Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Glove

Poor kiddo lost her glove today.  I wanted to get her gloves out of the social worker's office, but I couldn't find any.  Lots of underpanties and socks, but no gloves.  What the hey? This firstie-girl feared her mom may have mixed feelings about the missing glove. We searched, but in the end, there was nothing to do, but send her out in the cold with her little hand stuck into her coat pocket. Later a little kinder had spilled spaghetti sauce all over his nice white polo.  His teacher asked me to help him get a new shirt at the social worker's office and that I ask someone to launder the polo.  I didn't even know we had laundry services.  The dryer's broken today come to find out, so the kid was stuck with a black tshirt, that he desired to wear with his polo collar smartly displayed outside of the tshirt collar.  Do you get the look I'm going for with this description?  Anyway, I wish I had the magic power of replacing lost or soiled garments, in a small amount of time.  That would be pretty neat.  And even useful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Snow

Let's see.  What happened today?  Well, for one thing, today we had a fabulous snow, but it didn't stick to the ground.  While I waited for Husbandman to pick me up at artful school, I stood out in the falling snow for a bit.  The night felt cool and lovely.  Super dark with shiny flakes floating about.  Then we zipped over to Cafe Django for some snowy jazz and nutty noodles.  #1 sounded great.  Snow.  Jazz.  A good day.  And we still have a few hours left.  I kind of don't want anything to happen though.  That was enough.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Work

Artful People came to our school today to help us with our upcoming units.  Some people get a little annoyed with the Artfuls because they really push us to think about our units in new ways.  I know I'm not a teacher writing a unit, but I love these conversations.  I love the point where the tension builds to a pretty intense point and then dissolves when we all find ourselves coming around to a new idea through consensus.  It's tough stuff, and great work.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Exits

Let's see.  What happened today?  Nothing too much, except that my first born child got on an airplane and exited the state.  She'll be back in 17 days, so I guess I should just stop whining.  Still, this exiting the state thing really sticks in my craw.  And #1 Son has applied for some out of state colleges, verily, this very day. Even though I begged him not to do so.  I don't believe in pressuring the children, EXCEPT when it comes to exiting the state.  That kind of behavior really goes too far.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Gratitude

Dia de Accion de Gracias.  One for the record books.  Food, family, fun. Festivity.  Gratitude galore. 
Tomorrow, I will blog about the big hand turkeys we made.  They are amazing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Youth

Twenty Something Daughter arrived today.  And so did WonderNeph.  It's nice having the youth around.  We took a walk on campus and visited the IU Art Museum.  Saw an exhibit of posters that were made in Iran during and after the 1979 revolution.  The poster makers were not huge fans of the U.S., let me tell you.  Cool posters though, nevertheless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Hallway

A medium was sitting down outside of his classroom door this afternoon, which usually means someone's taking a little time out from classroom life.  "I suck at behavior," he told me as I walked by.
"We all have things we're working on, Bud," I assured him.  He really does suck at behavior, but he is charming in lots of ways.  I have to admire his critical consciousness.  And the amazing patience of his teacher.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Stuff

Stuff was happening all over the place today.

Probably best thing that happened was getting a new book in the mail from Good Pal Menosky.  She read on my twitter about my new pin that shows the title of the new book ONE LOVE, (remember it's adapted from the Bob Marley song) and SHE SENT ME THE ACTUAL BOOK.  I sang it with my home visitors this very evening.  I am so jazzed to think of GPM, far away in Michigan, reading my tweets in the first place.  Then to get a book out of the whole thing was an awesome bonus.  I want to work on #bookaday over the winter break, so I'm stacking up the picture boks a mile high.  Thanks, GPM.  SO MUCH!  The book's beautiful.

Another good thing that happened was that we got some home visitors. Sister In Law and Brother in Law to be exact.  And we went to an IU basketball game.  It was a great game.  Big lead for IU.  One problem was that I didn't know the name of the team we were playing.  So all through the game, the announcer kept saying, "Foul for Gardner Webb" and "3 pointer for Gardner Webb."  So about halfway through the second half, I said to Sister IL, "This Gardner Webb does it all.  You can't stop this kid. But it seems like he would be fouled out by now."  That's when she told me that Gardner Webb was the name of the team, not an actual person on the team. So that was a little embarrassing.

