Saturday, April 30, 2011

Image 30: Bugs


Today has been excellent.  We walked the .5 mile "Discovery Trail" in Brown County and let me tell you that trail is aptly named.  We saw a scarlet tanager, a yellow warbler, many bluebirds, an indigo bunting and these weird bugs.

As usual, the blogging challenge has elevated my quality of life considerably during the cruelest month of all.  Thanks for all the images and words, friends!

Image 29: Morel


I walked into the kinders two days ago during their free choice time.  This one kinder was running about trying to play a monster game with 2 other kinders, but his play was limited due to a problem with his pantaloons.  He had to hold his pantaloons up with both hands as they were both unzipped and unsnapped.  I asked what was going on with his pantaloons and he just looked helpless.
"I don't know what to do about this," he said.
So I helped get his pantaloons fastened (he had to do some sucking in action) and he ran back to play.  I guess the kid had his priorities in the right place.  Play, then pantaloons.  But honestly, get your act together buddy.  You're just a few months shy of being a firstie.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Image 29: Blue People


Okay, #1 son lived to tell the tale. 
Our first grade team has a new tradition.  We now meet at our local watering hole, Nick's, every Thursday afternoon.  Today we graded a gazillion common assessments.  Remember that little text I made up about hummingbirds?  Well the firsties did a great job reading and writing about these cool birds.  Because the first grade teachers are on the young side, they've introduced me to SHOTS!  I've never had SHOTS before.
I love this PLC work!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Image 28: Pencilton

#1 Son is up in Indy watching Arcade Fire.  I'm stressed because the tv keeps reporting that some tornados may touch down in Indy tonight.  I love having children, but this kind of moment gets a 5 on the fist of 5 scale for worst frickin parenting moments.   Wondering if a tornado's going to land on your kid sucks.
On a more upbeat note, my neck feels a little better.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Image 27: Museum Flower


Geezlouise, I've had this pain in my neck and shoulder blade for about 2 weeks.  TWO WEEKS!!!!!  Today I got so sick of it that I started asking random people if they had any muscle relaxants.  Most people just shook their heads slowly, or simply stared off in silence.  I have been walking up to random peeps, pointing to the spot in my back and requesting upper back massages.  A few accommodate, but they don't have the time to really help in the long term.  I should go to the doctor because this pain is driving me insane.  But you know I'm not going to, so don't even bother suggesting it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Image 26: The Daffs

This Monday will go down in infamy as one of the worst Mondays in history.  It was so bad that
when I got home I was earning a capital f for FUNK.  The good news is this:  we went to #1 son's orchestra concert and that cheered me up considerably. #1 son's bass was the best instrument in the entire orchestra.  Another good thing was that 20something daughter called to tell me that her computer has died and she would like everyone on the blogging challenge to know that her computerless state is keeping her from blogging.  She also pointed out that SHE'S COMING HOME IN 19 DAYS!!!!!!

Tomorrow's a new day and I'm going in positive, people.  I sank in to the dark side today, allowed stuff to get to me, took it all personally, sank into despair, glared angrily at the empty half of the glass.  That's over, peeps. I'm not proud of myself. I'm just saying.  I'm going in positive.  Doing my best, forgetting the rest.

On another, unrelated, note:  Here's a Karla Kuskin Poem that merits sharing.


Write about a radish
Too many people write about the moon.
The night is black
The stars are small and high
The clock unwinds its ever-ticking tune
Hills gleam dimly
Distant nighthawks cry.
A radish rises in the waiting sky

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Image 25: Brown's Bridge


A pal asked me to take this picture and email it to him.  I keep forgetting to do that. If he's a loyal
leeway reader, the bridge is his.
Otherwise, Sorry Mr. B.

