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Archive for the ‘Daily Life’ Category

Will this be on the final?

Texas

What a bunch of bull…

Everyone’s gotta have their fingers in the pie. It seems like things are getting to the point where we can’t go forward with any decision because we are trying to please everyone. Here is a prime example from Texas over social studies.

Now, I won’t pretend I don’t have my own opinions on what should be included or emphasized but my point is that in the end it doesn’t matter.

Having been a Texas student all through grades K-7, I can tell you that I don’t remember diddly about what was or wasn’t included in our social studies curriculum or that it had any impact over how I turned out as a person. (Although I do remember having to lug around a huge tome just on Texas history, but aside from learning how to draw the shape of the state and develop strong biceps I can’t remember anything from it).

What did shape my social studies learning? My own life experiences, my family, my friends, my community and my library. If we are lucky, the school will spark an interest in an issue (any issue!) and the student will pursue more learning outside the classroom.

Why pretend that spending 20 minutes in the classroom talking about Chavez or Columbus or Mary Kay will impact a student meaningfully? Sadly, the real issue is that with today’s educational system focused only on testing, I don’t think it will make any difference.

A great teacher makes a difference. Someone who can teach students to evaluate where information comes from and what biases it may or may not have…teaching critical thinking. Clearly that matters, as this report indicates,  Where We Read from Matters, but it seems hard to find.

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Dust, Dirt, Debris by Oslo In The Summertime.

(OK, maybe it wasn’t THIS dusty, but it was kinda nasty under there….cool photo by Oslo In the Summertime).

Spring cleaning fever has hit the library and we cleaned out the various shelves and cubbies around the Reference Desk.

Besides the chewed pencil stubs (eeew!) and copulating rubberbands (look away!), I also found some old papers from last year’s summer reading club. They were short stories that kids wrote just for the fun of it. So, to lighten the blog mood, I am going to share them with you…

This one has a Seusical quality about it:

Bug in My Mug

There is a bug in my mug! A bug in my mug!   The bug in my mug is blue and I don’t think it has a clue. Maybe it knows me or you!

And an action-drama story:

My Stiches[sic]

One day, I went on a bike ride. And we were riding and riding when we left my Gramas house we got ice crem. I got mint colitcip and an extra scoop. On the ride home grass was on the sidwalk.

I was going vary fast on that sidwalk. I went out of controll. I fall off my bike I crashed too hard. My hands did not come down when I hit the grown. I got 5 booboos and my chin split. I was crying but not hard, but a volunter fire fighter came over and gave me pads for my chin.

I had to go to the hosptol. When I got there I saw more injuries {the original word was erased and rewritten by an adult hand}. One girl was bleeding from her head. It was my turn the nurse was vary nice. Win the doctor came in he said I have to get stiches. It was hard but I got throw it and that was my story and it is true. I realy have stiches on my chin.                                          

And a poem to finish off (in celebration of National Poetry Month!):

                                          High, high, fly

One day I saw a spider fly.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Then I saw a dog fly high, high in the sky,

But when I came back they were gone.

And now no one has ever seen then since.

So every leap year,

Check for the spider and dog.

The End.

The BEST part, though, is the coda at the bottom of the page that says:

“Cool facts: This poem was made in 2008. This is a poem that anyone can use at anytime. You can write a poem anywhere. Just use your amagenatin and rhimying.”

🙂

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I Have No Words

Last Saturday, we had to say “goodbye” to our dog. Although I would have liked to write a wonderful blog memorial to her, I find I simply cannot and also that my husband has already done so much better than I ever could.

So, I love you, Bear and you will be so missed.

bear-01

bears-hat-edited

rr-bear-edited

bear-running

snowy-faced-doggie

bear-out-for-walk

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The trip to Florida was a much needed respite. We had plenty of sunshine and warm temps. I had high hopes of going out and looking for scrub jays and other fun things, but I mostly ended up just reading and sitting around the beach.

