Every day for a month

This month of blogging has been quite a commitment. I have kept others waiting while I blogged away each and every day. I have put things off. I have cleared time. I have made writing, thinking, considering and publishing a daily priority for thirty-one days.

back seat

Some things have had to take a back seat.

Still, I managed to get the most important work done. File my taxes.  Take an awesome trip. See a friend. Work on the school’s budget. Hire a new coordinator. Get to physical therapy. Make a few dinners. And rest each and every night.

successful writer

I did not manage to get all my work done. Get to the post office to pick up a certified letter.See a dear friend for an important birthday. Read the book my book club read this month. Look into a much needed new cell phone. Plan for an important upcoming conference. Or have extra time to sit and ponder at the end of any of these thirty-one days.

 

 

There has been pressure.  broken pencil tip

There has been stress.

There has been growth.

 

WRITING … and publishing each and EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH

  • is a commitment
  • is a journey
  • is a ridiculously HUGE learning experience

 

WRITING … and publishing each and EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH

  • could spell the start of a new habit
  • could spell the dawn of a new attitude
  • could spell the rearranging of priorities.

 

WRITING … and publishing each and EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH

has enabled me to truly be able to say . . .

i am a writer

Will I sign up again next year?  Will you?

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for this incredibly challenging month of writing. Proud to be a member of the Slice of Life Challenge community and the SOLC2016 challenge.  I did it!  Whooooo hoooooo!  For more writers who’ve committed themselves to write every day for a month click here.

SOL with website

 

Posted in blogging, celebrate, Poem, self reflection, SOL2016, thoughts, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

YES or NO

yes

 

Words

are

power.

words and power

I know this, and so…when I have opportunity, I always choose YES.

The reason?

Simple.

I want to say that beautiful open creative imaginative word.

I want to grant permission. Give forgiveness. If the power to choose is mine, I choose peace.

When we say NO, we stop action.

We stop activity, possibility, opportunity.

We end abruptly. There must be powerful reason to say NO.

But I CHOOSE….YES

For YES is a symphony only just beginning to play once the sound of the word escapes our lips.

YES is harmony and life-altering, world-view changing realization.

YES is the door to all we can imagine, expect, dream.

YES is exactly what I give way to, allow, embrace and inhabit.

YES.

YES.

I will always choose

yes

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Thank you two writing teachers for stretching me as a reader, writer, person.  What a beautifully amazing 31-day journey.  For amazing posts by rock star writers, check here.

 

SOL with website

Posted in Poem, SOL2016, Yes | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Dominoes & Thinking Collide

“Let’s play dominoes,” I suggested.

We did.

We played three games. I lost all three.

I got a little discouraged. I began to think maybe I needed to switch up my strategy.

I placed my dominoes by common numbers, a lot like when I play cards.

 

dominoes, my style

My set up – kind of like cards 

 

We got set up for another game.

“Would you mind showing me how you set up your dominoes?” I asked my game partner.

“Sure,” he replied.

I went around the table and saw he had placed all of his dominoes in sequence, immediately playable once he began to play.

 

Dominoes, his style

Props to you, ST, Domino champ

 

This explained why it took him a little longer to be ready for the initial play, but he was able to play and converse easily throughout the game. He knew exactly what his next moves were all the way through the sequence. I had to to consider which domino I was going to play every time it was my turn.

The problem with the way I was playing was that I never knew what I was going to play next. I hadn’t played out the sequence.

My opponent had thought his play all the way down the line. He lined up his dominoes.

Suddenly I began to consider the difference in our thought processes. If one could think down a line in a game such as this, couldn’t one also think down a line in a project?  What about in instruction? How about across a week’s planning? A month? A year? A lifetime?

I’ve gotten better at dominoes since learning to arrange the tiles according to how they  play out. And I’ve gotten better at thinking too.