Mr. B.'s actually going to build a bridge like this.  I can only stand back in awe at this proposal.
I would like to learn how to build something some day.  A gazebo, or a zip line.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Image 23: Rocket


I was at a teacher meeting today where the speaker kept talking about "the leaders."  "The leaders have created a set of beliefs about assessment."  "The leaders have listened to your previous concerns."  "The leaders have done an impressive job with setting up our future action plan."  After awhile, I asked someone, "Who are the leaders?"
Turns out the leaders are the district principals.  Why they can't be called "the principals," I don't know,  but this constant reference to "the leaders" creeped me out a little bit.  I'm still a little freaked out by it, to tell you the truth.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Image 22: Votto


I am missing the kinders.  I haven't been in their room for awhile, so when they see me in the hallway, they all want to tell me something.  It's hard to respond to each kid but I really try.  Imagine a long line of kiddos walking by, all earnestly screaming out sentences to you as they pass:

Hi Mrs. Dr. H.!
What are you doing here Mrs. Dr. H?
Mrs. Dr. H. I haven't seen you in a long while.
I'm mad at my brother.  He hit me in the head with his shoe!
I wrote a sentence!
I read a book about pancakes!
I have a coat that matches this outfit!  It has roses on it!
I lost 5 teeth in ONE WEEK!
My birthday is in 3 days.
My birthday is on June 25th.  Just like 25 cents!

It's a pretty cool gig, nodding and giving the thumbs up to each kid as they walk by, accepting hugs from a few line jumpers, waving good bye as they walk on down the hallway.  I love those little kinders.  I hope they know that.  They're neat little peeps.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Image 20: Nance's Hummingbird



As you can see, Nance has done a great job with this hummingbird.  I actually tried to draw a hummingbird a few days ago, but gave up on it.  So, KUDOS, NANCE!  Here's the thing you might not know.  I made a common assessment text about hummingbirds the other day and I learned 2 things:
a.  Red dye in the hummingbird feeder is unnecessary.  It harms the hummingbird's tiny kidneys, people!
b.  The largest hummingbird is 8 inches long.  (I can't remember the name, but that's ridiculous to have such a large hummingbird).
c.  The smallest hummingbird (bee hummingbird) is 2 inches long.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Image 20: Dr. Blue

#1 son made this guy last night.  He has named him Dr. Blue.  I'm going to own up to feeling a bit
blue today. I spent the day in a workshop about making school culture more collaborative and I have to question my own ability to collaborate with others sometimes.  I want so much to improve at this crazy literacy partner job.  Tough stuff and sometimes I get too frazzled with wanting things to be a certain way at our Artful School. 

Today I found out I'm a "NORTH" compass point, jumping in and not being patient with others.
Being a literacy partner can feel like jumproping in quicksand sometimes. I feel so emotionally connected and can feel so inspired and full of hope, and then I can feel so hopeless and worried.  Oh well.  I know these Dr. Blue days won't last forever. I have a great love for the work we do there.  And the peeps too

Monday, April 18, 2011

Image 19: The Girl


Today Mr. MA told me that he had even more mushrooms in the fridge.  These are called snakeheads.  I forgot to go get some.  Maybe some will be there tomorrow.  I would like to wok up some snakeheads tomorrow night.
So many people here in HoosierLand were out looking for mushrooms.  I would like to go out and do that too, but I don't want to waste time.  I want 100 % guarantee that I will find mushrooms if I venture out.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Image 18 Story Inn


We went adrivin' today.  The redbuds and dogwoods were abloomin'.  We got lost in the Deam Wilderness, but found our way to Story Inn where we had a pleasant glass of vin in their green sunny garden.  V. pleasant.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Image 17: The Knight

We saw Source Code today.  Very good.   I didn't understand the ending, but I enjoyed the movie nevertheless. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Image 16: Squirtle

Our custodian is a hunter man.  I take interest in his sport and like to hear about the killing of deer, turkeys, assorted birds in the duck family.  When I heard he hunts for morel mushrooms, I told him that I would like him to give me some.  He gave me a bag of about 15 morels today and then he told me I had to share them with our bosslady.  So when I went to give half to bosslady, she took about 6 out of the bag and I had this feeling of sadness.  "It looks like I have hardly any morels left now," I told her.  So she said I could have all the morels.  I offered her one, but she said it was kind of a hassle to prepare just one morel, what with the soaking, and the egging, and the frying.  I feel kind of badly about this, but no one has ever given me morels before and I wanted them all for myself.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Image 15: Turtle

This turtle took a long time to make.  But I stuck with it and got the job done.  I'm reading Adventures in Cartooning to a second grade class.  Yesterday we learned how to make an elf.  And today we learned how to make a knight.  One little crazy kid worked really hard on his cartoon panels.  He's usually all over the place causing a ruckus.  Before I left the room he held his work up to me and said, "When I look at this, I really feel in my heart that I'm an artist."

I wish I could say that I have this feeling when I look at my turtle, but that's neither here nor there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Image 14: Hello Kitty

I've always been a huge hello kitty fan.  This gal knows how to live her life with style and confidence.
She has a quiet appreciation for the natural world.  She's friendly, but certainly not demonstrative.
Today I got pulled into a situation I didn't want to enter.  A little kinder was taking a time out in the office.  She was painting with watercolors.  An adult was asking her to go back to class.  The kid wouldn't go. I tried to speak with the kid but she dug in her heels.  I took her paints away and she got super upset.  I sat down to talk with her and turns out the poor kid has a mom in the hospital and she wanted to give the painting to her mom but it wasn't finished yet.  It didn't have her last name and it didn't have her baby brother in it.  So I did the only thing I could do at that moment.  Returned the paint set, got her some fresh water, wished her mom well, and  reminded her to head back to class once her art was done.  Sometimes giving in isn't a sign of weakness.  It's a sign of smartness. I believe that in this instance, the girl needed to explore her art, just as I needed to produce Hello Kitty this evening.  Artistically, we are sisters.

Image 13: Teapot

#1 Son helped with this image of a surly teapot.

I came upon a little guy in the hallway yesterday, slumped against the wall.  When I asked him why he wasn't in class, he told me that he'd been kicked out because he was acting silly.  I loved this of course and asked him what he did.  Basically the kid couldn't stop laughing because some other kid kept saying, "bubblegumpy."
"This kind of thing happens to me all the time," I told him.  "It's so hard to stop laughing.
He said, "I tried to stop.  I kept pressing my teeth together as hard as I could."
I praised his efforts and told him that I sincerely hoped he could get back into class soon.  "We need you in the game kiddo.  You're one of our best."  I know it's wrong to compare people, but he really is.

Monday, April 11, 2011

See this sculpture?  Once I saw U2 play on this square.  It was an impromptu concert.  Good Pal Janny and Little Sister Faith and I hopped on down to the Embarcadero to hear them play.  Back then there was a highway elevated behind this sculpture, but it collapsed in the earthquake of 89.  But when the highway was there, people stopped driving and stood looking down on U2.  Best seats in the house.  Bono climbed up on the sculpture and spray painted, "Rock and Roll.  Stop the traffic."

How did he know to have some spray paint with him I'm wondering now?
But that's neither here nor there.  Whenever I see this sculpture, or a picture of this sculpture, I think of this great time of yore.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Image 11: The Young Man

I'm trying to watch better TV.  Remember how I watched that Civil War documentary a few nights ago? Tonight I am trying to watch some BBC detective drama.  It's super annoying.  My alternative is Teen Mom.  This is exactly what I've been trying to avoid.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Image 10: The Fish


Tonight we watched the movie, Conviction.  It's not that great, but if you want to see it you should. Husbandman was not pleased that I spent time learning to make this fish during our movie watching, but I need to focus on my art.

I listened to a bunch of TED talks today while working on Public Law 221 school wide improvement report.  TED talks make me happy.  There are a lot of people out there doing a lot of interesting things.

I also am getting obsessed with our April blogging challenge.  I worked for 15 minutes at a time today, and took breaks in between work sessions to click on everyone's blog to check out their images again.  This pattern was repeated about 60 more times.  Tomorrow I have to buckle down. PL221, we'll be sticking a fork in you in the morrow.  Rest assured.

Image 9: The Hamster

I used to have hamsters.  All their names started with H.  Hamilton was the first. Then Hannah, Hope, Harrison. I think there may have been one more.
Anyway, I'm heading into the worksite today to work on our state mandated school improvement report. The state decided to move up the due date by a couple of months, so several of us will be working all weekend on this job.  Thanks, State.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Image 8: The Office


 #1 son was doing his typical nonsensical talking tonight.

"If I were given some free wishes by a genie,  I'd ask for a barrel of lox, to be really fast at reading, and to be best friends with Del the Funky Homosapien."

I asked him kindly, with genuine interest, "Who's Del the Funky Homosapien?"

 #1 answered, "We've just been over this.  For the love of god."

 Thanks for the kindness, buddy. I really doubt Del the Funky Homosapien would like to be friends with someone who makes snide comments to his mom.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Image 7: The Boy

"Hard tack and salt pork will be our fare."  

I'm watching a show about the Civil War. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Day 6: Symbolic Maze

Well, this day was pretty darned long.  I hate it when I have something that I have to write and I work on it steadily for 10 hours straight and don't get it done.  I hate that a lot.  But I cheered up on my arrival home to hear #1 walking around singing a little song he made up all on his own, in kind of a drawn out dramatic Roxy Music Bryan Ferry style.  The song went like this:  "Sometimes....people are assholes...and I'm not pointing fingers....but I'm.....talking....about you....." 

Not sure you can really get the great effect of this song if you don't hear it sung by #1 son, but believe me, it was pretty inspiring. 


Monday, April 04, 2011

Day 5: The Arch

Why does the Butler game have to begin at 9:30?  Right now I'm watching the pre game warm up.  The UConn head coach Jim Calhoun is actually letting the cameras in to the locker room so we can watch his pep talk.  I don't think he's feeling it.  He just said, "Let's make sure we go out and get 'em."  I've heard more motivating speeches at the laundromat.
Now everyone's saying that they think UConn is going to win tonight.  I'm following the lead of Paolo Freire, and rooting for the underdog.

Day 4: Birthday Man

It's #1 son's birthday.  He's 17 today.  Look how wonderful he looks here, playing his bass. This kid's been a ton o' fun.  Celebration and Appreciation!  I'm feeling it, son.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Day 3: Elephant


At the ASCD conference, I heard Peter Reynolds talk about creativity.  That guy is a twin and he believes everyone should get someone to be their twin because twins have twinergy.  Then today I read a great piece in the magazine about this gal who gave birth to twins.  Everyone kept reacting to her with negative comments when they found out she was having twins, and that got on her nerves.  
So basically I've been thinking about twins lately.  I've taught a bunch of twins, and they've all been super nice.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Day 2: Daffodil

Every year I plan to go to T.C.Steele to check out the daffs and every year I get the timing not quite right.  The buds are stubbornly frozen shut, or they are sadly wilting.  This year I got it right.  Daffodils shining in all their glory.  The effect wasn't actually as great as I thought it would be, probably due to unrealistic expectations.

Friday, April 01, 2011

The April Challenge

The April Blogging Challenge is here!  The April Blogging Challenge Is Here!  It's all about images, dearhearts.  Post an image every day for 30 days.  Photos, drawings, borrowed images from around the sphere.  Add text, or not.  It's all up to you.   I've started the challenge off with Popcorn Man.  I've been drawing Popcorn Man on kid papers for almost 2 decades.  He's easy to draw and communicates a cheerful enthusiasm.  I expect everyone to get on board here.  Don't delay, join the April blogging challenge TODAY!