Monday, May 29, 2017

Cat Poet Babbles Sunshine

Or what I would name this post if it were fake news.

Item One- granddaughter of greathusbandbob has been named the Youth Poet Laureate of Seattle. I can't wait to find out what that means in real life.

Item Two- cousin's cat died. At home. In the middle of the night.

My first act of the morning was to dispose of a dead cat. Which is better than cousins first act of the morning which was finding him.

When she called this morning we told her to cover him with a towel until we could get there. Cousin being cousin... when I got there she had a kitchen towel on him like a blanket with his head and tail out rather than covered.

As I was adulting, I couldn't help but play Law and Order in my head, noting the body was in full rigor but had not started to decompose.

Item three- having restarted the latest double knitted Star Trek blanket square five times, I am pausing for some crochet. It's called Atlanticus from a website called Hooked on Sunshine. It's Noro- the colors are absolutely not correct but the variety is.


Item four- There are two more days with kids, one work day after that and summer vacation begins. Babbel is the winner for clarity of instruction. Duolingo is good for self esteem and a site called languagezen exists to make me realize how much I don't know. Tiny cards for vocabulary training.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Seven days with kids.

Item number One.

I believe a major victory in adulthood is when faced with passive aggressive personalities you can see it, let it roll and call it out only in your own mind. I'm getting closer.

Number Two

Kid at school. Here is the picture of a kid at school a million years ago. I now teach his child who is identical.

I'd post a picture of the son but I'm not allowed and I don't really have to because they are twins. Sometimes genetics blow my mind.

Item number three. One time greathusbandbob and I went to Costa Rica. This is my favorite picture in downtown San Jose. (That's greathusbandbob in the window being a Costa Rican Ernest Hemingway) The goal now is a trip to Cuba in similarly rustic accommodations. A girl can dream.


Item the four. Right now as the school year nears its completion, another thing I really need is a repeat of the knitnightdrjustine trip to the big apple for some Chinatown, little Italy and cocktail hour in the best decor.



Finally five. One thing that is for sure on the horizon is the annual July ocean trip which, if accommodations are the measure, this will be the best ever. Seven rooms, sleeps twenty, beachfront, private pool and most importantly king size bed so there is enough room for the dog and an elevator for the luggage. The best part is that there could very well be more than twenty all running in and out, up and down, eating and grocery shopping doing the thing. And zero passive aggression.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pedro y el lobo

On the mend from strep, first grade became Peter and the Wolf day. But Julian is in class and I have just enough Spanish chops to say el gato, el pato, el lobo, abuelo and with some help from a blushing five year old, el pajaro.

He was suddenly a star and the look on his face when I had some sentences that made sense instead of pieces of words put together was priceless.

And when he had the answers and kids started asking him about how to say things the look on my face was equally as priceless.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Guano loco and I can teach myself things other than knitting.

That's not an official Spanish phrase, just one I like to use to describe the last weeks of school- they always manage to find a way to become batshit crazy.

I know we are celebrating first responders one day next week. I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean you have to call them to get them to do stuff for you the week before. Details are unreportable and confidential. Everyone is safe and fine, but there was a need. Twice. In one day. When the principal was out of the building. Also a third time would not have been inappropriate but it seemed to get handled. And none of the events were related to each other.

Greathusbandbob and I watched the movie about the mathematician called The Man Who Knew Infinity. It was a good albeit sad movie and I learned a new word. Ramanujen was an autodidact. Wikipedia says-

Generally, an autodidact is an individual who chooses the subject they will study, their studying material and the studying rhythm and time. An autodidact may or may not have formal education, and their study may be either a complement or an alternative to it.

Guess what! I am an autodidact. Today I felt stupid making verb vocabulary cards in present and past tense in Spanish. But then I thought What Would Ramanujen Do? Taking notes for the sake of taking notes seems crazy but it is one of the better ways to learn something. So I did it. Also I don't have to learn Spanish as slowly as high school French happened. I will choose my studying rhythm and time. I'm not sure how I'll know if I'm knowing it but I can understand simple sentences that I couldn't before and that's the goal so I just need to break the habitual constraints of formal education and get on with it.


Next idea- because summer is coming, the brain is relaxing, the ideas start to come. Greathusbandbob organized a forum of smart people to speak about various aspects of treatment for drug addiction. You don't need the details. Just know there was a drug pathology professor, a probation officer and a physician who made up the heart of the panel. After hearing them, I think, just like students go to other countries for foreign exchange visits, there should be a program for adults who want to go visit other jobs. I skirted this idea when visiting the accountant but now it's taking on a clearer form. Or maybe it's just more autodidactism.

In other news which is actually a revisit of old news, you can not even imagine how awesome it is to watch the faces of kids as they make music together with giant pieces of paper. They are so surprised by the power and intensity of the sound. There is at least one in every class who makes the same face that's in my head every time I hear it. And with each escalation in sound, the wonder and surprise in their faces expands. For an "offhand, maybe this will work" activity it's been a treasure trove of happy teaching and learning moments.

And finally the weekend will include teaching greathusbandbob how to use his new iPhone. Today is his birthday. And one of us needs to be grown up enough to have a cell phone.


Monday, May 01, 2017

This is my job.

There is a standard "let's make a rainstorm" that kids at camp and kids with clever music teachers do. It involves doing the "wave" across the room but instead of hands in the air, its body percussion (snap, clap, pat and variations) building from silence to a big storm.

It was a part of my plan today with the words "giant paper?" penciled next to it. Not prepared to really go there, I walked into the teachers lounge and saw a giant pile of ugly orange poster board for giveaway. If creativity is putting two "knowns" together to make a new known then I win today.


We didn't have a thunderstorm, we had hurricane winds with practically on top of us thunder (when they started kicking and punching the paper). It was awesome.