Monday, December 31, 2012

S3: Letting Go of 2012

Here are some pix I took this year, from each month of 2012, made into a nifty little movie.  This was a year of funny stories from Artful School, tough goodbyes, stunning trips, graduations, elections, blog challenges, fun with the dearest family and friends on the planet.  We are wishing you all a beautiful New Year, good friends. Love 2 U Dears.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

S2: The Novel About Letting Go

Finished Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler.  She's one of my all time faves.  I was nervous to read this one because of mixed reviews, but I should not have been.  I loved every page.  It's about a man dealing with his wife's sudden death. And letting go of some of his notions about what his marriage was and who his wife was and who he was as a husband.  Read it if you feel so inclined.

More on death:  Then this evening I read some of the obituaries in the New York Times Sunday magazine.  Christoph Niemann made a cartoon using excerpts from Maurice Sendak's interview with Terry Gross.  I listened to that interview several times.  I love Maurice Sendak almost as much as I love Anne Tyler.  Anyway, Maurice talked about aging and death in that interview and his words encourage me in my resolve to accept this aging I'm doing.  "I'm not unhappy about becoming old.  I'm not unhappy about what must be.  It makes me cry only when I see my friends go before me, and life gets emptied."

Let go of about 15 pairs of shoes today.  Then we drove into Brown County to take photos of the snowy slopes.  Now off to see Django Unchained.  Loving vacation.  Not sure I'll be able to let it go when the time comes next week.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sankalpa 1: Letting Go of Christmas

In the spirit of letting go I decided to break down Christmas today.  20 Something and Husbandman helped.  We packed up everything, dragged out the tree, and swept up the tree needles in one hour and 23 minutes.  That's pretty good when you think about it.  We had a killer tree this year, so I thanked the tree on its way out the door.  I felt a little sad putting all the stuff away because next year we'll be in Israel, so we won't open those boxes for 2 years.  Still, I started thinking about how fun it will be to have 20Something and #1Son visiting us right around this time next year.  Husbandman and I took a walk through our snowy neighborhood after the holiday was packed safely away.  Splendid snow every where we looked.

I've been reading about Sankalpa. I like the emphasis on making it simple and saying "I am" rather than "I want."

On another note I've seen 3 quite good movies on this beautiful break. While we broke down Christmas, we watched Sleepwalk With Me.  Good. Yesterday, we saw Silver Linings Playbook.  It's delightful and I think Bradley Cooper should get nominated for the Oscar for his quirky performance.  Anna Karenina is also good (Husbandman was less enthusiastic on this one), and I enjoyed the ways memories from reading the book 30 years ago kept popping into my head as I watched.  If you want to see any of these films, you should.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Sankalpa Day 1

I'm in a new blogging challenge and you can be too if you want.  One Woman is hosting and it's going to go on for 24 days.  It's all about Sankalpa.  I've been reading up on this concept through googling.  I'll be focusing on my heartfelt desires for the next 24 days, reminding myself that I am healthy both physically and emotionally and resolving to do what I can to realize my desires in both departments.  I mean, what do I really have to lose here?  One Woman says that part of the practice will be letting stuff go for the next 24 days and not buying any new stuff for 24 days. Today, I'll follow One Woman's lead and let go of a bunch of stuff in my closet that I never wear.  Read more over at One Woman Adventures and jump aboard if you care to.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Here's the story you all have been waiting for!  The story of my mom getting hit by the train!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Merry

There's a lot of food and laughing and merriment down here with the family.  Cliche, but yes, my friends, I'm feeling lucky and in high spirits.  Love to you all on this Christmas of 2012.
Haven't opened gifts yet because my dad is at mass.  Hurry up DAD!  I asked him to leave right after communion.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Fam

Georgia's on my mind right now.  We are in Nashville, and we have breakfasted.  It's time to fly.
Mom,  how are the haystacks coming along?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fall 2012 #75: The Challenge

Well, looks like we made it.  75 posts during the season of fall.  It wasn't easy, but somehow we got the job done.  Gotta tell you, the fall challenge got me outside more, got me looking around and noticing  the greatness of the season.  Tonight we're getting our first snow, on fall's final day. Coincidence?  I think not.  Good Pal Menosky sent the snow to thank us for a great challenge.  Obv. Thanks pals for writing and reading with me through the great Fall of 2012.
Now, on to winter break.  Not a minute 2 soon.

