July 31 Daybook

July 31, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-large

For today…

Outside my window… green grass and bright blue skies.
I am thinking… today is going to be busy.
From the classroom… I finished the chart I’m making for the kids to track their grades.
I am thankful for… an insight I had during last night’s Aerosmith concert.
From the kitchen… nothing yet.
I am wearing… jeans and a tie-dyed T-shirt.
I am readingThe Verse by the Side of the Road by Frank Rowsome Jr.
I am hoping… I run fast enough to complete the double tomorrow (a quarter-marathon followed by a 5K … but there’s a tight time limit on the quarter, which I didn’t realize when I signed up).
I am creating… a pretest for my students to take on the second day of school.
I am praying… to express more confidence in my work.
Around the house… several chores that need to be dealt with today.
One of my favorite things… doughnuts. (I wish I had one at the moment.)
A few plans for the rest of the week… menu, Reading Room shift, quarter-marathon.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

scrabbletiles

Word part Scrabble — a (hopefully) fun way for the kids to learn Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes. I think the key to game-as-learning-experience is not to give them too much information — rather than having them memorize a list of word parts, I’m going to ask them to define the words they’re creating from the various parts, then use that knowledge to figure out what the individual pieces mean.

Emily


Folk Thursday: Trout Fishing in America

July 30, 2009

I wanted to see these guys in concert at the Coleman Theatre Beautiful, but I didn’t find out the date in time, so I missed the show last week. I got to see them a couple of years ago, and they were great.

Speaking of great concerts, I just got back from the Aerosmith show here in Tulsa. I saw them nine years ago in St. Louis, and they were good then, but tonight? Amazing. And I have just two words to describe that gray streak Joe Perry is sporting these days: Yow. Za. (I’ll have more meaningful commentary on the show later, but right now, I’m busy adding Mr. Perry’s name to my list of Celebrities I’d Like to Photograph Before I Die.)

Emily


July 30 Daybook

July 30, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-large

For today…

Outside my window… a quiet summer rain.
I am thinking… the purr of an affectionate kitten goes well with the sound of rain falling into puddles outside my window.
From the classroom… the Scrabble board and pieces are finally finished, and the bulk of my classroom decorations are finally laminated.
I am thankful for… tickets to see Aerosmith and ZZ Top this evening.
From the kitchen… sauteed mushrooms and baked potatoes yesterday, but I think we’re looking at icing shots from Kupcakz today.
I am wearing… jeans and a Neil Diamond T-shirt.
I am readingThe Verse by the Side of the Road by Frank Rowsome Jr.
I am hoping… the kids have as much fun doing these lessons as I’ve had planning them.
I am creating… a new menu for the Rock Cafe.
I am praying… to express more patience in my life.
Around the house… three sleepy dogs.
One of my favorite things… hypersaturated film.
A few plans for the rest of the week… finishing Dawn’s menu; running a quarter-marathon on Saturday.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

chryslerfishweb

An abandoned traveler sleeps in the desert sun just off Route 66. Mid-morning in Ludlow, Calif. June 2009.

Emily


July 28 Daybook

July 28, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-large

For today…

Outside my window… overcast skies and faded flags moving lazily in the breeze.
I am thinking… I hope I have time to stop by the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum gift shop and look for classroom decorations while I’m out that direction this afternoon for a freelance piece about barbecue restaurants.
From the classroom… a jigsaw puzzle game to help the kids review their parts of speech.
I am thankful for… opportunities to be creative.
From the kitchen… a piece of string cheese before I hit the road.
I am wearing… jeans, Brooks Adrenalines, my favorite running socks, and my Route 66 Marathon tech shirt.
I am reading… a lot of menus today.
I am hoping… to find time to check out at least one of the spots I had in mind for a piece about great places to jog on Route 66.
I am creating… a lesson plan about poetry and the “melodies of literary language” involving Burma-Shave signs.
I am praying… to maintain my calm sense and clear trust that all is harmonious, no matter the material picture.
Around the house… a zebra finch singing to the morning.
One of my favorite thingsSchoolhouse Rock grammar videos.
A few plans for the rest of the week… changing the oil in my truck tomorrow; running a quarter-marathon on Saturday.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

rainybloom

Tiny droplets of water clinging to a blossom on our wisteria vine after a summer shower.

Emily
 


July 27 Daybook

July 27, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-large

For today…

Outside my window… two puppies wandering around in the yard across the street.
I am thinking… I wish people took better care of their pets. We have too many strays in this neighborhood. Every animal deserves to be loved.
From the classroom… hopefully finishing the Scrabble board this morning and starting on the tiles.
I am thankful for… Ron.
From the kitchen… thinking about twice-baked potatoes.
I am wearing… jeans, Crocs, and my Blue Swallow T-shirt.
I am reading… my favorite passage from The Grapes of Wrath – the one about “the red lands and the gray lands and the bright and terrible desert.”
I am hoping… today is productive.
I am creating… a quiet space in my thought.
I am praying… to forgive myself for small mistakes once I’ve learned from them.
Around the house… a very busy kitten.
One of my favorite things… barbecue.
A few plans for the rest of the week… cruising Route 66 in my truck, putting together a freelance piece, preparing all the materials I need for the first week of school.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

burquecat

We met this pretty calico cat one afternoon in Albuquerque’s Old Town district.

Emily


Lesson

July 25, 2009

Here is a thing I have learned today:

Bell bottoms not only look cute, but they double as irresistible cat toys.

My poor ankles may never be the same….

Emily


July 25 Daybook

July 25, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-large

For today…

Outside my window… sun-gilded evening clouds.
I am thinking… it’s a shame so many corporations have lost sight of the importance of customer service.
From the classroom… we bought a yardstick today so I can draw the lines on my oversized Scrabble board.
I am thankful for… mom-and-pop businesses.
From the kitchen… purple cherry tomato and mozzarella salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
I am wearing… jeans, Brooks Adrenalines, my second-favorite running socks, and a semi-nice top.
I am reading… my favorite passage from The Grapes of Wrath — the one about “the red lands and the gray lands and the bright and terrible desert.”
I am hoping… to pick up ice this evening after I feed the dogs.
I am creating… the aforementioned Scrabble board.
I am praying… to express more patience when people behave unreasonably.
Around the house… three dogs waiting for their dinner.
One of my favorite things… the hardware store.
A few plans for the rest of the week… cruising Route 66 in my truck, putting together a freelance piece, preparing all the materials I need for the first week of school.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

makandaface

I still have daydreams in which my backyard is as cool as the Secret Garden in Makanda. Hasn’t happened yet, but it could. The photo is pretty mediocre, as I shot it with my Fuji, which has the unfortunate combination of extremely high resolution and a woefully undersized lens (hence the grainy appearance). Maybe I’ll have time to scan some of my Holga shots from our vacation this week.

Emily


Why I love my job

July 24, 2009

There are millions of reasons I love my job, really, but here is a particularly fun one: Teaching gives me a beautiful excuse to make stuff and swap ideas with other people who like to make stuff.

My latest: I’m working up an oversized Scrabble-type game using Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes. Should be a hoot to play. Rather than defining the word parts for the kids, I’ll encourage them to figure out their own definitions based on what they know about the words they’re creating. Of course, once they’ve defined the word parts for themselves, they can then use them to decode unfamiliar words. 

I’m not always confident that I’ve come up with a lesson that will work, but I think this one may be up there with Pronoun Twister.

I’m really looking forward to the start of school. In the first two weeks (really seven days, as we start on a Thursday), we are going to play subject-verb-agreement dominoes using oversized tiles, Greek and Latin roots Scrabble using oversized board and tiles, and Pronoun Twister. The kids will also unscramble Burma-Shave rhymes (I’ll give each kid one sign and have them find the kids with the other three signs needed to complete the poem) and create video Podcasts to teach each other vocabulary words. 

I’m hoping that by the end of the second week, the kids will be so completely convinced that their English teacher is clinically insane that they will show up for class just to see what ridiculous thing happens next. 

Emily


Strange bedfellows

July 24, 2009

Walter is usually either climbing on me, waging war on the bead curtain, or stalking the hamster from the comfort of my ball chair while I’m not looking, but today, the beads were silent, my lap was empty, and he’s been pretty good about staying off the chair since I booby-trapped it with packing tape (which he abhors), so I decided I’d better go see what he was up to.

This is what I found when I walked into the living room:

buddies

Anyone who finds this surprising obviously hasn’t met our sweet, longsuffering Jason, who endured the thousand injuries of Scout as best he could, suppressed the urge to vow revenge when Riggy ventured upon insult, and has even tolerated Song’s incessant pestering with only the occasional utterance of a threat. 

Emily


Daybook

July 24, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-large

For today…

Outside my window… slightly overgrown grass in my front yard, a bird singing in the distance, and a pair of flags blowing in the breeze above a green wading pool in my neighbor’s front yard.
I am thinking… I should probably mow the lawn this evening, but I’d rather go to the Trout concert in Miami.
From the classroom… boxing up my subject-verb tiles and taking them to school this morning.
I am thankful for… my truck.
From the kitchen… granola with vanilla yogurt and frozen strawberries.
I am wearing… jeans, Birkenstocks, and a Woodstock T-shirt.
I am reading… Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara.
I am hoping… to meet my new boss today.
I am creating… lesson plans.
I am praying… to know that I have unlimited supplies of energy.
Around the house… the sound of Walter ringing the hummingbird windchime that Princess Wiggly gave me last summer and turning my office into an obstacle course.
One of my favorite things… simple, well-designed gadgets that streamline everyday tasks.
A few plans for the rest of the week… a few more lesson plans, a solitary jog to collect my thoughts, and a Reading Room shift.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

kerouacalley

Shot in Jack Kerouac Alley, behind City Lights Books in San Francisco. Can we put some cool stuff like this in Tulsa’s alleys?

Emily


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 596 other followers