Friday, June 29, 2012

More on teaching ...

I have read these two stories about education through several times ... trying to figure out what they mean... and I can say that I don't know... I just don't know... perhaps that is the theme of the day.  The SFGate article seems to bemoan the fact that the common core is not like teaching the three Rs.

The journalist writes:
"The ultimate goal is to get every child college and career ready. That means, cursive is out and keyboarding is in. Repetition and rote learning are passe while critical thinking is, well, critical."
She writes on about spelling and times tables and the like ... and then intimates that adopting the common core is tantamount to giving up teaching:
"In other words, the new system focuses less on learning facts and more on using that information to synthesize and create new ideas, said Domenech, a supporter of the national standards."
I don't know about you, but it sounds like Ms. Tucker is not a fan of the common core ... and I wonder why not just put that out there instead of "reporting" on it as though you were just giving facts?  And ... in some attempt to reach those who know absolutely nothing about teaching, she continue to return over and over to "cursive" -- because apparently that is what we ought to be teaching.

I am NOT going to pretend that I don't have a bias...

I am also still trying to understand this story out of Florida.  Are they saying that they are figuring out that test scores are not as telling as they thought or that they have somehow not figured out how to be successful with them in a sustained way? Help me out here, if you figure it out.

As I was busy being indignant about testing mania and the craziness of tying these scores to teacher performance despite not really being able to understand exactly what they are telling us about learning --- or teaching, I stumbled on this story.  Turns out with all this attention to test scores as the ultimate meter for teacher performance, here is a teacher arguing he has been fired despite the fact that he has produced stellar test scores (note how I word it).  I don't know what the answer is here -- just that it is irony at its best -- or perhaps unveiling exactly the truth about test scores?
Finally ... here is a story about desegregation and the magnet model.  Education is never just easy -- even in the most homogenous, well-financed school, there will be the usual challenges.  This piece details the politics and the struggles ... trying to shed light on the issue of segregation in schools, really.  It includes cheating controversies that are either fueled by testing or just another one of the by products of the high stakes environment.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quote Thursday

'It was the shapes of the hills there that fascinated me,' she said.  'The reddish sands hills with the dark mesas behind them.  It seemed as though no matter how far you walked you could never get into those dark hills, although I walked great distances.'
Georgia O'Keefe, 1935


[Photo credits: me, fancy camera, from the eastern edge of Gallup, NM, looking towards Church Rock, April 2012]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Outrage ... and sin verguenzas (and one unrelated)

I was going to post the article about Sandusky's wife getting on the stand -- it was the first piece (headline actually because I couldn't even bring myself to read it) that screamed SIN VERGUENZA to me. [I don't put in accents or other notations because the computer just mangles them, but there should be an umlat over the u...just in case you were wondering.]  But since he has been found guilty, I will let that shame speak for itself.

If you don't know what that means ... literally "without shame" or SHAMELESS!  Like, can you believe that? SERIOUSLY!? NO!!!  When you put the two words together, it becomes an epithet towards a person, or a description of someone who is not so nice.

So, here are a few more for you.

Where does Dick Cheney stand on gay marriage now?  And when will he join the President on the stage to say he has changed his mind?

Not sure who should get the most outrageous-ness medal on this one.  It was just amusing all the way around.

This makes it in because the "neighbors" have created a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation because they are unwilling to admit the racism and prejudice that lies at the heart of their criticism... you judge for yourself. Why are these farmers not ashamed that they "own" land near the casino because said land was stolen from these folks' ancestors? SHAMELESS indeed.
-----------
This story is not related to the "sin verguenza" theme, but I am leaving town and going to be away from the computer for a while, so I thought I would share.  It is more than refreshing for those "in the shadows" to share their stories ... instead of listening to politicians (from either side) drone on about it.

In case you are not sure you want to invest the time, here's a snippet I enjoyed:
"'Getting educated made me a better person,' she told me. 'It could have been easier, but it was worth it.'
When President Obama announced last week that the government would begin granting work permits to certain, young undocumented immigrants, it was all a bit anticlimactic for Ana. She'd been working so hard to overcome the obstacles in her path, and for so long, that she began to realize that her illegal status had actually made her a better person.

'I don't know if I would have gotten the grades that I did, or achieved what I did if I hadn't been undocumented,' she said. 'For me, school doesn't measure your intelligence. It measures your endurance. I have a lot of endurance.'

Ana and people like her persevered. In high schools, in university classrooms, in law schools, and on battlefields under the U.S. flag, they reached for public success. Instead of lingering in the metaphorical shadows, they climbed up on the stage of American achievement. In doing so, they forced all of us to face up to the contradiction of their existence." [emphasis added]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Learning to Let Go

When did I become that person? You know, the one that can't let go of anything? I thought when I moved cross country with only what I could carry in my car, that I had proven that I understood that things were, well, just things; I thought I knew that it wasn't things that made a person or that made a person happy.

When my favorite little swiss army carry on bag's handle broke... (you know the bag: the one that has been with me all over through so many adventures and trials) ... I realized that I have not overcome attachments to things.

