But the first few chapters are overwhelmingly saccharine and sugary sweet, when all of the sudden the book takes on an unbelievable spin, spiraling down into depressing and somewhat disgusting turn of events as a result of Peter's wife's death that's the unbelievable spin and if you do in fact read this part, you'll understand why it is what it is.
At one point, a girl describes a form of abuse she received from a man, but then come to find out, she is lying about it all. Another scene that deeply disturbed me was when a women describes how she brutally beats and ends up killing a small puppy.
Absolutely disturbing. I was hoping for a more angsty, dramatic book similar to "Willow" if there are any readers of that book out there but instead I ended up with a confusing, choppy book with whiny characters. I digress, it is free, so give it a shot, but be warned of the above scenes! It was free. The reviews were deceiving. This book moves slow and does not go anywhere.
Weird teacher with a boring crappy life. I scanned the last half and it was really a waste of my time. If your on the fence, skip it. I do not recommend this book. One person found this helpful. Gave it a try. Didn't care about the characters. Couldn't follow the plot. Gory for the sake of goriness. Sorry to the author, but this needed a lot more work. Was not ready for public consumption. Story wasn't too bad, took a very long time to get to the really good stuff.
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This is a man who has mastered the art of grooming, I thought as we shook hands. I should take lessons. Every hair on his head was trimmed to perfection; ditto his short, reddish beard.
His nostrils and ears, I noticed, appeared spotlessly clean and hair free — no easy trick to pull off for an aging human male, let me tell ya.
Suffice it to say, his skin looked flawless. Neither flashy nor ostentatious, his attire communicated — whispered, at that — subtle, casual class. My duds, on the other hand … well, best not ask. Michael was looking at me askance as we approached the baggage belt, probably because he had caught me ogling him. Attempting to finesse the awkward moment, I asked him what kind of work he does. Yeah, baby!
I thought. Could you tell me what it involved? The people I served often had dynamic professional lives entailing socializing throughout the world. For some reason, I found that slightly thrilling. Most of my clients demonstrated this quality. For example, for years I worked for the Hammerstein children — the offspring of the great American librettist Oscar Hammerstein. They were unfailingly kind and considerate to me and all their staff.
But I do enjoy Traffic and Blind Faith. My clients flew almost exclusively on private jets and tended to stay in villas and private homes more than commercial hotels.
I much prefer villas to commercial ugh hotels. I imagine the list includes some celebrities? Discretion lies at the heart of the work I did. But I suppose now, being retired, I can dish a little bit. Trust me, you would know him. One day, he was booked to do a morning cable show, and the limousine they sent for him arrived two minutes late. He refused to take it, instead making me call the production staff and have them send another one.
My frame of reference, to be honest, is Mr. That was part of my duties. The trees were just beginning to bud out, the sun showing off high in the afternoon sky. Ah, spring, glorious spring. Never really had any longtime relationships, to be frank. The job, the traveling has been all-consuming, I suppose.
In the film, Mr. Stevens silently longs for Miss Kenton, the housekeeper played by Emma Thompson. Though the feelings are reciprocated, not a word is ever spoken of it between the two, because Mr. In the end, unsurprisingly, he realized that he had chosen poorly. I had an inkling that Michael might have chosen a life path similar to that of the fictional Mr. The good news is, his journey is not yet over. INFO Hackie is a twice-monthly column that can also be read on sevendaysvt.
To reach Jernigan, email hackie sevendaysvt. One girl danced a ballet solo in a fluffy pink dress. Another sang and recited a number from Hamilton. Kids did gymnastics, standup comedy and improv routines. For years, voters were fickle about backing education budgets.
Steady turnover of teachers and principals created instability, and the student body consistently scored below average on standardized tests. The superintendent job became a revolving door, too. In , the school board was searching for its sixth CEO in eight years.
In his six years on the job, the soccer-loving, ex-Peace Corps volunteer has earned praise — and awards — for. Winooski kids go home to young hipsters, descendants of French Canadian and Irish mill workers, and newcomers from Nepal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. Like other school districts in the state, Winooski has discussed consolidation scenarios over the years. The school offers only one foreign language — French — and a single Advanced Placement course in World History.
Fielding varsity teams is difficult. The superintendent stood smiling in the John F. Kennedy Elementary School library as school board members high-fived one another after the unanimous decision to put the question to the public. A yes vote is not assured in the special election bond vote on May 7. McMannon, 50, grew up in a middle-class suburb of Detroit and attended an all-boys parochial high school in Bloomfield Hills. The encouragement helped his dad professionally and personally, McMannon said.
