Monday, August 15, 2016

The Hills

We went to Scenic View to hear #1 Son play some jazz on Saturday night.  The view was striking. Because of all the rain, patches of steamy mist hung over the foresty hills.

Another thing we did was see The Hunt for the Wilderpeople.  Set in New Zealand, it's about a kid in foster care.  His foster mom keels over dead and he goes on the run with his foster dad, into the bush, because he doesn't want to go back to the juvenile detention center.  Husbandman says if he were in a generous mood, he'd give the movie a 3.  I'm shocked by this.  I'm giving the film a solid 4.5.  See it if you feel like it.  It has great views of New Zealand and some fun comic scenes as well.

I finished chapter 4 yesterday.  Not thrilled with the ending and I still have to put some photographs in there, but mostly, it's okay and I'm following the maxim that Done is Better than Good.  Doing my best, forgetting the rest.  Not actually totally forgetting all the rest. I keep thinking about stuff.  But trying to remember the important motto CATCH AS CATCH CAN, and leaving well enough alone.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Thirdlanders 2016

I have met the new crew and they are wonderful.  3 days of school and we did a lot of awesome stuff.  I also made this website to market our classroom press.  I'm writing about marketing in chapter 4, so this is all part of the game plan.  I already have several favorite moments, but maybe my most favorite was when we started our writer's notebooks on Friday afternoon, 20 minutes before the end of the day.  I showed the new Thirdlanders how I liked to sketch and write in my notebook.  They were excited about doing the same kind of work in their notebooks.  One 3Ler said, "I wish I had done that this summer on my trip."  And then another said, "I'm going to start doing that in my notebook this weekend." Then another said, "Wow.  You are a REALLY good draw-er."

So, as you can see, we're ready for another epic year in Room 200.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

The Possibilities

Our first International Baccalaureate unit is about Sharing the Planet.  We're focusing on rights and responsibilities of global citizens.  I usually spend a lot of time mucking about creating units, but this time, I'm just going to follow a Unicef unit that looks interesting.  More on that later.

 Just wanted to check in because I'm missing you, blogosphere.  School starts Monday for teachers, Wednesday for Thirdlanders.  I'm still working on chapter 4, and proceeding forward. I'm inspired by Vice President Biden's words, which I've adapted for my own purposes.  "I own the finish line.  Don't forget it. This is America.  Come on! We're America!"

Really gets you pumped up if you scream these lines repeatedly as you walk around your home.  Husbandman loves to join in as well. Give it a try. COME ON! We're America!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Coffee

Walking to the coffee shop this week I passed 2 people sitting on the sidewalk.  One guy said to the other, "I used to be a major heroin addict.  And I have schizophrenia."

I felt sad but also happy that the man was no longer addicted to heroin.  Then I got to the coffee shop and 2 men were talking about health care.  One guy said, "You know with Obamacare, they're going to take all the services and the medications away from the elderly.  They don't care about the elderly because they're going to die soon anyway."
    The other guy said, "That's how things are now with Obamacare."

I found this conversation quite troubling, but I moved back to my work.  I've learned that there's no reasoning with people who hate Obamacare.

A few hours later, I had the worst experience of ALL. I'll tell you about it thusly.  A young dad was in the coffee shop with his 3 kids.  The littlest kid was a meager toddler.  As they waited for their order, the dad continuously threw the meager toddler high into the air and then caught him again amidst screams of laughter.  I've neglected to tell you this, but there's nothing that bothers me more than someone throwing a child into the air above a concrete floor.  Every time he threw the meager toddler, my whole body clenched up and I squinted my eyes nearly shut and I gritted my teeth together in order to avoid screaming and begging for him to PLEASE STOP!  PLEASE STOP!  I am still thinking about trembling when I think about the horrific scene that unfolded before my eyes.

The coffee shop life is a good one overall,  but as you can now see, it's not without its peculiar set of troubles and tribulations. Yesterday I decided to work at home.  I had some quiet music on and no one around.  Today I'll stay home too I think. I'm next to a sunny window with all my papers and books scattered about me. Husbandman thinks I can finish chapter 4 by my deadline, Monday night.  I have my doubts.  Let's kick it into gear my friends. Let's kick it into gear.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Dome

People, we're under a heat dome right now. Heat is super hard on your heart, so just stay inside and keep hydrated. No heart attacks on my watch, my friends.  Avoid the heat dome and watch some movies.  We are glued to BloodLine on Netflix right now. If you want to feel great about the dynamics in your family, check out BloodLine. These people are just a hot mess.  But it's a good show, so see it if you want to.

On a good note, #1 Son returns this very evening.  He told me he really liked Prague.  I need to get there one of these days. He also liked Barcelona, another place I'd like to check out.  I'm going to keep #1 Son in plain sight, well within my line of vision, for at least a few weeks because this past month has been tough on everyone.  Welcome home, #1!

Right now I'm in Husbandman's office.  This is a place I love to work.  I wish I were a college professor with a cool office with a window that looks out onto a gorgeous college campus.  I could teach my special brand of mathematics to the people here. Let's explore the geoboards people. We can make a store or a pretend pizza shop.  Also, let's go out and measure some leaves.  Sorry, Husbandman, but your office is now mine.  Squatter's Rights.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The History

History in the Making: There's a corpse flower on campus and it's about to bloom.  I went by to check on it today. On the way over, I caught another Pokemon. I have 3 now. Once I got to the greenhouse, I found the corpse flower. Then I stood around with some people staring at it.  The IUBiologist thinks it will bloom on Sunday.

I'm trying to decide if I like to drink black coffee.  I think I do.

Not super productive today, but I did see the corpse flower and I caught Spearow.  I told an acquaintance that I felt self-conscious walking around looking for the Pokemon and she said, "What?  You're doing the  greatest thing ever.  It's the others who should feel ridiculous, simply walking around, totally out of it, not catching Pokemon." I guess she has a point when you think about it.

It's hideously humid, so I'm boycotting nature for the next few days.  Down with NATURE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Advice Column

Some stuff has been on my nerves lately, but I'm just moving into gear a little more quickly, focusing on the next right action. I suggest you do the same. Here's a bulleted list of probably proven ways to keep an upbeat attitude.

  •  This morning, a nurse called me to tell me that I have high cholesterol.  So I'm not freaking out about that, I'm just having some oatmeal for breakfast. Whole grains, People. 
  • Tomorrow I have a phone conference with my editor.  I'm not freaking out about that, I'm just writing a list of stuff to talk about. Embrace the symbiotic relationship of the writer and the editor, People.  
  • Our district has a new math program and everyone except me went to the workshops explaining it, but I'm not freaking out about that.  I'm remembering that I know how to read a teacher's manual and I can figure it out later.  It's summer right now, People.  Do summer and don't freak. 

To recap:  Whole grains.  Embrace symbiosis.  Do summer.  Keep these 3 probably proven tips in mind as you go through your day today and all will be swell most likely.  Unless it's not. And that might be okay too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Best Book

Just finished reading, and crying about, Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin.  In my opinion, Rain Reign is the best book in the universe.   I spent the last 30 pages crying away in public, at the coffee shop.  No one even noticed and I didn't even care. Thank you coffee shop patrons for not intervening as I convulsed over the best book on the table in front of me.

Everyone in this place looks pretty cheerful, but who knows? The woman who is the daughter of a Rosie the Riveter is here as usual.  She is working on a crossword.  She brings her own mug from home every day for her coffee.  It's a white ceramic mug with a peacock feather pattern. I hope she's well.