Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Break

This is summer break--
why am I pondering my new future,
reading Common Core stuff,
planning with teachers,
mapping my new curriculum,
modifying units,
pinning resources,
creating webmixes
and trying to prepare for the new year.

This is summer break--
time to play with my kids
time to let go of responsibility
time for fun and relaxation
time to sit back and just be with family.

This is summer break--
a time I can almost find the balance
between school and home,
of course, school exists
without classes to teach
or papers to grade.

This is summer break--
up late with a good book,
or with Colbert and my husband,
up early watching cartoons
or building forts with my children.

This is summer break--
a strange mix of
and reevaluation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The News Today

Facebook photo shared. Caption reads, "Please pray for the family of this sweet little girl. She touched so many people in her short life." I look at the daycare picture realizing this little girl was my daughter's preK classmate.Tears fall. She was only 5, Sarah's class friend. Too young. Too sweet. Too soon.

Trying to make sense, I search for the news. Headlines read,"2  5-Year-Old Girls Drown in Backyard Swimming Pool".  Tears fall.

I try to respond to the news on Facebook. My words are insufficient and inadequate. What can my words do? Words cannot bring back a life. Words cannot help the griever know I hurt too. Words cannot show the pain my heart feels for the loss of their little girl. I can't feel their pain. I can't take away their pain. 

What can I say? I hurt for you. I am sad for you.
I am sorry for your loss.I am praying for you.Let me know if there is anything I can do.

Tonight I hug my son a little tighter. Tonight I hold my daughter closer. Tonight I fall asleep snuggled next to my daughter. When my husband wakes me up, instead of getting up I pull myself closer to my daughter, and the tears fall. When I finally get up, I gaze down at my daughter's sweet face with tears in my eyes and prayers in my heart as I think of the tragic loss of Sophia.

Still my condolences seem inadequate. My words seem incapable of healing me or anyone else. My words seem like they can't find meaning out of life...or death.

A forced blog with words of insufficiency, lacking the catharsis I want. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nordic Roots

In the stark openness a simple brown post crosses another—the sign reads “Stakkholtsgjá”.  The earth colored ribbon is the worn path surrounded by the rugged terrain. Rocks are  blanketed in green moss. The glacier’s gray gravel has been tossed to the ground and flanks the river. Surrounded by the short foliage and the moss blanketed rocks, we travel in single file. The walls of the earth shut in on us, forcing us to the other side of the river. The only sound is the sound of rushing waters and breathing concentration as we cross the river in silence, rock to rock with foot slipping futility as we attempt to stay dry. Again, the walls of the earth shut in on us, and we travel to the other side. The chasm opens to us, a foreboding welcome like Mordor as the greens turn to gray and the walls close in. We climb on the stark rocks as we continue our Viking adventure, one step at a time, traveling through this river hole in the earth. Ending our darkness, a light shines from above, the green mossy rocks return, water rushes forth, and nature’s shower refreshes me. I look up at the light and am sprayed with a cleansing shower. My Nordic roots are revealed, as I realize that I ,too, am a Viking.

Nordic Roots-drafting

I guess I'm double dipping, as I begin my summer writing workshop with Teachers Write, and I resume my weekly slicing. Here is my writing activity for today.
My prompt is in bold.
My writing is in italics.