Not that I was sunbathing, mind you. When you have fair skin and your father is a red-head, you tend to slather on the sunscreen (I think I had SPF 270….).

But seriously, the picture below shows the view from one of the beach cafes we sat at….how could you not just linger (and yes, there was a wee bit of drinking, too).

dining-view

The one thing I did NOT expect was the amount of plastic washed up on the beach. When we last went down to visit my father, about two years ago, there was quite a lot of plastic on the beach.

But that was nothing compared to what it is now. You couldn’t walk along the wrack line looking for shells unless you were wearing shoes or you would cut your feet open on the jagged plastic waste. All I could think of was that not only was it going to keep getting worse but that these things would be around for thousands of years to come.

Here’s an interesting site that encourages you to collect the plastic, make an art sculpture out of it and then recycle it. There are some intriguing creations there and you should look at this picture, too. (BTW, if you put in “plastic” and “beach” together in a Yahoo search, I find it amusing that cosmetic surgeons are what pops up).

Want more bad news? Check this out: Great Pacific Garbage Patch Bigger Than Texas

Despite all of the waste, I did manage to find a few sea beans! The three I found seem to be the more common Hamburger Bean (Mucuna sloanei), which look like….well, duh! These are apparently bat pollinated flowers, according to this article. Sea beans can travel amazing distances on the ocean and look beautiful when they are polished.

Thumbnail for version as of 21:55, 8 March 2008 (from Wikipedia)

While searching through the wrack line, I also found this pretty seaweed (at least, I think it’s seaweed..)

Anyone know what it is?

Anyone know what it is?

seaweed-bunch

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But first…a nap!

I just arrived home from a wonderful vacation trip down to visit my father in Vero Beach, Florida. If all goes well, I will have some great photos and stories to share. But the shock of returning to 20 degree weather from 80 degrees is just too much for me right now. (I know, you weep for me, don’t you…).

So, please enjoy these 2 cool webcams in this link to one of the COOLEST places to visit when in Florida:

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

(you will have to scroll down the page a bit)

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Stupid Is as Stupid Does

In an apparent effort to become finalists in the Darwin Awards, some local ice fisherman made national headlines.

While we did have quite a stretch of brutally cold weather for a number of weeks, the temps suddenly warmed up into the upper 40’s and it was sunny and very windy. I would think that it wouldn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that: warm weather=melting ice. PLUS, there was already a crack in the ice. But, no, according to the local paper:

“Authorities and fishermen said the ice-fishing enthusiasts had crossed a narrow crack in the ice on a plywood board about 1,000 yards from shore in the early morning, but warming air and brisk winds from the south caused the crack to widen by midmorning.”

175 of them had to be rescued by the Coast Guard and local rescue agencies (at a cost of somewhere around $20,000). Did they have to pay for this or were they fined? Heck, no.

In fact, the very next day they came back out to get the equipment they left behind! Said one fire chief:

“We can’t stop them permanently. They have the right to be stupid, I guess. But it’s disheartening for my guys to see them going right back out there.”

Good grief.

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Hodgepodge of Photos

Here are a bunch of photos that I was going to write a blog post around but never found the gumption to actually do so. Enjoy the randomness!

July 4th Sunset

July 4th Sunset

It kept changing in intensity.

It kept changing in intensity.

We were up high for a good view.

We were up high for a good view.

Pretty nice view, too.

Pretty nice view, too.

Saw this young starling peeking out in our front yard tree.

Saw this young starling peeking out in our front yard tree.

baby-starling-edited

Time for dinner.

Time for dinner.

We call our resident pigeon Barry White due to his soulfull sound.

We call our resident pigeon Barry White due to his soulfull sound.

My camera doesn't do justice to this isopod.

My camera doesn't do justice to this isopod.

You can't tell in this photo, but the snail was blue with an almost translucent shell.

You can't tell in this photo, but the snail was blue with an almost translucent shell.

 

It's very flat here but it is beautiful in summer....sigh.

It's very flat here but it is beautiful in summer....sigh.

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