Fall 2012 #74: The Watch

We're watching a movie called The Watch.  I love Vince Vaughn's face.  You should watch The Watch if you want to.

Fall 2012 #73: The Job

Stayed pretty cheerful today.  Taught 2 really fantastic classes this morning, Thirds and Kinders. Lunchroom had a few fun moments.  Helped a bit in first grade and before I left they sang and grooved to Jingle Bell Rock for me.  Then we had the school sing.  One gal was crying a bit because she had no partner to sit near.  "Everyone's partnered up already.  Even my brother won't be my partner.  And I know who his partner is.  It's his GIRLFRIEND!" she wailed. After I got the inside deets on the girlfriend situation, I offered her a spot next to a nice older kid.  "I don't even know who that kid is!" she started crying again.  Then her teacher waved her over.  "It's totally squished over there!" she sobbed.  Somehow between her friendly teacher's kind waving and my supportive encouragement, we got her into the spirit.  My fave song of the day:  Must Be Santa.  That song can not be beat.

 I've got til midnight to write 2 more posts.  But right now I'm heading out to celebrate Judith's birthday. NO matter what, I've got to remember to blog when I get home.  This can be done.  Oh yes, it can be done.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fall 2012 #72: The Pitch In

We're having a holiday pitch in tomorrow.  The Office Staff is supplying the main courses.  Yesterday good friend Sandra explained to me that I am actually part of the Office Staff.  I explained that technically my office was not in the main suite of offices.  I'm across the hall.  She tried to break it to me kindly but other office staff people broke in and basically said, "Tough Luck, You're making something."  So of course I had to freak out a bit.  But I'm here to report that I'm able to blog prolifically tonight because 20 something daughter is downstairs right now making a macaroni and cheese for me to bring to the pitch in.  Thank you, 20 Something!!!!!!!!

Fall 2012 #71: The Cards

I've enjoyed getting the holiday cards in the mail.  I should send some out this year.

Fall 2012: #70: The Pal

Another great thing about Fall?  It's Judith's birthday. I feel lucky to have Judith as my true blue pal. You should follow Judith on Twitter.  Love you a lot, young lady. Happy Birthday.

Fall 2012 #69: The Fall

The Perky Preschool Teacher who is just about as awesome as a teacher can get asked me to help out today with their seasons inquiry center.  They're studying Painting by Marsden Hartley.  Their concept is PATTERNS.  So anyway, in this center they have been studying seasons.  So when I got there, PPT was going to split up the kids into season centers.  I got to reach into the hat and pick my season first.  I said, "OMG, I'm hoping I get my favorite season!"  I pulled out FALL on the FIRST nab!  I was dancing about in happiness.  That's when PPT reminded the preemies to accept any season they happened to pull from the hat.  Anyway, I went to the fall center where a zillion fall books sat on the table.  The preemies were supposed to look through the books and tell me fall stuff that they saw and I would write the fall stuff on a paper.  I think they liked to say my name because for about 20 minutes all I heard was "Dr. H, red berries!" and "Dr. H. Colorful Leaves!" and "Dr. H. jack-o-lanterns!" and "Dr. H. I love you Dr. H." Obviously, I was in my glory, taking dictation and soaking in the sweet friendliness.  I'm going back on Thursday.

Fall 2012 #68: The Lunchroom

Choices today:  Salad bar, hamburger, or chili cheese wrap.  Only real drama that occurred was a kinder who kept calling some first grade boys, "dicks."