Two Minute FreeWrite (place)   Stakkholtsgja at Thorsmork, Iceland 1996 Ravine. Gorge. Walls of rocks. Scattered stones form a bridge as we cross the river to make it further into the gorge. Wordlessly we cross. I am a Viking. I am one with the land and one with them for the first time. Walls of moss surround me. The chilled wet air glistens on my skin. As we go further into the ravine, the Rewarded by the a waterfall at the end of our journey. This is hard to remember.
Writing from Senses (Now…if your place is real and you can go there, go there now.  I’ll wait….If it’s far away, find a picture of it. If it’s not a real place, put yourself there in your mind. Now write for one minute about each of the following:
Everything you SEE – Pay attention to big things and tiny things. Search for concrete details.
A single brown post crossed with another, sign reads “Stakkholtsgjá”  An earth colored ribbon, worn path surrounded by greens and browns and grays. Rocks blanketed in green moss. Glacier’s gravel comes in many shapes and sizes, creating a pathway beside the river. In single file we walk the ribbon path surrounded by the short foliage that hugs the earth. Stark gray stones contrasted by mossy green plants. Walls of bright green moss. Blankets of moss green plants. River with grey rocks scattered across, natures stepping stones
Walls of mossy rock envelop me. The green nearly  disappears as we turn to a crevice in the earth—water, rocks, and a cavelike opening beckons us inward. WE climb on the large rocks as we continue our Viking adventure. The green mossy rocks return as some light shines in from above. In this chasm in the earth, light shines from above, water rushes forth, spraying us with nature’s shower.
Clarity of water
Yellow purple flowers
White water rushing forth

Everything you HEAR – Be specific. Don’t just say “a scraping sound.” Say a “high-pitched, raspity-raspity-screeeeeaking noise.”  You can make up words if you want. If you aren’t in the place, try to find a video. Or guess what you might hear.

       The steady and nervous breathing as we concentrate to avoid falling in the icy water.
       Water rushing over rocks, swooshing over the earth
       Gravel slipping below our feet
       An occasional splash of a foot slipping
       Mini waterfalls
       Rain falling through the crevice of the earth
       Natures shower
       The wind that
       Sighs of concentration
       Footsteps over rocks, feet slipping

Everything you SMELL – Especially pay attention to the smells that
surprise you. If you’re not in the place, pictures can help you smell. Look carefully…what would that dumpster smell like?
Earthy, mossy, life, chilly damp air, smell of perspiration, dirt, mud, earth, clean, crisp, air fresher and cleaner than anything I have experienced

Everything you FEEL – Weather, wind, things that land on you or brush against you. Again – pictures help you imagine if you’re not there, and if it’s not a real place, try imagining images and then assigning sensations from a similar place that might be real (desert, tundra, etc.)
    Nordic breeze rushes through my hair
    Cold, crisp moist air like a mint in my mouth
    Foot slipping frustration
    Uncertainty of traveling a new path
    Comfort in the Nordic silence
    In touch with my Viking roots
    Kinship towards the land and the people
    No language barrier as we travel in silence

This will be inserted later. The words aren't flowing. I can't figure out how to restrict the beauty of the land of my Nordic roots into one paragraph. I will come back to this. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Planning to Write

Day 1 of Teachers Write! 

I am supposed to carve aside some time, possibly getting rid of something to set up a writing plan. Day 1 and they want me to plan--blah--it's summer. I'm writer not a planner. Well, I could be like Bradbury who says he throws up in the morning and cleans up in the afternoon; however, I know during school there isn't time for me to throw up in the morning. Let me look at my itemized questions and try to see my way through this, as I develop writer's discipline. 

1. What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write.
I could set aside technology, the phone or the iPad. 

2. When you’ll be writing each day & for how long. Remember to be realistic. 15 minutes is fine to start.
I like writing at the end of the day; it's a time that I like to use the      written word to process the events of my day. I would like to write at least 20 minutes, a minimum of 5 nights per week. I like the idea of winding down by reflecting on my day. One thing I do now to make sure I write each night is a set an alarm to go off on the night I write. I guess I can add the alarm to all nights, knowing I promised to write 5 nights per week.
During the summer time, my writing will be less structured as to when I write. It's summer time not schedule time. Too much summer schedule makes me unhappy. 

3. Where you’ll usually write.  This can be different places on different days, depending on your schedule.
I prefer the laptop sitting on the sofa, sipping hot tea, kicking back and sorting out my thoughts.

4. Who you told about your plans. Remember, sharing your writing plans with the people in your life helps to make them real and reminds your family & friends to give you that space for writing.
I'll tell my husband my plans for writing.