Book Unhaul (Part 2)

Book Unhaul (Part 2)

GOING ON.pngHello  and happy Wednesday. As promised, I bring you part 2 of my book unhaul. I’ll be following the same format as before, so let’s get started!

 

 

Skinny Me by Charlene Carr [x]

My rating: ***

The whole concept of the story wasn’t appealing to me.

Premiere: A Love Story by Tracy Ewens [x]

My rating: ***

A very predictable NetGalley read.

The Trouble With Goodbye by Sarra Cannon [x]

My rating: ***

This super mediocre read that promised to be a lot more than it ended up being.

Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan 

My rating: ***

A spoiled girl talks about her first world problems.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin [x]

My rating: ***

I still prefer the movie to the book.

First, Last, and Always by Kim Lehman [x]

My rating: ***

NetGalley read about a fat girl who ends up dating her dorky best friend. Um, no thank you.

Like Candy by Debra Doxer 

My rating: ***

A NetGalley read that wasn’t the least bit sweet.

I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle [x

My rating: ***

Up to this day, I still can’t understand what went through my head when I decided to buy and read this book.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [x]

My rating: ****

A cute little story I’m not planning to reach for in the future.

Streetlights Like Fireworks by David Pandolfe 

My rating: ****

Pretty much the same as the previous book.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum [x]

My rating: ****

I prefer the movie version with the red slippers and no violence.

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram [x]

My rating: ****

The audiobook was entertaining, but not enough to keep in my Kindle forever.

Love Creeps by Amanda Filipacchi [x]

DNF

I can’t even begin to explain how weird and plain bad this book is.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger [x

DNF

In my humble opinion, Andy is whiny and immature and not worth reading about.

I personally feel lighter after this bookish detox. Now, I’d like to know whether you’ve read any of the books in this list and your thoughts on them.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

July Ipsy Glam Bag Unbox + Review

July Ipsy Glam Bag Unbox + Review

Hello and happy Sunday. The July Ipsy Glam Bag was probably one of my favorites because I was able to include all the products I got in a single, very natural look. As always with my Ipsy Glam Bags, I’ll list the products and give you a little review of each. Let’s get started, shall we? 

Trestique Mini Concealer Crayon in Porcelain

Firstly, thank you Ipsy for sending me a product that is my shade. I know that’s the reason why subscribers fill out a survey at the beginning, but other boxes I’m subscribed to just send products in random shades, and that is annoying because you’re getting something you can’t use, at least not for the purpose it was originally intended. This stick concealer is amazing, the pigmentation is great and I’m in love with the consistency because it is easy to apply and blend, but it stays on you throughout the day and makes you look awake and healthy.

Chella Eyebrow Cream in Tantalizing Taupe 

Right before I got this product, I tried a look and decided it would be cool to use darker shades for my eyebrows, more towards the brunette side, and not as blonde as I usually draw them. Then I got this eyebrow cream and found a perfect product to play with the color of my eyebrows. It is the same color of my hair, which is ash blond, but I can totally build it up to a darker, deeper shade, which is what I’m currently into.

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer 

When I do a natural look I want to look “naturally” tan, and if you know me, you know that by that I mean I want to look like a healthy human being. I find this bronzer perfect for the job for several reasons, one of it being the shade is appropriate for my skin tone. I am naturally pale, and I never tan my face, so I need a product that brings glow and color without making me look like I just played with dirt. This bronzer is warm toned but it’s more gold/honey/beige-ish so my skin doesn’t look at all like it’s got dirt on. It looks glowy and healthy and like I just came from a day by the pool.

Seraphine Botanicals Ginger + Gold Blush 

What is not to love about this blush? It is super natural, but at the same time it’s shimmery, so you can totally skip highlighter when using this, especially if you’re going for a natural look. It gives my cheeks that pop of color without being overly pigmented. Oh, and it also looks great as an eye shadow!

Puretem Purevera Emulsion 

I use this as a primer, after I’ve applied my moisturizer and eye contour gel. I’m not sure if that’s the right way to use it, but it works for me, especially on days when I don’t wear foundation but powder. It dries down quickly and doesn’t feel sticky afterwards. Plus it helps even out the texture of the skin, so it’s ready for a light layer of makeup.

