefer Un Chien Andalou which was on my last blog post about Surrealism.

If you want an entertaining more modern Surrealist film watch the Twin Peaks series. If I had known they were surrealist before watching the first season I might have understood the series a little better.

There are some longer films that run about an hour but I figure 30 minutes is the max that most people can take of French subtitles and strange images.


Daily Create Redo: Day #1

I really failed at starting my daily create the beginning of this month so I am now starting over and have also set a 30 day challenge of getting up every morning at 8:30. Now some of you are probably thinking why is this a big deal, well it is because I don’t have class until 11 MWF and no class on T,TH. I could sleep in as late as I want but it is making me an extremely lazy person so I have decided for the next thirty days I am going to get up at 8:30 get ready for the day and do my daily create.

Today’s daily create is:

In his relentless pursuit of the Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote has relied on many fine products from the Acme Corporation. But have they kept up with modern times?

Refer to this poster of every Acme Product designed by Rob Loukotka — and find something new for Wile E. Design it as a drawing or a poster.

This is my create:





Learning to Love Myself: Introvert


This will hopefully be the first blog in a series of blogs about learning to love myself/oneself. I read a blog post today by a classmate about a TED talk video that focused on introversion. It caught my attention immediately because I am an introvert. Watch the TED talk please because it’s great even if you don’t consider yourself a introvert.

When I was a kid I was painfully shy. I hated meeting new people and being in crowds. I would hide behind my mom and simply refuse to talk to people. I seriously thought something was wrong with me until I started a board on Pinterest called This is me and started figuring out that in addition to being shy I was also an introvert and I wasn’t alone. All my friends in school were extroverts so I always felt left out when I said I’d rather stay at home and read then hang out. I seriously thought I was just weird and anti-social. I didn’t understand the concept of me time and that being social tired me out mentally. I thought I needed to be more social and out going and it was making me seriously depressed. Pinterest isn’t just for recipes, fitness and planning the perfect wedding, it helped me learn to love my introverted self. It helped me to realize I am not the only one that would prefer to stay at home in a blanket fort and watch Netflix until 1:00 in the morning or reading a really good book (I have done both :).

This doesn’t mean I don’t like to socialize because I do but I would rather socialize with a small group of really good friends than a large group of people I don’t know. Socializing for me is all about personal connections and getting to know other people really well. My ideal conversation would focus on deep life issues or a book rather than boys, who posted what to Facebook or the latest gossip.

For the past two summers I have worked at an amazing camp in Western NE. The first summer I was there, I worked with two guy counselors who were the craziest extroverts I ever met (they were also best friends, which made it all the more crazier :). I was exhausted at the end of every day from hanging out with them because they didn’t understand the concept of alone time. They had to be doing something all the time or get sad whereas I would rather be alone and have a little fun time or I get sad. That summer taught me that I love to socialize but I need alone time as well or I become crabby and sad.

It’s been a crazy journey learning to love me as I am, introverted and all. I most certainly have had my fair share of sob moments and comfort food. I thought my only regret would be that I hadn’t figured that being an introvert was ok sooner, but one of my favorite quotes is “The Journey is the Destination”. Learning that I was an introvert was the ultimate result. If I hadn’t taken the time to learn to love me I might not have liked the immediate me. Instead of learning to accept who I was and stop trying to change I might have continued to try and change myself. I love that I am introvert, and the fact I can watch five seasons of Netflix and not feel sad that I didn’t actually do something with my time. Ok, maybe that is a little weird, but the point is I like being alone and that doesn’t make me weird, that makes me, me. God created me to be an introvert with a wild side and I love me.


I had to share this because this describes me every time I finish a series on Netflix or I finish the most current season.

26 Pound Gummy Python #DigLit


This week I learned about a topic that I have slowly been discovering. It is the concept of using social media for activism. Social media is not what it used to be when I was sixteen and that was only four years ago. When I first got a Facebook I was twelve and Facebook was so different. I used to update my status everyday. I hardly post on Facebook now. I mostly use it as a way to keep up with people and see pictures of their adorable children. Facebook is more personal now in that you are friends with family and friends and post updates of your life. It’s not really a way to meet new people or have PLN. Twitter is most definitely the place to meet new people, build a PLN, share ideas. Facebook is like the mom of social media, Twitter is the professional father and sometimes the teenager, but Instagram and Snapchat are the teenager.

Teens love social media and use it everyday. It is a great way to stay connected, but it is also a great way to promote ideas and causes. Which is where the gummy python comes in. I read an article My kids, a cause and our classroom blog, which focused on a classroom using social media to promote the crazy amount of sugar in food that consumed daily by teenagers. I don’t think students daily consumer 26 pound gummy pythons but things like Gatorade are not as healthy as we thought they were. Sugar is a cheap sweetener and good tasting stuff sells. These students are blogging, tweeting and promoting. This is not something I would have done at their age and I think it’s great. It gets kids into the real world and we’ll still see them as kids but now they are advocators as well. The old saying “kids should be seen but not heard” is being thrown out the window. They are ready to be heard and be seen.

Teens are using social media to help one another as well. God Loves You, finalist in Teen Activism. @Whytostaystrong is only fifteen yet they have created a account to help people with depression, self harm, eating disorders. They want to help and they want others to know they are not alone. The winner this year of the Teen Activism award is sixteen and you can read about her here Project Buddy. Social media may be accused of making our world less social but it’s also helping make our world a community. I’m not saying talking to strangers on the Internet is ok but sometimes it’s nice knowing someone else understands what you are going through. I watched a video last week called 140 characters of kindness and the speaker spoke about how when his dog died people he didn’t know reached out to him on Twitter. Complete strangers wanted to let him know they were feeling for him. Yes, there are scary people out on the Internet, but there are also amazing wonderful people who are just looking for a connection.

Don’t be afraid to be the change in the world. Use what you can to be that change and don’t be afraid to connect.