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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Room

For 2 years, 20 Something's Daughter has been empty (shrinelike) and we really haven't used it at all.  This year (2012) I got the great idea to start using her room as a place to work.  I'm very productive in here.  And very happy.  THANKS, 20 Something!  I'm living up to my Woolfian potential.  Still sad (to v. sad) you're gone tho.  Just fyi.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Cuff

I had to buy a blood pressure cuff because my blood pressure, after an entire lifetime of being low, has decided to be high now. (I hate you for this, blood pressure).  I have to take several readings and then go back to the doctor in a few weeks.  Every time I take my blood pressure it's high.  Sometimes it's v. high.  And then I feel like crying and I worry about having a stroke.  I'm having a ton of fear and anxiety about taking my blood pressure.  I hate to do it and I get short of breath right before I put the cuff on my arm.  I'm supposed to take my blood pressure today, but I don't think I can face it.  My blood pressure can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Gifts

I'm crazy about this bearded lizard who goes by the name of Spike.  He's so gentle and kind.  I'm glad I overcame my fears and let him crawl on my body.

On another note, I went to a baby shower after school today.  We ate food and watched an incredibly hard working and very pregnant young teacher open up gift after gift.  I found myself longing for a type of shower for myself that involved gifts.  Not sure what the theme of my shower should/would be.  But if I could open up a bunch of gifts for an hour, I know I'd be in a pretty good mood after that. I could have a "Getting sick of having a cold sore shower," or a "My eye twitching has returned and is driving me crazy Shower."  If you have any good ideas for showers for yourself or for me, let me know.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Desire

My desire to finish a task today is bumping up against my strong anxiety around the task.  This is the conundrum of the ages.  Instead of working, I took a short nap.  Now I'm at the desk.  But instead of working, I'm blogging.  Going to crank up the timer and see what happens.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Newbies

With my one Book one School project, I'm going around reading books to one and all.  This week it's Martin's Big Words.  After the reading, I give the kiddos a blank booklet and a sheet of quotes from the book.  They can pick quotes to glue into their book and then write their reactions to the quote.  The kids are writing such moving comments.  The project's a success so far.  Today I walked up to 2 new 5thsters and introduced myself.  They told me their names as they were cutting quotes into their books.
     "Did you love the book I shared?" I asked them and they both replied in the affirmative.
     "What about this project I made up?  Don't you think it's pretty cool to make these little books?"  They nodded and smiled and both said something about how it was fun to make the books.
    "I love you both already," I told them, "and I'm so glad you're here."
      Those kids were darned friendly and I loved their openness and sincerity.  Welcome New 5thsters!
     

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The School

Today I read a poem/song with some 3rd graders about the Erie Canal.  Had a mule and her name was Sal.  15 years on the Erie Canal.  Through discussion of the poem which was inscrutable to the kiddos, I taught them about canals, the cities of Albany and Buffalo,  barges, hauling, and the art of navigation.  And also mules.  I have nothing against introducing new concepts.  In fact I'm for it.  Why wake up in the morning if you're not going to learn anything new is basically my mantra.  But I'm going to need to bring in some visuals I think to really seal the deal on this.  One thing I've got to figure out is this:  Did mules pull the barges up the canal?  How'd that work out?

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Sparrow

I think I might just be coming out of the torpor that's been imposed upon me by the GREAT HEAD COLD OF 2012.  Evidence:  Saw a song sparrow this morning.  Reading a beautiful little book called Missed Connections that everyone should read if they want.  Stood and walked a goodly amount of paces with no tissue box cradled in my arms.  Smiled a few times this morning.

Next steps:  Actually considering making a plan or two.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Pin

I taught at Saint Angela Hall Academy in Brooklyn New York in 1984 and 1985. While I was teaching in that beautiful little school, I asked my mom to get some materials for me from the MLKJr Center in Atlanta and she sent me a film strip that I showed for about 20 years until film strip projectors didn't exist anymore, a set of post cards and posters that have been on bulletin boards in 3 different states and a small pin with Dr. King's image on it.  I love this pin and wear it every year for much of January.  On Friday we had our Dr. King convocation at school, which was v. excellent.  After, I was helping corral kids to their lines.  A little firstie came over and gave me a huge hug.  Then she looked up at my pin and said, "Now who is that?"
"It's Dr. Martin Luther King, the man we've just been talking about!" I replied.
"Hmmm.  We used to call him Junior," she told me back.

