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Showing posts from July, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are...

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Incoming Freshman...what can I say? They are a special kind of animal. I have forgotten what they look like after being away from high school for the last 10 years. There is a lot of whining, sighing, and eye rolling.

There is also good questioning, excitement, pride in work well done.

Pulling, pushing, prodding...I am not sure if I am a teacher or a circus trainer.

The future of our world is reliant on these students...it is both frightening and awe-inspiring.

They are waiting to be led in the right direction, seeking guidance, afraid of success, afraid of failure. Giant balls of emotions, moving in all directions, scattered around.

They are Wild Things...waiting to find their way...I am Max...I want to lead them...to help them find themselves...

She did it anyway...

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She sat around, watching others...she felt joy, happiness, elation. She ran amok in the willows, she laughed, she cried. Wandering amongst the leaves, the smell of rain fresh in the sky...

Although there were hurdles to be jumped over, obstacles to be avoided...she ran anyway. The breeze flowing through her hair...heart pumping, tears streaming from her eyes.

The world spinning around her, colors blurring...

Even though the signs said she should stop, the path was blocked, the challenge overwhelming...she went anyway.

Voice unheard, screaming, yelling, crying...silence in the air, pulsing.

The wave of sound vibrating to deaf ears...

When life became difficult...she did it anyway...

When things unbearable, she did it anyway...

When the cup runneth over, she felt it anyway...

When there was nothing, there was everything...

She saw it, felt it, lived it, loved it...absorbed it...

Overflowing and empty, she was present and absent, it was all and nothing...

She did it anyway...and it was

Foundations...

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There have been many times growing up that I looked to find my foundation, my rock. I came from a set of divorced parents...my father having gone to court to gain custody three times with no success. It was a time when mothers always got custody, a time when the best parent wasn't necessarily the one who took the child home,

My father is a good man. He worked hard to create a place for me where I felt loved and cared for. I cherished the times that I got to spend time with him...baking bread, hiking and camping, reading in the sun...I looked forward to each weekend, week, month that was ours.

I was especially lucky because my grandparents were also foundational in my life. Every Wednesday and Sunday, they would pick me up from school (or home if it was Sunday) and take me to church.  Youth group on Wednesday, Sunday School on Sunday. For me it was partly about church, but really it was about having time with my grandparents. I loved seeing them. On Wednesdays we would go to dinner…

A bit of joy for your day...

Sometimes I just shake my head...at my own life. I mean really, who could make this stuff up?

My husband has declared himself to be Catholic because he thinks the Pope is awesome...

I am housing two cats that we are trying to find a place for...

My daughter is stuck in Phoenix with the ever delayed plane...

Sometimes....we just don't know where we are going, what we are doing...we are just living...

So here's some joy for you tonight...Weird Al..."Tacky"

The Joy of Learning...

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In education we don't get to see enough of the unadulterated joy of learning. This is especially true when you teach math, like I do. Let's face it...many people would rather have a root canal than be in math...it just doesn't bring out warm fuzzies in most people, but today was different. Today I got to see and hear the joy! It was beautiful!!

We are reaching the end of the Ninth Grade Counts program, the bridge program I teach math in during this summer. Our main project has been to build Sling shot Cars. They have had to work together, make decisions, make modifications and, today, do their first set of experiments (Distance and Time). The next steps are to modify one thing, test again and, then, finish off with a lab report.

Today, when the kids were testing their distance, I heard actual squealing! :) I walked in to find kids high giving one another and screaming...their excitement evident! My heart was both filled with love and filled with joy! What they were working…

Being Invisible...

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Sometimes I think about those that we interact with...how do we treat them? How do they treat us? Are we in the same room with some and make them feel as if they are invisible?

Being invisible is a strange sensation...you know that you are there and yet...you are floating about unseen.

I think about high school (or middle school, or whatever school) and there are people all around. Some are visible for all to see, everyone knows their name, their face, their presence. There are others that weave in and out through the crowd, invisible...some by choice, some by chance.

I think about my own high school experience, which overall was a great experience, but going to a reunion reveals so much. There are so many that I don't know, faces I don't recognize, names unheard...I wonder, what I really there? Did I treat people poorly? Did I make them feel invisible? I hope not...that would never be my intent...maybe I'm clueless, have a poor memory, have the ability to compartmentalize…

Lessons from the World Cup...

This has been an unusual week at school...first we had the C to J, then Brazil's loss to Germany. I'm not sure which of these two events has had a bigger impact on my students...I guess time will tell.




 We have talked a lot abut soccer this past few weeks at school. It's a natural thing...I love soccer, my students love soccer. It has been a topic to bond over, but nothing prepared me for the game between Brazil and Germany.  It was a bloodbath with (spoiler alert!) Germany scoring five goals in 29 minutes. That is only part of the story...not the important part...the important past was Brazil's response to the goals being scored...they quit. The expression on their face after the second or third goal was clear...they were defeated. Sure there were brief moments where there was a streak of almost brilliance, but most of the rest of the game was Brazil chasing Germany around the field, almost getting in their way. At the end of it all, they lost 7 - 1, with the single B…

Having a little C to J...

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Sometimes as a teacher you have to have "the talk" with your students. By "the talk" I don't mean the "birds and the bees" talk, I am talking about the "Come to Jesus" kind of talk. I'm sure you know the one...the one where you explain to them how this is their chance, their opportunity, they are the creators of their own destiny.

As I have said before, the students I teach are primarily low income. The program I am teaching this summer is targeted at students who are academically at risk or had issues with attendance. They are students needing a boost, a bridge from Middle School to High School.

Today's conversation was direct and truthful. In some ways, it pained me to tell them that they were already behind other students who have had more opportunities, more exposure to enrichment activities, just more in general. Explaining that they are the ones who make their decisions for their future, they are the ones creating this path, th…

Son of my Heart...

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Twenty-one years ago, my second youngest son was born. I wasn't there...I didn't participate in the birth. I didn't actually meet him until he was four. He was a tiny boy, mop full of curls, shy and unassuming. He has lived here with us for the last thirteen years and it has been amazing watching him grow into a man. There have been roller coaster years...years when he has struggled to find his focus. It is hard growing up...no doubt about that, but it is even harder when your father is from another country and has extremely high expectations. When you are the one who has protected yourself by laying low, tried to stay out of the way, waited behind the scenes, it is difficult when you feel that you aren't meeting expectations.

Each of our children is different and I feel lucky. I have had the opportunity to parent four amazing children, two of which are the children of my heart, two of my womb. Some might think I would love them differently, yet my love for them is the…