Monday, August 31, 2009

CONTEMPLATING THE NEXT MOVE IN MY JOB HUNT






















1. Education X

2. Teaching Credential X

3. Killer Resume X

4. Apply for every opening I find X

5. ?

A NEW ANTHOLOGY, A NEW FRIEND

I found a new collection of poetry, which has me captivated. It is kind of like meeting your neighbor over the back fence, and starting to get to know her.


The depth of the relationship depends on the amount of effort you are willing to put into it, and this one is well worth the effort.


The whole world "knows" what these women think, need, and should be about. So it is both refreshing and imperative to hear from their own voices.


The Poetry of Arab Women


"Although the poems vary in style and scope, there is nevertheless the feeling that this volume begins to give voice to Arab women poets, an often-unheard group."
Handal, Nathalie, ed. The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology (2001).
It was not easy to find information on many of these gifted poets, a situation I hope changes soon. One example:

Naomi Shihab Nye


Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. About her work, the poet William Stafford has said, "her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life."

The Poetic World of Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye: A Bill Moyers Interview
Naomi Shihab Nye, Children's books
Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye
Books by Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye: Award-winning Poet, Writer, Anthologist, and Educator

Letter from Naomi Shihab Nye, Arab-American Poet:
To Any Would-Be Terrorists


Truth Serum

- Naomi Shihab Nye
We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,
popped it right in.
That frog song wanting nothing but echo?
We used that.
Stirred it widely. Noticed the clouds while stirring.
Called upon our ancient great aunts and their long slow eyes
of summer. Dropped in their names.
Added a mint leaf now and then
to hearten the broth. Added a note of cheer and worry.
Orange butterfly between the claps of thunder?
Perfect. And once we had it,
had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup,
placing the pan on a back burner for keeping,
the sorrow lifted in small ways.
We boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared.
We washed that pan.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Truth Serum” from You and Yours. Copyright © 2005 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'M THINKING OF TAKING A ROAD TRIP

road sign, peace of mind next three exits
. . . you with me?

Carpe Diem

It Is Said That Dead Poet's Society's John Keating Was The Kind Of Teacher Robin Williams Wished He'd Had In School.

O Captain, My Captain

- by Walt Whitman

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

RAIN BEFORE DAWN

abstract painting with blues and coppers called rain
©2006 Colin King

RAIN BEFORE DAWN
F. Scott Fitzgerald

The dull, faint patter in the drooping hours
Drifts in upon my sleep and fills my hair
With damp; the burden of the heavy air
Is strewn upon me where my tired soul cowers,
Shrinking like some lone queen in empty towers
Dying. Blind with unrest I grow aware:
The pounding of broad wings drifts down the stair
And sates me like the heavy scent of flowers.

I lie upon my heart. My eyes like hands
Grip at the soggy pillow. Now the dawn
Tears from her wetted breast the splattered blouse
Of night; lead-eyed and moist she straggles o'er the lawn,
Between the curtains brooding stares and stands
Like some drenched swimmer -- Death's within the house!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yes, Another Discovery

photo of Lolcat blogging




















I discovered something wonderful.

On sleepless nights, when my mind races and I have to get out of bed so my poor husband can sleep, I can put together hundreds of blog posts and schedule them for when I can't lift a finger to blog. Well, maybe not hundreds, but you get my drift.

And the real point is that when ever I get an idea I can work on it, and if I get a slew of them, none need be lost. What a tragedy that would be.

And yes, I am addicted to Lolcats. They're actually quite adept bloggers and web surfers. I could learn a lot from them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'FOOD' FOR THOUGHT

cartoon showing hidden costs of ethanol production, manufacturing, transportation
There are some credible arguments on opposite sides:
Science News
Renewable Fuels association
Scientific American
Earth Policy Institute

CONFIRMATION DISSONANCE

NOTE: While I was preparing this post, this article ran in the New York Times: Wikipedia to Limit Changes to Articles on People
(how timely)

I hear a lot of people quoting Wikipedia as a primary (and only) source these days. Now, I mean no ill will toward Wikipedia, but I distrust something that can be edited by any one, at any time, to say any thing. Remember some of the political shenanigans involving the site?




Does Wikipedia need to be fixed?,* The Clinton/Obama War: The Battle of Wikipedia,* Wikipedia Edits Cause Australian Political Scandal,* Global warming, political correctness, and wikipedia,* Fox News Caught Editing Wikipedia [Changes Included],* Can Wikipedia handle the truth?






I could go on, but I think you get my drift. Abuses come from all sides, including from within.






















I think that here is where our critical thinking skills should kick in, but scientists tell us that we are more likely to find confirmation of that which we already believe than information to the contrary. They call this 'confirmation bias.'




That being said, often when looking for information on subjects not solidly in the public eye, it is often one of few sources, if not the only source. What's a girl (or boy) to do?



It might also help to understand why this is so; Cognitive Dissonance, "a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation.'

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

MEOW


cat driving a car



From the Jul/Aug issue of Writer's Journal.





Changes
- Karen R. Porter

The sunny afternoon
of the death
of the first day of spring
was not a surprise
to anyone paying attention.
Nor were the clouds
that slowly filled the sky
with brooding color.
But when the cat
somehow lurched the car
into first gear
and eased out on the drive
into a different life, well,
that was an entirely different matter.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I CHOOSE TO CHERISH MY WRINKLES

close up of rain drops on grass
Souls And Rain-Drops
- Sidney Lanier

Light rain-drops fall and wrinkle the sea,
Then vanish, and die utterly.
One would not know that rain-drops fell
If the round sea-wrinkles did not tell.

So souls come down and wrinkle life
And vanish in the flesh-sea strife.
One might not know that souls had place
Were't not for the wrinkles in life's face.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

HAIKU FROM A MASTER

Japanese writing on a large rock

a wild sea
the Milky Way laid sideways
to Sado Isle!

- Matsuo Basho




landscape stamps with Japanese writingdate of issue : 23 / august / 1988 発行

The first two images are of the proffered haiku in the native Japanese.
Araumiya Sado ni yokotau Amanogawa

bronze statue of Basho




If you're curious:

Matsuo Bashô: Frog Haiku (Its existence is an interesting commentary on translation, itself)


Friday, August 21, 2009

Sigh . . .

wild flowers on a hillside


Afternoon on a Hill
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

TEMPUS FUGIT

iris photographed with xray type delicacy















Forgotten Language

- Shel Silverstein

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

OFFERED WITHOUT COMMENT

Fwy sign, ultimate question ahead, life the universe and everything, exit 42

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

THE POWER OF BOOKS

Yes, I truly believe in the power of books to change hearts, lives, even the world - simply by touching the mind and heart of their readers.
(So call me a cockeyed optimist)

child holding up book entitled the power of books, with butterflies coming out of it.
Books can take us out of our own worlds, to worlds where we can imagine a better way. Escape, they used to call it. My childhood was difficult at times and, like many others, for succor, encouragement, and escape, I turned to friends I knew I could trust.

child holding up book entitled the power of books, with flames coming out of it.
Mary Lennox understood how it felt to be ostracized and lonely. In spite of all her grief, she held on to her strength, curiosity and belief in herself. She also managed to cultivate empathy, kindness, and care.

child holding up book entitled the power of books, with wires coming out of it.
Meg Murry and Charles Wallace were constant companions in those years, as I visited them again and again. My troubles were small compared to Meg's, and she was so brave.

Friends, confidants, role models; they (and many others) are still with me.

child holding up book entitled the power of books, with aloe leaves coming out of it.
My daughter's best friend was (and is) Anne Shirley, who, like my daughter, can talk anyone under the table.

And the grand kids? Who will walk the road with them? We'll just have to wait and see.

child holding up book entitled the power of books, with tentacles coming out of it.

But yes, after all these years, I still believe. Perhaps all those years as a literacy volunteer, watching people actually change their lives as they dove into books has something to do with it.


These images came from Play.Blogger.Com. There are some wonderfully imaginative pictures there, but please be aware that some of the images are NSFW or may be down right creepy.

APPROPRIATE!?!

Forgetfulness
- Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

NOW, WHAT AM I FORGETTING? Oh . .

dancing stick figure


















Some Other
August 19 Birthdays


* 1989 Lil' Romeo (rapper, hip hop)
* 1969 Matthew Perry (actor)
* 1956 Adam Arkin (actor)
* 1952 Jonathan Frakes (actor, director)
* 1946 Bill Clinton (42nd US President)
* 1939 Ginger (Peter) Baker (musician, Cream)
* 1921 Gene Roddenberry (creator, producer, writer, Star Trek anyone?)
* 1919 Malcolm Forbes, Sr (publishing magnate)
* 1915 Ring Lardner, Jr (American journalist and screenwriter,
who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios during the
Red Scare of the late 1940s and 1950s.)
* 1902 Ogden Nash (writer best known for surprising, pun-like
rhymes, sometimes with words deliberately misspelled for comic effect)
* 1883 Coco (Gabrielle) Chanel (fashion designer; perfume creator)
* 1871 Orville Wright (aviator)

The company's not bad here!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A NOTEWORTHY ADDITION

You may notice an addition to my list of blogs (Fellow Travelers) is Alice Walker's blog. I found it by accident and was drawn in. She calls it "My Living Book." How wonderfully appropriate.

I have always loved her poetry and respected her as a person. Today, her words contribute to my humble musings of the past few days.

Please enjoy, and visit her own blog and website, both linked here.

The World Has Changed
by Alice Walker
December 7, 2008

The World Has Changed:
Wake up & smell
The possibility.
The world
Has changed:
It did not
Change
Without
Your prayers
Without
Your faith
Without
Your determination
To
Believe
In liberation
&
Kindness;
Without
Your
Dancing
Through the years
That
Had
No
Beat.
The world has changed:
It did not
Change
Without
Your
Numbers
Your
Fierce
Love
Of self
&
Cosmos
It did not
Change
Without

Your
Strength.

The world has
Changed:
Wake up!
Give yourself
The gift
Of a new
Day.

The world has changed:
This does not mean
You were never
Hurt.
The world
Has changed:
Rise!
Yes
&
Shine!
Resist the siren
Call
Of
Disbelief.
The world has changed:
Don’t let
Yourself
Remain
Asleep
To
It.
***

Copyright © Alice Walker 2008

My husband felt we needed to talk . . .


Well, Mr. Yeats?

Do you think our president heard these words while he was growing up?

Mother to Son
- Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

I was just on Google, looking for some information, and this blog was listed as one of the results. I showed up on Google; guess that means I exist now!

This Is Where I Seem To Be In My Job Hunt

It's not exactly brick, but it's a wall nonetheless.

CHANGE

Do you think Langston Hughes is smiling today? Do you think he sees change and hope?

Children's Rhymes
- Langston Hughes

By what sends
the white kids
I ain't sent:
I know I can't
be President.
What don't bug
them white kids
sure bugs me:
We know everybody
ain't free.

Lies written down
for white folks
ain't for us a-tall:
Liberty And Justice--
Huh!--For All?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Impertinence

I just ran across this poem and it caught me up short. I had to really think about the author's argument.

Not to be presumptuous, but I feel I must disagree with Mr. William Butler Yeats.

It is true, Mr. Yeats, that few statesmen are swayed by the sentiments of poetry, no matter the passion of the issue.

Ah, but their constituents are another matter.

This is why poets around the world are imprisoned and murdered; it is precisely because those self same statesmen fear their influence.


On Being Asked for a War Poem
- William Butler Yeats

I think it better that in times like these
A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter’s night.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR THE UNQUANTIFIABLE


from ASPHODEL, THAT GREENY FLOWER
- William Carlos Williams

'My heart rouses
thinking to bring you news
of something
that concerns you
and concerns many men. Look at
what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in
despised poems.
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.
Hear me out
for I too am concerned
and every man
who wants to die at peace in his bed
besides.'



I hope you all remember to celebrate today,


it is . . . . National Relaxation Day


. . . and in case you still feel like celebrating,
here are a few other August holidays.


August 16 is . . . . National Tell a Joke Day

August 17 is . . . . National Thrift shop Day

August 18 is . . . . Bad Poetry Day

August 22 is . . . . Be An Angel Day

August 23 is . . . . National Spongecake Day

August 25 is . . . . Kiss-And-Make-Up Day

August 26 is . . . . Women's Equality Day

August 27 is . . . . Petroleum Day

August 30 is . . . . Frankenstein Day

August 31 is . . . . National Trail Mix Day

Friday, August 14, 2009

NOW THAT'S THINKING!

'Figures today show that unemployment is up to 2.4 million, the highest since 1995. And book sales are down and, they say, young people don’t read. SORT IT OUT: pay people to read. In public. Role models. Behind temporary barriers, so they’re not jostled or interrupted. Local booksellers and publishers can advertise on the barriers. Result: unemployment down, book sales up, and the whole country becomes more literate, imaginative and civilised.'
Two birds one stone sort of thing.

From a blog called sonofabook. I found the link on a blog that I visit quite often, Baroque in Hackney.

A WONDERFUL WALK, but the view has changed


Where the Sidewalk Ends
- Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

SCENE AT OUR LOCAL EMPLOYMENT OFFICE

Thursday, August 13, 2009

POST # 100!



Just
a
bit
of
silliness
for
the
day.





100 Is a Lot
- Meish Goldish

100 dogs, 100 cats,
100 heads for 100 hats.
100 women, 100 men,
100's more than 5 or 10.
100 buttons, 100 coats,
100 sails for 100 boats.
100 cookies, 100 cakes
100 kids with bellyaches!
100 shoes, 100 socks,
100 keys for 100 locks.
100 puddles mighty dirty,
100's even more than 30.
100 daughters, 100 sons,
100 franks on 100 buns.
100 trees, 100 plants,
100 picnics, 100 ants!
100 is a lot to count,
100 is a LARGE AMOUNT!
100 kisses, 100 hugs,
100 bats, 100 bugs.
100 bees, 100 birds,
This poem has 100 words!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PASS IT ON

abstract of woman reading a book. Called poetry reading
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry--
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll--
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.

- Emily Dickinson

pass on a poem
"Is there a published poem close to your heart?" they ask.
"Pass it on!"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!

three tiered multi-colored third birthday cake
Today is my middle grandchild's third birthday. And believe me, it is an accomplishment.

abstract birthday card with cake and greetingHappy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Angel, Happy Birthday to you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Job Interview Today

black and white photo of woman reading want adds dressed for job search, circa 1930s



Yay! I had a job interview today.

I'm not optimistic, but at least I finally had an interview.

A while ago I called a district contact for clarification on a point, and the nice woman told me they had upwards of a hundred applicants for each position.





School starts Monday in the district where I interviewed, and has already started in many other places, so my chances of getting a job have gone from slim to nil.

If I don't get this job, at least I will have gone from ignored to rejected, and I find that comforting in a strange sort of way.



SO WHAT IS FREEDOM, REALLY?

Robert Frost stamp
Bond and Free
- Robert Frost

Love has earth to which she clings
With hills and circling arms about—
Wall within wall to shut fear out.
But Thought has need of no such things,
For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.

On snow and sand and turf, I see
Where Love has left a printed trace
With straining in the world’s embrace.
And such is Love and glad to be.
But Thought has shaken his ankles free.

Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom
And sits in Sirius’ disc all night,
Till day makes him retrace his flight,
With smell of burning on every plume,
Back past the sun to an earthly room.

His gains in heaven are what they are.
Yet some say Love by being thrall
And simply staying possesses all
In several beauty that Thought fares far
To find fused in another star.

Monday, August 10, 2009

THIS PICTURE JUST MAKES ME FEEL HAPPY



NUDGE. NUDGE. WINK. WINK.

winking smiley face
I found this on a blog called, A Year of Reading: Two teachers who read. A lot. It cracked me up, in a serious, professionally conscious way, of course. It is worth the read.

No Dentist Left Behind

My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth.

When I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great.

"Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said.

"No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?"

"It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. The plan will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said. "Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice."

"That's terrible," he said.

"What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"

"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry."

"Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me."

"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele, and that much depends on things we can't control? For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem, and I don't get to do much preventive work.

Also, many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off, so many of my clients have well water which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"

"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. "I can't believe that you, my dentist, would be so defensive. After all, you do a great job, and you needn't fear a little accountability."

"I am not being defensive!" he said. "My best patients are as good as any one's, my work is as good as any one's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most."

"Don't get touchy," I said.

"Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth. "Try furious! In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. The few educated patients I have who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating is an actual measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist.

They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the most needy patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"

"I think you are overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse-making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'... I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted.

"What's the DOC?" he asked.

"It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."

"Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.

The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?"

"Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes."

"That's too complicated, expensive and time-consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line. It's an absolute measure."

"That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly.

"Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some."

"How?" he asked.

"If you receive a poor rating, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.

"You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? BIG HELP!"

"There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."

"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score made on a test of children's progress with no regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools."

I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senators," he said. "I'll use the school analogy. Surely they will see the point."


From the A Year of Reading website:
(Note: This is not an original piece of writing. This periodically shows up in the inbox of my school email. Teachers forward it on to other teachers, but I didn't know if anyone outside the profession ever saw it, so that's why I decided to share it here. If you want to know what it's like to be a teacher under NCLB, this conveys the ludicrousness and frustration of the whole mess. Apply the ideas to YOUR profession and imagine the outrage YOU'D feel!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

CAN YOU STAND SOME MORE?




Use of Blogs in the Classroom




Exploration Guide: Educational Uses of Blogs, Wikis, RSS Feeds, etc.


This Web page offers recommended starting places
- Links for work in computer lab or online - esp. in small groups.



TEACHERS FIRST: GATED BLOGS FOR THE CLASSROOM



Explorations in Learning Notes on writing, teaching, and learning How to Use Blogs in the Classroom
(Some good basic dos and don'ts for successfully engaging students with learning through blogging)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

FROM THE BOOKSHELF

shelf of old books
On Turning Ten
- Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

billy collins in black and white head shotTwo time Poet Laureate of
the United States, 201-2003

Also responsible for Poetry 180,
which I have placed on the side
bar as a permanent link. It is a
wonderful site, to use in the
classroom, with a new poem
for students daily.


Teaching With Fire, Intrator, Sam M. & Scribner, Megan, Ed.

ALSO . . .

tiny potted greenery
bcejan08pls
The Course Wiki for
Building Online Collaborative Environments

Use of Blogs in the Classroom

Blog Lesson Plans

Friday, August 7, 2009

AND . . .

teaching tips dot com logo






50 Useful Blogging Tools for Teachers:

  • Where to Create Your Blog
  • Blogging Tools and Help for Teachers
  • General Blog Tools
  • Blogging and Internet Safety - Always important)
  • Getting Students in on the Action - Some examples:
45. Reflections on Student Blogging. This article written by a teacher working with middle and high school students describes how she implemented a student blogging project. She also offers more generalized helpful tips on blogging with students.
46. Blogging Basics: Creating Student Journals on the Web. This tutorial covers all the basics for getting your students set up to blog in the classroom. There are even some links to school blogs.
47. Students 2.0. This blog is run by students and allows them a chance to raise their voice on the topic of education. Not only does this blog serve as an example of what student blogs can be, it is also a great tool to share with your older students.