There we have them, the products in my July Ipsy Glam Bag and my thoughts on them. What is your go-to product when you’re trying a natural look? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

First Year Teaching Tag

First Year Teaching Tag

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Hello and happy Saturday. I know, you get it already, I just finished my first year teaching at a school, and you’re probably a bit fed up with me talking about it, but one of my Instagram queens, who now is on YouTube, Christina Costa from teachlikeagirl, made this video with some very specific questions about her first year of teaching, and I thought it would be fun to share the answers with you. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. What was your worst moment in your first year of teaching?

If you had just “a moment,” then you’re lucky and I envy you, because I had to suffer through a whole week of hell. It all started when the dates for final tests were given to basically everybody but me, so I didn’t know for sure when my test with my older kids was going to take place. Parents started sending notes asking for the topics of the test because they needed them to study with their kids, so I sent them on a Friday after finding out the test was going to be the following Monday.

That Monday I got to school and was welcome by and avalanche of I don’t know how many notes saying that the topics I’d sent weren’t clear, that the parents had no idea how to study with their kids, and just a load of crap if you ask me, because it was obvious to me that a group of parents had gotten together to bombard me with these notes.

The test was obviously cancelled and moved to another date, and with the help of my boss, who’s literally my work mom, I sent an online communication explaining the topics and how the test was going to be. In class I went over every item I was going to evaluate and did a full review with my students, who didn’t seem lost at all. This, of course, while juggling my classes with pre-k and kindergarten.

Another avalanche came the following day, albeit smaller, and I was forced to design a worksheet for my students and their parents to develop. It was a study guide, which, granted, was super helpful and I started doing one every term, which I’d work on with my students to prepare for the test, but at that moment it was plain frustrating for me to be doing that, especially because it was for the parents and not my students.

The week ended and the kids did great, and I only got one note related to that mess. It was a thank-you note from a mom because she found the study guide very helpful.
2. What was your best moment in your first year?

There were a lot of great moments during my first year, especially with my Pre-K and Kindergarten students, but I think the best of all was Super Hero Day. For my final class with Pre-K, I planned a super hero day. My boys dressed up as super heroes and we sang and colored and ate candy. The details of that day are in a post I linked above, but I felt it was my best moment because I had these boys in front of me, who I’d met almost a year before and who’d grown up so much.

With me they learned their first words in English, and it was so heartwarming to see them actually talking, and understanding everything I told them. It was one of those moments when I felt that even the bad times had been worth it, all because of that group of twenty-two kids. It was a great ending to a great year .
3. What is your biggest regret from your first year?

I think my biggest regret was holding back and trying to do things the way the previous teacher did them. The teacher that came before me was great, and both parents and students loved her, and I guess I felt pressure to keep doing things the way she did them, even if that wasn’t how I worked. So instead of unleashing my creativity and doing things like I knew they would work for me, I spent about half the year trying to fit a mold that wasn’t my size, and sadly, I paid for the consequences.
4. What is something you wish you knew before you started teaching?

Okay, so you know how you dream of being a teacher and just managing your classes however you want them to? It doesn’t happen that way. I wish I knew that my job didn’t just involved me and my students, and in a way I did know it, having worked with parents in the past. But the thing is, and I talked about it a long time ago, parents nowadays are super involved, and so they are another factor we have to add to the whole “teaching” equation. I wish I’d known that before because I think that would’ve avoided some bad times.
5. What advice would you give to a first year teacher?

Dear first year teacher, get ready to fuck up. We all say “oh, it’s not going to be bad for me” and we end up convinced that, although the first year usually sucks for most teacher, it won’t for us. Sweetie, it will suck at times, and you will make mistakes, and it’s totally okay, trust me. When I got hired I was told by my school’s principal that he knew the first year was tough, and when the year was over he said it again and after that he told me hopefully my second year would be better, and that’s how I knew I still had my job. Don’t expect everything to be perfect because that will only stress you out. Enjoy your first year and learn from your mistakes. Oh, yeah, and hope that your second year will be better!

Now I tag you, my lovely readers, to pick one (or all) of the questions to answer in the comments.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Book Unhaul (Part 1)

Book Unhaul (Part 1)

GOING ON (2).pngHello and happy Wednesday. Yes, you read that correctly, today’s post is going to be an unhaul, as in I’m going to talk to you about the books I’m getting rid of. I have a ton of books to unhaul, so I’m just going to share with you the rating I gave it and the reason I’m getting rid of it, or a one-sentence review of the book. Let’s get started!

Becoming Us by Amy Daws [x]

My rating: *

This book portrays and romanticizes an abusive relationship.

If I Break by Portia Moore [x]

My rating: **

The story was nothing special, super predictable.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer [x]

My rating: **

I don’t like books about best friends betraying each other.

