Beach, Mountains, or Forest?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”

My blogging brother over at Gramblings wrote about getting away. He wrote about not having to leave to relax. We don’t need a cabin in the woods or the beach house or a summer home in order to get away and recharge. Simply being with friends and family is enough. Enjoying the quiet (or boisterous if that’s your style) moments is all it takes to get away. It’s work we are usually attempting to escape from. Therefore, once you’re not at work, once you’re at home and changed into comfy clothes, surrounded by family, then it’s unwind and getaway time. But, what if you have the opportunity to actually get away and go somewhere for a day or two. Daily Post’s Prompt asked if we’d get away to the beach, the mountains or a forest…

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The Teachers…

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”

apple for teacher

Do you remember your first grade teacher? I do. Mrs. Rosemere. I wish I knew where she was now so I could tell her I’m a teacher now. I had a bad year of school the year before we had moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland. So here I was in a new school, in a new state with a new teacher and new kids to make new friends. While I don’t remember anything specific from that class 30 years ago, mom tells me I would have walked through Hell in a gasoline suit for Mrs. Rosemere. She helped me learn to love school.

Then in 3rd grade I had Mrs. Burton. My greatest and favorite memory about Mrs. Burton is that she made me feel good about myself. Each week she handed out what she called a “Super Sprout” award. It was basically a picture of a plantman for us color and she would hang on the bulletin board outside her classroom announcing to the school who her favorite best student was that week. Before lunch she told the class, “It’s someone who is not expecting it”. Of course, during lunch we’re trying to guess who it would be. No one guessed me. I didn’t guess me, either. So you can imagine my delight to find out it was me!

Then in high school I had two teacher I really looked up to, though neither one was my teacher. They were my coaches. Mr. Frey and Mr. Melchior. They both coached soccer and Mr. Frey coached wrestling. So every day after school for about 6 months of the school I’d spend 2 hours with either both of them during the soccer season or one of them during wrestling season. They demanded a lot from us but they did it in such a way that we’d look forward to it. They didn’t make us do anything they couldn’t themselves. Unfortunately for us, they could do A LOT!

Then in university, after enduring two years of undergrad requirements, I entered my field of study, teaching. Here I met my last two favorites, Dr. Ornstein and Dr. Bingman. It was a class of about sixty and they knew everyone by name. They took the time to get to know us. Nothing was sugar-coated, but they weren’t mean by any stretch of the word. Together they taught me to be the teacher I am today.

Lastly, though Crash has absolutely adored all of his teachers, I feel I need to mention his first “big kid school” teacher, Mrs. Kennedy. Others compared her to Mary Poppins. She would do pretty much anything for her students. If it was pyjama day at school she would wear her pajamas, bath robe, curlers in her hair, and the whole works. She created a superhero “Zero”, who helped the kids count to the hundredth day of school. Zero would drop off math assignments for the kids to complete. Then on the hundredth day, her husband would dress as a “Zero the Superhero” and come into their class.

As a teacher, I’ve gotten to work with some pretty amazing teachers. Who was your favorite?

Home Alone (sort of) (for a little while)

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RacetrackFinally! Everyone is nearly back to good heath. Crash and Bang were down with fevers the past 7-10 days. Crash missed 5 days of school, effectively gaining him an extra week of Christmas vacation. So now it’s just me and Bang at home during the day. Today we played racetrack (see photo at left). We modified the track a little later so Bang could race some marbles down it instead. We also played trucks. We played A LOT of trucks. Cement trucks. Dump trucks. Garbage trucks. An Excavator. His favorite is the garbage truck. No one touches the garbage truck and no gets hurt. I wish Crash would learn this lesson. Crash likes to play with said garbage truck when Bang isn’t looking. Then Bang looks and all hell breaks loose. Crash tries to pull the “But I had it first” routine. So I make Bang ask for it nicely. Once this occurs Crash has to return the truck to its owner, albeit reluctantly.

Anyway, we delivered Crash to the bus stop and saw him off then played in the snow. More specifically, we played on the big ice patch in the backyard. Slipping and sliding and spinning. We did it again after Crash got home from school. The weather had warmed to +2 Celsius and it was raining a bit so the snow was perfect for snowballs. Many got thrown. Bang knocked on the door. Mom opened the door to see what it was that he wanted and she found herself being pelted by his snowball. His laughter was contagious. We’re getting more snow tonight and I can’t wait.

KnufflebunnyThe rest of the day was pretty boring… Took Crash and Bang with me to get a new headlight and wipers for the car and stopped by the library to exchange some books. We found one of our favorites… Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. It was one of the first books Crash learned to read. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. I guarantee you’ll want to read Knuffle Bunny, Too and Knuffle Bunny Free. Crash and Bang are now silently asleep and I’m headed there myself… night night folks.

Block

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Call Me Ishmael.”

I am in all truthfullness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations.

That’s the opening line of “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. I love the point of view he chose to write through. It’s amazingly appropriate for the setting of the story.

Though Zusak personifies death, I like to personify writer’s block. Block. It would be a he. Definitely. He would knock on your door, perhaps. Or maybe he’d walk right in, sit himself down next to you and start reading over your shoulder. You’d hear him breathing, feel his presence, and suddenly your pen, your pencil, your cursor, or your ribbon stops. Not a single letter persuaded to be produced. He over stays his welcome and drinks all your tea. But what can you do? he’s already here, might as well join him. Maybe he’ll leave sooner than you think. Or not.

The Block. Like that dream you wake from that felt so real, but you can’t remember a single, lonesome detail. Like Zusak’s Death, Block is invisible to all but those he comes visit. So you sit there staring, lost in thought. Daydream much? No, I was just trying hustle Block out the door.

I loved this idea of using the first line of my favorite book as the first line of my post. Then I felt his presence behind me and all I could write were the words of Zusak. Here it is a full eight hours later and I’m just getting Block out the door so I can continue. The Book Thief is my favorite book. I even made notes in the margins so when I read a second and third time I would find things I didn’t see the first time. I love books like this. They don’t happen often. Thank you Mr. Zusak.


P.S. Another of his books “I am the Messenger” is on my list of top 3 favorite, though it has my favorite ending of all.