Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Writing Challenge #10: Write about learning.

It's interesting to see people learning stuff around me all day long. Some ideas seem to take forever to sink in.  Other ideas are snatched up and owned instantly.  Sometimes I want to pull my hair out after teaching a math lesson.  Then, a week later, everyone seems to be solving the problems pretty much independently.  I love making adjustments to my teaching as I think about how the learning's going.  Lots of times I have to say, Let's back up a minute.  This isn't working.  What if we did it this other way?  The Thirdlanders are usually patient about that.  They're good peeps.  Best learners I know. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January Writing Challenge #9: Write about a hope.
I hope I can think of a new writing project one of these days.  Both my books come from graduate school work as do the articles I've co-written.  Now I'm project-less and I hope I'm not one of those flunkies who can only come up with writing projects when guided by the structures of an academic community.  Note to self:  COME ON HEFFERNAN! GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME.  But here's the thing... part of me actually likes this project-less time, where I feel okay about taking time to exercise, read, and have fun with Husbandman and pals.  Just this morning in fact, I dared Husbandman to go outside to our Negative SEVEN degree yard and stand in front of the window for a minute.  He did it and I could barely stop laughing long enough to take a photo.  He didn't even wear a coat.  He said it really wasn't that cold. If I had a writing project, I probably wouldn't have taken time for this amazing dare.  Maybe I would have.  Not really sure.  But back to my point.  I feel like I want to start working on a new project and I sincerely hope I can figure out something that can get me writing again.  The Thirdlanders are doing some cool things and I've lots of things I'm curious about that I could start looking into.  We're going to be away for an entire month this summer in Toronto.  Wouldn't it be great if I had a fun project to write about each day, before I walk over to the dumpling places for lunch? 

I hope I can come up with something soon.  As my Nana used to say, "We shall see, said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer... and saw."  

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January Writing Challenge # 8: Write about a success.

"I'm not sure what to write about today.  The prompt is 'Write about a success.'"

Husbandman answers, "We finished the NYT Saturday crossword in under 19 minutes today.  That's a success."

He's right.  We rocked the Saturday.

We also achieved genius status on the Bee puzzle, which we do each morning with our coffee.  We almost always achieve genius status on the Bee, because we revisit the puzzle before going to bed each night to gather some extra points and words.

Tonight's our bridge night with J and PA.  We're learning bridge, and I'm determined to be successful at it by the time the calendar turns to 2020.  Bridge is like an advanced graduate seminar in physics.  There's a ton of stuff to learn and remember and mostly I feel like a putz when I play bridge.  I'm not successful yet at bridge, but I'm determined to become a competitive bridge player by the time I turn 60.  There are bridge cruises to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and to the Mediterranean and I intend to sail aboard a bridge cruise at some point in the future probably.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

January Writing Challenge #7: Write about a loss.

Yesterday, at the end of the day, I lost two things.  My patience and my temper.  It happened during "clean up time."  That's the time when about 3 kids and I clean up the room, while the others talk, floss dance, run around and pair up for inventive games that involve choking one another.  While the clean up music is on, and I'm cleaning the room, I'm yelling, "Thirdlander, you left all your art supplies on the floor over here"  and "Thirdlander, your iPad needs to be in the cart," and "Thirdlander, you were supposed to clear off your table first before you went over to the cubbies to talk about Minecraft."

Yesterday I lost it and made everyone sit down to watch me clean up the room.  I walked around ranting as I picked up whiteboards, pencils, stray papers, books, and markers.  With each item I picked up, I said stuff like, "Hey!  Here's a whiteboard!  I'll pick this up and put it in the whiteboard bin" and "Look here, two pencils on the floor, let me pick these up and put them in the pencil case sitting right here on this table."  I did this pretty loudly and longly.  It was a big fat drag for everyone.

We had a talk about "clean up" time after my rant was done and I had successfully cleaned up the entire room. We're going to put some new procedures into play today, but I don't have high hopes that things will change that much.  I want to be optimistic, but I guess I've lost that too.  Basically, I hate "clean up" time.

Monday, January 21, 2019

January Writing Challenge #6: Write about a person.

In Thirdland, we're reading biographies.  We're reading 2 picture book biographies about the same person.  Then we're comparing the books we read.  I read two books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Thirdlanders.  Then I made a flow map about the important events in his life.  Now it's time to write.  My piece is going to be informational, but also include some opinions.  It's going to be creative and unique.  I'm just not sure how that's going to happen yet.

I was going to write a rough draft about Dr. King for the blogging challenge, but I've been working on it, and I'm not too happy with how it's turning out.  I need to spend more time jazzing it up.  So I'm sorry to tell you that while I am writing about a person today, you will not be reading that writing.

At any rate, Happy Holidays and remember to spread some love around today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

January Writing Challenge #5: Write about a joy.

Joy is my big sister.  She lives in Florida with her partner Paula.  They have a sailboat and they're sailing to Key West right now.  Whenever she's on a trip, Joy sends me pictures of beautiful sunsets, dolphins jumping in the waves, cool birds.  She texts me about sea turtles swimming next to the boat, and manatees.  She's an amazing photographer.

Husbandman and I are going to visit Joy and Paula for spring break.  I want to swim in the ocean and in Joy's pool.   I would also like to see some wildlife, of any type.  Planning a trip to see Joy is a joy, when it comes right down to it.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

January Writing Challenge #4: Write about a memory.

Have I already used this photo?  I can't remember.  I like it though.

I was driving to work one morning this week and I suddenly remembered a snippet of a dream from the night before. An image popped into my head of blood coming out of my hand or leg.   I couldn't remember exactly where I had been cut in the dream, but I had an image of blood and I remember being worried in the dream about my injuries.  That's basically all I could remember.  A quick image.  A vague feeling.

This is why I'm not crazy about dreaming. I usually have dreams where I'm doing something embarrassing, or I'm in serious trouble with authorities, or I'm bleeding profusely from a gunshot or I'm teaching and my entire class refuses to follow my directions. I have that last one a lot.  There's something kind of punishing about dreams. Life is hard enough, then I've got to go to sleep and deal with mayhem and malfeasance? Dreams get on my last nerve.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January Blogging Challenge #3: Write about an ache.

I've had a weird ache in the left side of my mouth when I chew on stuff.  Today I'm going to the dentist for my six month cleaning deal.  I don't know if I should mention the ache.  Every time I mention something to a doctor they ask me questions I don't like answering and then they say they don't know what it could be.  So I'll probably just keep it to myself.  What's the point?

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

January Blogging Challenge #2: Write about a goal.

As you know, I'm doing the C25K this winter.  Today I went to the Y and completed Week 2, Session 2.  Just 6.5 weeks left to go.  So far, I'm kicking this goal's butt.  Today I was wavering on going to the Y.  I still haven't completed the report cards that are due tomorrow and I realized that I could easily avoid my YMCA goal and turn the afternoon into hours of report card wailing, gnashing of teeth and thrashing upon the floor, the likes of which no one has before witnessed.

Right around 3:30, I figured if I told the Thirdlanders about my goal, I'd be more accountable.  "I should go to the Y this afternoon, but I'm not sure if I will.  What do you think?"
     They started screaming, "Go!  Go to the Y!  You have to do it! Don't give up!"
     "You're right. I have to stick to my goals."
      I left school promptly and went to the Y.  After my C25K, I joined a gentle yoga class for an hour.

I will sign up for morning meeting to get the Thirdlanders to praise me for working on my goal.  I think I'm going to milk this for all it's worth for the next 6.5 weeks.  I could probably hint to the kids that some sort of party should be thrown once I run (or quickly walk) in a 5K this spring.  Maybe gifts should be involved. I'll start planting the seeds now.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

January Blogging Challenge #1: Write about a challenge.

MM has invited us to hitchhike on a January writing challenge sponsored by the Minnesota Writing Project.  You can read about the challenge over at Miscellaneous Missives if you feel like it.   If you're blogging with us, let us know so we can read along. Please.  Is that asking too much?

Today's invitation: Write about a CHALLENGE.

I'm trying the Couch 25K again.  When 20 Something led our family in a goal making meeting this summer, I chose C25K.  20 Something decided to support me by also doing C25K.

I got to week 4 and then everything started falling apart.  20 Something finished the challenge.  She wasn't snotty about it, just supportive and kind as usual.  When we met up over the holidays, we revisited our goals.  I decided I wanted to try C25K again.  20 Something helped me figure out ways to help me stick with it this time.  She's really good at personal coaching.  If you need personal coaching, I would not hesitate to contact her.  She's able to finish her own goals, work full time and help others with their goals, which is pretty astounding.

One idea she had was to make firm plans to run a 5K race together in spring.  We haven't picked which one yet, but it might be in Indianapolis on May 5.  I finished C25K Week 1 this week.  I could feel proud, but I don't.  I had the whole week off so exercising was easy peasy lemon squeezey.  Now I'm going back to work, so everyone knows all hell is going to break loose.

I hope I don't fail again at meeting my goal. I'm trying not to focus on possible failure, because that's not helpful to anyone.  In Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper's character repeatedly discusses the importance of positivity.  I've got to take that message to heart.

 I'm actually going to the YMCA for C25K Week 2 Session #1 before I head in to the compound today to finish my report cards, write out lesson plans, and xerox some stuff.  The real challenge will come in the following weeks when my job takes over my life yet again because of my own faults and  flaws. I don't blame anyone but myself.  Okay, I actually blame my job a little bit.


Thursday, January 03, 2019

The Gowns

I had breakfast with Nancer yesterday.  We're both over the top excited about KC's book. Nancer wants an advanced copy, signed, and she wants it STAT.  She also wants to be invited to the premier when the book becomes a movie. "But I am NOT wearing a gown!" Nancer said.  
      "Right.  There's no way I'm wearing a freaking gown,"  I agreed.
      "We're not into that. We are going to be at the premier, but we're not wearing gowns."  
       "You know," I mused, "The movie might premier on HBO or Prime, rather than in theaters."
        Nancer scoffed.  "Lee. There's STILL a red carpet premier when a movie airs on HBO.  And we're going to be right there."

So, we have the makings of a plan. It's going to be hard to wait for the book and the premier, but I guess we have no choice. Big congrats to Kace. Hoorah! 

I hope KC will be okay about the no gown thing. Nancer and I will look great, so put any worries about that completely out of your mind.  

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...