Forever by Judy Blume [x]

My rating: **

It was a bad book about sex…or a book about bad sex, or something like that.

Sending Jack Off to Jesus by Sara York [x]

My rating: ***

The author’s intentions were good, but not enough for me to keep this book occupying space in my Kindle.

The Boy Recession by Flynn Meany

My rating: ***

Kinda cute, but I felt like a 15-year-old reading it.

Art Criticism by Celeste Spettro [x]

My rating: ***

It was entertaining, but nothing memorable.

Remember Me by Melanie Batchelor [x]

My rating: ***

Probably my first NetGalley read. Also one of my first LGBTQ* reads. I didn’t enjoy the fact that’s written in verse.

Everything Changes by Samantha Hale [x]

My rating: ***

Another NetGalley LGBTQ+ read. Your typical coming out story.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler [x]

My rating: ***

Dear Amy Poehler, no thank you.

Every Day by David Levithan [x]

My rating: ***

This book reminds me of a very sad time in my life. It was a total disappointment and I haven’t recovered.

Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

My rating: ***

A NetGalley read I don’t really need to have around.

Populatti by Jackie Nastri Barderwerper [x]

My rating: ***

This too is a NetGalley read I don’t need anymore.

The Big, Not So Small, Curvy Girls Dating Agency by Ava Catori [x]

My rating: ***

A fat read that really didn’t do it for me.

Addicted to Love by Kathleen Murray [x]

My rating: ***

Don’t believe the title, this book is NOT about love.

I’ll stop right there and share part 2 of the unhaul sometime in the future, alright? Which of your books have you unhauled and why?

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

June Ipsy Glam Bag Haul + Review

June Ipsy Glam Bag Haul + Review

Hello and happy Sunday. I’m a fan of trying out makeup and beauty stuff and I love to feel that I’m up to date on the latest trends, which is why, when I get home and see the pink Ipsy package waiting for me, I get instantly happy. June’s bag was especially exciting for me because I got stuff I needed, like that new blush, and stuff I am obsessed with (basically the rest of the stuff I got). So, let’s start the haul and review, shall we? 

The Balm Cosmetics Balm Springs Blush

Like I said, I needed a new blush, and this one is just the perfect summer-y, nude-y blush. Unlike my other blushes, this is matte, so it’s pretty useful for everyday looks or when I don’t need to much makeup on my face, like when my eye makeup is too heavy and needs to stand out. The pigmentation is just amazing, and I could really see myself wearing it on an everyday basis.

Margaret Dabbs London Treatment-Enriched Nail Polish in Green Daylily 

I love this nail polish because of the color because I think it’s great for the summer, but I also think the cool bluish green can work for winter and spring. I also love the fact that I was sent a full-size product instead of a sample size. What I don’t like about this is that it chips like crazy, which is obviously super annoying, especially if you’re wearing this for a party or a special occasion and your nails need to look on point.

Vasanti Cosmetics Power Oils Lip Gloss in Super Mom 

You know when you think you have enough nude lippies and then you get one that’s just absolutely perfect? That’s what happened to me when I tried this lip gloss. It is super thick and pigmented, but it’s a lip gloss, so it’s not matte and it actually doesn’t dry down at all. It smells like a dream and it’s one of those shades that goes well with literally everything. This is my new go-to lip gloss because it’s absolutely fantastic, and it protects your lips, which is also great.

DOUCCE Maxlash Volumizer Mascara 

This is the second mascara from Doucce I’ve gotten in my Ipsy Glam Bags, and I love it. This mascara makes my eyelashes look long and thick, but not in a falsies kind of way, so it’s perfect for everyday looks as well as more glam ones. It stays put all day making my eyelashes look naturally long and thick, almost doll-like.

Delectable by Cake Beauty Coconut & Cream Triple Moisture Body Lotion 

Okay, out of all the products, this probably takes the cake, no pun intended. This cream smells like a dream and feels amazing on my skin, and is seriously my favorite product out of everything I got. I don’t even know what else to say about it because it’s basically a hydrating lotion, but a really good one that you and your skin will appreciate, especially after those days under the sun.

Are you subscribed to Ipsy? If so, let me know what your favorite product was. If you’re not, tell me what product would you like to try and why.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

Prepping for Letter Work

Prepping for Letter Work

Hello and happy Saturday. I think I’ve told you before that I work with the Splash Into Pre-K books, and if you’re familiar with it, you know that as part of the daily activities there’s “letter work.” Now, what I did last year with my Pre-K students is work on the alphabet and have them construct words with the foam letters that are included in the resources Splash provides. There are two problems with these letters, in my opinion: 1) there are too few of them, considering I had eleven students per classroom; and 2) these letters have magnets on the back, so the boys have to be super careful when they handle them, and we all know that’s not the point of working with manipulatives.

