Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Creativity Share

 I'm heading to the school district's annual meet and greet.  I'm pretty sure the superintendent wants to remind us to encourage creativity in all its forms in our own lives and in the lives of our students.

There's a big creative event tonight at Upland Brewery. #1 Son is playing some jazzy jazz outside on the patio from 7 to 9.  I'll probably go there and relax and listen.

And another creative thing is this.  I was looking through my extensive picture book collection and I found a book given me by Good Pal Menosky.  It's a book of black and white photographs taken in a city somewhere and each photograph is accompanied by a haiku.  First day activity sitting right there, people.  BOOM.  We'll take our iPads outside and photograph something cool at school.  I also want the kids to take some selfies because we're starting the year with a look in to how our actions enhance wellness for ourselves and for others.

So there you have it.  Thursday creativity share is again a wrap.  Jackson Pollock.  Jazz on a summer evening.  Black and white photography.  Haiku.  Selfies.  In a nutshell, creative.  Let's get it done.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


And #TwinTuesday rolls around again.  This pairing was initiated by KC.  Board game and whisk. First I heard of it, I was struggling to wake up and verticalize.  Luckily, we own games galore as well as a whimsical whisk.  KC, thanks for keeping #TwinTuesday on track this week.

Remember how yesterday I woke up and was all excited about getting my classroom set up?  I had some setbacks to the setup my friends.  Gather round and I'll tell you my tale.  First off, the computers in my room are connected with thousands of wires.  These wires lay in a big jumbled incredible inscrutable heap, nearly in plain view.  These wires cause me consternation.  In short, they really are unattractive.  I spent about an hour trying to straighten the situation out.  Finally I called Husbandman and told him with some urgency, "You know, I could really use some help over here!" He came in the afternoon and worked on the wires for quite a long time.  Big improvement, but I think Husbandman plans to come back with some twist ties to work longer on the wires today or tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure he wants to make sure the job gets done right. THANK YOU HUSBANDMAN!

Here's another set back to the set up.  I decided to walk around to see some other classrooms.  Get the lay of the land so to speak.  Since my classroom looks like the barest army barracks you've ever seen in a depressing movie about young soldiers and the painful boot camp experience, I thought I might gather a few ideas.  This was a mistake.  There are 2 creatives down the hall from me whose classrooms could be featured in Architectural Digest. I'm not lying. These classrooms are the most beautiful, most magical spaces I've ever beheld. After freaking out independently, I found a good pal by the name of Jayma and explained to her that the magical rooms were freaking me out and she said, "Oh, come on.  Your room always looks great."  I said, "No. My room is a pit. Come look at these rooms with me."  We walked in together and she stopped in her tracks.  "Oh wow.  Okay, I see what you're saying.  This is amazing."  So you know that got my psycho soup stirred up pretty darn well.  

Thank goodness we had the Bachelorette finale to calm me down for 3 hours last night.  Not only did I get to see the love of a brand new couple, I also got to be DONE with watching The Bachelorette for a year or so.  This was a long nine weeks and honestly, I don't think I got a lot out of it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Baccalaureate

Just got back from an International Baccalaureate conference.  It was glorious.  Our school is one year into our IB work and I've been interested in the process.  Now I'm pumped up, committed, psyched.  #GoIB!

We heard many great speakers over the 3 days in beautiful Chicago.  My favorite was Sir Ken Robinson.  I wish I could work with him on a creative project.  Judith and I also want to take a Bollywood dance class.  We were inspired by some young Bollywood dancers from Peirce School.

Today's creative project will involve getting my classroom in shape for the incoming Thirdlanders. So excited.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday Creativity Share: Kinetic Vision Machines

When we were on Prince Edward Island, we went to a museum in Charlottetown and saw this kinetic vision machine created by Pascal Dufaux.  Three cameras move about taking random videos which are then projected on to screens at delayed times.  I could have stayed inside this installation all day long.  I wish we could have a kinetic vision machine installed in the classroom for the new Thirdlanders. It could also be wonderful to have one in our living room or kitchen, here at home.

Judith and I are heading to Chicago today.  We are meeting up with some worksite colleagues and will attend an International Baccalaureate Conference of the Americas. I'm extremely excited.  I came in to the trip late, so I have to take on a new identity when registering.  For this weekend, you may refer to me as Megan Carpenter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Wow.  I'm crazy about this baking dish map combo.  It shouts out adventure and pioneer spirit, right?
Today I'm going to a 3 hour workshop to learn more about a computerized program called CANVAS. I love to learn stuff, so I'm hoping to keep the spirit of this #TwinTuesday pairing in my mind today.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Relationship

I'm writing about teachers working in the ways that editors do.  Maybe today I will finish the chapter I've been revising, based on an editor's suggestions.  It's been funny to write about how editors work while working with an actual editor.  I wonder if she thinks I'm accurate in my descriptions of editor - author relationships.  She doesn't seem to love my proposal, but she keeps asking me to change it, so maybe we're having a good relationship.  I think we're both here for the right reasons, but I'm not always sure.

I am close to finishing this latest revision. Husbandman has been, as usual, an amazing consultant and advisor as I've sat pulling out my hair.  He's kind of like Chris Harrison in a way.

Maybe the editor will like this latest revision and we'll take our relationship to the next level.

Maybe she won't and we'll break up and it will be time to work on something else.  I still haven't crocheted that owl I mentioned earlier in the summer.