He headed to Colorado for a snowboard-bumming stint and met his future wife, Jennifer Cromie. McMannon won her over by hosting a five-course dinner party. He sent Jennifer letters as well as occasional rolls of film that, once developed, produced images of him riding a donkey, sporting a new ponytail and beard.
Eighteen months in, McMannon contracted schistosomiasis, a disease caused by parasitic worms, after a swim in Lake Malawi, and it forced him to return home. With grad school in mind, they gravitated to Boston. They married that summer. See full numbers for each district at sevendaysvt. Any possibility of a racist connection made it wrong, he told Seven Days.
About 85 percent of its residents were indigenous Alaskans. I taught middle school math. I taught Spanish. He still rises at 5 a.
He started as a special education teacher at CVU in , and by was principal of the school of 1, students — more than the entire student population in Winooski. CVU, which draws from four towns including well-to-do Shelburne and Charlotte, has a low poverty rate, high test scores and relatively few English language learners. In McMannon won the Robert F. Pierce Vermont Secondary Principal of the Year award.
But when the superintendent post in Winooski opened up, McMannon decided to apply. Rainbow Chen got to know the superintendent when she served as a student rep on the local school board and the Vermont State Board of Education. When she had problems, the Winooski High School He cares about you as a person and not necessarily as a number or a student. He worried that too many students were coming.
In addition to getting breakfast, lunch and an after-school snack, students can take home bags of nonperishable free food every Friday to help their families get through the weekend.
He doubled the number of home-school liaisons who work with immigrant families in their native languages, to six. He helped set up in-school pediatrician visits. Parents and others said that the phrase hearkened back to a racist tradition of the slavery era, and not just in the South.
The PTO organizers defended the game, a variation on musical chairs in which children competed to stand on a. On a recent walk through the school complex, McMannon chatted and waved to students wearing baseball caps and jeans, as well as hijabs and floor-length skirts. McMannon is up-front about his soccer loyalties.
I am rabid about them. He runs, hikes and loves the outdoors. McMannon has led parents, taxpayers and others through the building to make the case for the renovation. The plan calls for rebuilding much of the ,squarefoot complex wing by wing, with completion set for After renovations, the facility.
The number of preschool classrooms would double from two to four to accommodate a wait list of children. Special education and other support staff offices would be moved closer to classrooms. McMannon led Seven Days to the cramped, living room-size health office, where more than staff and students might drop by during a school day.
A wanlooking teen rested on a bed, and a washer and dryer hummed. Some children arrive in clothes that need to be washed; others dirty their outfits at recess. A cabinet stored medication for dozens of students who need doses for everything from epilepsy to asthma. The renovation would create more space for health checks by the school nurses and the pediatricians who visit two mornings a week.
The space would also include dental chairs, so children who now go off-site under a school-coordinated program could get the services without leaving the building. The renovation would also expand office space for special education teachers. The school has run out of rooms to accommodate them. While he worked at CVU, the school underwent a major renovation.
A primary reason is the poor performance of district students on standardized tests. The scores were low when McMannon arrived. They still are. Only about 20 percent of Winooski High School juniors met or exceeded the proficiency standard in English language arts in on the Smarter Balanced assessment tests. That compares to 58 percent statewide. In math, 4 percent of Winooski juniors were at or above proficient in , compared to 36 percent statewide.
Scores for third graders at JFK Elementary lagged similarly. Poverty, limited education at home and frequent moves put some students at a disadvantage on standardized tests, national studies have shown. Further, it can take six to eight years for new English speakers to reach academic fluency, McMannon said, adding that many Winooski students make remarkable progress in a single academic year. McMannon has helped lead Winooski away from an unhealthy preoccupation with test scores, according to the school board president.
Classroom lessons, homework and projects in Winooski schools are designed to require problem-solving, working successfully in groups and persistence, he said. His five children all graduated from Winooski High School — and college. Several went on to earn graduate degrees. Introduced in through an initiative called the Partnership for Change and a multimillion-dollar grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, it is designed to offer more personalized paths to education and new measures of success.
In Winooski, the A-F grading system has been phased out at the middle school level and at the high school for all students except the current senior class. A new report card with a proficiencybased numerical assessment system will be fully implemented next year at the high school. The state requires all public schools to adopt proficiency-based graduation standards by The number of students increased from in to the current Projections call for about a dozen new students a year over the coming decade.
Although U. Children from about 10 new families, many of them from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, joined the student body this year. He has three children in the school district, and they are progressing well. He hopes his year-old daughter will be a doctor someday. Some New American students achieve their dreams.