Maybe I was tired, or maybe I was frustrated from a week of traveling, or maybe I was just depleted from no rest before the trip ... I clearly didn't have any compassion in me for myself or anyone else. All I know is that when the handle broke, essentially rendering that little bag useless, my heart broke too. I didn't have time to mourn it, I still had to figure out which was the water bus we needed and find the BnB host (little did I know that would also turn into a nightmare (see previous post) as well) ... so I picked up the handle, grabbed the rest of my bags, gave my mother the "you will have to carry your own bags now" look, and kept on trudging. 

It took me the entire rest of the trip ... and into several days in NY before I could contemplate replacing the bag.  Picture me stooping down to pull on the remaining part of the handle, somehow balancing two bags on my shoulder and wheeling the little guy all over Florence trying to find the car rental agency -- or carrying it by hand up and down the many, many stairs through the Rome metro.  Luckily once we in one place we didn't have to move it anymore... and I could temporarily forget that the little bag was done.

My mom kept offering to buy me another bag ... but not one as expensive as my bag had been -- it wasn't about the price, really, it was about the functionality, the uniqueness of the bag ... and, yes, on some level it was that this was one of only two gifts my ex-husband ever got me that was truly thoughtful.  I am choosing to put that little piece of nostalgia back into the recesses of the brain for the moment ... I didn't want a new bag. I certainly didn't want some other little black bag that would never be as good as my little bag.  [I don't have any pictures of it, alas, you will have to take my word for it on its being unique and wonderful.]

I could not conceive of another bag ... towards the end of the trip I remembered that it had a "lifetime warranty" -- and I tried to figure out if I could at least get it to someone in NY to see if it could be saved.

It turned out to be the first step towards letting go -- in an odd turn of events, since that hardly seems like letting go.  I trudged it over to Williamsburg and left it ... repacking my stuff into a bag J graciously offered to let me have (or use as I plan to give it back to her).  And I turned my attention away from mourning the bag ... I decided if they said they could not repair it, or if the repairs would be too costly, that I would just not go pick up the bag.  And I did forget about it... until my flight back to ABQ approached, and I hadn't heard from the repair shop.

When the man on the other line said there was nothing he could do ... I asked him to just throw the bag away ... and I had a flash ... this was the second time in 12 months that I had asked someone else to throw away some "thing" that I had become too attached to -- and just like that, I was that person who was placing too much value in THINGS ...me, of all people ...

I want to work on letting go of those attachments... but I am also trying to be compassionate with myself.  I gave myself permission to replace the bag even though I can't really afford it right now.  What's the point of working hours on end if I can't buy myself a little bag??

I found another swiss army (now victorinox) bag on super sale (half the price of my last little bag) -- not black, not necessarily utterly unique, but I think I will recognize it when it comes down the ramp:

When I pulled it out of the box, I fell in love with the color ...
And it has lots of little cubbies inside... and a little bag for a suit that I will probably never use
And my computer does not fit into the little sleeve in the front, but I am not mourning that ...
I am sure I will find something else to put in there...

I also decided to replace my favorite dragonfly bag...and it came in a few days later ... not the same color as I had hoped.  After I placed the order, I had chastized myself for not getting a different color -- I do really LOVE that purse ... I have loved it to death.  But someone had suggested to me that I get a different color, but I stubbornly insisted on the garnet ... and they are now making it in "rose" --not the same. 
I am deciding whether or not to return it ... get something different ... or just get the green ... ideas? here is the green ... called jade

this is what the color should look like ...but now as "rose" it has a flatter look ...

Here are some others I found while looking around sallyspicer.com:
 of course, these are both on sale ... which means that someday they won't have these colors anymore... this is what happens when you like what is being discontinued more than the "new colors"
 ah ... life.

Monday, June 25, 2012

unplugging...

I have been working double time on the computer for the last two weeks ... perhaps making up for the weeks I was without the computer while traveling.

I am taking the mac into the shop today ... and I am not sure when I will get it back.

I have posted forward a few pieces that were in draft form ... and may have a few poetry Thursdays in the hopper, but I will be traveling for the next few weeks, so I may not be blogging ... perhaps drafting (on the new app I found) on the little guy.

The good news is that I will get access to my mother's photos from our trip while I am away, so I will keep the rest of the travel posts in the draft folder until I have something glittery to put with them.

----

There is a much longer piece I would like to write about unplugging and getting away from email and media and not having conversations with people who are looking at tiny screens ... laughing while you tell them that you are having health issues because they have just seen something so funny of the screen ... yeah, I am not really ready to see the whole picture yet ...

Just wishing you some summer time without the little or big screen, not behind a view finder, interacting with actual people who might not be perfectly packaged or have just the right thing to say ...
[photo credit: me, fancy camera, at St. Catherine Indian School, February 2011]

Friday, June 22, 2012

Getting Lost in Venezia

I wish I had pictures to capture the tangle that is Venezia...I will use this instead:

They give out little maps everywhere ... but it is best if you only use them as guideposts.