The important thing for me right now is to finish the latest rewrite. The requested revisions have been significant and I've struggled to figure out how to take apart the chapter and piece it all back together.
I've been buoyed up about this project over coffee and bagels this morning, reading articles about Harper Lee's relationship with her editor, Tay Hohoff.  Another amazing editor - author relationship with beautiful, lasting, results. Tay Hohoff is my latest editor crush. Let's keep this among ourselves.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Portraiture

I missed Thursday Creativity Share yesterday.  I did think about it and had ideas, but things have been kind of slip sliding around here lately.  On the good side, I had a great meeting with the third grade team yesterday and it was fun to chat about school stuff.  I love 3rd grade and Thirdlanders in general.  We're going to start the year with an inquiry into Who We Are, with a focus on what constitutes personal, societal, and global wellness.  Just getting the wheels turning felt good yesterday.  I started thinking about kicking off the unit by learning about Frida Kahlo's self portraits.  I'm starting to read about more contemporary portraiture as well.  I like Daniel J. Martinez's portrait.  What do you think of it?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Summer

Do you ever just waste time all day?

I recommend it.  Except the problem with it is you don't have much to blog about.

Watching Judge Judy was great (doy) but most of you probably already saw it.

I spent some time wondering about why people care so much about Pluto, but I didn't feel like doing any serious research into the topic, what with having to listen to my audio book for 3 hours and watching an Amy Poehler movie.

Wait.  There was one interesting thing that happened.  This is sad, but when I was at the oral surgeon today there was a woman in the next room screaming about how much pain she was in, and the oral surgeon was telling her calmly that he wouldn't give her any pain medication because of her past history. I strained to hear more, but it just wasn't possible.  There's a story there somewhere I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Well, well, well.  What have we here?  A ball cap and a book mark.  It's a surprising little combo, I'm sure you'll agree.  If I were you, I would print this off and keep it near me throughout the day.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Route

I'm still enjoying Norman Fischer's book, Taking Our Places.  Norman is a Soto Zen Roshi.  (I wasn't sure what Roshi meant, so I looked it up).

Anyway, Norman makes a good point about change in his book.  In order to change in ways that are meaningful or lasting, we're going to have to take a long and circuitous route to get there.  I'm paraphrasing.  This idea gets me to thinking about the reforms our school system has put into place over the last few years. These reforms focus on accelerating student learning through quick fix interventions. Obviously this is asinine.
In short, if we could get a few Soto Zen Roshis into positions of power in our school system, our time at school would make a lot more sense and be a lot more pleasant.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Spy

We watched Spy yesterday. Funny and you should probably see it if you want. But on a more serious note, the logic board on my beloved computer is blown and I have to wait for a few days until a new logic board is installed.  I'm using beloved Husbandman's computer.  It's cramping our style to share one computer, but that's the way it has to be.  And on a more positive note, I'm watching Wimbledon now, and come to find out, I'm still in my jammies.  This is one of my favorite days of the year.   Wimbledon is taking a little break for a rain delay so I may work on some type of productivity.  I hope Roger wins, but it looks like Novak has the upper hand.  I like Novak too, so this whole experience is win win for me.  Happy Wimbledon Weekend to one and all.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The House

We are back from a week in the south.  Fun times.  A lot of sweetness.  A lot of stories, some old, some new.  Quite a bit of love thrown into the mix.

We had some swimming, a tragic bee sting, some great meals, and, happily, quite a bit of new learning about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

My whole life I've wanted to go to Warm Springs to see Roosevelt's Little White House.  Come to find out, now I have. FDR's time in Georgia is a time I find fascinating. The visit to Warm Springs would only have been better if they had allowed me to lay down on FDR's skinny little bed.  I would have liked to have spent some me time in his small room, laying on his bed, thinking about how things are going.

Mom and Dad will join us in a couple of months for some fall foliage fun.  I need to up my game and find something fascinating for us all to do when they visit.  It's not going to be easy because Pine Mountain, formerly Chipley, has presented us with a bar set quite high.  We may have to venture into the Land of Lincoln.  This may be the year of the Presidential Crush Tour.  We shall see, said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer, and saw.

Friday, July 03, 2015

The South

I'm in the south right now.

Watching a Liam Neeson movie with my mom and dad.  Liam Neeson will protect his son and that's all there is to it.

His son doesn't appreciate his help and frankly I believe the son needs to shape up and lose the attitude.

This movie is called Run All Night because Liam Neeson is running around all night working like a mad man to rescue his son from some truly bad people.

In short I believe that if your Dad is risking life and limb to protect you from assassins, you should be appreciative.  And knock off the wise acre remarks.

Thursday Creativity Share

Here are 2 books by an author who calls herself Liane Moriarty.  I love these books a LOT. End of story.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Kittens

If you or someone you know wants a cool little kitten let me know soon.  I'm going to Georgia on Friday and my parents have 3 sweet kittens that need good homes.

Also, we gave some money to Glenda Ritz yesterday.  She is running for governor and it's absolutely imperative that we all vote for her and support her campaign.  A bunch of us voted for Ms. Ritz for State Superintendent and she won which was great. Then our governor basically took much of the power of this position away because he doesn't like Glenda Ritz and doesn't care about my vote counting for something.  So now Glenda Ritz is running for governor and she really needs to win to preserve our democracy.  In short, stakes are high.  Probably for the kittens too, so keep both of these initiatives in mind. But don't get stressed out.  There's too much of that going around right now.

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...