Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lunchroom chatter

Settling in at a new job, one of the big changes is finding a time and place to have one's lunch, plus meeting new colleagues over a meal is one way of getting to know them better. Will they be nice and let you sit with them? Will they be interesting conversationalists? Will they be the Calvin to your Susie and make you want to call Ms. Wormwood to complain of gross behaviour?

So far, my new lunchmates have been very amiable, well-read, and I look forward to sitting in the lounge, sharing food with them. It's a variable crowd but a few of us tend to have lunch at a certain time. There's an earlier lunch crowd that talks mostly about their charges (elementary kids) and what cute/annoying/frustrating things they've said that day. Another group are all trying to get pregnant, or likewise deal with impending pregnancies. Those that tend to eat a little later in the lunch break are a mixed bunch. Married, single, straight, gay. And we've covered a lot of different topics. Movies and tv shows, history, science, educational theory, sex ed (an upcoming topic later in the year for the students), language.

Recently, one rather interesting discussion revolved around books for older kids. One of the teachers has an ongoing reading session and they've delved into sci-fi and fantasy novels. The other teachers began listing all their favorites of the genre, and I got a few recommendations. The first that I'll be trying out is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. And the other is Here Lie Dragons (author's name eludes me).

One suggestion I threw out to the group which elicited an interesting range of responses was the Phillip Pullman Golden Compass trilogy. One teacher likewise enjoyed the books, the other two hadn't read it yet. When we explained that there was a strong anti-religious bent to the book, one teacher immediately said that she'd never encourage her own sons to read it, while the other teacher asked for more details. The former's response was quite striking since I hadn't expected such a conservative reaction from her. Note to self, never raise religion when recommending a book.

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Pike Market Peonies

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