Sunday, January 23, 2011


With the exception of a very discouraging message from the Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction (You're going to continue to have to do more with less. Suck it up and deal with it.), the conference at Seaside was just what I needed. It gave me a chance to catch up with my friend Kathryn, enjoy an adorable 3 year old, eat yummy sea food, hear more about the latest buzz in education (proficiency based learning), and walk on the beach.

The 3 secondary ELL amigos...

The main street in Seaside is decked out with these clever lights.
Janie, Chris, Liam, Kathryn and I enjoyed good food and conversation on Friday night.
On Saturday morning I got up early and walked on the beach for an hour. Not much to see when it's so dark, but the sound of the surf and salty air were wonderful!
After breakfast I had to go back for one more look in the daylight.

Liam entertained us after lunch. What a cutie!
The whole ELL crew--plus one! The sun came out and we didn't want to leave.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

...a crazy-making day

End of the semester--grades must be in, notice to change one class from letters to P/NP--but how?, final exams to translate and explain (Miss, can you help me?), detailed sub plans or else the kids will run wild (and if they still run wild then at least I did my part), copies to make, emails to send, senior project presentation to attend, meeting notes to type, program paperwork to print...a very long day.

But tomorrow...some collegues and I (and one adorable small boy and his mama) are headed to the coast for a conference. And I won't feel the least bit guilty if the beach beckons me for a walk while the conference is...conferencing.

It's good for the soul to get out of Dodge once in a while. (Even if it means having a crazy day to make it happen.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

...saying goodbye to an old friend

I bought the old dear in 1977. She had already given someone else a few years of hard work, but I didn't care. We became great friends. I wonder how many hours we have spent together over the years, creating one-of-a-kind gifts and salvaging favorite jeans? Last night, I sat down to finish up a very small project that required a few straight stitches and two small button holes. She didn't complain at first, but balked when I asked to her start the first button hole. I pulled and twisted the knob and muttered under my breath, but no go. So I took her apart as much as I could and peered inside. I cleaned and oiled and said sweet things, then put her back together. Still, the answer was no. So, practicing on a scrap, I figured out how to make a button hole using the zig zag stitch. Not pretty, but functional. Then all that was left was the finishing seam. Less than a foot of straight stitching. But, the needle would only go up and down in one spot--no forward motion at all. That final seam was created by pulling the fabric from the back--again, not pretty, but it worked.
So now what? I haven't been without a machine since I learned to sew. Generous friends and family members have offered me loaners, but I need my own machine.

Until I find a replacement, I am a sometimes insomniac teacher who cycles, reads, and...misses her old friend.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

...a news flash

Eight spandex junkies

gather at local bike shop

to pedal nowhere.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

...a new year

We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2011 be a year of opportunities claimed with open arms.