Another thing that happened is I got another horrid visual migraine from 2:25 to 3:05.  Really messed up my work.

And now back to the great things that happened. I got to spend time giving a reading inventory to a little girl who kept stopping the inventory to teach me songs and tell me stories.  At one point we were reading about sisters and she said, "My little sister is really nasty.  She eats grease off the comb!"
No one's ever said that to me before, and right away I recognized it as something I probably would never forget in my entire life.

So that was a day for the record books.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Rubbing

Got back from 4 glorious days with JUDITH in Chicago at NCTE to find that some deer who's in rutting season has RUBBED and SCRAPED my tulip tree that I planted from a sapling.  Okay, I didn't plant it from a sapling.  Someone came and planted it for me when it was pretty large already, BUT, this tree is our up and coming tall tree for when our other dying tree next to it actually dies.  SO ANNOYING!  I give everything to those deer.  And this is how I'm repaid?  Couldn't rub and scrape the  dying tree.  If that tulip tree dies, there will be hell to pay.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Lunch

Yes, had lunch with miscellaneous missives today.  Is that wild or WHAT?  Two bloggers, who have never before met, come together for lunch at a Greek restaurant, in a city far away from their residences. MIND BLOWING!  It's called the power of the internets, mah fronds, the power of the internets.  And now I've learned, from using my literacy skills, that MM had her birthday yesterday.  Geez, I wish I had known that pre-lunch.

Also went to a lot of great sessions.  And ate some deep dish pizza, aka Chicago staple.

I've spent 45$ over the last 3 days to use the internets.  I take the challenge seriously, and I'm ready to put my money where my blog is.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Profession

I went to a hell of a lot of great sessions today, but probably my favorite was called something like, "Where would we be without Paulo Freire?"  Most everyone reading this knows about Freire, but if you don't, skim this and realize his awesomeness.  There were 5 people on this panel, educators doing absolutely phenomenal work in schools.  All the speakers talked about the power of a teacher to make a difference in people's lives.  I started crying because sometimes I feel I've downplayed the power of a teacher in my own mind.  I've even told my own two amazing children NOT to go into education.  I've let my frustrations with the educational system chip away at my own sense of self worth as an educator.  NO MORE, MAH FRONDS!  Today I listened to the words of amazing critical educators and I felt inspired by them, and proud of my own attempts to make some small difference in the ways schooling works for kiddos.  20 something daughter, and #1 Son, If you want to be teachers, you really should.  It's a tough gig, but an amazing one.  And of course I will proudly support you no matter what you choose to do!
So, what happened to me today?  I rededicated myself (ONCE AGAIN) to this beautiful job we call teaching.  NCTE does this to me every time!  Now, off we go to Bin 36!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hotel

Come to find out, there's a new blogging challenge.  I read about it at Indiana Rock, but the initiator is Pronto Pup.  (Thanks, Pronto.  This is going to be awesome!)  It's all about writing things that happen to us each day.  Nothing's happened to me so far.  I've been quietly and with great consideration for others checking email in the dark because my ncte roomie, judith, just keeps sleeping. I've been up for hours.  It got to be 8:30 and she was still silent as a cadaver.   Finally I whispered to her, "Judith, you've got to wake up.  I want coffee and I don't want to go without you.  I'll be too lonely."
     Now the good news, Judith is in the shower and soon, rollamos.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Packing

Problem with packing.  How many times have we gone through this?  I'm going to get it done and then I'll be on the trip.

Today I wrote with some suave seconders. They were a boisterous crew, but I loved being back in action with writer's workshop.   One kiddo didn't want to write.  He asked to go to the restroom, but I told him to write a few sentences first.  He went over to a corner and cried for about 20 minutes.  Then he came back to his table and wrote a sentence.  I compromised and sent him off to the restroom.  When he came back he was carrying a huge piece of wet paper towel, which he was laying over his face while still simpering.  "I need to go to the nurse now," he whinged.  "I'm not feeling well."
"Not going to happen pal," I told him.  So the crying began anew.  Luckily, recess time came and he cheerfully went off to play, with nary a care in the world.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Advice

2 bits of advice I'm trying to integrate into my Calm til Christmas Initiative.  This one guy said that it's important to manage your energy as opposed to managing your time.  So when I feel my energy being ZAPPED by some energy zapping event, I try to move on and do something nice for myself for a few moments, recharging, so to speak.  And this other guy said that we should all have To DON'T lists that we treat with reverence.  Today my To Don't List I wrote, "WORRY!"  And when I felt myself pulling back into a worrisome mood, I would take some breaths and try to remember that for today I am not going to worry. It works temporarily.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Trip

I'm obsessed with a Chicago song right now.  "Hold me now.  It's hard for me to say I'm sorry.  I just want you to stay!"  I was never a huge Chicago fan, but somehow, in hindsight, the songs sound kind of good and weird.
It very well might be because I'm going to Chicago on WEDNESDAY !!!!  V. excited about NCTE.  I've spoken at NCTE for the last 10 years in a row.  This year I'm not presenting and I thought I would feel anxiety about that, but I really do not.  Not speaking at NCTE has really helped me with my goal to stay calm to Christmas. That initiative is going v. well by the way.  I'm having fun and getting it done.  And Chicago is 4 days away.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Braggadoccio

#1 Son and I (and Husbandman) were in the paper today.  #1 Son was selected as one of the Arts STARS! from our local high schools. I was listed as his mom (and husbandman was named as his father).  I feel v. proud.  Along with a list of great musical accomplishments, #1 made a nice comment about how important music is to him.  I've noticed that.  The kid's either playing music or listening to it pretty much all the time.  Tonight he played a gig at the Convention Center.  And right now he's in bed reading about a musician, Miles Davis. Congratulations, Arts Star! BASSically, we think you're FAB!!!!  Get it??? BASSically???  BASS????

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Centers

Teachers worked on Artful Learning units today.  I worked with 3 different grade levels.  I'm excited about their inquiry centers. With the 3rd grade team, I am helping plan an inquiry center on "food systems."  I want to compare fast food and slow food systems.   With the second grade team, I'm going to try to put together an inquiry center about Bloomington's first settlers.  I spent hours thinking about these centers today and really haven't started putting anything together.  I'll figure it out.  I like doing this kind of work.  But it takes time and a lot of brain work.  So much easier to just teach someone something than to set them up for learning it on their own.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Prayers

Friends,  Our Good Pal Dorothy Menosky has put in a request for prayers.  Her wonderful sister in law Georgine has recently been diagnosed with cancer.  Dorothy can probably tell us more in comments.  But for now, send some prayers, vibes, heart sensations, loving thoughts, out to the world for Georgine today.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Adult

20 something daughter turns 21 today.  She's a grown up person now. And for some reason this birthday of hers has brought me a deep sense of accomplishment throughout the day.  Happy Birthday, 20 something.  Now you are really 20 something, and not 20 nothing.  You are so loved. And so loving.  We  are feeling v. lucky around here, just knowing you and knowing you'll be home in less than 3 weeks.

But here's the bad part.  We've got a chipmunk running around in the house.  We see it every few days, darting here and there.  It ate a package of ramen in the laundry room/pantry area.  And it's freaking me out.  Turns out we have a live trap, but come on.  I'm supposed to pick up a cage with a live chipmunk in it, gnashing its teeth and growling at me and throwing its body against the cage walls?????

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Blog

I've been driving up to Indianapolis for a conference every day this week.  It's not the greatest conference, but it's not the worst conference either.  At one session we got to "backchannel" which is basically just twittering with the other peeps in the room during the lecture.  It was fun, but I wish the speakers had interacted with our comments a bit.  Seemed like parallel play.  I checked my emails/blog/twitter/facebook during the talk and found out that WordSavvy met a blog reader who is neither friend nor kin.  An actual, detached reader, out in the world.  Reading about this reader made me want to pimp my blog during the backchannel so badly.  I kept thinking about how I could work it into our chat about educational shifts toward 21st century skills. In the end, I showed restraint and did not pimp this blog.  That was tough stuff, but I decided to stay focused on the talk, the backchannel, and my twitter feed and just enjoy the moment.

The New Blue

Our home is being painted .  I love this new blue.  It used to all be the red brickish color of the deck as shown above.  For various reas...