April 29, 2009
Today was rainy and coldish. The frogs like it — Ron says he has heard at least three of them outside his window this evening — and the garden is growing well, but this kind of weather just makes me tired. I took a nap after school and wound up missing church because I didn’t wake up in time to get there.
A fellow beekeeper called us this evening to report that he finally received a shipment of Cordovan queens. We’re buying one from him to use in one of our hives from last year. I’m pretty sure the colony has lost its queen, because the bees have been really lethargic. Hopefully the new girl will whip them back into shape.
I’m really busy winding down the current school year, but I’m also starting to think about what I want to do with the kids next year. The bulk of my lessons will revolve around games, because the kids participate better and learn faster when we play games. To that end, I’ve started asking the kids to write down their favorite board games. Monopoly is a big one.
Another kid mentioned dominoes. I think I’m going to create a set of dominoes that have words instead of numbers on them. I’ll use them to teach subject-verb agreement.
My goal is to come up with at least a half-dozen different games that we can use. Each class generally meets 12 to 13 times a month (we’re on block schedule), and I want to spend at least one day a week playing games.
Here are some of my ideas thus far: Monopoly (possibly on a giant board that allows the kids to be their own game pieces); Trivial Pursuit (English II edition); Sorry (haven’t quite sorted out the details, but I’m going to make Ron play the regular game with me this evening and see where I can fit in educational angles); Pictureka (I’m drawing my own board with images and words that correspond to the curriculum); Scrabble (with word tiles instead of letters, and the kids will have to form grammatically correct sentences); Mad Libs; Pronoun Twister; and subject-verb dominoes.
I’ll post pictures as I work these up.
April 29, 2009
I found this blooming in our front flowerbed this evening. I like it. That is all.
April 26, 2009
I ran a 5K on Saturday morning. My time was something like 31:31, which isn’t great, but considering the fact that I was dehydrated, hadn’t acclimated to the warm temperatures yet, and hadn’t run a step in two months, I think it was pretty respectable. I was on pace for a PR until the last kilometer, when I ran out of steam and had to walk a bit. I think I’m going to devote this summer to chasing a PR.
In other news, the peas, collards, cucumbers, zucchini, and Trail of Tears beans are all starting to come up. If we get the rains they’re predicting for tomorrow, the garden will take off at warp speed. The tomatoes are all looking good. The ones inside the Wall o’ Waters are getting enormous; I expect we’ll see blooms on some of them in a matter of days.
April 24, 2009
If today hadn’t already existed, I would have dreamed it up myself. The weather was dazzling — vibrant sunshine and perfect temperatures — and I had lots of happy moments.
A few highlights:
1. We finished our English II End-of-Instruction tests this morning. We won’t know how we did until summer at the earliest, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.
2. The kids have been testing all week and were pretty wiped out, so I let my afternoon classes play another spirited round of Pronoun Twister. Bonus: Zaphod came in to watch them play. It’s always good when the principal sees the kids doing something cool.
3. The radishes and a couple of the carrots have sprouted. Hooray for my garden!
4. Our baseball team had a doubleheader after school today. We lost both games, but it was still a great day to be at the ballpark … and as a lifelong Cubs fan, I reserve the right to enjoy every game, regardless of the score.
5. Ron reports that our Buckfast bees are good and ornery. Hooray for ornery bees!
6. The frogs and toads are singing their hearts out tonight.
I think I’m going to cap my lovely day with a trip to the grocery store to pick up orange sherbet and chocolate syrup.
Hope you’ve had a perfectly delicious, Dymaxion-sundae kind of day, wherever you are.
April 23, 2009
I usually loathe autobiographical songs — I believe they tend to be “self-indulgent crap,” to borrow a line from Crash Davis — but I make an exception for “Creeque Alley.”
I’m not sure I trust people who can listen to the Mamas and the Papas without smiling.
April 23, 2009
While rummaging around YouTube in search of suitable Folk Thursday material, I ran across something interesting.
And by “interesting,” I mean “Josh Groban wishes he owned a set of pipes like this.”
I love Michael Ball….
April 22, 2009
We celebrated Earth Day by adding more pollinators to our bee yard. Our shipment of Carniolans arrived today via UPS. Based on the pictures I’ve seen of Carnies, I was expecting a darker-bodied bee, but the ones we got really didn’t look significantly different from Italians or Buckfasts.
Still pretty little things, though. We’ll see how they do. They were surprisingly opinionated. Everything I’ve read says Carnies are extremely docile, but these girls struck me as … well, not exactly aggressive, but definitely saucy little wenches.
I’m not sure who that is in the photo above. I’m guessing one of the Buckfasts. I found her working the chives on the deck this afternoon. I hurried in and got the camera; by the time I returned, I had just time enough to squeeze off one shot before she finished her work and took off. Fortunately, the shot I got was a pretty good one.
Go do something nice for the planet if you haven’t yet today.