Sunday, April 20, 2014

For Educators only

If you are interested in Educational Leadership, check out this blog:

What do we need to make education better? How do we make learning more exciting for kids? What is project based learning? How can we shift the paradigm when people don't want to change?

Check out the blog and leave your comments.

Happy Easter!

This was such a great day! We started the day with Easter baskets for the kids, then off to Church for the early service. After church, there was a breakfast downstairs-- not just donuts and bagels, but French toast, eggs, bacon, etc. It was a nice time of fellowship for the church. Then home to prep for the big Easter dinner! Company arrived around 12:30 and we had such a nice time chatting, catching up, and eating lots of good food: shrimp, ham, green beans, pierogies, rolls, salad, pizza rustica. And for dessert: pineapple upside down cake, amaretto cake and sugar cookies. The weather was bright and sunny. The kids put on a little concert of singing and violin playing. We talked, laughed, and enjoyed the day.  Today we celebrated Christ's resurrection. Praise God! He didn't stay in that tomb. I hope your Easter was joyful, as well.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Je suis desole

Have trouble saying you are sorry? It is difficult to get those words out, isn't it? Admitting we are wrong to others does not come easy for any of us.

So, why not say it in French? It sounds so much more elegant.

    "Je suis desole."

Isn't it interesting that the word for "sorry" looks like "desolate"?

This word "desolate" means "sorrowful, caused by separation from a loved one" . Isn't that exactly what happens? We do something wrong and it drives a wedge between ourselves and the ones we love. The only thing which can mend and restore is the word "desole."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Letter Writing Revived

After reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I got the idea to engage in an old fashioned revival of the art of letter writing.

I'm going to start with my students, who are currently reading the novel in class. We are going to talk about the importance of letters in that day, how they were written, and then have them write their own notes. I even got the sealing wax, just because it adds some fun to it!

Do you remember the chapter where Elizabeth reads Darcy's letter to her (after she had rejected his proposal)? The more she read it, the more her mind and feelings changed. It was a pivotal moment for her.

Due to social media and texting so few people bother to send notes or letters, so I'm trying to revive this dying art. I bought a box of 50 note cards and plan to send out all 50 in the next year. A tad bit ambitious, you are probably thinking! I don't think I've sent 50 letters out in the past 20 years! We will see how the experiment grows.

Letters are a treasure. You can read them over and over years later. Digital communication is often impersonal and quickly disposed of. I still treasure letters my grandmother wrote me many years ago, and now that she is gone, it is wonderful to have these words of hers to treasure.

So turn off the computer, put aside the phone, grab a pen and paper and join me on this return to simpler days. Write a letter, and let me know what happens.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snow, again.

Yes, it is Saturday here in the northeast, and yes, it is snowing once again. Aren't you tired of it? I know I am.

Not that I don't mind the surprise days off from work, but I hate the cold, and the snow only looks pretty for a few hours. Then it turns into a nuisance.

This is the time of year I always wonder, Why do I live in this state where winter stretches from December to late March? Why don't I move to the south? Texas? Florida?

Then I realize, without the cold I wouldn't appreciate the warmth. Part of the glory of spring, is the life springing out of that cold frozen ground. The green and yellow and pink taking over the browns and greys of the landscape. The amazing transformation that occurs between March and May is nothing short of amazing.

In life, we could not appreciate the good times if we didn't have the bad. We would appreciate a day off if we didn't work. We couldn't appreciate life if we hadn't lost someone to death. We cant value love without loss.  Its about the ying and yang. The balance of opposites.

So, now that I have found some kind of assurance that this will be over soon, and that there is a deeper significance to it all,  I can go outside, scrape off my car and head out, slipping and sliding into my future, which in 2 short months will include spring!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Swifter and Morty

I have to admit, I usually can resist commercials. I have studied the various techniques advertisers use to persuade you to buy their products, but for some reason, I really like Morty and his wife.

Maybe they remind me of my own grandparents, maybe they make cleaning seem so much easier (and I already hate it now, so any short cuts are welcome). I love the idea of getting a big box of Swifters on my front porch. Anyone want to send me some?

Then along came the ad with the one armed guy and his family. Wow. If a guy with one arm can help his wife with the cleaning, then I have no excuse. I should really get off my... ah, computer and get busy, right?

Swifter hired some really clever advertisers. I'm seriously considering buying some of their products. Well, I already have the small hand-held duster, but the longer one looks great for cleaning fan blades and such-- and those cobwebs in the corners I have been ignoring.

Have you tried them? What do you think?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sick Pics

There is a social media trend I do not understand: taking pictures of oneself or one's children when sick.

Zoom the camera in for a selfie of a sickly face, circles under eyes, sad pouty face,  and describe in the caption what all your symptoms are and what fluids are spewing from which orifices. DO I NEED TO KNOW THIS? When I am sick I hide from a camera. The last thing I would want to do is show 200 people how awful I look when sick.

Version 2 : My sick kids. Let's take a pic of my poor kid holding the barf bucket on the couch! Now there's a shot all my friends and acquaintances will love. NOT.

Perhaps it would be best to simply post that you (or little Susie)  is not feeling well, and prayers are requested. We understand, but we don't need all the details. Thanks.