Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Float above a difficult world

Life is everything.

What is life?

Is life almond M&Ms,
playing golf,
a clean bill of health?

Is life a good book,
a cup of coffee,
a soft chair?

Is life a safe place to sleep,
the birth of a child,
the touch of a loved one?

Is life a field of sunflowers,
a smooth ocean for sailing,
a puddle after the rain?

Is life perfect,
rising and fading?

What is life?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice

This quotation rings true to me since right now, I'm blogging about my life, my interests and my work. This is a form of chronicling my life and what is going on with me. I was resistant to blogging because I wondered who would care about the details of my life, my rambling thoughts, silly anecdotes and simple musings. I don't know that I fully agree with the quotation though. I thought this whole blogging thing would be a breeze. I'd just have tons of ideas and thoughts and crank out these witty posts several times a week. Well....that's not exactly the case. These profound (ha!) posts don't just come flowing easily from my brain. I've been carrying around a notebook jotting down ideas, thoughts, quotations, etc. I think this is timely since I encourage my students to keep a writer's notebook.

So, we've established that I don't find life easy to chronicle, now let's look at the second part of the quotation: "bewildering to practice." Yep, I agree with that part. Life is bewildering. Just when you think you've figured something out, there is a twist. Just when you've learned the system, it changes. Just when you have a plan, there's a shift. I'm sure the perfectionist in me would like to MASTER life, but isn't that part of the fun? Learning about life? The bumps along the way? The bewilderment we experience?

Yes, let's go out and seize the moment. Let's be bewildered by life - together. Anyone care to join me?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sophomore or Teacher?

So, that was the caption under a picture of me in the Richmond Academy yearbook during my first few years in the classroom. I know it will come as a surprise to all of you that I look young and since I'm petite, I can easily blend in with high school students, but it's true.

Well, it was true. This is my eleventh year teaching and somewhere along the way, folks stopped assuming I was a student. I was no longer stopped in the hall and asked for my pass. I was no longer asked on dates by students. (This is a good thing.) No one walked into my classroom and asked, "Where's your teacher?" I actually hadn't noticed that these things had gone away. That is, until Friday.

On Friday, I was at the high school to work with a teacher. I was walking down the hallway to meet with her and passed two young men along the way. They glanced at me and then rounded the corner. Then I heard, "Damn, was that a teacher?!" I kind of smiled and had a moment of nostalgia since I hadn't heard that in a while.

Isn't it funny what makes us feel young? What makes you feel young?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We Are What We Read

They say,
we are what we eat.
I say,
we are what we read.

Think for a moment.
List all you have read
this past week.

Your list tells about
your work
your home
your family
your friends
your worries
your dreams
your hobbies
your passions
your compassion.
Your list tells about you.

I say,
we are
what we read.
We read to live.

-Lorraine Wilson, Australian Literacy Educator

What I have read (so far) this week:

  • The Detroit Free Press newspaper; particularly enjoyed a column by Laura Veron Brown about our lack of criticism for Obama (warning, this may lead to a future blog post for me)
  • Email (many), but especially from a friend who’s concerned about her five-month-old daughter’s upcoming heart surgery
  • Began novel, A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
  • Facebook status updates
  • Interesting blog about using technology in the classroom: Online Safety and Responsibility by a 21st Century Literacy Specialist teaching in Thailand
  • Screaming for Speed, an article which details the science behind roller coasters
  • Started The Blue Parakeet, a book about rethinking how you read the Bible
  • Interesting Wall Street Journal article asking College/University Presidents to write their own admissions essay

So, I wonder what my list says about me? What have you read this week? What would your list say about you?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Crying in public not encouraged

This afternoon, I went to the salon to have my hair cut. As usual, I took a book with me to read while waiting. Sometimes I just read a magazine the salon provides, but I was near the end of my most recent book, so I decided to take my book with me. Right now I'm reading Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat.

Now when one begins a book such as this, one knows that the animal eventually dies. I KNEW that Dewey Readmore Books would die near the end of the book. I had been preparing myself. I was in the salon, under the dryer quietly reading my book and of course, it was near the end of sweet Dewey's life. I knew I shouldn't be emotional over a cat in a book, so I was trying to hold it together. I tried to distract myself and started looking around the salon. I thought I was hiding it well until an assistant came up to me to see if I needed anything. I guess I wasn't hiding it well. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't sobbing or anything. But that darn cat was so cute, I hated to hear about him passing away. That might be the last time I take a book to the salon. In the future I should probably just stick to the fashion magazines the salon provides.