The Great Gatsby

April 16, 2012

I have always loved to read and my mother frequently tells a story about how I taught myself to read. She was very proud of this and told my kindergarten teacher I knew how to read. Of course as the story goes, the teacher sort of gave my mother the – “yes sure your daughter knows how to read” look and it wasn’t until two days into school that the teacher pulled my mother aside and apologized saying yes your daughter does know how to read. So to make a long story short, after studying Journalism in college and struggling to get a job, I wondered what else I could do that I was equally as passionate about – and that idea led me to become a high school English teacher.  When it came time to do my internship in a school,  I was matched with a wonderful mentor teacher who let me be involved in the class from the beginning. Unfortunately for me, that class was in the late afternoon, with a bunch of very apathetic Juniors. I struggled day after day to get them to stay awake, but I think it was my passion for the novel The Great Gatsby that finally got their attention. I started off teaching the novel by setting the stage for the roaring 20s, bringing in music, showing them maps of Long Island and of course generating discussions about the American Dream then vs. now. I knew I had succeeded when one of my students cried while pointing out a beautifully written passage towards the end of the novel. It was one of my most memorable experiences as a beginning teacher -inspiring another person to see and feel the beauty of the written word!!!! It’s no surprise why The Great Gatsby will always be my favorite novel.  As soon as a wonderful cookier and incredible friend Sarah of Songbird Sweets, approached me about working on a Library Week project where we picked our favorite book, I knew it was the Gatsby and the memorable book cover I discussed with so many students throughout my teaching career. I really set the bar high for myself by choosing such an elaborate cover design and panicked about how I would represent the cover.  I am so happy to share it with you. I will be donating these cookies to my local library in honor of National Library Week. I want to thank Sarah for the opportunity to challenge myself, bring back some fond memories and contribute to something wonderful that needs to be celebrated – READING!!!! Thanks Sarah!

If you are interested in making a difference and celebrating National Library Week, why not make a donation to an incredible organization called First Book – they donate books to those in need!!! Check out their website: http://www.firstbook.org/

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

sarah (songbird sweets) April 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

lorraine, this is such a lovely post!!!! i love your story about how you became a high school english teacher!! who knew that so many of us had such a strong connection with literature:) this project has been so much fun and im incredibly happy that you were a part of it!! one of these days we will have to get together..and you can show me your tricks for painting on a cookie:) you did such a beautiful job!!! thanks lorraine!!!

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admin April 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Thank you so much for this opportunity Sarah. I enjoyed participating. I loved your interpretations of your favorite stories also.

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Paula April 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

What a wonderful story and I’m sure those junior students have a love of the written word today because of you. Your cookies are beautiful and your local library is going to love them!

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admin April 18, 2012 at 8:29 am

Thank you so much Paula for your response and lovely compliments. I really enjoyed working on the project!!!

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Kara (Cookies in the Cupboard) April 18, 2012 at 6:40 am

Lorraine – this post brought tears to my eyes! I can just imagine the scene of you and your students engrossed in The Great Gatsby. This makes me want to dig up my copy and read it again!
Your cookies are amazing — so detailed and so “Gatsby” – Your local library is going to love them!
What a wonderful idea Sarah had with the Library Week theme for cookies – I love making cookies that go along with books!

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admin April 18, 2012 at 8:28 am

Thank you so much Kara for reading my post. So glad you liked the story and the cookies. It was a great project . I would love to make it an annual thing.

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Anne @ Flour Box Bakery April 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

What a beautiful story! And the cookies are amazing! Especially since this was one of your first attempts at painting on cookies. I’m totally impressed. I also love The Great Gatsby and read it several times in high school…but none of my teachers ever made it as fun as you did for your students! You’re just one special person!

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