Fall 2012 #67: The Story I wrote about a true event

My Offering to the Work Deities
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, I used to have weekly meetings with teachers at various times during the week, often after school.  Then the monarchs of the kingdom decided to have late starts on Wednesdays and all the teacher teams met at exactly the same time for one hour.  Lo, I found I could not attend 7 meetings at once, and so I wandered aimlessly, wishing for contact.  But Lo yet again, suddenly, on a bright late fall afternoon, the tribe of third grade teachers assembled, in my very office.  Together we set upon hashing out standards, assessments, and lo these many future plans.  And so, in the end, I felt connected and part of the good work of the tribe and left this very day wishing we could return some day to after school and lunch time meetings of yore, when I was verily in attendance.

Fall 2012 #66: The Sun

I may see this child's birth in the new year.  Not really sure.
Kinders are studying Castle and Sun, by Paul Klee, as I've told you in a previous post.  Today New Little Red Head's teacher brought him to show me his original creation, a crayon resist water color of a beautiful castle.  "He really worked hard on this and we wanted to show you," she told me.
He concurred adding, "I worked hard making this castle.  I didn't put a sun."
"So what do you call this?" asked his teacher.
I told him it looked great.
"I could put a sun on it if you want," he told us.
I said, "I think it's perfect."
"Yeah, it is," he told me back.
New Little Red Head scores AGAIN!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fall 2012 #65: The Story

One day this second grade kid (whom I adore) asked me if anyone could get hit by a train and still be alive.  "Kid," I told him. "The answer is yes.  My MOM got hit by a train and she is still alive."
The kid begged me to tell him the story, but I told him that it was too noisy and I needed just the right quiet to tell the story. Every day, cool kid asks for the story but I'm always too frazzled to oblige. So today the kiddos were actually being awesome in the lunchroom (MIRACLE OF MODERN SCIENCE!)  and Kid asked for the story for the gazillionth time.  So I told the story of my mom getting hit by the train.  I did not use the microphone because I didn't want to interrupt the eating of other diners. As I told the story, Kid's entire table listened with rapt attention.  Peeps at other tables were quietly listening as well.  One nearby kid asked me to tell the story again, using the microphone.  I declined.  Then she asked me if I would tell the story to her table tomorrow.  "Yes," I replied.  "I will come by tomorrow and tell the story to your table."  It's an amazing story, so their enthusiasm makes sense to me.  I get it.  

Right now, I have 3 more things on my TO DO list before I can blow this pop stand and get home to fun with the fam.

Fall 2012 #64: The Microphone

We have a lavalier microphone in the lunchroom.  Some days it doesn't work well, but today was a day when it worked divinely.  Man alive, I was singing in that thing, humming, chanting, extolling, cajoling.  It was awesome.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fall 2012 #63: The Review

I finished a book called Wonder by R.J. Palacio this morning.  Super good.  I bought it for a few peeps for the holiday.  After I read the book, I began a thorough cleaning of the homestead in preparation of our 20 something coming home tonight.  I'm nervous about the stuff I did not accomplish at the jobsite, but that's neither here nor there. Reading, cleaning. Doing my best.  Forgetting the rest.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fall 2012 #62: The Bustle

I'm loving the holiday bustle---the music, the decor, the gifties.  I was invited to join a cookie exchange this week, but come to find out you have to make 6 dozen cookies.  Who in their right mind could / would bake 6 dozen cookies?  I almost got talked into it twice, but I am resolute.  Still, I'd like to have some of the cookies baked by others and hope they'll be inclusive when sharing at school on Monday.

Fall 2012 #61: The Tree

Christmas tree's up.  Did some Christmas shopping today.  Fun fall stuff.

Fall 2012 #60: The Hobbit

We saw The Hobbit this afternoon.  #1 Son and I appreciated it in all its splendor.  Husbandman was less (than) enthusiastic.  I think The Hobbit will grow on him.  If you want to see this film adaptation of Tolkien's 1937 novel, you probably should.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fall 2012 #59: The Masterworks

We're working on unit revision on at Artful School.  These are the masterworks I've learned about over the past 2 days:
Kinders:  Castle and Sun by Paul Klee.  Concept:  Cause and Effect
Firsties:  Lazy River by Hoagy Carmichael.  Concept:  Relationships
Seconds:  Rite of Spring by Stravinsky.  Concept:  Transitions
Thirds:  Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael.  Concept:  Origins
Fourthies:  The Indiana Murals by Thomas Hart Benton.  Concept:  Interdependence
Fivies:  Drouth Stricken Area by Andrew Hogue.  Concept:  Can't remember right now, for some reason.
Sixers:  Sagrada Familia by Gaudi.  Concept:  Transformation.

