I teach 8th grade and sometimes I feel like I am the ringleader in a circus.
“There’s a sucker born every minute.” P. T. Barnum
In January, when the I first heard the news that the Ringing Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus would be ceasing operations in May, I did a quick search to find out where the circus would be before it ended it’s 146-year run. I discovered it was in Cincinnati, Ohio – a short five-hour drive away. 317 miles, give or take. I did a quick search of tickets and found they were available. I mentioned it to B and we remembered the summer we met and when went to the circus with a large group. We laughed about the memory and then, I forgot about it and the idea shifted to the bottom of the pile.
Last weekend the memory came back and Monday night and I sent O a short text, ‘Circus?’ and another six minutes later, Circus?’ No response.
The next morning, I mentioned the circus before I left for school and left it that. No response.
What do dynamite, Teddy Roosevelt, and Malala have in common?
I posed that question to my eighth graders last week. It was how I began my science instruction for the day and I tweeted it on my school Twitter account. It was Thursday, the day after Wednesday; because that is the way the week usually plays out. Friday came and went, then Saturday, and now it is Sunday morning.
dynamite – image courtesy of NobelPeacePrize.org
Teddy Roosevelt – image courtesy of NobelPeacePrize.org
Malala Yousafzai image courtesy of NobelPeacePrize.org
I’ve been feeling guilty lately. I haven’t written, blogged, or read much outside my realm of eighth grade science and history since Thanksgiving. I was looking at my blog and reflecting about its purpose and my commitment to the blog – writing, and in life in general. I looked back at the history of the blog back to my first year, 2010, and every afterward. In December, I fell off a cliff. It wasn’t just this year, it was last year and every year in December my posting dropped off and in each month there is a significant gap between Thanksgiving and the next post, today’s post is 17 days after Thanksgiving. I find comfort in the fact that every year I seem to be consumed by a vortex. It’s every year, not just this year.
When I was a kid, I read a lot. I still do. I read when I can and I have been known to sit down, lay down, curl up and read a book in a day, or two. Sometimes my reading keeps me from doing something and I get the look, and guilt sets in. Over Thanksgiving break, I came home from school with a book I checked out, Safekeeping by Karen Hesse. I started reading in the LMC (library) when I picked it up, and when I got home, I sat down on the couch and read. I read until I was about to fall asleep. I climbed in bed and read some more. I read a bit the following day and finished reading it as the turkey roasted, Thanksgiving morning. It was a good read.
Most of what I read now is related to what I teach, and I teach kids, seventh graders, so I read adolescent literature. Some of it’s good, some not, but it is always interesting. Sometimes I find books for kids that have a similar adult book, almost a match, or similar theme to books written for adults. I truly dislike the term ‘adult book,’ but you know what I mean. As a kid, I read non-fiction and an occasional novel. I read about football, World War II, and occasionally I’d find a good read in a disaster book Continue reading Clothing tags→
Originally, I planned to sleep in and skip today’s post. I figured most people would be busy at parades, barbecues, picnics, or fireworks; which just about describes what we’ll be doing here. Maybe even a bit of weed pulling and there are a lot to pull, or cleaning, organizing, and getting ready for grandma and grandpa to arrive Thursday.
It’s Sunday morning and it’s quiet, very quiet. I have an hour, that’s all I have this morning before I need to spring into action and be a part of the family for church and then activities. The weekend has been booked, booked solid with conformation, sports, scouts, and home tasks screaming to be completed. And, to top it all off – I am ‘under ten.’ Continue reading Under ten→
For those of you who know me and maybe those of you who don’t – I like stamps. My last post included a mention of stamps and I have mentioned stamps and letter writing several times. But, I love stamps, postage stamps, commemorative postage stamps to be precise. Continue reading Stamps, stamps, and more stamps→
I remember my first super bowl – or the first I remember watching. It was Super Bowl 4 – the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Baltimore Colts. I didn’t know much about football then, but being from Houston I was rooting for the Colts. The team I rooted for didn’t make it and never would. The Houston Oilers aren’t around anymore. Continue reading Super Bowl Sunday→
I wasn’t around seventy years ago, but my in-laws were, they were teenagers then and remember the day quite well; much like I and my generation will remember 9/11
Yesterday, I casually mentioned to my seventh graders that today was an important anniversary and they looked at me in odd way – sort of like Ivy when she is confused, tilting her head to one side and cocking her ears back, as if to say, “So, you say?” What it really means is that they have no clue what you are talking about and they don’t have a good answer, because by the way I am looking at them, they should know. Continue reading Pearl Harbor – 70 Years Later→
It is Sunday morning and somehow, Saturday passed me by. Saturday morning, I got up late, about quarter to eight. The rest of the house slept and it was quiet, peaceful, it was wonderful. Everyone needed rest, I included, but I was awake, so I got up. Friday night we had been out at a – you guessed it – high school football game Friday night and had been the last off the field as William and Olivia helped the grounds crew pick up the yard markers, end zone cones, and put them away for another week and perhaps the season. The Tigers had made the state playoffs but have had a difficult season dropping three games this year. They won Friday night, but next week play the number one seed in the bracket – in their stadium, so it will be interesting.
This morning, the phone rang and woke Beth and me up. She went back to sleep, or tried to and I came downstairs, let Ivy out and made coffee. We let the kids sleep; Continue reading Sunday morning, again→
I voted this evening. I arrived at the polls after six when the final push to the polls was happening. It was a hectic end of the day. Because of Election Day my school district does not have attendance, but instead has parent teacher conferences from 7:30 until 3:00 and the students have the day off. As a social studies teacher it concerns me that students get a day off for elections. However, looking at the broader perspective, safety, there is no easy way to secure a public building for a day and a polling place needs to be open and accessible. So voting won out and for the past few elections it has worked well. Continue reading I Voted!→