Must check these babies out!!

Nerdy Book Club

I feel blessed to be able to spend my days talking middle grade fictions with fourth graders in my classroom. I’ve spent the discussing the books with my students that won 2011 Nerdies. Is Origami Yoda real? – is a conversation that students regularly discusss. What would you wish for if you had a magic bread box? -every fourth grader loves thinking about their answer. What did you think about how the two stories came together in Wonderstruck? – Wow! is a common response to that question.

My students and I have spent the first half of the school year falling in love with the books that, today, are being named Nerdie winners. It should be no surprise.  Isn’t falling in love with books what Nerdy Book Club is all about?

The One and Only Ivan

By: Katherine Applegate

Harper Collins


I feel like I could write a…

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Twitter Tweet #3

Sandy Lenahan

Sandy Lenahan
@TribeOneWon-I’m sure we’ll talk about this more in the coming weeks, but just gonna leave this here for right

Twitter Picture

Twitter Tweet #2

                Sandy Lenahan
@drunkenunicorn to see@tribeonewon w/robotchicken, bobafett, jesus christ, misty from pokemon, storm troopers & ghostbusters awesome!
15 Oct via TweetDeck
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Twitter Tweet #1


Another sold out show tonight in Atlanta! Get your tix soon if your coming to a show!! #racewarstour

Retweeted by TribeOneWon

Race Wars at the Drunken Unicorn

The Race Wars Nerdcore Rap tour rolled into Atlanta on October 15th with a show at the Drunken Unicorn and I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the sold-out show – yeah me!!! 

**disclaimer** Let it be know that I haven’t been to a concert since seeing DMB in 2004 – I am a newbie listener of nerd rap – I haven’t played a video game since I had a nervous breakdown trying to spell out the answer to a Jeopardy question on the  Super Nintendo  game system – I have finally learned the difference between Marvel & DC superheros – I accept the fact that I am O-L-D!!! **disclaimer**

Who knew that the party starts in the parking lot:

Not us that’s for sure. If I had then I would have brought my camera! It seems that real fans knew that there was going to be a costume contest judged by mcchris and they came prepared. There was an 8 ft tall unicorn, two sets of Ghost Busters (complete with vehicles), a Capt.Morgan wench, a nearly naked Indian shaman, 3 awesome storm troopers hanging out with Boba Fett, Jesus Christ, Misty from Pokemon and Robot Chicken. We were totally under dressed.

Oh, hey and I got carded at the club!!!! I’m as old as this dude’s mom and he wants to see my drivers license -funny guy.

First impressions of the club: it’s dark and small. Don’t forget your cash cause the bar doesn’t take plastic. I totally LOVE the artwork on the walls. In the bar there’s some really cool abstract pieces and the sharpie marker comic book characters in the hall had a real retro feel (i.e. I could recognize them).

The show: TribeOne & Adam WarRock opened the night and got the crowd rocking. Performing songs like Never Watched Dr. Who, Silver Age, Nerd Corp, Everyone needs a Steve Irwin and Wasteland, their fans (one dressed as a freaky black spider) rapped along with them.  My favorite song was Nerd Corp…sorry Niles : 0) 

Next up on the stage was Mega Ran, who surprised me when he told the audience that he was a teacher and a rapper. His set sounded more like old school rap with scratching and heavy bass. MC Lars and mcchris went on after that but we left before they played cause we’re old and we had to work in the morning.

Random observations from my group:

  • Tom, who is old and black, noticed right away that there weren’t many black people in the crowd even with two black rappers in the show. The crowd was predominately made up of white males, under the age of 35.
  • Chris, who is part of the target demographic, said that the guys here probably wouldn’t know how to talk to a girl unless she held a game console in her hand..that may be a pretty broad generalization but I believe there’s a lot of  truth to it.
  • Independent tours in small venues are LOTS more personal. We met most of the rappers in between sets when they were also selling their own swag. Only mcchris had his own merchandise staff.
  • Getting your name on “the list” means you get in free. You can only get on the list when one of the performers AND the promoter approve. This we found out when the show sold out before Chris bought his ticket.
  • Nerdcore groupies are pretty funny to watch. 

I would go back to both the club and to see the bands. The music, while not something you could really dance too, was infectious. I can appreciate the time and effort that went into writing the raps; the creativity was awesome.

Music for the masses, the nerdy masses

I love music just about as much as I like shopping and reading. I’ll listen to almost anything but hardcore gansta rap or old school country/western music. I thought I had heard it all but boy was I wrong!

A while back my co-worker Niles introduced me to a type of music I had never, ever heard of -Nerdcore hip-hop. WTH was my first reaction, then I asked him to play the songs again..and I listened to the words.

“Me and my wookie’s playing hookie”, “Marvel versus D.C.”, “Let’s bust some nerd rhymes”, “Loking out and seeing all these people like me”. Who writes songs about Star Wars, Dr. Who, video games and comic books??? Or better yet, who listens to this stuff? Duh, nerds-note to self, think before you speak.

Nerds, geeks, and gamers have embraced the musical movement called NerdCore hip hop (or Nerd Rap). Songs showcasing the nerd way of life: video gaming, comic book collecting, Sci-Fi T.V. and movies (with some math, science & computer references thrown in for good measure) rapped over a hip hop beat. This stuff is amazing!

