Why I love my job

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. 


Strange bedfellows

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:


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. 




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…


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