Monday, October 29, 2007
Anna Rae is now two weeks shy of twenty years old. I wonder if she remembers these Halloweens from years ago. Deciding the costume and then making the costume were always big deal decisions for the two of us. To take her trick or treating, no matter how foul the weather, was usually the responsibility of Chris. This year she tells me she is a Ninja. Her two roommates are a bear and a cowboy. Their costumes are based on college game analogous to Rock Paper Scissors. They call it Bear Cowboy Ninja. Go figure!
Friday, October 26, 2007
I'm so congested with this cold that I can hardly breathe but the weather was so perfect(although chilly);I just couldn't resist taking my camera and going out to catch a few 'Day is Done' shots. And that is that! Time to get some sleep to help tackle this cold.
With a moon like this, running at 6:00 am is not a problem. The silvery shimmer on the Sound is just lovely. Even so, I have a crappy cold so I so I opted for using the eliptical machine in the gym instead of a moonlight run. And now it is time to iron my clothes and get on with the day. It looks like a weekend of good weather for us! Yipee!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
My head was in the clouds but my eyes were on the ground as I meandered through a small stretch of Longfellow Creek Trail on my way home from work today. And what should I spy at my feet but this perfect colony (Is that right? Is a group of mushrooms a colony?) of little smooth, yellow mushrooms. I've hiked the 3+ miles to work many a time and always said "I should take some pictures." It was these yellow fungi that caused me to stop, rummage through my backpack to unearth my camera, and snap these shots.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I wear my Smart Wool socks and the furnace whirrs on every now and again as I sit at the computer. It has rained and rained; more days than not the rain has found us and the wind has whipped the leaves off many of the trees. It is an unusually wet October. But even on the grey days, the foggy days, there is beauty.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~Albert Camus
Our first Science unit of the year is Fabric. We use three FOSS Science kits per year. This lesson's focus question was "How is some fabric made?" and the children made their own weaving of yarn on simple cardboard looms. They chose from red, blue, green, and orange yarn. Most had AB patterns going but there were also ABC, ABB, and even one AABBCCDD pattern. We are lucky enough to have 3 parents who volunteer faithfully plus 2 instructional assistants at the weekly Science hour. We are able to break into groups of 7 or 8 students with all this extra help. They did a really good job this year. Everyone was so intent on their weaving. you could only hear a murmur of conversation about their work as all 54 kindergartners bowed over their weaving. In the picture one early finisher is coaching his classmates on the over-under pattern of weaving.
Where is the money for the Arts in Education? At our school we have an Art specialist, a phenomenal Art Specialist. After only 25 days in school they had their first lesson in how to draw faces. Pretty amazing results, in my opinion. In years past we have had a Music Specialist, but never both. Why should we have to choose? We are required to have 80 minutes of reading a day and a comparable amount of math. So we may be preparing for the next Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton but what Pablo Picasso, Jacob Lawrence, Chopin, or even a Johnny Cash, could we be overlooking by underspending on the Arts?
Above is a photo of Sharon at home. To be exact, she is in the Home Center with students in our kindergarten classroom. This is our 14th year of teaching together. To the right is Sharon at the Great Wall in China. She taught English to teachers of English in Henan, China through a Lutheran mission program called China Service Ventures. She was there for six weeks and spent time in Beijing and Tibet in addition to the time spent working in Henan province. The weather was incredibly hot and humid, the pollution hid the sun in Bejing, the plumbing was not always pleasant, she came face to face with a rat in her hotel in Tibet, and she ate exotic food but said "No thanks" to the eels. On the other hand, she made new friends both within the group from the U.S. and in China. The young teachers they were training were open and friendly and eager to improve their English so as to better teach their own students. However, five weeks would've been plenty for most of the people in the CVS group. By time week six rolled around they were having daily conversations about the food they missed the most back in the U.S. Also, I think the constant learning curve, the continually being the 'stranger in a strange place', has to be exhausting.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Originally uploaded by mtnester.
These photos were taken by my friend/coworker, Sharon, during her visit to China in July & August of 2007. She ate almost exclusively at the hotel restaurant where the staff was accustomed to cooking for tourists. She never got sick once and she tried some pretty unique dishes although I think she passed on eating eels and preserved eggs. She did eat soft boiled eggs that were cooked in tea for many of her breakfasts. See the pump and the wood fire on the bottom left? This was at the home of the grandmother of one of the Chinese workers from the school where Sharon also taught English.