January 27, 2013 § 6 Comments
Current issues of THE NEW YORKER are starting to breed like rabbits around the house. I haven’t had time to read them all, much less in order. HM tracked into our house some insidious little ice melters from the courtyard of the building where his office is found, and they hurt bare feet and yet break into pieces like little apsirins. I’ve been chasing them with the vaccum. Everyone in his building complained; the superintendent doesn’t know who put them down in anticipation of an ice storm, but it was discovered they’re not ice melters – they are, in fact, for breaking down grease. Someone got confused.
Meanwhile, the weatherman can’t get the weather correct, which ultimately is ok, because he’s so darn dire with forecasting sleet and slips-n-slides and rain and frozen temps, all stirred into one big weather pot so that he doesn’t actually appear to be wrong…and who cares? we have ourselves and our cars as winterized as possible with layers of hoodies and coats and fingerless gloves and scarves and scrapers, sand-in-the-trunk and big fat all-weather tires, so …bring it on.
Friends and neighbors have been quiet in the gloom this weekend, with everyone badly needing some rest and some unscheduled time. Christmas is boxed, bagged and stacked in the tool room, everything labeled and the house has lots it glitter but there’s a certain uncluttered thing going on that’s not so bad. Greenery does perk a person up quite a bit though, even if only sticking one’s head out the back patio doors and breathing in the cold humidity and discerning among the many winter greys which branches are holding birds and the squirrels, all waiting to hit the feeder as soon as the human stops sticking her head out there, into their business.
Ya gotta love it, all the comforts of Sunday, wherever you can find them, as you teeter on the precipice of Work Tomorrow. While America is glad to have a job, sometimes the schedule just makes you want to put the typical time compendium on tilt and run it your own way. As the dowager Countess in Downton Abbey says, “What’s a weekend?” I am intrigued by how such a character, if real, would actually measure time.
Perhaps not at all.
And that sounds like a fine idea to me.
February 27, 2011 § 11 Comments
(from photo series of Valentine tulips, as featured in previous post, taken with lightbox and then playing with MS Digital Photo Pro.
Note: this is not an ad for it, however. And further, I barely know what I’m doing with this software which I’ve had for several years. I consider a lot of such use “cheating” but publications are rife with touch ups these days. Yet it’s given way and sway to a whole new type of artistry – those that are fluent in graphics, etc. ….. onward…..)
Went to a coffee shop this morning. An odd choice, perhaps, but the house was full of guests from yesterday’s get-together, ensuing bake-off in the kitchen, and a charity event last evening attended by 8 of us. So while they slept in and I made the breakfast menu, with everything at the ready, it seemed reasonable to head out for a little writing time.
At the coffee shop: There was a table of ladies, among other full tables and booths, who segued from one topic to another and though I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, it was easier to hear them than to listen to the writing voice in my head. And they got me to thinking.
The six women covered one topic after another, from their jobs and how they start their mornings, to reading elementary school students “grants” which one particular teacher had instigated in order to prep her little students for the real world, to eyedrops that come in a little disposable packets (what will they think of next? Everything is so darn “convenient!”), to the new FroYo shop that opened up five doors away and what their favorite toppings were and you pay for it by weight, to fried chicken and where to get the best (“but you shouldn’t eat the skin,” said one and the others put up such a hue and cry about that being the best part) …
…and I got to wondering, going back to the topic of the grant-writing…about a few things that teacher said…
She discussed how she chose her grant “winners.” Some of them, she said were awful and she set those aside. (My heart sank a little. How did she determine “awful”?) Some of the little grant writers made her laugh or delighted her and those went into the “potential winner” pile. Others, she said, had ho-hum topics – if only they had developed them somehow, with details or humor…
…I just wondered if she had worked with the students first and reviewed ideas and played with topics to give them an idea, taking a few sessions over a week or WHAM, did she just drop it on them and wait to see what they did, what they came up with?
If the latter, then the teacher gets a zero from me.
But I’m sure she must have given them some background or encouragement. I’m sure she didn’t just drop this grant-writing idea on them (which is a very cool idea, having them write a grant to win a trip to the zoo, or a day of reading or whatever…), would she? Nah.
Why do some students get left behind, or never “develop?” They have no guidelines. No purpose.
How often does that happen?
I don’t know.
I do know that a good teacher (under the best of circumstances) helps create the spark, and does not only fan into flames a spark that already exists.
Don’t get me wrong. I greatly admire the teaching profession. In fact, teachers (and nurses) do NOT get enough support, $ and attention in this present day world. (I was a teacher; I “dropped out” after 5 years to pursue a career in the Big City).
In fact, I honor the fact that we are all teachers and mentors in many ways.
Learned this morning: I need to remember that during the work week.
Am I giving my team the tools and ideas and mainframe and basics it needs to succeed, or am I just hoping they will hit the target and reward only those who manage to do so?
We cannot teach others to be like us, to do only what delights us; we must teach basics and inspire others in order to discover what they have to offer, things we never thought of….
Sheesh, what started this?
It’s always good to experience an unintentional wake up call.Obviously, I was meant to hear “connections” through the conversation at the other table and give better thought to how it applies overall.
And then there’s that new frozen yogurt shop I didn’t know about that requires some (immediate?) attention.
AS Neill’s writings somehow found their way into my education during college and though not in agreement of all of it, had me thinking for years that I would start my own school. You may be interested to see what he was up to, though wikepedia may not be the most reliable place to look, you can start here nevertheless or go to a “direct link,” – here.