Often, as we grow up, our ways of thinking become set. It is easier if we follow these well-worn paths of thought. We know how to think by heart. However, dominoes taught me that when we identify someone who has insight we don’t yet have, if we are willing to ask them to share their knowledge, we can grow our own understanding in unforeseen ways.  Even in dominoes.

 

Posted in perceptions, self reflection, Small Moment, SOL2016, Story, thoughts, Truths | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Fear

fear not

This concept arises in us all at one time or another. It is relative. Sometimes it is big and outside of us. Times like 9-11, the beginnings of the bombing of Iraq, Afganistan.

Sometimes it is up close and personal.  Shot gun pointed between your eyes, “Get outta the van,” insists the gunman. “Cash, jewelry, watches,” shouts the man in the ski mask, eyes red and blazing.

Sometimes it is quiet – before the interview, before the meeting, before the speech in front of an auditorium full of people.

Sometimes it is extremely personal.  Will he like me? Will I fit in?

Fear is pervasive. It is inevitable. Will it overtake you? NO. You are stronger than fear. You are bigger than whatever scares you. You can overcome. You can get past this. Whatever it is. fear is either...

Be Strong.

Be Brave.

Be Courageous.

Be YOU.

————————————————————————-SOL with website

 

 

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for a place to post thoughts, stories and to find support for daily writing during the Slice of Life Challenge 2016.  For more stories and writings, check here.

 

Posted in Poem, SOL2016, thoughts, Truths | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Trust

trust clouds

The very word calls up ISSUES

“Trust me,” whispers in shadows. . . “even though I may not be trustworthy.”

“Trust me,” murmurs behind closed door. . . “because I’m not willing to share the truth.”

“I don’t think I really trust anyone.” A friend once told me. Her words attached themselves to my muscle and bone so that I question if indeed I really trust anyone either.

I believe I do. But more than anything, I think I trust myself.

We cannot live without trust.

We trust the balcony we sit upon as we watch the sunrise.

We trust our phones and computers, our stoves and refrigerators.                                                                                                         We trust our cars at high speeds.

We trust processes.

We trust that the day will begin.

We trust that night will fall again.

We trust water to flow into our homes through pipes we cannot see. We trust it to come out of the faucet into our cups. In this country, we trust we can even drink it straight from the tap.

Trust is not a true choice. In order to function and live in the world, we must trust.

When we put the college freshman into the car of the boy who just landed at LAX from visiting family in Dallas. He’ll be driving her back up to school tonight. We trust. child jumps into dad's arms.

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” A song from my childhood. Blind trusting and obeying. A call to a child without choices. As an adult such trust and obedience seem folly.

Still, the concept of trust is inherently broken. We disappoint each other. We fail ourselves and others. But relationship is all about repair.

Relationship is ALL ABOUT REPAIR.

If trust is broken oft or enough, there is no longer repair, and the relationship is finished. One can only take so much.

If we can gain understanding when misunderstanding occurs, we become stronger together. It’s all degrees and intentions.

We can rise.

We can survive a breach of trust. We may not choose to trust that person again. But we will have learned, we adapt, grow, make decisions.

bird and trust

I like this best.  We trust neither others nor the metaphorical branches upon which we rest. Rather we trust our own ability to rise from whatever breach of trust we encounter. The strength and resilience lie within each and every one of us. The stronger this knowledge and core belief, the more willing we are to trust.

 

 

 

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Thankdigilit sunday you to Margaret Simon for suggesting the theme for today’s blog post.  See more digilit Sunday posts here.

IMG_9023

 

 

 

 

Margaret, here is the rock that looks like the digilit logo. I found it in Oahu last week. Brought it home. We threw it in the grass and hunted for it among the Easter eggs this morning!

————————————–SOL with website

 

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for supporting this community of writers! More posts?  Check here.

Posted in digilit sunday, SOL2016, thoughts, Truths | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

News 

  
A new day 

Arrives on the lush green grass

Fresh off the press

Damp from water we do not have enough of here in Southern California.

Headlines

Blurred lines

What matters? What’s important? If I am uncertain an editor will shout. 

