Saturday, December 21, 2013

Aloha

Here I sit in the airport terminal, finally getting ready to board a plane to take us on a trip we've been planning for a very long time. It didn't seem real. Not when we packed and checked our lists a million and one times.  Not when we dropped Chloe off at our son's home. Not even yesterday as we drove down to the motel where we stayed for the night.

I'm not sure it's real now.

Maybe when I get that lei around my neck....

So this week I'm celebrating
     A much needed break from school and life as I know it
     No grading
     No snow ( a winter storm is heading to Iowa tonight)
    
I am also celebrating 30 years of marriage to a great guy.

It doesn't get better than that.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Twas the Last Week of the Semester

I actually started this piece on Saturday and had planned it for my Celebration link up. But, as often happens, life gets in the way. So, instead, I share this as my Slice of Life for this week.

With apologies to Mr. Moore….

'Twas the last week of the semester and all through the school
Not a lesson was working, not even the cool;
The artwork was hung in the hallways with care,
Knowing that students soon would see theirs.



The children were working on projects with dread
While visions of presenting danced in their heads;
 Counselors in their office and principals too
Had just settle in for a long week's to do,

When down by my room there arose such a clatter,
They ran to my room to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway they flew like a flash,
Slid around the corner and ran into the trash.

The light in my room shone on the desks brand new
Gave the luster of working and much stuff to do
When what to my wondering ears should I hear
But kids in the hallway speaking Spanish, Oh dear.

Procrastinators united. It could be a trick,
I knew in a moment, we must be done quick.
More rapid than eagles the courses they came
They whistled and shouted and called them by name.

"Done Spanish and Math class, finish Science and Art.
Complete Speech and English, be still my heart.
Race to the library and run fast to the gym
It's Madrigal weekend, Don't let the Grinch in."

And then in a instant, I heard in the hall
The yelling and shouting of my name being called.
As I turned in my shoes and was looking around
Down the hallway all students came with a bound.

They were dressed all in items from their head to their shoes
And the clothes were all colorful, oranges and blues.
A big old hat they had put on his head
And he looked like my momma going to bed

Others just laughed, while some were quite merry!
They found joy in learning, It wasn't so scary.
Those little old projects were started anew
And the work didn't stop although the wind blew.

The computer screen smoked and glowed as they worked
And their projects showed they hadn't gone beserk
They had a focus, showed yearning
And showed all of us their amazing learning.

They were happy and fun, a right jolly young bunch
And we laughed when we saw them singing at lunch.
A tweak of their plan, a a sharpening of lead,
Soon gave us to know, we had nothing to dread.

They spoke all their words, shared learning with all,
And plans for the break echoed down all the halls.
And grading a project as soon as it's done
Will ease all the stress of January 1.

I ran to my car, to my team said good-bye
 And away we all drove from Crestwood High
But we each exclaimed as we drove out of sight,
 Happy Break to all, and to all a good-night!











Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Of Panda Whales and Zebra Bears


3 hour early out day. 20 minute classes. Weird conversations.
 Today’s conversation between two of my boys revolves around the movie “Free Willy”. They are talking quietly in their corner. Eventually, they bring me into the conversation.

STUDENT 1: Mrs. Day, was Willy confined? Think the title “Free Willy”

ME: Yes,

STUDENT 2: See, I told you

ME: (continuing) he was confined and they worked to free him.

STUDENT 1: No. He was free….

I continue working. Other students are typing. They continue talking.

STUDENT 2: (has googled “Free Willy” to prove his point. He shows his computer to the other student)  See, I told you.

STUDENT 1: Nope, right there says he is free.

ME: Actually, I think he’s dead.

STUDENT 1: Yea, that means he’s free.

STUDENT 2: What kind of whale was he? Like a Panda whale? You know, black and white.

ME: (took me a minute)  Yes, we call those killer whales

STUDENT 1: (to the other boy) Have you ever seen a zebra bear?

ME: (Laughing out loud) Best conversation ever.

They are quiet for the rest of the class. But as they leave the room…. 


“Free Willy!”


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chloe Writes: Dogboys Have Cooties

Dogboys have cooties. You know that, right?
They're loud
      They never settle down
              And they're down right NOSY
What good are they anyway?

Dogboys. Ugh...

I was so excited to go to my BFF Bella's house last weekend. I would get to spend time with Bella, play with the kids, maybe get a few little snacks from Max :)

Battle for the pop tart
I raced to the door as soon as we pulled in their driveway. Of course, it took Mom forever to get to the door. Couldn't she just let me in the house and THEN unpack the car? Or just let Dad unpack. Geez.
Finally, I ran in the house and stopped dead in my tracks.

There was another dog there. A dogboy.

Now I love my peopleboys. They like to cuddle and play fetch and run. Sometimes they even share food with me (but only when Mom and Dad aren't watching). But dogboys are gross (well, except for Teddy, my other BFF. But he's family, like Bella, so he doesn't count).

Dogboys never leave you alone.

Everywhere I went, he followed me.  Mom and Dad thought I was afraid of him, BUT I WASN"T!
I just didn't want him sniffing me all the time. GROSS!

I did everything I could think of.....
    I sat on the couch by Mom
        I hid in the kitchen
            I even jumped over the back of the chair
                I even growled a little bit

but, nothing worked. He just wouldn't take the hint. I didn't want to play with him. I just wanted to see Bella.

He did go home in a little while. I thought, "Good Riddance!" But (you won't believe this) he came back the next day!

What I really don't like is I think Bella wanted to play with him more than me! And Mom and Dad thought he was soooooo cute and nice just because he's younger than me.

But he' not! He's a dogboy.

And everybody knows, dogboys have cooties!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Celebrate VIII

Discover. Play. Build.

My friend Ruth has started this Saturday celebration. I find that I am constantly on the lookout for those little bits of JOY that fill my day. If you want to know about this celebration, check out the page  


Ruth created on her blog.


#Nerdlution If you haven't succumbed to Twitter pressure and join the nerdlution movement or you really don't know what it is, you should check out this post by Chris Lehman  It explains everything pretty well :) I'm glad I hopped on this bandwagon because it has me working to get back to things that make me happy

Writing I've been writing more this week. Rewrote some new lesson plans. Writing out a new curriculum for some kids who have asked to do an independent study with me (Creative Writing 2!) I'm excited for this opportunity. But I've also been writing some fun things for me. I write along with my students, trying my hand at the daily prompts. Scribbling little snippets of things in my notebook. Also wrote a Twitter Haiku this morning because Kevin Hodgson tweeted this

So I wrote this as I was snuggled in with the grandkids


Moving
And, about that moving. I took my walking shoes to school and leave them in my closet. I've been walking every day after my last rehearsal.  The PE teacher told me 10 times around the square is a mile, so that's the goal every day. Takes me about 20 minutes. There's no one around but me and the janitors, so there is a lot of reflection about my day going on. I'm really enjoying this time for myself.

Well, that's it for this week. Be sure and share your celebrations over at Ruth's!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

There's Something About Wednesdays...


I don't know what it is, but there's just something about Wednesdays.

It's the day of the week I am the most tired, both mentally and physically. I just can't get motivated. And yesterday, a two hour late start didn't help the situation. An extra cup of coffee, snuggling a little longer with Chloe, fog that stayed around all day, all contributed to the tiredness laziness.

Even my kids felt it yesterday. "Can we just read all hour, Mrs. Day?  You know it's the perfect day for it."

So, of course we did. Because it was the perfect day for finding a comfy spot and settling in.

What did this mean for my #nerdlution?  Welllllllllll........

I didn't walk as much as I should.

I didn't write. I thought about it. Does that count as prewriting?

Did I fail. No. I also promised myself when I committed to this I would be kind to myself. That I wouldn't let this consume me. So, I just jump back into it today.

But do I feel guilty?  Just a little bit...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

For the Girls



I write about boys in my room a lot. Especially those SSB's. I think it's because I'm the mom of two boys and grandma to four more.

But, I do love those girls.

When our first grandchild was born, I couldn't wait to buy everything in pink. I envisioned Barbie dolls and baby dolls, dress up clothes and dance costumes.  I couldn't wait for the giggles and hair ribbons, tea parties and shopping.

And I got all that.

And then I started teaching high school. I see too many girls who sit back and giggle and think it's cute to be stupid (Yes. I know that's not a nice word. But no other word will do. Really. You should see some really smart girls be dumb just so a boy will like them). I see girls who screech and giggle over a bug or pretend they are grossed out when it comes to dissection in Biology. Then they let the big, strong cute boy do all the work. Arrrrrggggghhhhhhh.

And then I read Ruth's post about one of her daughters. I loved it! I love girls who are strong and independent. They are sometimes harder to connect with, but they are so worth the effort. As I read Ruth's post, I thought of several girls I have in class right now. They speak their mind, but only if what they have to say is worthwhile. They tend to ignore the immaturity going on around them. Then I thought about my improv girls. Improv tends to be male dominated, but not in our school. My girls get out there and "wrestle alligators" And I realized, I need to make sure all these girls learn more than different shades of pink.

I want them to be confident enough in what they know to try new things and not be afraid to "fail".

I want them to know the JOY of a job well done, the satisfaction of learning how to do something for themselves and maybe even "bragging" about it a little bit.

I want them to know you don't need a boyfriend to be happy. Happiness comes from listening to that little voice inside you and doing what you enjoy, with people who enjoy it too.

Sometimes, boys are just friends and that's a good thing.

A couple of really good friends are worth more than a posse, but if you have the right posse, anything is possible

"Dumb" isn't cute.

Jump in and participate. Sitting on the sidelines and letting others take the spotlight won't get you anything.

Love stories are fiction. You don't get flowers and candy every day or even every week. There aren't always fireworks. Real love grows slow. A happy relationship takes a lot of hard work.

You really can do and be anything you want IF you work really, really hard.

I want them to shine their lights upon the world.....


Sunday, December 1, 2013

#nerdlution

One of the best things about Twitter is listening to following other people's conversations. And the other night, a good one began

And you know what happens when a conversation like this gets going? A #nerdlution !

Basically, you are supposed to decide to create a habit---read more, write more, exercise more, something more--for fifty days. Katherine had a blog post up the next day, as did others. I knew I would do it immediately. Who doesn't need a good challenge? The only thing that has kept me committing is deciding exactly what I would do.

Colby Sharp is writing every day, Chris Lehman is doing push-ups. Michelle over at One Grateful Teacher is working on reading and writing and walking! Crazy woman:) I admit, at first I thought like Michelle. I would do it all.

And then I woke up. 

Truth is, I'll be leaving for Hawaii in 20 days. It's the end of the semester, the beginning of a new one, rehearsals and speech contests. I need to be realistic and KIND to myself.

Truth is, I read 20 minutes every day now. I'll be good with that ..... for now.....although I will try to get myself off the computer after supper every night and to read some more.

My #nerdlution is to write every day for 30 minutes. I can chunk it in a couple of segments if I write with my creative writing classes and a little at home. But my real goal will be to sit down in one spot for 30 continuous minutes and WRITE. What will I write? I think I'm going to document my year in attempting to flip creative writing. The reflection will be good for me.

I'm also going to commit to 20-30 minutes of activity every day. Whether it's walking/playing with Chloe or walking the square at school after rehearsals, I'm going to get moving again. I've been lazy too long.

So there they are---my #nerdlutions Want to join the fun?  Check out the hashtag on Twitter. You'll find LOTS of inspiration.