Monthly Archives: April 2016

four more

It’s Saturday morning. The forecast is rain – by the time I finish writing it will be raining – and softball will be cancelled, again. O’s game Thursday was cancelled due to wet fields. It’s the same every year, April showers bring May flowers, and softball rainouts.

Last night, I stayed late at school and wrapped up the World War II unit. The WWII test is Monday and then we’ll find out just how much my students have actually learned about America’s involvement in the war. Since we returned from spring break it’s been more and more challenging to get their focus. Most of my students seem to be more focused on ‘four more’ and how many days are left than they are in making them count. It’s a ritual which plays out every year. It’s when I work the hardest.


April has been busy. We had our annual state testing the first two weeks right after break. After testing, we took a field trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. It was excellent and it helped many of our students understand the magnitude of the Holocaust. We study the Great Depression and World War II in social studies and they all read Night by Elie Wiesel in their English Language Arts classes. The last two weeks we’ve been learning about the war – I’ve used video clips from The War by Ken Burns and Band of Brothers to help, but the most significant clip I showed, was yesterday when I screened the video below. The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

It’s staggering to watch. Continue reading four more

future: a photo challenge

Saturday morning, again. It’s the best day of the week. Saturday gets the nod for the best day of the week because I get to pick the pace and choose how it begins. Sunday is a close second, Monday through Friday are tied for third place where the pace is dictated by getting to school and teaching.

daffodils in the morning light, cold and waiting for warmer days
daffodils in the morning light, cold and waiting for warmer days

Spring Break is over and we are home. My landscape is landlocked and the future is certain, Spring is here, though you wouldn’t recognize it from the weather we had yesterday or this morning. It’s cold this morning, but sunny and clear. Which makes a difference.

I got out of bed, made coffee and decided to visit the daffodil glade at the Morton Arboretum to see Spring’s progress. I’ve been visiting since Spring sprang and enjoying etching Earth return to life. Continue reading future: a photo challenge

Landscape: a photo challenge

It’s Saturday morning and like most Saturday mornings go, I find myself the only person awake in the family. That’ll change soon. O will be up before long, then B, and finally W. Once B wakes I’ll need to get busy and pack to go home.

Friday morning at Seven-Mile Bridge
Friday morning at Seven-Mile Bridge

We’ve been on vacation, spring break, in the Florida Keys. The break came at a perfect time for all of us especially B. She remembers coming down to the Keys on winter and spring vacations as a child with her family and the trip has helped her heal the wounds of her parent’s passing. The trip has given me time to slow down and catch my breath and think ahead. When we get home later tonight we’ll unpack our bags and memories, then get ready for the week ahead, but until then I can continue to breathe at a different pace.

Wednesday morning at sea - going diving
Wednesday morning at sea – going diving

This week, my landscape has been a seascape, Continue reading Landscape: a photo challenge