CMK and why I go back as often as possible

Summers are important for me as a teacher. This is the time that I work in my garden, plan for next year, and immerse myself in professional development. For me PD comes in many forms. I read a metric ton of middle grade and YA books for the classroom library. I travel. I go to…

Still (happily) at it – Day 3 CMK

The third day of Constructing Modern Knowledge started with the incredible Carla Rinaldi. She is the President of Reggio Children – Loris Malaguzzi Centre Foundation in Reggio Emilia, Italy. And she was amazing. As she reminded us that children are at the center of what we do, I got that tightness in my chest that comes…

On second thought… Day 2 CMK18

Today we did not switch projects for a couple of reasons. One, it became so much more interesting when the Google Cardboard viewers arrived, and two, we found the whimsy in the project. The big revelation today was how much more engaging virtual reality /360° photography is when you are actually using a viewer that…

Birthday Concert – James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt

My daughters and a dear friend of mine engineered an amazing birthday gift this year. Paige (my friend) and I were both selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher Institute in West Virginia, and we happened to be finished for the day at noon on the Friday of the concert. The Institute was…

Learning About Learning: Varnishing

So what does refinishing three old doors teach me about teaching and learning? This is one of those projects that we put off. For years. When we renovated our old house (built ca 1860) in 2000, we didn’t use crappy new doors or expensive, authentic new doors – we used all the lovely old raised…

Sixteen Candles

I wrote this last year. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it. The ladies have passed drivers education, now, and are juniors in high school. Seventeen years ago today I was told that the baby I was going to have was two babies.   I am going to try to tell this story. Parts…

When the theatre makes me cry

My children know that I am a sucker for a sad movie or television show. I cry when watching The West Wing, I cannot watch a film about a dog. Or a horse. Or a dog or horse equivalent. I cry. I cry EVERY TIME I see The Iron Giant. But theatre does not make…

My new metaphor for not giving up: Carrowkeel

On our way to Sligo, we made a side trip to Carrowkeel, a megalithic passage tomb cemetery on a hilltop. Here is the cool stuff you might want to know about Carrowkeel. But that is not what I want to write about. I want to write about not giving up. At every obstacle there was…

Today I was twelve again

Today I attended a teacher workshop – day three of the five introductory days to a year-long exploration of American Art in the humanities classroom. The topic is fascinating, the scholarship formidable, and the cohort small. Twenty four of us. They are doing a fair share of modeling instruction techniques, and we start each day…

It is a truth universally acknowledged….

Today is the 200th anniversary if the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.. I came to Austen later in my reading life. I read Georgette Heyer (which was just autocorrected as Heyerdahl – and that makes perfect sense, but only later) and all kinds of modern Regency romances in high school in the early…

TLDR – what began as a facebook post

I wrote this back on October 22, returning from NYC and my father-in-law’s memorial service – heaven only knows why I didn’t post it. Today as I was waiting in line for the loo on the plane as we awaited clearance to leave Detroit (where we had detoured because of the storm) a woman behind…

Three Plays about one big whale

Egad – I know – I owe you a TON of posts from York and Leeds, but right now I want to just say, “Moby Dick.” I bought a poster last night. I don’t usually do that, but the poster is a keeper – it looks screened to me as the paper is the color…