Sunday, March 18, 2018

{solsc} 18/31 #sol18 Going to a Party!

Today seemed like a great day to attend Leigh Anne's favorites party (You can read about it here). We just arrived home from the Land of the Internetless (my mom's) and I just don't have much ambition to write today.  I also went to Leigh Anne's party last year so the trick will be to bring five new things this year.

Here's what I'm bringing:

1. My new writer's notebook. I love everything about it, the quote on the cover, the feel of the paper, the size of it and even the spacing of the lines. And we all know if we are going to the party, there will be lots to write about!

2. Spring bulbs for planting.  I am so done with winter and cold weather. Today there is a touch of spring in the air. My tulips are up about two inches and I can't wait for them to bloom.  I'm pretty sure from reading everyone's posts over the last couple of weeks that we are all ready for spring, so what could be better than something to plant.

3. Fudgsicles. The perfect ice cream treat. Not too big. Not too small. And what's a party without ice cream?

4. The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. It's her new book and I haven't read it yet, but I'd sure try before the party so we could talk about it. I loved everything I've read by Hannah, so I'm pretty sure this one will be a favorite.

5.  My camera. I'd want to take party pictures of all the fun we were having and the new friends I'd make so my camera would be a necessity!

So, there they are. Five favorites for this year. Now, you know you want to. And some day, you'll need to. What will you bring to Leigh Anne's party?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

{solsc} 17/31 #sol18 . Lucky

I haven't always loved my St. Patrick's Day birthday, mostly because I always got the ugliest cakes when I was a kid. No pretty flowers puffing up on the top. Just sloppily drawn shamrocks. I've learned to embrace it (and just ask for the frosting flowers instead of shamrocks).  I'm 61 years old today and consider myself pretty lucky in life.

Here are some reasons I'm lucky this year...

1. My birthday is on St. Patrick's Day and everyone likes to celebrate it.

2. Early retirement was offered the exact year that I hit Iowa's rule of 88.

3. My husband and I are in good health and that lets us travel and enjoy this time of our life.

4. My mom is 83 and still in good health. Although she would tell you it's hell to get old, and then complain that she can't do things like she used to. Even her doctor had to tell her, "Pat, you're 83. You're going to take longer to heal and feel better when things go wrong."

5. I like the color green.

6. I have great kids who have given me wonderful grandkids.

7. I really like my daughter-in-law.

8. And the mothers of my other grandkids

9. People like it when I come back to school and sub.

10. Facebook has a "hide this post" feature. 

11. People can't read my mind some days (although facial expressions often give me away). And no one can hear what I want to say,

12. I have a lot of patience with high school kids (Especially boys. Lots of practice. But maybe this is why THEY are lucky).

13.  My voice, my story still matters.

14. I have great friends.

15. We have a place at the lake and lots of time to spend there.

16. My sisters and brother are all in the same town as my mom, so we can get together when I head home. Today they will come out with us and help celebrate my birthday.

17. Green Beer. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

{solsc} 16/31 #sol18 . Chloe Writes: Floppy Ears Suck

I hate floppy ears. I wish my ears stuck straight up. Then they would dry out and not get all sore and red and itchy. Mom wouldn't have to clean them all the time

but I do get a pretty good treat when she's done :)

And I hate having them brushed every day. Sometimes it hurts!

but I do get a pretty good treat then too :)

 I've been shaking my head a lot. Mom was cleaning them every day (and giving me treats), but they weren't getting better. Mom and Dad say it's ear infection. So now she's putting drops in my ears that really do help (and I get treats). I'm not shaking my head so much 'cuz my ears don't hurt and itch.  The best part about all of this (besides the treats) is that after the drops and after the treat, Mom lets me sit with her and she rubs my ears for a long time. That feels really good and pretty soon they don't bug me anymore.

I do get kinda sleepy when she does that. But Mom says that's OK because naps help you get better. Right?

Until the next time Mom let's me write,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

{solsc} 15/31 #sol18 . Good-Bye Old Friend

Good-bye old friend.
You filled up much faster than I thought you would.
And that's a good thing
But sad also.

I loved looking at your cover every day and
The gentle nudge you provided.

I tried to start writing in you last fall.
Beginnings, I called it.

But then I put you away again
And forgot.

January found me itching to write again.
I dug you out and made a

I dated you.

I prompted you.

I wrote.

Every day.

I filled you with
To remind me
To Write
For me
Because I needed to.

There are post-it notes scattered throughout
With inspiration for new ideas.

There are letters and rants about
and Life
That will never be read
by Anyone
But Me
And that's OK.

I wrote in you for the
Last Time.

But you are not gone.
You will be
Treasured and
Referred to
Many more times
As I continue to
Write My Life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

{solsc} #sol18 14/31 Walkout Thoughts

I first began writing a letter to students supporting their decision to walk out of schools today. But they didn't need my words to validate them. Plenty of other adults are walking with them and supporting them. The news channels are covering the walkouts and talking to the students. So this is really for adults.

Today was the #NationalSchoolWalkout where thousands of our nation's youth walked out of their schools in protest of our nation's gun laws. They aren't asking for all guns to be taken. They are asking for common sense gun laws. There is another movement out there. Pictures have been posted that share something about Walk Up instead of Walk Out. Adults telling kids what they should do instead of walking out.

  • Walk up to 17 people you wouldn't normally talk to
  • Sit at lunch with the kid who sits alone
  • Be a partner to someone who never has one
  • thank your teachers
There are different variations, but all of them are telling students what they should do instead. And these are good ideas. And I would love this to happen in the world as we know it. With adults. Not just in our schools. 

Here's my problem--ADULTS are TELLING them what to do. These walkouts are student-led and they need to know their voices are being heard. These students are afraid of dying. I know ten-year-olds who are afraid to go to school. If student voice really matters, like school officials are fond of telling us, then we should follow the lead of these students. We shouldn't tell them what to do or punish them for engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

I don't understand why adults are so surprised by this student-led movement. Most big change in this country has started with young adults. Young adults with passion and enthusiasm, who aren't afraid of the repercussions of those in charge, who aren't tied to the status quo. 

We want students to advocate for themselves. We TEACH students to advocate for themselves. We want them to come to us if they are being bullied, if someone is abusing them. We want them to tell us if they see something.

This is what they are doing.

If we don't listen now, will they ever come to us again?

And I don't believe that they are walking out just to get out of class. I'm listening to very articulate young people who have very personal reasons for wanting to upgrade to the gun laws. We teach them about their civic duty. These walkouts are putting what they are taught into action. Students don't just become well-informed citizens when they turn 18. We need to start the engagement early, so they are invested in their world when the time comes for them to vote and lead.

As I listen to these students speak today, I want you to know, I don't believe this is a one day activity. This is not a one year movement. These young adults are serious about preventing more gun deaths. They are researching and learning. They will register to vote on November 6. Many more will vote in 2020. They are leading the way. Maybe we should start listening.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

{solsc} 13/31 #sol18 To Bell or Not to Bell?

I'm having one of those days today. I just don't think I have anything to write about. I've been procrastinating, freewriting, daydreaming. Nothing. I'm taking Jennifer Laffin's Word of the Day again and writing. Today's word is BELL.

I suppose people outside of education imagine something different when they hear the word BELL. But as a teacher, when I see the word, I hear the sound.

To me, it's always been a harsh, strident sound. Not the way I wanted to start a class or end it.

A few years ago, our bell system went kerplooey, and, rather than replace it for more money than it was worth, our building went without bells.

I loved it.

We started class in a more soothing way. Come in, find your seat, and read or write (depended on the class) for ten minutes. I often joined in with the kids. Yes. I had a few who tried to come in really late, using the no bell excuse. It didn't fly. I generally didn't have to get after kids more than once.

We transitioned smoothly into each activity and were often surprised when we heard other students in the hallway moving to their next class. And yes. I had kids who tried to line up at the door five minutes before they were supposed to leave. Again. I made it clear I dismissed the class and we went by the time on my computer. I usually didn't have much trouble. Kids liked the flow of the class too and didn't want to ruin it.

I didn't need the bells.
The kids didn't need the bells.
But others did.
So the bells are back.

But at least they aren't the harsh, strident ones of my nightmares. These new bells sound similar to the NBC chimes.

And I can live with that.

Monday, March 12, 2018

{solsc} 12/31 #sol18 . Chloe Writes: They Left Me!

They left me again, you know. Just walked out of the house without me. Gave me a treat. Tucked me up on their bed. And left.

At first I didn't think it was a big deal 'cuz they didn't take suitcases and stuff. I really thought they'd be home by dinner time to feed me.



I couldn't believe it. They never forget to feed me. Not that I would have eaten it without them here, but still. Didn't they even think about me before they left?

Later, I went in and layed on the couch and snuggled into Mom's blanket. Do you know what I found?  A treat!  It was sooooo good and it did make me feel a little better, so I took a little nap.

But even I can only sleep so long, so I moved over to the other couch to look out the window and check on the neighbors. But they didn't even leave the curtain open so I could see out.

This day just gets worse and worse.

And then it got dark. I hate the dark. You never know what's creepin' around outside and I couldn't look out the window to even see. I just know that stupid cat was wandering around out there. I barked a little bit to scare it away just in case. But I quit 'cuz it didn't make me feel any better.

They finally came home and it was really, really late. I ate my dinner and then Mom went to bed.  Dad stayed up with me for a little while and we watched TV.  But not for very long 'uz he said he was tired too, so then he went to bed. I went to the kitchen and slept in my kennel then. But I sure wasn't very tired. I slept all day!