The bags of letters were given to me by one of my teacher friends and I took them gladly, already planning all the things I could get to do with my boys this school year, having a ton of foam letters with no magnets on them. They were super dirty, after having been stored for over a year inside a closet, so as soon as I got home that day, I went on a cleaning mission.

I put them in a bowl full of water and dish soap, and immediately the water turned gray. After soaking them, and individually cleaning each letter and making sure the dust was gone and nothing else was coming out of them, I put them to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the clean letters, which I put to dry outside. They look way less opaque, almost brand new and ready to be used by my preschool babes.

I’ll write a post on letter work so that you can see these babes in action, but in the meantime, tell me whether you have foam letters like these and what you do with them in your classroom.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

Just Your Typical YA || Típica Novela Para Jóvenes

Just Your Typical YA || Típica Novela Para Jóvenes

(English)

Hello and happy Wednesday. I have now decided to start taking notes about the books I’m reading to help me remember my thoughts when I’m reviewing, and so I have one page and a half full of notes on Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame. Are we ready for them?

Let me start by thanking the author and NetGalley because I had the chance to read an ARC of this book and now share my review with all of you. I love reading books by Wattpad authors because I think that is an amazing community, and I love to see writers succeed thanks to it.

If you’re looking for a great summer read, this is it because it will make you fly all the way to California and be sixteen again. It’s your typical “girl flies to another city to spend time with her estranged parent” scenario, which we’ve already read in The Statistical Possibility of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith and How Hard Cal Love Be? by Holly Bourne. If you know me, you know I adore both books, but I rolled my eyes to see that was a part of this book.

I had a major issue, and I would put it out there as a potential trigger warning, with Eden (the main character) always skipping meals and having problems with her body image. This wasn’t explored in depth as an eating disorder, but it was hinted that way. I’ve said it before in reviews and I’ll say it again now: authors have to be very careful when addressing issues like eating disorders; they have to document themselves, and they have to be aware of the fact that their readers are most likely teenagers who might be prone to suffering from them. Eden doesn’t seem to understand the seriousness of her problem, and her family’s not aware of it either, so treatment is never mentioned, and that was a big no-no for me.

When I was taking the picture I used for this post, I read the text in the cover, which says something about a forbidden kiss or something like that. Then, as I read, Tyler, Eden’s step-brother was mentioned and, of course, everything made sense to me. Needless to say, the plot was super predictable from then on. Something that bothered me big time, though, was the fact that before the “forbidden kiss” Eden absolutely despised Tyler for no apparent reason. Like, yes, he had an attitude towards pretty much everyone, but she’d encounter him twice and seemed to think of him as her worst enemy.

Eden herself was a character I didn’t like at all. She was immature, but immature in a relatable Lara Jean Song kind of way, you know? She was more like, why is this kid still here bickering about everything. I didn’t appreciate the fact that she was always insinuating how she was “not like other girls” because she liked running and her Converse had song lyrics written on them. And yet, despite how original and different she was, guess who she hung out with? Hypocrite much?

My dad is married, and his wife has two kids, who I consider my siblings. I know not all family dynamics are the same, but I don’t understand why Eden hater her family so much. Like, honestly, nobody forced her to travel to Santa Monica to be with her father and his family, it was Eden who made the choice, so why was she always complaining about everything?

Let’s go back to Eden and Tyler because the story centers around them anyway. I felt that some situations were forced in order for them to be together, you know? Like it’s summer and they’re staying at the same house and they share a group of friends, so just let their encounters be more organic. The fact that their encounters were so not casual, made it obvious that they were going to end up together, even to those not reading the little text on the cover. In YA, two people don’t spend so much time together and not end up being a couple, that’s just not how it works.

Now let me get something off my chest (no pun intended, I swear), but what’s with heaving a sigh? I’d never heard that expression before, which is not weird because English is not my first language after all. I got to read it repeatedly throughout the novel and it annoyed me every time.

