Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy New Year! Prospero Ano Nuevo! Bonne Annee (No to open ended resolutions, yes to specific, achievable tasks)

2018  has begun! That another year has passed is difficult for me to grasp. I've been reviewing my bullet journal to help with writing reflections. If you haven't used a bullet journal, you can check it out a You Tube video by its creator, Ryder Carroll here: Bullet Journal by Ryder Carroll  He does an excellent job of explaining why he created the system. If you're like me, you will appreciate it!

I've been using the bullet journaling method for a couple years. I once worked with someone who used a similar method of keeping track of her work life. I just thought she was super organized and not sure I could be that organized. It didn't matter as much when I could remember everything. At first I might forget an important event but felt nudged by providence and didn't miss deadlines.

During a summer workshop I saw another teacher constantly writing in a book and I casually asked her how she was tracking our assignments. She showed me the journal she was keeping, it was a bullet journal. I did some online research and was enticed by the convenience of including everything in one book with only one book to locate. Sometimes I get sidetracked and write something down on another book or paper then realize I need my bullet journal. Things I like about the bullet journal include: creating the table of contents; notes from a webinar, book or blog; habit tracker; the ability to review my life, categorizing things such as a spending list, books I've read, or passwords; having the month on one page; future planning; and ... I have even include some sketches.

For several years the workshops I taught always included a component about the importance of using journals in the classroom. I created several power points with tips for teachers and students with examples of journals at all age levels. I believe journals are a positive way to show student learning. Journals provide the opportunity for self-reflection, which strengthens the learning. Reviewing my bullet journal helped me know exactly my activities, surprises, successes, failures, and my innermost dreams. 

I need to get my current bullet journal to take this post back in the original direction. Now I remember.

I have been following the blog of author, Julie Hedlund. She doesn't believe in making resolutions. You can read about that here: Julie Hedlund Anti-resolution revolution She created 12 short videos to help writers review the past year. I've used her videos to help me review my year.  I decided to apply Julie's advice to making my goals for this year. It is a focused way to set goals and establish short term objectives that will achieve the goals step by step.

Instead of saying I hope to travel more, I can break it down month by month and plan where I might visit. I already know of a planned trips, now I can see when a new trip can be planned. Instead of saying I want to write a picture book, I can start with completing a rough draft that I have set aside. Instead of hoping to write a non-fiction picture book, I can compile research to support my idea.

This is my plan. Today, January 8, I still like this method. I can better monitor my actions. I can see the specific action toward a measurable objective. That is the teacher in me...







Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reflections on Retirement

As soon as I reached Medicare eligibility, I seriously began thinking I should retire. I'd worked for 48 years. My husband had retired. Many of my friends were retired. I longed to have more time at home, more flexibility to pursue hobbies, more freedom to travel... I thought it was time for someone with more energy to step in to my career.

Eagle Day 2017

Aquatic Sampling



My last work day


So in March I retired from my second career.


I don't want to sound as though I am complaining, but it has been a huge adjustment for me. I know many people would be so grateful to be where I am. I admit it, I miss my career. I need positive interaction with others. I want to continue to learn new things and be an integral part of something important.  Oh, and I don't like not having discretionary money. 


I'm still trying to create a daily routine. I can stay home all day and not accomplish much. That is ok on occasion but not for my daily routine. At first I slept later and then exercised. Brunch might be at 2:00pm. I was experiencing a need to feel that I'm accomplishing something, so I started getting up at my normal time allowing me to get the exercise done, then on with my day.

Art Show
Old habits don't leave so quickly. I tried volunteering in my sister's Kindergarten classroom. It was something I enjoyed, but I prefer to have my own classroom. I volunteer at the local historical museum, and serve on the library board, they expect a lot of free work. I substituted in my sister-in-law's preschool and found it was really fun. I still participated in educational webinars to remain aware of current trends. I continue to join the educational groups in which I was involved. I do job searches online. It would be nice to have a creative outlet that brought in extra money.












All my expectations came to be and we did travel. It was difficult to let go of the thoughts, "we need to get back home, let's shorten this trip, we should be taking care of things on the farm".






Hopefully in my second year of
retirement, adjustments
will allow us to take a carefree trip.







I schedule time for getting out in nature, painting, learning how to write children's books and practicing my photography. I'm searching for ways to combine my interests into a part-time job. My goal is to be productive and enjoy all of this life.








Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.  RWE

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A morning at Pre-school

Who knew? I haven't spent much time in preschool classrooms, only long enough to read a story or share a quick lesson. But last Monday I helped my sister-in-law teach 2 groups of 3 year olds. I had so much fun! We dressed the calendar kid for the weather, we said the Pledge of Alliegence, we studied letter sounds, we sang songs, we marched around listening to music, we used free play time outside in the leaves, we ate snacks, we had circle time, we decorated a paper Christmas stocking and I read a new book. Most of them had heard of the Nursery Rhyme, Humpty Dumpty and repeated it with me. Then I read, After the Fall, by Dan Santat. It's a captivating story of how Humpty gets back up and continues with his life. It's a sweet story. The children were impressed, I know because a few days later I ran into one of the mothers and she told me her little guy ask if I was coming back to class. He then told her I taught them all about Humpty Dumpty.


Here is the link to a review of the book: After the Fall

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy cornmonster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!) Here is the link to the contest:
The 7th annual Halloweensie Contest

Here is my silly entry that was inspired by a two-year old's choice for a costume.

Let's get our Halloween costumes. What do you want to be?

I want to be an elbow for Halloween.

What's scary about an elbow? What does an elbow do?

It's bony and it creaks.

Let's dress as monsters. All your friends will be dressed as monsters.

Ok, then I'll be a candy corn.

What's scary about candy corn? Everyone will eat you up.

I'll hide in the shadow of the corn stalk.

Perfect! I can be the cornstalk. You can jump out and scare everyone.

And the creaking, bending elbow will be the scariest Halloween costume ever!  

I'll be the monster.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

#A to Z Reflection

This was my first experience with the A to Z Challenge. I decided to participate the day before the challenge began. I'd heard about it from a March challenge that I had just completed (Two Writng Teachers Slice of Life Challenge). That didn't give me time to plan posts ahead of their due dates. I read that you needed a theme so I thought photography might be the simplest for me and that is what I did. It worked for me, but I might try to be more focused if I participate again.

From participating in the challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers blog, I knew how to add a link to my daily post. In the A to Z Challenge I learned how to create a link to my post instead of simply leaving the url. I liked doing that because it's a cleaner look. However, I had to go through several steps to copy and paste every day. I noticed several participants had difficulty with this too.

I didn't use Facebook to promote my blog because I don't use FB. Another participant demonstrated how to put the post on Twitter, but I didn't think to do that even thought I have a Twitter account.

I really enjoyed reading the various blogs written by so many participants. I've even started following some. The ones I visited  & commented on made the effort to read my posts and comment too. Their comments encouraged me. I found the participants to be an eclectic group that offered a variety of themes. I especially liked the blogs about ancestors, quilts, history, a short story of Hawaii and positive quotes. I Usually follow posts written by teachers, so this was a bit different. The themes were interesting and unique. I have a better idea of how to select a theme now. I found myself drawn to visit the same blogs throughout the challenge. I tried to visit different blogs, but there wasn't time to visit all. The challenge was a great experience.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for Zora Arkus-Duntof, champion of the Corvette

Zora was born Christmas Day in Belgium. He grew up driving a street car and racing motorcycles. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering and was the first to hold the degree as Chief Engineer for the Corvette. This job came to him because he attended the auto show in New York in 1953, when the first Corvette was introduced. He was so impressed that he wrote a letter to the Chief Engineer at Chevrolet to compliment him and make suggestions to improve future production models. The engineers at Chevrolet were so impressed with him, they offered him a job opportunity. He changed the Corvette to have more horsepower using a V-8 in 1955 and fuel injection in 1957. And as they say, the rest is history.

I have a few pictures of Covettes below. We have owned two of these pictured the 1958 and the 1965. We have a 1966 convertible that needs restoration.


1958 
Restored 
2015
My rendering of the 65
Modern motor
Our 65 Coupe