THIS!

A columnist will herald

THAT! 

Stooping to pick up printed page Smile rises. Privilege of time on a beautiful spring morning. 

Returning to my breakfast table I read of troubles and turmoil, difficulties and strife and I wonder

What brings us here each morning? 

Other’s struggles beckon.  

Call out. 

We attend and then

Pour another cup. 

And another day has begun. We are informed. 

Posted in Poem, poetry, reading, Small Moment, SOL2016, thoughts | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Questions, Cards & Alarms

Laney hair color, bday 2016 SLO.JPG

Girl home from college on Spring Break this week. Our first night together. Dinner ordered in.  Pizza. Kid still likes pizza.  We small talk about her day. She’s resourceful. Motivated. She’s been up the coast applying for jobs. Two interviews and another scheduled for tomorrow. Summer work to support a trip she’s planning.

We talk about school. Mom asks questions. Kid doesn’t much like questions.  She’s trying to change her major. Mom isn’t sure it’s a good idea. Kid is sure she knows better. Kid feels questioned, challenged like mom doesn’t trust her. Mom thinks talking about it is important. It has to make sense. Decisions like these are big ones. We discuss.

Kid vacates the living room for the bedroom. Door closes.

Time passes.

Mom knocks,  “Wanna play cards?”

“Sure, I’ll be out in a minute.”

Laney, cards spring break 2016

We play her favorite card game – Speed.  She’s much speedier than mom. We laugh. We joke. We talk about nothing in particular. We eat chocolates and pickles. Soon we hear a sound like this.

Then, a twist in the form of a text from the PTO President:  “I’m sure you know but the fire alarm is going off at school.  Let me know if you need help.”

Support like this!  GIFTS abound at the Sweetest Little School by the Sea.

“Let’s go,” I say. Kid slips on her flip flops. We head out the door.

I get school police on the phone. We arrive, lights are flashing, alarm still sounding. No fire trucks in sight yet.  I unlock the gate to the playground, and we drive onto campus. I lock the gate behind us. It is late. It is dark save the nearly full moon. I call school police again not wanting to be alone in case someone who should not be here is here. We talk as two fire trucks pull up out front – lights on, sirens sounding.  My heart beat slows. I unlock the front gate to let them in. We check out the alarm in the front office. It indicates there has been a water leak in the lower building, bottom floor. We go together to check.  No water anywhere. The auto alarm resets. I thank the firefighters as they leave, grab some work from my office, lock up and get in the car.

 

It is then that I see them.  The fireflies!  California style fireflies.  They are these magical little light up fliers you buy at street fairs.  california firefly, spin copter

“We gotta do these!” I tell the kid.  Her eye flashes me a sparkle, “Okay!”  We pull down onto the playground and get out of the car.  “How do you do it?” she asks.  I show her.  She pulls and it flops to the ground.  “Try again,” I encourage. It takes a few times.  She does and soon she has them sailing high into the sky, spiraling down as she runs to catch them.

Laney, fireflies, spring break 2016

She lets me snap this picture, a remembrance of a wonderful night, questions and cards and false alarms.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Kahoot! Why I Blog

Kahoot!

This evening I learned something new!  I was just sitting down to write my blog post for the day and I came across this blog by Chris at Reading Amidst the Chaos.  I hadn’t ever heard of Kahoot! before. I decided to check it out. I liked how involved she and the other staff members at her school seem to be in their staff meetings. She seems to really like her principal.  I think it is important for students that staff and principals work well together – toward the best for the kids.

When I got onto the Kahoot! site, I played around a while. I took a quiz. It was kinda fun. Cool. I found myself thinking about how I might use it with teachers and how it could lift the level of engagement and give us immediate and actionable feedback for our students. But I almost got stuck.  There was a lot to read on the website. I thought, “Oh. I just don’t have time for this right now.”  But then I poked around a little more and I made a decision.

I’d just try making one.

