Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring Means Walking and Yard Work

Our weather has been on a roller coaster ride since the beginning of March, but somehow Luke and I have managed to walk a minimum of 3.2 miles/5 kilometers most days.  A few rainy days never had a gap in the rain to permit us getting out.  Stefanie would always say that her mom and dad were practicing for Disney.  She wasn’t far from right.  We do walk mainly for our health, but walking definitely gets us ready for a Disney vacation.  For the month of March we walked a total of 80.04 miles.  I’m hoping for 90 miles by the end of April.  During today’s walk we battled 25+ mph winds the entire time with a few much strong wind gusts.  The high was only in the upper 50s so the wind chill was a factor as well.  At 3 miles Luke asked how much further I wanted to go.  My reply was “I want to go home.  I’m tired of fighting the wind.”  :rofl:   We still had a quarter of a mile before we were back inside though.  :)

Yesterday after our walk on the farthest section of our city’s Greenbelt from our home, we stopped in at Menard’s to pick up a few things and to check out the tree selections.  We had planted two small tulip poplars last year a few weeks before our May Disney trip.  These were wee little trees that unfortunately did not survive the summer.  We really wanted to replace these with some sturdier young trees.  None were available yet at Menard’s, so Luke asked if I’d mind going to Rural King.   Here the selection was much more comprehensive and the trees were already a fair size.  :woot:  We pulled out the tallest two tulip poplars and then we also saw some Jane Magnolia trees.  Luke has wanted a miniature magnolia for some time now to put in the same area as our white Dogwood that his family purchased for us on the anniversary of Stefanie’s passing.  So that went in the cart as well.  We got to the entrance to the store and the trees were too tall to enter safely.  Luke headed inside with the sales tags and soon our trees were loaded up.  At home Luke began the process of planting all three while I picked up limbs from our weeping willow in the front yard that had succumbed to the mild wind we had yesterday.  You’d never know I’d cleaned up as the yard is even more covered in branches after the high winds today.  That’ll be a job for Monday.  :smirk: 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Water covers most of Daviess Co.

Water covers most of Daviess Co.: "Friday helicopter pilot Chris Conkright went in the air to see it first hand."

The flooding finally has our school district closed!  Thank goodness the sun is now shining and the rain has cleared out.  Hopefully, our county will have some time to dry out!  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

State Mandated Testing

So much FUN! Every year we totally screw up the daily schedule to work in the tests that our juniors and sophomores are required to take in order to prove to the state that we teachers are doing our job.   Many of our students do NOT feel that the test is a reflection on the tests, so they really don't care how they do.  Frustrating!  So for 3 morning now in a row I have been monitoring 30 students (only one of whom I knew prior to the testing.  Many of them are more concerned with prom, sports, and how much longer before we get out for summer.  Others have worked diligently all three days, dedicated to doing their best, rewards or no rewards.  A few have struggled as they discovered questions that they felt covered content they had never learned.  In about an hour this year's testing will be history, at least until scores are returned in the fall.  But I'm left wondering yet again, how well I'm teaching my students, and especially how well I'm motivating them to play an active role in their own education.  And that will lead me to rework, revamp, rethink everything I teach next year.  In the end, I know I'm becoming a better teacher! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Winding Down the Year

At this point every year I begin to feel a bit of panic as I realize how few days are left in the school year and how much more content I would love to teach before my students are gone.  At the same time I'm very much like my students as I'm eager for some time off.  I know exactly how many days until we leave for Disney World.  45!  But I'm also excited that some of my summer will be spent learning as I spend 5 days absorbing all I can about teaching AP Language and Composition. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Joyful World Religious
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Learning Curve

There is excitement in learning new skills and even more excitement in sharing new skills and knowledge.  But there is also frustrations.  How do I help someone else understand what I am saying or doing?  How do I keep those who are quick to learn involved while they wait for others who are not so quick to catch up?  How do I diagnose the problems in understanding and the rethink my instruction to reteach the same skills?  Why do some students skip over the tutorials and forge ahead without any direction?  Unfortunately, a good number of them will fail at this approach and then have to ask me questions the tutorial would have explained (if they had watched it).  No wonder my head hurt at times this week.