I explained that I had just left off the Junior part and that his name hadn't changed.  What a sweet kid.  My new book for the whole school is Martin's Big Words.  I've read it now to 2 first grade classes, a 2nd grade class and a 5/6 combo class.  They've all responded positively and I'm loving this project.  So, thanks MOM for helping me share Dr. King's legacy with so many kids over the years!  And Thanks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for reminding me to choose the path of love and non violence.  Happy King Holiday, Everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Teacher

Our friend Nance was in the paper yesterday.    Nance's students had their writing published in an anthology. Her kids get published every year.  Nance believes in showing kiddos what power their writing can have when it gets out in the world.  Besides being a world famous writing teacher, Nance is just an all round great pal.   If something needs to be done, Nance gets it done.  If you need help, Nance is going to help you. If you just want to talk about everyone in the world who's bugging you, Nance is right there with you, agreeing and supporting.   Nance is an inspiration to me, and to a few others around here. Thanks for being capital G for GREAT, Nancer.  Love you doll.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Classrooms

Today I worked in 5 classrooms.  The firsties are really starting to write now.  After I listened to their pieces, I kept whispering in their ears, "Your writing is like a rocket ship that's flying all the way to the moon!"  They did seem pleased with this creative simile.  I wouldn't mind teaching first grade again.  I love the way they learn how to read and they're mostly super friendly.  I had fun with 3rdies and 4rthies as well today, making our thinking maps about the book These Hands.  Those were my last two classes for the One Book One Fairview Reading project.  The kids are starting to get into it.  The 4th graders asked questions like, "What's taken you so long to get back in here?"  and "Do you have the new book picked out yet?"  I told them that I was probably going to read something about Dr. Martin Lurther King Jr., and they all cheered.  So that settles that!  I keep thinking I can turn this project into a nifty little paper, but I haven't gotten organized yet, so who knows.  Maybe it will be just for fun, as they say in Akumal.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Working

I have gotten to work with grade level teams on a bunch of different tasks for the past two days.  V. fun stuff. But sometimes we have to talk about sad stuff like low test scores.  We all get through it, but it can be tense.  And I hate adding to teacher tension.  I want to be supportive, 100%, but I did have a cold today and had to blow my nose a lot, so I was probably blunter than I could have been.  Sorry teachers, You know I love you all dearly and respect the hard work you do.

  But here's the really big news.  I've had 5 pairs of pants in my closet for months (one has been in there for over a year) because I never like to take things to be hemmed and I have short legs.  But good news!!!  I got them hemmed at a great shop and now I have 5 new pairs of pants. WAY to get the job done!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Firsties

I read this beautiful book to some firsties and some seconders yesterday.  It's about a boy and his grandfather.  The grandfather has a stroke, and slowly recovers with little grandson's help.  The firsties were a little freaked about strokes as I read.  They kept saying stuff like, "This is really sad."  and "I'm scared to get old."
I intervened when I heard that last ageist remark, saying, "Getting old isn't scary.  It's fun.  Look at all my grey hairs.  I'm getting pretty old and I'm having a great time!"
The kids eyed me suspiciously and then Little Cutie asked, "Have you had your stroke yet?"

I explained that not everyone gets a stroke and the kids calmed down a bit.  We finished the story and they all cheered at the end.  So I'm pretty sure they liked it.  Kudos once again to you, Tomie dePaola.  If you're reading this, let me tell you first hand that I love your books.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Tweets

Tonight I will live tweet The Bachelor, and so will 20 something Daughter. And maybe KC will too?
I guess you might say there's a certain amount of irony in the fact that at this very moment I'm reading a book about a society that matches its young people by partnering people who can create the healthiest offspring together.  It's an eerie little book, but it has made me think more about arranged marriages.  An arranged marriage reality tv show would be fun to watch.  This might already exist somewhere.  I'll investigate.  Okay, this concept has already been developed.