Posts Tagged ‘SOLC’

Slicing up a spin

Earlier this month, I was at our admin retreat and we were talking about how we can stay true to what we understand and believe are good educational practices.  I brought up the difficulty of describing a play-based program for young children in a way that would not turn away those parents who want their children to be “learning something.”  In my summer reading, I had come across the term guided play and was wondering if this might be a better way to talk about what teachers and children are doing in the classroom.  Then someone mentioned a story they had heard on the radio citing research that indicated a good kindergarten experience could result in a higher earning potential.  What she had heard was this – children who had great kindergarten teachers ended up making more money than those who had less than great teachers.  Wow – talk about pressure.  I was very interested in this idea so of course I launched an internet search and I found this article (which had been sent to me but left unread).  I will leave it to you to decided who is spinning what but it does make me think about how we use words.  As I am getting ready for our back to school parent meetings, I am contemplating what words to use and how to use them.  The last thing I want is to get caught up in the spin.

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Slicing into my routine

Time to get back into a routine.  And hoping the transition from summer to school  year will be made a bit easier with a no mess hair style and a simplified approach to dressing.  Earlier this summer I heard about a challenge to choose 6 items and wear only those items for a month.  I am working on a version of that for my school wardrobe.  I have also been learning to embrace my curls which has really cut down on my morning routine.   So, what will I do with that extra time?  Not quite sure yet but there are books on my Kobo and a new Couch to 5K ap on my phone not to mention a blank journal.  Surely something will feel right.

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In my own world, my day-to-day getting up and going to work and being an educator, I feel pretty confident.  Not overly confident (I hope) but enough to believe that I can do the work.  I try to put in the time, at the desk, in the classroom, reading and studying and keeping up on the research.  When I tell people that I am an educator, I believe it.

But I struggle with calling myself a drummer or a writer.  I am putting in the time, practicing those rhythms, writing words, reading the music book, watching other drummers, reading about writing, taking up writing challenges.  But I hesitate to say that I am . . .  I wonder what it will take to give me that confidence?  performance?  publication? 

Today I read a piece about doubt and it ended with asking a good question; if doubt is a seed, what doubts are being planting in my so that I can grow?

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a slice of Celtic rock

My grandparents were born in Scotland.  As a girl, I loved to see my grandmother’s beautiful teacups and lace.  I remember my grandfather putting on his dress kilt only a few times but I know they were proud of their heritage.  Each year the Highland Games come to the Pacific Northwest and we have gone a few times.  But it wasn’t until our trip to Scotland a few years ago that I found myself looking forward to this weekend.  I love the kilts, the bagpipes, the massing of the pipe bands and the gathering of the clans.  But I have also grown to love the Celtic rock groups that play each year.  This year we saw Tempest, a very lively band with a wonderful sound. I even bought a CD.  I wonder a bit what my grandfather would have to say about this development.

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Saved – grocery bags

I got my first canvas grocery bag in 1988.  It was part of a set that mom gave me for Christmas, three large bags and 6 smaller bags for produce.  I am not sure what happened to the smaller bags – they were hard to use because they were not see-thru so the checkers had to look inside (so much trouble!). I used them off and on but not consistently.   I now have quite a collection of bags from various stores.  At first I had to get over the idea of using a Whole Foods bag at Safeway but that has passed.  We keep them in our cars so we won’t be without.  Some are heavier, some have little compartments for bottles of wine.  My favorite is from the UK – a great little fold up Sainsbury bag.  Lately I have read numerous articles about the cleanliness of these bags and so I have begun a weekly bag washing ritual.  I was concerned that some of them might fall apart but they came through quite well and dried quickly in the sun.  I have had to be persistent at times, pushing my bags to the front to the belt before the food gets packed into plastic.  And I am amazed at how often some of my groceries end up in plastic, even though there is plenty of room in my bags.  It feels a bit as if the baggers are resistent to the fabric bags even though every store sells a wide variety of them.  But I am hopeful that with time, this will become so commonplace that the resistence will fade.  Now if I could figure out how to get them to always pack my meet in one bag and my produce in another – then we would have something!

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Saved – blue

We were wandering through this island town yesterday.  The sky was blue, there were blue buildings and benches and garden art  made with blue bottles.  But the most amazing blue I saw was on this plant.  I must have taken 8 pictures of this one plant.  I needed to save the image from every angle.  One of my gardening friends will be able to tell me the name of this plant and then I may or may not look for one to add to my own garden.

*****Update – the common name of this plant is sea holly*****

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Slice of life Tuesday

Two boxes arrived in our mailbox yesterday.  One contained some books for work.  The other one held this thin book by Luci Shaw on journaling.  The timing was perfect.  Ruth had written a post about making time for writing and I had my end of year staff meeting.  The next two weeks of work will be less hurried as fewer of us are on campus and the work to be done is more about paper and less about people.  This morning, I read the first few chapters and spend a bit of time writing about writing. tIt reminds me of a time when our daughter (who was not fond of reading) saw a magazine about books and exclaimed, “Who would want to read about reading?”  (She loves to read now I am happy to say).  So, I am equipping myself to do more writing this summer, reading and writing and reading about writing.  Sounds like heaven to me.

Read more Slice of Life entries here.

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SOLC #31 – celebrate

It is going to be a busy day.  I checked my email early to see if any of the tours I have scheduled might have cancelled.  For now it seems they are all planning to come so I won’t put on my jeans.  Then there will be some meetings this afternoon and if all goes well, a run before heading home.  What a month it has been.  31 days of writing, of taking pictures, of paying attention to the little slices that make up a life.  I have so many ideas for writing.  Some are extensions of slices I have shared here, others are recorded in my journal to investigate and ponder next month.  It has been another great challenge.  Thanks to Stacey and Ruth for the motivation and to my fellow slicers.

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SOLC #30 – peanut butter

Peanut butter – the mainstay of a young child’s diet for many years – has become a hazard.  We have practices in place to make sure we don’t serve anything with peanuts or made in a facility where peanuts are processed.  I find myself asking families at church if they have any food allergies when it is my turn to bring a meal after a baby is born or the family has experienced a loss or illness.  I have meetings with teachers and parents over fears and frustrations about food allergies.  It is a scary thing.

For me, the forbidden ingredient is gluten.  I won’t have the same kind of reaction as a peanut allergy but it is not a reaction that I want to repeat if at all possible.  It is getting easier to be safe.  Food labeling is so much better than it was eight years ago.  But there are surprises along the way.  I still do not understand how wheat or gluten find their way into some foods – why is there wheat in my potato chips for instance?  But I start most days with my favorite gluten-free food and then I make sure to wash my hand really well before I head off to school.

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Today I am trying to focus on the ordinary moments of my day so . . .

March seems to be planning on a wet exit.  Glad I didn’t put away my sweaters yet.

That great jar of iced tea has been replaced by a pot of warm ginger tea.

I can finally do the seal move with my yoga video.

When I practiced drums this week, I felt like I was making progress.

I started a novel that grabbed my attention right away.

A warm bowl of chili with avocado and tortillas makes a great Monday night dinner.

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