But I was inspired by the ability of my students to help each other, to learn from their failures and mine, to begin the wonderful process of learning how literature, writing, and thinking can be combined with all that is great about Web 2.0.  So in spite of the headaches, it was a terrific first week of school where learning was happening for my students and me every moment of the day.  We will all be better in the end as both success and failure teach us how to be better and wiser.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer -- Never Long Enough, But Always Hot Enough

Days without planning and grading and working seem to fly by way too fast.  Then it's time to hit the books, pull out the red pen, and go back to school.  But I'm excited this year because I've learned so much over the summer.  It is genuinely possible to teach an old teacher new tricks!  After spending 12 days in the happiest place on earth with Luke and Stefanie (anyone know where that place is?), I got the opportunity to learn all there is out there in Web 2.0, and there is a hugacious amount out there.  To say I was overwhelmed is most assuredly an understatement.  At least I was inside in frigid air conditioning instead of sweltering and sweating in the most recent July heat wave.  Within a matter of a few short days, I had created my first Wiki pages, learned out to use some cool tools, and then all on my own taken on the Live Binder challenge.  I love to share what I learn, sometimes even when no one wants to learn it, so get ready; you are about to embark with me on a most excellent quest.  In the end, hopefully, we'll all be wiser and not just older.  And just maybe I'll be using that red pen less and less as the year goes on.  

PS --  I also love to share what I know about that happiest place on earth.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I've recently decided that September may be my least favorite month of the year. The month has a few positives, such as cooler temperatures (at least some years anyway), fall is one of my favorite seasons and it begins this month, and my Dad's birthday is this month (I'm blessed that he is still here as he'll be 81 next Monday). But then it's also the anniversary of Kevin's birth, and as Stefanie (who has never even known him) says, "We miss him a lot." Then last September my mom died after a 5 year illness with agnogenic myloid metaplasia, a very rare blood disorder. So my mood and attitude have been all over the place the past two weeks, and I fear I won't recover until the magical month of October, maybe my favorite month of the year.

Writing and More Writing

I am excited and overwhelmed simultaneously by how well most of my students are bloggins. Right now I have 292 blogs to read and that is just so far in September. But beyond the sheer numbers of entries is the pleasure I'm getting from reading. I may know this group of students better than I have any class in my 29 years of teaching. They are candid and even enthused as they pick their own topics and write. It's refreshing to have students groan and moan when blogging time is over. I love it when learning is FUN!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What does family mean to me? I have two sisters, one is three years younger than me and the other is six years younger. Yeah, I'm the oldest. For most of our growing up years, I was the typcial bossy older sister. In fact Pam (sister 1) liked to refer to me as Marcia (like the Brady Bunch). I love my family, and truthfully, that no matter what they love and support me. We haven't always gotten along, and I might have called them names a time or two. But don't you dare call them a name because as their big sister I'll always be there to defend them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How'd We Do

Work is way more tiring than summer vacation. But teaching energizes me! Week One may not have gone according to plan, but who says life should be rushed, especially if it's just to mark items off the to do list. Beowulf will soon be coming to life again as we decide whether he is an epic hero and determine what exactly is his quest. And Janie will come of age as we analyze what we've read over the summer. Thanks to all for one of the best starts! Let's get busy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Shared Room

28 years leads to a strong sense of deja vu. Been there, done that. But still full of excitement and hopefulness as yet another school year begins. Sharing a room. You know we'll be inhabiting a rather square room with each other for at least 90 minutes every other day. I can't wait to get to know each of you and then to watch you grow as we learn together. I truly believe learning should be fun as often as possible. Reality is that some things we will read and some things we write may not turn out quite as I plan, though I will always have the best of intentions. We'll just all have to remember that learning and life is a journey. We'll all make mistakes, so let's just plan now to forgive each other's goof ups. True redemption leads us to good. We'll learn from our mistakes as much, if not more, than we learn from our successes. I'm ready to begin, how about you?