But academic experiences vary in Winooski schools, according to Cleophace Mukeba, who tutors and translates for families that speak French or Swahili. Speaking for the refugee students, he said too many arrive knowing little or no English and are being pushed too quickly to graduation, based on their age rather than their achievement. But others graduate despite weak skills and then find themselves unable to manage entry-level coursework at schools such as the Community College of Vermont, Mukeba said.
Their parents, who had believed a diploma conferred a certain level of academic attainment, are surprised. Mukeba also noted the lack of diversity of the faculty; only two out of teachers are black. This sends the wrong message to the student body, he said. A Congolese refugee who arrived in Vermont in , Mukeba graduated cum laude from St. Vermont Law School in The portion of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch has dropped from 82 percent in the school year to 63 percent this year.
Housing prices suggest people with bigger pocketbooks are moving in. In , the median sale price on single-family homes in the city increased 18 percent, compared to a 5. Parents see their neighbors starting to make different choices about education. Smith, whose older daughter watched her friends leave the district, said his middle child, an year-old student, is not having that experience.
So is Mace. Less than a week before the school bond vote, McMannon is lobbying hard for it. The super, who lives in Colchester, has a contract with the district that runs through June He hopes to stay on beyond that and, should the bond pass, to see construction through. The financial impact of the year bond would be phased in and vary, based on income. Some Winooski residents are already feeling tapped out by current and projected property tax increases, said City Councilor Mike Myers.
How can we afford all this tax increase that these projects will bring upon us? The couple, who are white, recently moved from Montpelier with their adopted African American daughter, partly because they want her to attend a diverse elementary school, they said. The super thanked them for volunteering and offered up lawn signs the way a political campaign manager would. Then, peering over his reading glasses like a seasoned administrator, he asked the parents for feedback on the text of a flyer that promoted the school makeover.
They went over it line by line, including a quote that proclaimed the schools, in dire need of repair, play a central role in Winooski.
Keep that line, the young parents advised McMannon. Snacks, socks and fun are included. The energetic Montpelier native positively fizzes over with excitement when he talks about his work. He comes across as part mad scientist, part artist and part collector. Against one wall toward the front of the shop, Spaulding has arranged his smallest pieces like delicate candies in a confectionery, boasting concentric rings of neon purple, orange and green, or rich blue bulbs that seem to erupt into tiny orange tentacles.
Some look like Technicolorhued brains, others like provocative avantgarde sculptures in miniature. For colors like this, coral needs to be alive — and live coral needs tending.
As an adult, he gravitated toward the saltwater tanks at pet stores, including the Pet Advantage in South Burlington. He expressed his gratitude to Tyler and Madeleine Dawson, then owners of Pet Advantage, as well as to staffer Jason Boczar, for helping him get started.
I was tired of doing hard work for other people. He now lives in an aquariumfree apartment above the shop.
His business is not limited to retail sales, however; he also travels to service and install new tanks. When she was. He would just show up … [and] he would always bring me something special to add to the tank. For new customers, Spaulding will help set up their reef tank and then, he said, visit once a week for the first two months or so.
Tank owners observe Spaulding to learn the ropes. Visitors are welcome to his watery lair, whether or not they intend to buy; he said he loves people to come just to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Follow on Facebook. Send it to: asktherev sevendaysvt.
Backyard Superstar A touring exhibition illuminates the career of Vermont-based landscape architect Dan Kiley. First shown in Boston in , the exhibition has so far visited 18 venues around the country. One of the photographers, Peter Vanderwarker, will visit in August to talk about the challenges of capturing landscapes in still photographs.
Less known, but beginning to gain the household-name recognition he deserves, is landscape architect Dan Kiley At the Dallas office development Fountain Place, a grid of cypress trees in circular wells floats improbably on a plane of water bordering a mirrored high-rise. In Columbus, Ind. The sweep of the Gateway Arch in St. Before he closed his Vermont office, called East Farm, in , Kiley and his partners designed some 1, built and unbuilt projects for sites around the country and in Canada, Europe and Japan.
A full roster of events will accompany the summer-long exhibit, including panel discussions and talks by Kiley partners and employees, many of whom still live and practice in Vermont. He explored numerous venues for the exhibition before landing the Sheldon on a suggestion from Middlebury College Museum of Art director Richard Saunders.
From to , he and Harvard students Garrett Eckbo and James Rose published three articles in Architectural Record that amounted to a design manifesto. Housing Authority in Washington, D. In , Kiley gained a New Hampshire architectural license — he had met his wife, Anne Sturges, there — with recommendations from Kahn and rising starchitect Eero Saarinen, another D.
After two years in the army, serving on the design staff of the U. Army Corps of Engineers, Kiley was assigned the design of the war-crimes courtroom at Nuremberg. He spoke at the inaugural Kiley exhibition and will do so again in July at the Sheldon. He, too, studied Kiley in grad school, at Cornell University, and was hired upon completing his degree in Collaborations with many other architects followed, including with I.
They designed exterior and interior together. They reinforced each other. Photographs show a grid of apple trees — deftly marrying traditional farm plantings and modernism — and marble-slab steps hovering over a geometric channel of spring water that is released back into nature on a hillside.
In , Kiley designed Kenjockety, the Westport, N. Rte 2 location 4. Once the property of s literati Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson, it was converted to a resort inn in the early s with additions by Burlington architect Tom Cullins, of TruexCullins, and a master plan and site design by Kiley. Sheldon executive director Bill Brooks, whom Seven Days reached by. Most landscapes fail for less dramatic reasons — through lack of maintenance or, as in the threat to the Burlington cathedral, redevelopment.
Even maintenance requires maintaining a delicate balance between original intent and practicality. Enter our photo contest! Deadline for entries is May 6th and the voting has already started.
Donations provide care for more than 1, animals each year. Last year, HSCC celebrated a record breaking cat adoptions! One plays the main character; the other transforms moment by moment into four others. Quick-change stunts usually drive comedy, but this is a tale that bodes evil from the first word and brooding shaft of light. In the Lost Nation Theater production, the actors are the centerpiece.
Laura Michele Erle plays a sympathetic young governess with pure Victorian pluckiness. The show crackles when the two performers build scenes with perfect timing, working like musicians to dazzle with the rhythm of their exchanges. At first, these are short, rapid bursts, as the governess tries to learn what other characters are hiding. Then the story builds, driven by the intensity of the performers more than the circumstances of the plot. A wealthy, mysterious bachelor has hired a young woman to care for his orphaned niece and nephew, 6-year-old Flora and year-old Miles.
In her first The conversion from page to stage makes comparison tempting, and the novel is arguably more satisfying for its subtlety. Erle and Scheer succeed at summoning a sense of evil and making Victorian notions of sex and death seem more compelling than prudish. Erle avoids melodrama and skirts the edge of hysteria rather than wringing out superficial emotion.
Scheer makes finger-snap physical transitions that are impressive to watch. He dusts the housekeeper with a light Irish accent, gives the narrator a grim intonation and the uncle a faintly slimy one, and foregoes a cloying child voice for a small, hesitant one. These character transformations happen without costume changes, often within the completion of a walking stride.
The play flies by without intermission in 75 minutes. For a story to scare us, it must scare the people in it first. In this show, evil is an abstraction, but the acting and stylish production are wonderfully real. The children appear angelic yet bizarre. Flora stopped speaking some time ago. Miles has been expelled from boarding school for unspecified disgraceful behavior. But the governess expects to dispel any gloom with her optimistic belief that all the children need is love and protection.
She soon learns that the prior governess, Miss Jessel, had an illicit affair with the valet, one Peter Quint. Director Kim Allen Bent presents the show on a nearly bare stage, with a moody, abstract backdrop created by scenic designer Donna Stafford.
Bent and lighting designer David Schraffenberger are fond of isolating the governess in near silhouette while the other characters swoop in around her. The audience can only doubt her sanity if she begins to herself. While James could keep the reader guessing about whether the governess saw or created her own ghosts, Hatcher hands the audience a. Thursday, May 2, through Saturday, May 4, p. See website for future dates and times.
This ad paid for by Vt. Liquor Brokers or individual companies. Not responsible for typographical errors. View our full menu at: www. The options are plentiful: more than participating restaurants across the state. Yes, some menus have creative themes.
Pastry chef Laura Johnson wowed with a triple-citrus mascarpone mousse. Throughout the week, some lucky participants are learning how to prepare a three-course meal using WhistlePig Rye Whiskey.
And, on Wednesday, May 1, a panel of experts. VRW is a fundraiser for people who might not have the means to dine out — or even to eat at home.
This time, the dream went dark too soon. I awoke drenched in sweat, sometime after 2 a. I kicked off the covers and walked to the kitchen to fill a glass with water. The thermometer beside the sink said it was 81 degrees inside the house.
I took a single sip and held the glass to my forehead. A smirk curled around my lips. My race was a classic horror show — waltzed into a technical challenge far beyond my experience level and skill set, had some close calls, became so steeped in anxiety and paranoia that my strained eyesight remained blurry for six months, didn't sleep for four days straight, had what I think can accurately be described as a nervous breakdown, sprinted blindly through the woods and later through dangerous road tunnels, and was "rescued" by race personnel while catatonic on a bus bench.
The short version makes it sound even worse than it was — clearly there are worse things, and there were good moments to break up the drama. But five years later, memories of the experience still cause me to break out in night sweats. I'm hesitant to use the term PTSD to describe my voluntary participation in a recreational activity. But the bad dreams Recently, I've been thinking about the little traumas that accumulate in our psyche over the years, as real and permanent as the scars stretched across our skin.
A recent acquaintance, another one of those crazies who thinks it's fun to run miles in Alaska in the winter, posted a confession about racing that drove home some of my disconnected thoughts. He wrote: " Why the trauma?
I realized what wasn't there was the weeks of nightmares and whirlwind of feelings that followed. The report didn't show the fear, the disappointment and embarrassment. The race left a scar, one that is still healing and worse yet it took away something I loved, something I was good at. I've continued to challenge myself physically and pursue adventure. But the game has changed.
And I sit wishing my change wasn't so defined by this one race. By anyone's standards, it was a huge success. But successes can't mask distress and heartache, emotional upheaval and paralyzing fear. We choose to participate in these events for their incredible rewards, but there's a dark side as well.
Emotional highs and lows last long after muscles have recovered and injuries have healed. But my bad dream and my friend's confession prompted thoughts about more subtle psychological strain and my complicated feelings about the Tour Divide.
Since this year's Divide race started on June 8, I've been wholly distracted by it — following friends and also the race leaders along the map, visualizing the mountain passes they're climbing, imagining the places they stop to camp for the night, trying to remember where I was "on this day" in or , dreaming up strategies "for next year. Am I really thinking about it that seriously? I've already mentioned it here once or twice, so I suppose I am. But whenever I give more thought to racing the Divide "next year," the darker moments from creep in: The way my lungs filled with dust and yellow crud, until every cough felt like like shards of glass ripping through my airways.
The way every breath felt and tasted like drawing air through a thick rubber mask. The overwhelming dizziness near the top of most climbs. The way mosquitoes would swarm as I lay in the dirt just off the road, crushed by weakness and unsure whether I could muster the stamina to move another thousand feet, let alone a thousand miles. The way the sun boiled my skin after I started taking antibiotics, and then boiled my brain when the fever set in.
The way I could continue to turn pedals while staring into the horizon with such supreme indifference that I wondered if this was what it felt like, to lose the will to live. That sounds overdramatic, I know. It's an incomplete but succinct way to describe a complex experience — becoming sick, losing physical capacities, and the mental coping mechanisms that followed.
Why didn't I just quit? Or at least, quit sooner, since I was doomed to fail anyway? Similar to PTL, it was always a decision, and not one I can justify now. Hindsight is It wasn't that I was trying to be tough or brave, or prove anything, really. I suppose I naively held onto hope that things would get better, strength would return, joy would intensify, and I'd feel whole again.
It's difficult to let go of stories I've already told myself, to admit that I'll never be in control. But my hubris turned what had been an incredible life experience into something sour, something that turns my stomach when I think about it, makes me taste all over again the sickly sweetness of the hot blueberry Odwalla juice that I forced down when I could eat nothing else, makes me feel the bile that gurgled in my stomach as I plodded — on foot and pushing my bike — up the gentle incline of Ute Pass in Colorado.
I finally shut down later that day in Silverthorne. I've regretted most of the Tour Divide ever since. Looking healthy and chipper during the Iditarod Trail Invitational Perhaps this is why I want to go back — I want to take a sour life experience and turn it into something incredible again.
I want to reclaim the strength that's been compromised ever since , and reignite the fire. I want to train hard, dance along the edge, feel fierce, and finish strong.
Deals and Shenanigans. For 15 years, according to Diane Derby, she brought eight women together for a regular game of Sam & Dave - Soul Men. See vermontrestaurantweek. Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, a. The book is interesting at first but the This Aint The Summer Of Love - Blue Öyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune is very predictable. Russell Memorial Library, Monkton, 10 a. He took so long You Cant Make Me Doubt Him - Ernie Cox - Walk In The Light the story so that Long Gone - Mustfuzz - Mozaic was interesting to me, that I had lost the will to read it. Rutland Pharmacy 75 Allen St.
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