Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rule #1

One of my turtle-heads tends to favor a good lie (okay, any lie) over the truth.  As this caped teacher is, along with many others, able to discern a lie in the seconds before it is told, I find myself catching lies multiple times a day.  They are often little lies--"no I didn't put that book there" or "yes I did ask permission to use this pen." Some of them are bigger lies--"no I didn't steal this poem off of the internet and turn it in as my own" or "yes I do too have permission to walk home by myself in the dark."

This caped teacher's parents may laugh loudly at this, but I just want him to learn that the lie is not easier.  It seems easier before the telling, during the telling, and for a short while after the telling, but it is, in fact, much more difficult.  Many of us know this.  One of us learned this the hard way and over a long period of years telling lies to her parents.

V. is still learning this.  Years in foster care have not cured him of it.  I hesitate to say it may have made him more certain that lies are easier.  I would guess the lies feel safer on many levels.

The other day V. was presented with an opportunity to choose a lie over the truth.  The truth was easy and painless, the lie was... just that.  A lie.  I asked him for the truth, he lied  I asked him again and said (watch out... here it comes.... a new rule!)

"Lead with the truth, dude."

And he did.  He told the truth.  He did the next day too.  Then he lied again.  Either way, Rule #1 has been added to the list.

Friday, November 19, 2010

European Studies

Final CountdownToday two of my kidlets were humming a few bars from Europe's "Final Countdown."  A third kidlet joined in.  While I was still agape (the adjective as opposed to the noun), they asked if they could listen to it.  I could feel a blue-pen-cap kind of experience coming on and let it happen.

The music started and the kidlets created a spontaneous airband.  We had a drummer, two guitarists, and a vocalist/trombone player/dancer.  I grabbed the video camera, and magic ensued.  I would very much like to show you the video, but cannot post it in any kind of public way.  THEY would very much like to show you the video but also cannot.  If you see me in person, or know how to find me, ask and I'll share it.

November is hard (see here for proof).  The week before Thanksgiving is hard.  The Friday before a full moon is hard (a.k.a. The Full Moonies).  Spontaneous airband renditions of The Final Countdown is a joy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Notes From My Phone

As I have told you in person, I leave notes for myself on my phone--often while driving.  It is illegal, I suppose, since I use the keyboard and type them, but I typically save it for stoplights, and don't worry about spelling or anything.  Nearly always they are ideas for school or quite close to ideas for school.  Here are some notes I have left on my phone, their translation, and links to further information. 

Chicken BigNote: "Chickrnbig"
Saved on 11/13/10
Translation: Chicken Big
More Information: Chicken Big by Keith Graves.  This is a book that was read aloud on NPR the other day.    It was funny and cute, and I teach a fractured fairy tale lesson that requires lots of books of this type.  I'll admit, the read-aloud was not the strongest feature of the news story.  Mostly, I was drawn to the fact that the two men had so much fun reading it.  

Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or FewerNote: Hint fiction antholyy
Saved on 11/13/10
Translation: Hint Fiction Anthology (possibly Norton)
More Information: Hint Fiction by Robert Swartwood Also on NPR the other day (I was driving).  This is an anthology of stories that are written in 25 words or less.  I want to try this in my classroom, but also get the book.  I missed some of the stories because the guy speaking had a lot of spit in his mouth and I could hear it while he spoke.  I can't abide by that, so I had to turn it down.

Note: Wa init 1098 ca report.com
Saved on 11/1/10
Translation: Washington State Initiative 1098 (check California Report on NPR)
More Information:  This one is pretty clear.  I wanted to know more about this initiative.  Just because I wanted to know.

The Incredible MachineNote: SufarlAnd
Saved on 10/29/10
Translation: Sugarland
More Information: Someone I think is cool said this is good workout music.  I thought I would check it out.  I haven't yet.

Note: tone catchadores--everso
Saved on 10/23/10
Translation: Ummm... I can't figure it out yet.  Any ideas?

Note: areasontosurvive
Saved on 8/30/10
Translation: www.areasontosurvive.org
More Information: I am still looking into this.  It is a group I heard about and wanted to learn more.  It is a San Diego organization using art to reach children, or to help them heal.

Pocket ChangeNote: Josh damigo
Saved on 8/28/10
Translation: Josh Damigo (musician)
More Information: Josh Damigo has a poster hanging up in my coffee shop and I wanted to try it out. I still haven't.

Note: lily batachatarian
Saved on 6/12/10
Translation: I have NO idea.  Can't find a thing on it.  Again, ideas?

So there you have it.  A little window into where I get my ideas--other than straight from the idea fairies, of course.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ummm... wot?

I am going through my papers at school  (ahem, 4 BOXES of papers) and found this page of emails and notes:

The content is not that important.  We were having technical difficulties that day and this was an email string trying to fix it.  What I am trying to share here is this piece:

Ummm... wot?  I have NO idea why this is on there, what I was thinking, or why it was important enough to write here.  It's making me giggle though.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Finally!  My 102th post!  Again!  In honor of this most momentous and repetitive event, I give you all a wonderful prize!


A word!

You may adopt yourself your very own word at SavetheWords.org.

I know. I know. I am too generous by far.  Please stop.  You're making me blush.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hope is the thing...

We started our photography unit last week.  Today we took some photos, and this one made my heart smile.

Thank you to fellow caped blogger, TM, for reminding me that I come to school for the pumpkin-heads.  I needed the reminder today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune--without the words, 
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard; 
And sore must be the storm 
That could abash the little bird 
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land, 
And on the strangest sea; 
Yet, never, in extremity, 
It asked a crumb of me.
--Emily Dickinson

This poem struck me today.  Actually, just the first stanza and it was yesterday.  And it didn't strike me, because poems don't typically cause physical injury on purpose.  But I liked it, and it is November and November is hard.  Proof?  Here is an article that says so.  November Blues.  Not a very good article, surely, but proves the point well enough.  I'll be doing something with this poem in the next week or so.  Don't know what.  May be brilliant.  May be not-so-much.   

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quote of the Week #13

In a discussion about "texture" in photography.  We* were listing common items and describing the texture.

Us: How about a waterbed?
J: Uh... pushily!

I'd say that's pretty much a perfect description.  In fact, I just did say it.  Just now.  I said it.

*Note--I am using the royal "we" here.  I was not, actually, listing any items for anyone.  Another caped crusader in my room was.  I just didn't ask her permission to tell this story.  So I used the royal "we."  See how we did that?