Fun stuff.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fall 2012 #58: The Air

Got outside this afternoon. I'm doing the couch to 5K gig again for the gazillionth time.  It felt so good to be outside.  I've been fairly cooped up of late.  Tomorrow our Artful Learning consultants come for a visit.  I'm lucky to be able to focus on art every once in awhile at Artful School.  It feels like something I need.  Air, art.  So far, so good.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fall 2012 #57: The Violins

Many of our kiddos at Artful School play violins.  Today they had a recital.  It was phenomenal.

I'm at work and getting kind of punchy. Had to take a quick blogging break.

Now I'm back in the game.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Fall 2012 #56: The Flat

Watched a documentary called The Flat this afternoon.  It's something you really should see if you feel like it.  Sad, disturbing, moving, intriguing.  Good job, Arnon Goldfinger.

Fall 2012 #55: The Birth

Fall is a time for the faculty holiday party.  We met at a place called Crazy Horse.  I am still hoarse from screaming for a few hours because Crazy Horse is a very loud place.  Or maybe I just wanted to have as many people as possible hear my tales.  Not sure.  Let's not waste time haggling about details and let's get to the crux of this entry. Here's what I'm excited about.  FunNewTeacher is pregnant.  After taking a picture of her profile I asked her if I could attend the birth of her child.
Her response, "Sure. I don't care" filled me with instant glee. Just to seal the deal I offered to give her 100 dollars, but she was fine either way.  The birth is happening in winter.  I've always wanted to see a human being born so I'm stoked. So fall, so good.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Fall 2012 #54: The President

Watched a film about President Lincoln today.  It was a fine film that held my interest. Kudos, Steven Spielberg.  Once again, you've done well.

If you want to see Lincoln, you should. Indeed you should.

These final fleeting days of fall are fraught with freneticism. Gotta get the tree going tomorrow.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Fall 2012 #53 The President's Dog

President Obama sent us this Christmas card.  As you can see, the card features the portuguese pet dog who answers to the name of Bo.  It's kind of sweet that he has that jaunty scarf around  his neck. About every 20 years I start thinking about having a dog. I know it won't work. Sorry Bo, you're staying with the pres, bud.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Fall 2012 #52: The Caroling

This week I've been getting home a bit late.  Husbandman's been watching TV in bed when I get home.  So tonight I decided to carol outside our bedroom door for Husbandman's entertainment.  I stood in the hall and sang Jingle Bells.  Then I launched into The First Noel.  Husbandman pretty much just kept on watching the Pacers game, but I suspect my caroling put him in a holiday mood.  Jolly, so to speak.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fall 2012 #51: The iPads

I'm at an iPad workshop this morning.  It hasn't started yet.  I hope I learn something new and fascinating because I love the iPad a lot. I have to leave at lunch time because 50,000 things are happening at Artful School this afternoon.  But that's okay.  I want to just do my best and forget the rest.
Here's something else.  I saw a beautiful documentary last night called Orchestra of Exiles.  It's about Brunislaw Huberman and how he started an orchestra in Palestine because the Nazis were firing Jewish musicians in Europe.  It's a great movie, and if you want to see it, you really should.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Fall 2012 #50: The Bean

Just got back from Chicago.  I was at the regional NCTM conference.  The hotel did not have free wifi so that was bogus but everything else was fantastic.  I learned some stuff, got to see the Bean, ate some meals.  Now I'm heading in to work to catch up on about a gazillion and fifty things.  So fall, so good. Except I'm starting to get nervous about the blogging challenge.

Husbandman's trying to convince me that we're not in fall anymore.  He considers DECEMBER to be winter.  HUSBANDMAN, what in the world?????

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...