Friday, June 1, 2007


The last day of school. I showed Whale Rider and my students exchanged gifts. I don't know how it came about but they drew names and brought each other gifts. I received a plant from one of my students. She doesn't know I can kill plants without even trying. No lesson planning until August.

Skyler stayed with Maria and last night he tried out a couple of Spanish words. I offered to let him watch the movie with the class but he looked at the cover and said, "I don't think this is appropriate."

Then we went to the staff lunch; small staff only seven people including him. I really don't like kids at adult lunches but the administrative assistant, Telly, talked me into it. I must say Skyler lasted longer than I expected him to. I still don't like kids at adult meetings even if i brought the kid.

Back home we rested until it cooled down enough to go for a bike ride. This time Skyler took a spill. He fell into the grass pretty hard and the bike hit his arm. No lasting scrapes or bruises. However, when relating it to his parents he called it a crash. Now I know to inform them before he does of the extent of the "crash" We went on to Borders and he had chocolate milk while I had a latte. The ride home was uneventful. We looked for our blue heron to take pictures but it wasn't at the pond.

I have had to relearn something I learned when Paulette was small. Do NOT be sucked into arguing with a child. I am walking away after stating my case once; sometimes twice. Kids are such little lawyers.

Now it's Friday, first day of vacation and we have things to do.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Today we went to the pool. Thank goodness Kaitlin and her grandma were there. It made it a lot more fun. Skyler showed his male side by wanting to be aggressive and Kaitlin held her own and was competitive. One hour and we were done and no one drowned. As we walked away from the pool Skyler asked, "Can we go bike riding now?" Answer, "Not until it cools off a bit."

This morning was the end of school party with plenty of very good food. I wish I liked tamales as much as everyone else. I'd rather have an enchilada. Anyhow it is the favorite food of my students. We handed out certificates of the hours students had attended since September. Everyone had a good time. Tomorrow I'm showing Whale Rider. After class is the staff lunch and then I"M on SUMMER VACATION. I can focus more on getting to Nebraska and setting up a web site for everyone to follow our road trip, I also have to learn to use my new camera and make sure I have all the cords I need with me.

Oh, does anyone have suggestions of music for a road trip. I already have On the Road Again and Route 66.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Day two. Today I had to go to work so....we got an early start. I'm so glad Skyler is used to getting things together to go every morning. (Thank You Robin)
We stopped at the recycling center in Davis to off-load a trunk load of cardboard. Then filled, well almost filled the car with gas. Maybe it will last the rest of the week.

At school Skyler waited patiently while I turned off the alarms for two classrooms and showed him where he would spend the morning with Maria. He followed me around as I prepared for the morning. He met Maria and went with her willingly. Maria told me later he wanted to come back to me because everyone was talking in a foreign language. He stayed when she let him watch Dora the Explorer. He was very happy to have had a little Spanish lesson before I picked him up.

He got a twenty minute nap on the way home and after mac and cheese for lunch he was ready for a bike ride. We had a rocky start here because his helmet didn't feel right and it seemed to be my fault. He took a fifteen minute rest and we took both bikes out and rode to Border's Books for milk, latte, and a shared rice krispie square.

to be continued...

Note to Bob Nebel...The blue heron lives in my neighborhood. We saw it flying over the little pond on our bike ride. I'll have pictures in June.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial day

On this Memorial day as we memorialize our fallen soldiers and thank them for the freedoms for which they sacrificed their lives; my thoughts, also turn to Saleem Amer.

Saleem Amer is a National Public Radio reporter living in Baghdad with his wife, five-month-old son, his father and two brothers.
I have heard his report of how he had to search for the safest not the fastest, route to the hospital for the safe birth we take for granted.

On Friday he talked of the nights of explosions and gunfire that sends his family to an inner room of the house his father built and doesn't want to leave to the fighting factions to use as headquarters.

I begin to cry as he talks about his wife holding their frightened, crying son. He thinks the explosions and gunfire have damaged his son but doesn't take him to a doctor. I can feel his shrug over the airwaves and my heart breaks for this family wen he days, "I don't think I want to know."

I drove safely to school as I listened.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

writing exercises

A cinquain

Bird Song
Chirping, trilling, warbling
waking me at dawn.

Suggestion: take a human emotion and describe it using five senses.
see, hear, feel, taste, smell.
Here are my efforts with some words I've been thinking about.

The taste of impatience is sour apples.
It smells like a burning forest
Feels like loose threads all over me.
Sounds like Koinsquatsi
Has the look of my cluttered desk
Impatience--Must get over it.

Squatiing against the brick wall, looking hopeful,
A whining request for spare change assaults my ears
A torn heart, closed mind and pocketbook. Passes by
Makes sawdust of my sandwich that smells homeless
Compassion doesn't breed generosity.

Would the silent sound
of dollars dropping
into the dingy hand of
the unwashed person
Make my heart grow like the Grinch's?
Make my food taste like ambrosia?
Generosity for starngers.

Lojong Slogans: Tibetan Buddhist slognas used as reminders on how to awaken our hearts in the midst of day-to-day life.

The key instruction is to stay in the present. Don't get caught up in the hopes of
what you'll achieve and how good your situation will be some day in the future.
What you do right now is what matters. Be in the present.

After writing for fifteen minutes why I can or cannot abandon any hope of fruition; I write these senryus--three line Japanese poems similar to haiku but focused on human nature.

Abandon any hope
Of gaining control of it
Optioal return

My wandering mind
Refuses the present task
Abandoning it all.

Abandon any hope,
I can't do that; says my mind.
Stay in the present.

I wander away
Wondering how to focus
Abandon not hope

I wander away
Returning as an option
Abandon not hope.