After all, Kahoot! says it’s easy. Even though there were a lot of words I could have read before trying to make a quiz, I just decided to start.  And here is what I discovered!  It was FUN.  Once I had an idea for a topic … and my blog post for today was a the fore in my mind…I was off and running.

Here is my result, fellow bloggers!  A Kathoot! Quiz especially for participants in the Two Writing Teachers March 2015 Slice of Life Challenge.  I’m super excited to share it with everyone! I hope you’ll take a moment to take it.  It is just for fun.  And we may learn even more about ourselves as a community of writers.

You’ll need to use your computer to launch the quiz and watch results. You will need to use your phone or tablet to take the quiz.  It’s a little of a learning curve at first.  But you’ll quickly get the hang of it. You blog – you already have super powers.

Once you click START on your computer it will give you a game pin.  (The one I got is:  263100.  I think it is the same for everyone on this quiz.)  Create a nickname.  Then enter the pin on your phone or tablet. Then click start on your computer.  (I gotta admit its more fun with a few additional participants in the room, but is also possible solo – and your results will be added to all of ours.)

Jump in, writer!  Begin!

Here it is…the Kahoot! Quiz for TWT SOLC2016 participants! 

Sometimes just jumping in and trying is better than doing all the prep in the world.  It took me about an hour from starting to look for a post topic to finishing this post.  I am looking forward to trying Kahoots! with the staff at the Sweetest Little School by the Sea.

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SOL with website

Two Writing Teachers SOLC2016 Community – I learn more here than I can say.  Making a commitment to writing and publishing every day is arduous but completely worthwhile.  The journey is amazing and the rewards real and tangible. Thank you for your awesome support to so many writers and teachers of writers. Click here to read some awesome and amazing slices of life.

Posted in blogging, colleagues, Learning, Principal, SOL2016, Step up, lean in, lead., Teaching Strategies, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Turtle Bay

Green Sea Turtle | Fading AmericansSerene

black and green suspended here in this sublime saline

fins float back and forth, stealthy propellers

heads bobbing just barely above the Pacific’s serenely surging surface

Quiet and calm

moving with Aloha graceful ease

This is their home.

Mahalo

I am only passing through

grateful to catch a glimpse of what lies beneath

 

 

Posted in Poem, Small Moment, SOL2016 | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

I could write about…

Thank you to Michelle @litlearningzone for this lovely little slice from whence came this post’s format.

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This morning I am so full of so many things I could write.

I could write about the plants and animals I am discovering here in this magical island place. So different and colorful. Intriguing and new.

IMG_9059

This guy has choices.

FullSizeRender

This guy has a buddy.

IMG_9044

Pretty sure Dr. Seuss was here!

I could write about the things I have been thinking about – social class, money and the global economy.

Who shops like this?

I could write about a couple of college students I know well, their desire to be seen, to blend in but also really to stand out.

I could write about life and how difficult it can be. About the need to get a helmet so that every slight does not injure, offend, get you off course.

I could write about the book I’m reading and how the writer is describing the most horrible of places and circumstance and the strong people who make their lives there. About how it is so deeply disturbing and how strong I think these people are living in such desperate conditions.

I could write about the blog posts I read this morning and how much they moved me. The ideas behind Greg Armamentos’ post and how we grow our perceived problems into catastrophic events and how I want to be that guy with the flame retardant suit helping everyone back to calm and understanding.

And there are so very many other things I COULD write about if only I would settle on one of them. But one of the important things about writing is you have to put these thoughts and images together with your ideas about them. You must talk about them and figure out just want it is you want to say and then you are ready to put your hands to the keyboard and write.

Some of the ideas above fit together – in fact, all of them do. I may think more about this and form a larger thought across the day or days to come. Often this is how ideas form for me. This is how blog posts arise and morph and become posts.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for sponsoring the March Slice of Life Challenge.  Day 22 of 31 and growing with each and every one.

Posted in blogging, Lists, SOL2016, thoughts, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments