Category Archives: Ms. B’s World

Ms. Bernier’s Twelve Stories – updated

Ms. Bernier’s Twelve Stories
and Then Some

  1. The Lorax  –  take care of your space – “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, things are not going to get better, they’re not”
  2. Yertle the Turtle – remember the little people- “And the turtles, all the turtles are free. Like turtles, and all creatures should be”
  3. Helen Keller – you can do anything with a good teacher “W.A.T.E.R”
  4. A Wrinkle in Time – exploration of self and the universe -“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. “
  5. Bridge to Terebithia – fairy tales are closer than you think  – “You never know ahead of time what something’s really going to be like.”
  6. Little House on the Prairie – adventure, family, self-reliance – “You should never be ashamed of work you have done only work that you haven’t.”
  7. Sailing around the Room – the mundane is beautiful – “It seems only yesterday I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light. If you cut me I could shine.
    But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, I skin my knees. I bleed.”
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird – people need to be judged on the content of their character -“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
  9. Cat’s Cradle – Religion is a mess, the world is upside down, crazy people are in charge-
    “Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand.”
  10. A Prayer for Owen Meany – we all have a little greatness in us – ” ‘DON’T SOUND SO ASHAMED,’ he said. ‘READING IS A GIFT.’
    ‘I learned it from you,’ I told him.
  11. The Color Purple – the world is dark, but there are bright spots to be found- “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
  12. The Great Gatsby – Against all things, there is hope
    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

What I need – Poem


Give me my classroom.
Give it to me with a tea kettle in the corner,
and a stack of tea waiting
to be brewed on cold rainy mornings. Continue reading

Ms. B’s counting down to DC

Yay for sunny days on our trip – check out the forecast here.

Summer Homework for Journalism

Hey folks – I’ve asked you to read this online textbook.   Your first summer assignment will be chapter 4.   As I’ve also asked you to have a WordPress account so that you will be able to write online for the Hawk’s Claw, your next assignment will be to comment here and answer the following question –
Is online journalism better, worse, or just different than traditional print journalism?

Looking forward to your responses,

Ms. B

in which I admit my nerdiness.

I went to Twist Craft Fair in Northampton this weekend.  The very first thing I saw, a tiny, shining beacon of awesomeness, waiting just to be snagged by me. Me, who had gotten there as one of the first 100, just to snag a swag bag, there for me, was this most perfect thing.


Yes. A magnet that spells nerd- made out of- wait for it – Scrabble tiles. Yep, you’re hearing it – the nerd choir singing.   The whole thing, the purchasing of the magnet, and the ensuing conversation with its creators,  got me thinking.  About how, while now, I  may embrace my nerdiness, that at a young age, I may have hidden it far away.   So tonight, in honor of letting the nerd flag fly, of being finally at age 33, comfortable with my self,  a list of the  top five things I’m an utter nerd about – with straight up nerdy abandon. Continue reading

oh hey look, A blog

So I’m totally brushing the dust off this blog — I spent every day of my maternity leave from Jan. 1 on, writing over at my other blog. And there I talked about mama life, and Valley life, and all sorts of things that had to do with that life.  My writing over there has waned a bit, so I thought I might start focusing on my teaching life over here.

There’s a mememe going around Facebook tonight, and I thought I might just play along…  I’m doing it here — not in my notes on Facebook because, well my post count is decidedly low these days.

So apparently, If you want to play along, you shouldn’t take too long to think about it. Come up with fifteen authors who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

ready – go –

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald Continue reading

And the Band Played On

Last Week. Friday. Twilight. Perfect weather. Driving home from a sojourn to Herrell’s, a sojourn that happens far too often, a sojourn for what my grumpa calls medicine, but is more often called ice cream. So we’re heading home- And I have the windows cranked down because the weather is warm, and I find James Brown on the radio, and I crank that up. And I turn around and dance with my 18 month old who is exemplifying funk while he boogies in his car seat. Yah, people are staring while we are stopped at the light. This does not bother my almost grown-up self. It would have bothered my 17 year old self.

After James Brown, I flip the radio from channel to channel trying to orchestrate the perfect soundtrack for the rest of our ten minute drive home. First, it’s a story about Julio down by the school yard, but then Dylan is singing “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Bob gets it right every time. I listen to him croon while the sun roof is open to just let in the moon on me and my family — And I think of how I’m remiss to start school when there are nights like these to be had– But I’m so much younger now than I was in June, so it’s time to get in line for another go-around.

So, I’ll see you in just about a hundred hours.

Dog Days of Summer

Driving through town the other week other day, I saw this sign that said “help prevent summer learning loss”. Which of course was code for, come spend your money here, at our tutoring service, and we’ll help to make you smarter. Now I have no qualms against this particular tutoring service, it’s just I think there is so much to be learned and acquired in these warm days.

I could rumminate on and on, but instead I’ll just post a video, of your teacher learning something new during summer break. A couple weeks back, at AP camp, I, well I, I learned to shoot a gun. Seriously.

No summer learning loss here.

ps the first thirty seconds will give you the gist.

Just another manic Monday

I have a case of the Mondays. I had a long weekend which included a trip to Boston for a swank wedding in the South End. Then yesterday my late afternoon mother’s day brunch rendered me useless and in bed with a terrible stomach ache as soon as Kai’s head hit the pillow.

Today Is my long day. I teach three classes in a row. Three high energy classes. Thankfully we are in the midst of major projects in most of these classes and will be in the library writing and doing research.

This afternoon, we have a yearbook meeting to prepare for next year. We have a great crew of returning students next year, and should put out a quality product. My only concern is recruiting some underclassmen for the upcoming years. After the meeting, I’m going to town on my, getting larger everyday, list of administrative tasks. I have emails to return, union elections to plan, and lesson plans to submit. I don’t think I could of ever imagined, while sitting in any number of of my grad school classes, how much would be required of a teacher outside of just teaching.

What is most challenging this year is balancing my work responsibilities with my new mom life. In the two previous years I could stay until the work was done, and then work at home. But my very active one year old doesn’t really let that happen. He has to be picked up at a certain time, and when I’m home, it takes both Russ and I to manage him, and dinner, and the house. This is the extent of academia at my house after five-

So, by the time the kiddo is in bed, I’m so ready to fall asleep to another episode of American Idol.

And so, I do what I can. Which is why the occasional day of work in the library is a welcome respite for this teacher with a case of the Mondays.