Readers welcome…

I found a kindered spirit on Twitter tonight and thought I’d plug her contest/twitter/facebook/blog following with a post on my blog. Plus, I get 10 additional entries into her totally cool book give away 😀

Per Lea’s twitter description she’s  “a blogging, book-loving librarian from NY, who also wants to learn web design, and loves coffee, lip gloss, and shopping waaay too much ;)”

She has combined two of her passions, blogging and reading, and created a fantastic give away. You can enter her contest to win the grand prize ~  ALL the books listed in the give away (there’s an excellent selection – loved Delerium). The second place prize is for a book of your choice from that same list.  Just don’t forget to fill out the form at the bottom of the contest page.  You should definitely check it out!

You can follow Lea on Twitter: @LC_speaks and her blog at

Rhetorical Analysis project

When I was in grade school, many years ago, students were taught the importance of “who, what, where, when, how and why” in writing. When my older children went to grade school I found that this wasn’t taught anymore. Let’s not even discuss the fact that my youngest children aren’t being taught how to write in cursive now either. They all know how to take a standardized test though, but I digress. This postings intent is to set the ground work for my project that is due on November 9th, not whine about a broken education system – sorry!

I have been charged to select a website, apply Kenneth Burke’s rhetorical pentad to the site and see how well the form and content stand up.


Subject site: The Gwinnett County Public Library

Criteria as to how it should be evaluated: Burke’s dramatism pentad.

According to Kenneth Burke (well know philosopher, author and literary critic; 1897-1993) to understand why people do things you have to understand what motivates them. Burke believed that applying the critical technique dramatism to life, people could decipher the motivations.

Burke’s dramatism pentad:

Act: What happened? What is the action? What is going on? What action; what thoughts?

Scene: Where is the act happening? What is the background situation?

Agent: Who is involved in the action? What are their roles?

Agency: How do the agents act? By what means do they act?

Purpose: Why do the agents act? What do they want?


Basically this is the “who, what, where, when, how and why” of my youth – hence my soapbox moment above. Maybe if schools taught this basic concept in school again people would realize there is more going on in life then what they can see on their computer screens.



This is a fantastic word, I love it but why does a word that is almost never, ever used in my daily discourse resonate so much with me???

Hhhmmmm I have to ponder this one some.

Is is because visually, the word looks strange?

I do like that the word is spelled phonetically as it sounds. The simplicity of the word brings back memories of my first few years in elementary school when I had to re-learn English. It seems that learning to speak English from my mother wasn’t such a good idea since English wasn’t her first language. Live and learn, I did!

Is it because of the words’ definition?

According to the Oxford Dictionary online it means ” a place where a collection of curiosities and rarities is exhibited.” How cool would it be to have your very own wunderkammer – a place to hide/display your stash of the cool and unusual.

Light bulb moment! The Internet is a wunderkammer in it’s own right. Anyone can display their treasures in various types of formats, from videos, scanned pages of print books, audio files, blog posts etc.

Is it because the word just sounds wrong when you say it?

Not wrong in a nasty, kiddie porn kind of a way but in a “you just totally made this word up dude” sort of way. The word does not role off your tongue at all, more guttural sounding but it does have a certain old world vibe that I like.

I really think it’s a combination of those reasons that makes this wonderfully weird word work for me – Thank Dr. Reed for introducing us : D

Banned Book Week ~ Sept 24 – Oct. 1st

“Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.” – from ALA website

As an English major, Reference Librarian wanna-be, parent, and firm believer in the freedom of choice I had to blog about BBW and what it means to all of us. So many people think that banned books are just books filled with smut or hard core porn but the dirty little secret is that most of the books on the list are banned because the content represents an opinion or idea that differs from the person or group challenging the title. Classic titles like To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings, Native Son and The Call of the Wild were challenged based on racial issues,  use of violence and profanity, along with sexual reference.

But wait, there’s more – classics aren’t the only titles challenged in school & library boards across America. Current reader favorites like Harry Potter (right here in Gwinnett County in ’06), Crank by Ellen Hopkins (drugs, sex, language), Hunger Games (sexually explicit, violence) and Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (political & religious viewpoints) were challenged last year.

Why does this matter? It matters because a person or a group of people want to remove or restrict a book from everyone in their community because they don’t agree with what the author has written. Did I ask you to do that? Did I ask you to think for me? Did I ask you to make my decisions for me or protect me from something you perceive as evil? No, I don’t believe I did.

God gave me a brain and I enjoy using it. My parents taught me right from wrong and I understand actions & consequences. The Constitution gave me the 1st Amendment and I hold that privilege near and dear to my heart. Please don’t speak for me – I can do that fine all by myself.

Intellectual freedom should be protected, promoted and embraced and that is why I support Banned Books Week & the 1st Amendment. I don’t have to agree with everything you say or how you say it but I’m not going to stop you from saying it (no matter how annoying I find the message & delivery) because it is your right as an American.

If you don’t like what I have to say don’t censor or arrest me. Just don’t listen (or read). I didn’t make you find this post or force you to read it. You sought me out and decided to read what I have to say. That is the beauty of having a choice  and no one should take our right to choose  anything, even books, away.

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