You know I love me some bad boys, and Tyler was definitely one, but I feel the way he was portrayed didn’t do him justice. For instance, he was a vegetarian, which was sorta thrown out there halfway through the book like it was nothing. I think it would’ve given depth to Tyler’s character if the reasons for his vegetarianism had been explained in the story, you know? There’s also Tyler’s story, which might call for another trigger warning on child abuse, or rather domestic violence. It was briefly and (at least to me) superficially explored, although it then led to a bit of character development and to an interesting plot twist.

Tyler compensated for a few things I didn’t like about this novel, which in all fairness are things I don’t like in general. For one, it’s the fact that Eden and Tyler engaged in a relationship that was not only forbidden because they’re step-siblings, it was plain cheating. Tyler had a girlfriend called Tiffani, and she was the most stereotypical character ever, who also caused or was always at the center of your stereotypical high school drama. An example? Sure, here’s an example of her drama, but it’s a spoiler, so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read it: the whole baby drama. I mean, seriously? Are you really going to pretend to be pregnant? Ugh.

I grew up in a country where parents are super involved in their children’s lives, so it was a little odd for me, and rather hard to believe that the parents in this story were rarely around. They were always conveniently away whenever there was a party or a big event. Not realistic at all, if you ask me.

I’m nearing the end of my notes and they’re happier than the others, so let’s explore the things I liked about this novel. I really liked Dean and Eden’s relationship. I thought their friendship was fresh and nice. I enjoyed the fact that although this book is over 400 pages long, it took me over a week to read it. And, oh, let’s go back to Dean and Eden: the ending of the novel reminded me a whole lot of It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han. Then I read the epilogue and, yep, definitely like INSWY. The epilogue, though, made me think “what the hell…?” because honestly Estelle, did you just skip ten months? What? Why? Nonetheless, it was probably my favorite part, and it of course made me want to devour the second book in the series.

So, those are my thoughts on this novel. Thanks again to NetGalley and Estelle Maskame for the ARC. If you read this book, please let me know what you think!

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

***

 

I Tried Pilates

I Tried Pilates

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Hello and happy Sunday. I have a sad confession to make, but it’s something that’s been bugging me for a while now: I’m kind of fed up with Zumba. I started with it in July of 2014 but lately I have zero motivation to go to my classes. This year some of my resolutions are fitness and well-being related, like going to a nutritionist, which I’ve told you about in two of my posts [x] [x], and my resolution for June was actually trying Pilates, so here’s my experience with it.

I first went to the place I’d heard and done some research about and there I was told I had the possibility of scheduling a free class so that I could see what Pilates was all about and make a more informed decision on whether to buy classes and how many. That’s an important tip I think you should keep in mind because I know there are different gyms and centers that provide a free class, but people aren’t often aware of this.

During that first class we did some stretching exercises that required a lot of body control, and then we did some cardio by “jumping” (we were lying down in the Reformer so it wasn’t actually a jump), and I felt amazing. I didn’t sweat uncontrollably like I do in Zumba, but man, when I got up from the Reformer, I noticed where all my sweat had gone.

Something I liked was that I didn’t end up exhausted, but I felt rather energized. I thought “okay, this’ll be easier than I thought,” and so I bought twelve sessions so I could work out during my vacation and combine Zumba and Pilates. The following day, though, I felt all the exercise I’d done the previous day. My upper back and shoulders hurt, as well as my abdomen, but in a nice way, like I’d  actually activated parts of my body I rarely use, and this was great because it’s precisely those areas (specifically the abdomen), the ones that I need to work the most on.

Once you buy the classes in this studio I go to, you schedule your introductory session. This is the first class in the package you buy, but it’s more of a diagnostic session rather than an actual class with exercise if that makes sense. I had to fill out this application with my medical record, age, and other personal information that was then evaluated by one of the physical therapists working at the studio. I got weighed and was glad to see the number in the scale. Then I got a ton of pictures taken and after that the physical therapist explained to me the issues I have with my posture and she gave me tips on how to improve it in my daily life.

The plan that the physical therapist worked out for me is basically focused on strengthening my core, which is absolutely amazing and what I would’ve asked for anyway. My perception towards Pilates has changed in a positive way, and I feel that it’s more complete than I thought before trying it, like it can actually help me with toning, which is my goal at the moment. I wouldn’t try it on an ongoing basis because the classes are expensive, and because I want to continue with Zumba, but maybe in the future I can find a place that has different classes and I can combine them, who knows?

Have you tried Pilates or would you like to? What are your thoughts on it?

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

My Teacher Planner

My Teacher Planner

Hello and happy Saturday. Planning is a very important part of my job as a teacher, one that is sometimes boring, which is why I try to get work done ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about it later.  Last year I had a huge notebook as my teacher planner, but I found it to be impractical, so this year I decided to go use a binder. In today’s post I’ll share with you what’s inside of my planner. Let’s get started, shall we?

The first page you see there is actually my yearly planning for Pre-K. I have one for each grade I teach. What I did was take all the information I’d gathered throughout the previous year of school and then I arranged it in a chart. Basically what I have now is a list of every topic I worked on with each of my classes and the different activities we did. This will help me have a clear idea of how to plan my classes this year, given that in my school we make lesson plans every two weeks. I have this printed version I can highlight and add post it notes and scratch or whatever I need to do, and a digital version, which I’ll edit based on the changes I make throughout the year.

Now, I have to upload my lesson plans once every two weeks. The lesson plans are really simple and it takes no time to do them. They’re digital, however, and the format is not very friendly for a teacher who’s on the run most of the day, so what I’m using this year are the weekly planning templates from Playdough to Plato. The whole pack of planners, checklists, templates, and other planner essentials is completely free, and so are the other forms I’ll show you in this post.

I love this weekly planner because it’s super spacious and in the following page you have a section where you can take notes or add reminders so that you take them into account the following week.

I have not one but two grade books, one from Teacher Created Resources, and the other one, a total cutie my best friend gave me. The thing is, having a notebook or a binder and a grade book is the opposite of practical, really, so I decided to take them back home this year and use them some other time, maybe when I get my own classroom and don’t have to be running around everywhere.

This checklist template is from A Modern Teacher, and I love it because I get enough space to write the activity type I’m grading without everything looking crammed. The date section is also helpful because that way I can keep track of students who were absent that day or didn’t hand in a homework on time.

Speaking of missing homework, I’m going to start using the I Didn’t Do My Homework log I found on Pinterest. I’m going to use it with my older kids because I feel that way they can become more responsible for their own work. Last year I had a bit of trouble with grades because some students didn’t hand in their work, so now whenever I have a blank space in my checklist, I’ll approach the student, and if they don’t have the homework, I’ll write their name in the log. This way I can know who owes me stuff.

Once the classes start, I’m sure I’ll be adding more pages to this planner and I’ll keep you updated. I will, for example, add a monthly planner at the beginning so that I have important school-related dates in mind.

What are you using for a planner this year? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

The Book Was Better: Everything Is Illuminated

The Book Was Better: Everything Is Illuminated

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Hello and happy Wednesday. A few weeks ago, I was told by an OkCupid user that there was actually a movie adaptation of the book Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. Everything Is Illuminated is my absolute favorite book in English, and I adore it because it reminds me of my Jewish ancestors and how they, too had to escape their homes due to World War II. It is an amazing novel and I believe everyone should read it at some point in their lives. I read this book about three years ago, so I’m going to focus more on the movie, which I recently watched and took notes of, so let’s get started!

The first thing I thought was “man, I love the music.” The music itself reminded me of afternoons at my grandma’s house, when she plays Israeli music while we all chill after lunch, which led me to my second thought, about how this movie, and obviously the book are truly Jewish. Like, you get the jokes and relate to the characters and everything they do and say. It was really refreshing to find a movie like that.

I loved the beginning because it was not rushed at all, and even though the movie sort of takes a different path from the book, which I’ll explain in a minute, it takes its time to introduce the characters and the plot, and the scenery. At first, I loved the fact that Elijah Wood was Jonathan Safran Foer, but then I didn’t like it as much, as I remembered how the character was in the book. I feel like they were two completely different characters.

One thought that came to my mind, is that I’m not sure how much of the movie can be understood without having read the book. I feel that many gaps were filled by the book in certain scenes, like I understood what happened because I’d previously read about it, but for someone going blindly into it, I don’t know if it would be easy to follow, and even if it’d be enjoyable or not.

And here’s the thing, the movie rarely mentions Trachimbrod and the flashbacks that are inserted in the novel, which tell the story of the shtetl. I feel like that made the focus of the movie change completely to Jonathan trying to understand the history of his family to his journey of going to the place where his family used to live, you know?

With those things in mind, I was already leaning towards liking the book more than the movie, and then the last half hour or so was just incredibly slow, and it dragged on, and I got bored. I’m not great at watching movies with little to no dialogues, and with this particular movie, it was sad that I actually didn’t like the last part. That being said, the last scene is absolutely heartbreaking and it’s what made watching the whole movie worth it.

Now, tell me, do you enjoy book-to-movie adaptations? Why or why not?

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila