Review of, They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher, by Pete Springer

It’s Monday morning, and as night slowly emerges into day, I’m thinking back to a great weekend. Great because I was able to have an in person visit with some family members for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

As no doubt you’ve “guessed” from the title, I’m starting off the week with a book review. I hope you have a great day!

What’s it about?

Here’s the first paragraph from the book that sums it up nicely:

How did I get here? It seems like an odd question. I’m not just learning about the birds and the bees as I approach age sixty. It is more of a question of reflection as I look back at an incredible thirty-one-year career in education. The staff I worked with are some of the best people I know in the world. The students I taught motivated me to want to be a better teacher and person. I have a lifetime of happy memories to draw on that have inspired me.

My Thoughts:

I have to be honest, when I first picked up this book, I was expecting the pages to be filled with anecdotes. Please don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of these within the pages that complement the overall theme of the book. I’m not sure why I had originally come to this conclusion, when the very title suggests otherwise.

I want to stress that I was NOT disappointed by this realization. Not by a long shot. Pete does an excellent job of sharing wisdom, insight, and common-sense approaches to the struggles and rewards of this noble profession. It was an eye opener for me, and I’ve come to possess a new appreciation for those who work in the education field. It is very apparent that Pete was and remains, very dedicated and passionate about his calling as a teacher.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who works, or is thinking about a career, in the education field. As a parent, it was certainly a behind the curtain peek at an often misunderstood and underappreciated profession.  

Meet Pete Springer and grab your copy:

I’m a retired elementary teacher (31 years) who will always be a strong advocate for children, education, and teachers. My favorite thing to do as a teacher was to read to my students, and now I’m following my heart and writing children’s books for middle grades.

Amazon.com

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Photos With Captions To Make You Smile And Think

I’m back with another round of photos from daily life. My, things have changed both inside and outside since my last post. Outside, we’ve acquired some white groundcover, love or hate it, winter’s here. Personally, I’ve got mixed feelings about winter; I hate the shorter days, but love skiing and the fact that the cold kills off a lot of nasty bugs. Meanwhile, indoors, it’s looking a lot like Christmas, and much earlier than usual this year.

Let’s get this picture show in the air! Onwards Rudolph, Dasher, Blitzen, Prancer, Crasher, Comet, Vixen, Cupid, Dancer, and Donner! Did you spot the extra reindeer?

“Can’t say for sure, Jeb, but I’m sensing a pattern.”

When you answer, “Sure.” to, “Can I borrow your camera, Dad?”

Not even the pouring rain could snuff their evil glow!

My prayer for you, today.

Liberty

Jeff tripped on a rock, stubbing his toe, and almost dropping Liberty.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” he promised the Bold. “I’m sorry but it’s time for you to go. The fog’s rolled in and that will help you escape Crusher. Please don’t cry, don’t be afraid. Liberty will take you far away. She’s a great ship. My Grandpa and I made her.”

The lump in Jeff’s throat felt bigger than a jawbreaker candy. He should know because he almost swallowed one, once. It was one of the scariest things in his life, almost as scary as Crusher.

Jeff reached the edge of Pine Grove Bay, and gently slipped the driftwood ship into the still water. He took the yellow nylon rope and watched as a gentle breeze pushed against the cloth sails, carrying the good people towards the bigger waters of Gull Lake. He smiled and waved, hoping that it would calm them down, as they begged him not to let go of the rope.

Wherever they ended up, it would be better than here. Better than the everyday meanness from Crusher. That monster loved to torment the Bold. He hated their art, said it was just as ugly as they were, just before he would wreck it. He took their money so they couldn’t buy food and threatened a beating should they tell anyone. Jeff had to make sure that he’d never let the beast see Liberty.

Jeff knew what the word ‘bold’ meant, but he was too afraid to stand up against Crusher, who was a lot bigger than him. He’d felt ashamed and after a while, he’d gone to the King and Queen to plead for help for the Bold.

But the King said that The Crusher was really just a coward and that it was up to Jeff to fight him off. The Queen said that sometimes there are just monsters, and they build something called character.

Jeff didn’t see it that way. He let the rope go and plugged his ears against the cries of the Bold. His eyes blurred with tears as he watched them go. One of the Bold jumped overboard, he was splashing in the water . . . no, drowning!

Jeff ran into the cold water, not worried about getting his clothes soaked. He scooped up the little man who immediately yelled, “What about Princess Carlan? She’ll help! She believes in us!”

“Um, I don’t know—”

“Yes! Princess Carlan! Take us back, Jeff! We don’t want to go!” The Bolds on the ship yelled.

Jeff was frightened but he thought that this might be the right thing to do, so he grabbed the rope and brought Liberty back to shore. Everyone cheered!

Jeff went back to the palace. The Queen wasn’t happy to see him soaking wet. She told him that he’d be late for school and that Miss Carlan would not want such a mess in her classroom.

Jeff quickly changed and set Liberty back on his dresser. He grabbed his backpack while his stomach twisted into knots.

He hurried down the sidewalk, his legs feeling evermore like cooked spaghetti with each step. But Princess Carlan was so nice. She’d always said he was smart, a good artist, and that his stories took her places, whatever that meant. She would help, he had to believe that.

The open doors to Gull Lake Elementary were bigger than a Blue Whale’s mouth, but at least there was no sign of Crusher.

Jeff closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was time to be brave; it was time to ask his teacher help.

Review of, The Reckoning: A Time Travel Thriller(Book One of the Series), by D.M. Taylor

Well, it’s day three of quarantine and that nasty little COVID bug still has me holed up in our office/bedroom. But hey, it’s not all bad. This thing feels like a minor cold, and I’ve been able to get plenty of writing and reading done. Speaking of which, I’m pleased to share my latest read and it’s a good one!

The Details:

If Katniss Everdeen had a PhD in Quantum Physics she’d be a perfect fit in Dr. Taden Barrett’s world of time travel.
Can Taden’s technology save her country or will she make a choice that even time travel can’t undo?

My Thoughts:

I’m not a habitual reader of science fiction . . . but wow! This book was a literary riptide that didn’t release me until the final word. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I’ve been fascinated with time travel since I knew how to read a clock.

Aside from the thrilling and 3 g-force plot twists, I believe this story appeals to the sentimentalist in most of us. If it were possible, who among us wouldn’t entertain at least the thought of returning to our past and righting a wrong, or spending one last time with a deceased loved one?

True to most tales that deal with time travel, there are caveats about interfering with the past, though not so disastrous as the destruction of the universe.

Taylor has built well rounded, strong, intelligent, and resilient male and female characters that keep things moving at a fluid pace.

The only issue I found, and this is just my personal opinion of course, was the occasional use of parenthesis. Yes, I know it’s just me being picky, but I’m not a fan of them in books. I just want you to know that they are used sparingly and in no way interfered with my enjoyment of this book. I definitely have my eye on the next one in the series.

FIVE STARS!

Please note that I do not post reviews of books that I deem to be less than four stars. Life’s too short, and if I don’t enjoy the read, I simply won’t finish it.

Meet D.M. Taylor

D.M. Taylor is a full-time writer with a constant desire to be at the beach or as close to a combination of: water, sand, and sunshine as she can. You can tell by looking at all of the freckles she has collected as evidence.

If she’s not writing in her tiny cottage by the lake, then it’s not summer. The rest of the year, she’s writing on her couch under blankets near a giant bay window. On the less romantic days of writing, and let’s be real–most of them, her pages come together while waiting in a car for one of her kids–as part of her chauffeur gig.

Her gravitational pull to science fiction, developed throughout her teacher training; where she concentrated on science education. Graduating from Michigan Tech with an Applied Science Master’s Degree jumpstarted her geeky interests. An obsession of time travel pushed through her romantic notions of the world and the easy fear she holds of anything frightening. Together, these elements created a writer of: sci-fi thrillers who sprinkles in a bit of slow burn.

Accruing in her head is a checklist of places to travel, items to accomplish, and book ideas to write.

She regenerates from deep conversation, dancing, and laughter.

Connect with her and grab your copy:

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