happy day 17

Today was a great teaching day. It was photo analysis day. Starting with a reminder of the First Amendment's provisions of assemblies and free speech, I then played Jimmy Fallon's monologue. Then a three-minute silent study and analysis of photo 1; inviting students to write down whatever questions came to them about the image. Next was another three-minute silent study and analysis of photo 2 and again, the questions. To begin talking about Charlottesville, I asked them which image triggered a more profound reaction. They then had the chance to explain why. I was excited and they were totally engaged. An awesome way to kick off the year! And a sneaky way to hone their ability to analyze visuals.


happy day 16

My love of Post its!

w.w.w. wednesday

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! Hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

• What are you currently reading? I'm reading Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and listening to The Secret Place by Tana French.

• What did you recently finish reading? I finished This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankle and What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum.

• What do you think you’ll read next? Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.


happy day 15


A few recent graduates have been messaging/texting/emailing me to get together before they head off to college. I love having those connections and can't wait to wish them well on their college adventures.

ten things tuesday

Ten random things:

1) I need a pedicure.

2) Today's workshop at school was productive and challenging--challenging because when my department chair gets overwhelmed, he shuts down; he was overwhelmed during a philosophical discussion this morning and we almost argued because he couldn't listen. It was awkward and uncomfortable.

3) We're going to have a heck of a thunder storm. I hope it breaks up the humidity. (Rumble rumble)

4) I am not excited for the new school year. I'm not dreading it, either, but I don't feel excitement.

5) I do not like blueberries. Just the thought of them gives me the willies.

6) I spent 13 hours at school today. We had freshman orientation tonight. I could have come home between the workshop and orientation but I used that time to get work done. Now I'm toast.

7) There are a LOT of significant changes this year--lots of teachers are up in arms about them but I'm very zen. I can get wound up or I can go with the flow so I'm choosing the flow.

8) I had some students hang out with me today.

9) It's been three weeks since I've knit. I think it's the project I'm working on that seems tedious. I like the nearly instant gratification of hat knitting. But I'm determined to finish the shawl project before I begin something else. I love the yarn I'm using.

10) I ordered a new shirt a little over a week ago, thinking I would wear it on the first day of school--but it hasn't arrived yet! Boo hiss!


happy day 14

This makes me happy:


I am...

Reading: a tutorial for the new gradebook program

Watching: a tutorial for the new gradebook program

Listening to: the clatter of the post office trucks delivering their daily haul

Wanting: a foot massage

Needing: payday

Loving: how my colleagues are so excited to socialize with me

Thinking: about how the school year has so many changes!

Feeling: unfazed by all the changes

Celebrating: my perspective

Grateful for: people who get me

A quote I want to share:


this is uncomfortable

I'm going to have my students analyze the first photo. What do they see? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? How does it make them feel?

And this is a reminder for me:

EDITED TO ADD: The photo above is NOT from this past weekend. But it still says a lot. I'm still going to use it.

Here's another photo that is from this weekend, that I plan to use.

happy day 13

School starts tomorrow. As I reflect on my summer, I am happy and relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. My happy for today is reading all of the books-plus more-that I set as my summer reading challenge. I am working on the Ann Hood book that's listed but I don't have to read it until mid-September for my book group. Working on my Goodreads Challenge, I'm at 72% having read 43 of 60 books.

sunday stealing

(click the icon to play along)

Make a difference today

1. What is the favorite piece of art you own. I have some art posters I picked up at the Van Gogh museum and D'Orsay Museum that I treasure

2. The most expensive bill you paid last month. I think it was rent

3. What’s the last thing you apologized for? I don't recall, although I am a frequent apologizer

4. If you could do today over, would you change anything? it's 11 o'clock--today is fine so far!

5. What is the largest TV screen in your house? I think it's 28 inches, I'm not sure but it's not terribly big

6. What did you buy today? I took my youngest local niece and her boyfriend to breakfast--they're going back to college this week so it was our last get-together

7. I wish I had ____ a working magic wand

8. How many photos did you take today? one so far

9. Last thing you wanted and didn’t get. I was not consulted on an incidental school matter

10. What was the last new thing you tried? I tried a new breakfast combo

11. Who is your hero? Former President Jimmy Carter

12. Today I feel really secure knowing ____ I have fun activities planned for the first couple of days of school

13. Whose life did you make a difference in today? my youngest local niece and her boyfriend

14. What would have made today perfect? being able to take photos of the sunflower field--I was afraid of trespassing so I didn't get close enough to the field to get good pictures

15. Did you thank anybody today? my waitress

Bonus: If you were a Muppet, which would you be? one of Kermit's cousins


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. I like to post one that speaks to me each week.


happy day 12

After sleeping in luxuriously late, I did a pharmacy run to refill my happy pills--and I'm happy I have insurance. When I got home, I spent the afternoon reading a very good book. Reading makes me happy. I'm going to miss the summer days of reading.

just finished reading

I like how the story is told from the dual narratives of David Drucker and Kit Lowell. I like the cast of secondary characters--that the adults are not necessarily stupid or bad. I may like David a bit more than Kit. It's quite a good book--quirky, full of ups and downs, heartbreaks and laugh-out-loud moments.

From the publisher:
Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

saturday 9

Start Me Up 😊

1) That's a goat wearing a high heel. What's on your feet as you answer these questions? my feet are naked! *gasp*

2) More fashion: In the video for this song, Mick is wearing white pants with an elastic waistband. Are you wearing a belt as you answer these questions? I am not wearing, nor do I often, wear a belt

3) In this song, Mick pleads, "Don't make a grown man cry." When is the last time you shed a tear? I laughed so hard I cried when my sisters were home in July--I was even hoarse from laughing

4) Keith Richard has said this is a song he could play "forever and ever." What in your life doesn't get old, no matter how often you do it? hmmm, I have a few things: going for a drive, reading, and knitting

5) While The Rolling Stones enjoy performing songs, like this one, from Tattoo You, Mick Jagger has dismissed the songs from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request as "rubbish." Do you have a favorite Rolling Stones song? this one is a favorite, as well as "Waiting on a Friend"

6) This recording of "Start Me Up" features a cowbell. Do you remember which Saturday Night Live host made, "More cowbell!" a catchphrase? One of my very favorite sketches! It was Christopher Walken!

7) Bassist Bill Wyman once said he thought he should have been an archivist because he loved to make lists. Do you have a to-do list? I don't usually make lists for home stuff, but I do make lists at school

8) Mick finds it hard to stand still when he sings, not only on stage but also in the studio. The engineer for this song reports that Mick would have to run across the room to get back to the microphone for his vocal. Are you more fidgety, or still? I am still with restless leg syndrome

9) Random question: Do you believe men are inherently more sensible than women?
that would be a NO


happy day 11

A compelling new show on USA network.

the friday 56

The Friday 56

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.

I'm reading Gilead.

The light in the room was beautiful this morning, as it often is. It's a plain old church and it could use a coat of paint. But in the dark times I used to walk over before sunrise just to sit there and watch the light come into that room.