My tactic was to walk until we came to a piazza with a church ... and then search for the church on the map... and use it to guide me in the general direction I wanted to go.

Rule #1 -- if you like it, buy it now; we will never find this place again.
Rule #2 -- don't try to find anything too specifically, you'll just be disappointed.
Rule #3 -- take it all in ... enjoy it... take a picture if you must.

I rejoiced when I could find my way out of the piazza closest to our BnB -- as well as being able to find the water bus stand.  It was an even bigger coup to be able to find the train station in the middle of the night to meet my sister's train.

I found the YELLOW signs pointing to the train station and the main bridges never steered me wrong, even if they never did seem like the most direct route.

The best times in Venice for me were the days when we ended up far from the tourists in some normal neighborhood where it seemed like real people still lived.

The worst were when we got caught somewhere between fourteen million cruise ship groups following someone holding up an unopened umbrella or something more distinctive.  Ugh ... small walkways do not make for friendly places for large groups of people.

I think if I lived in Venice, I would learn how to find my way around and how to avoid the tourists.  I think I would enjoy living there ... maybe in the off season.

Some of my favorite moments:
--watching my mother eat and ENJOY sardines
--late night drinks at the local bar and mom eating (and liking) more seafood
--watching the water ambulances outside the hospital
--seeing the wonder in my mom and sister's eyes on the gondola ride

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Poetry Thursday ... in honor of being back

...and the Centennial ... here are some words from Georgia O'Keefe ... not properly poems, still lovely.


When I got to New Mexico, that was mine.  As soon as I saw it, that was my country.  I'd never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly.  It's something that's in the air -- it's different.  The sky is different, the wind is different.  I shouldn't say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don't want them interested.
-Georgia O'Keefe, 1977








[Photo credits: All me, fancy camera, all over NM -- Grants, Albuquerque from the Tram, Acoma, Santa Fe, Albuquerque from my porch -- not necessarily in that order.  If you can guess them, brownie points]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Hour Train Ride (Part 2)

Getting to Switzerland required ten hours of train travel and two trains ... and it was long, but lovely.  Getting out of Switzerland was another ten hours of train travel ... however, it was not only two trains, instead it was a bus (not covered by the Eurail pass -- but no one told us that when we were making the reservations) and three trains. 

Remember this map ...

Well, the ladies behind the glass at the train station in St. Moritz suggested we not do that ... it would have been two buses and three trains ... I was a little disappointed because I had my heart set on this route, but I had already experienced lugging my mother's and my luggage off one train, looking for the next train, moving all luggage to the next platform and getting it back on the next train, so I took their advice.

The bus ride turned out to be the most scenic bus ride I have ever been on ... and my mother enjoyed it, and as the mantra goes, that was why we were on the trip -- for my mother to have a good time.

Turns out we got to see a lot of Switzerland after all ... and it was interesting to hear the language shift from German to Italian the closer we got to the border. 

The bus left us off in Chiavenna which has a little train that only goes to one other city: Colico ... where we got on another train to Milano -- and that trip was all along Lago Como ... we waved at every villa just in case George was around (just kidding), but it was gorgeous.

Milan to Venice was not nearly as scenic because we were on the fast train ... but by that time we were just ready to get to our destination.

Venice started off on a negative because my beloved bag lost its handle on the way to the water bus.  Then I couldn't find the woman whose BnB we were staying at ... I was able to find the place, but the buzzer didn't work (and it didn't really matter because she was out looking for us) ... and the special global phone I got just for this portion of our trip did not have any cell service in Venice ... ah, the irony.

So, Venice, beautiful as it was started out with a distinctly sour taste. 

It was the true beginning of "it's an adventure" part of our trip. 

Several sweet people allowed me to use their phones to attempt to call our BnB host ... but each time they tried, the little voice on the other end said that it was a non-working phone.

As I trudged back and forth between my mother with all the luggage at the door of the BnB and the water bus stand -- I got really good at that route -- I worried about how we would recoup our prepaid hotel ... if we had to stay somewhere else ... how we could afford a hotel if we could find one ... and how this might ruin my mother's trip.

As the sun started to go down, I ducked into what seemed like a normal hotel that was on the route between our BnB and the water bus ... it turned out to be one of the more expensive hotels in the area.  The man at the desk looked carefully in his reservation book (not in the computer, interestingly) when I asked him if there was a double room for the night.  He looked at me and then asked what my budget was because he had only one room left.

He never told me the price. 

I told him the story ... and he asked me for the sheet of paper with the phone number.  He called it and got our BnB host. He explained to her that I was there...looking for her, and he told her I would wait for her there.  He sensed that I was concerned that I had prepaid for a place that didn't exist or to such a flake that I couldn't find her.  I never said anything about it ... I couldn't allow myself to even contemplate it aloud ...

When I told him that my mother was waiting outside the building with all of our luggage, he commanded that I go to get my mom and bring her back to the hotel to wait.

When I got to the building, the door was open and my mom was nowhere to be seen.  I went up the stairs and there was our BnB host.  I helped my mom get settled into the room.  But I needed to go back to the hotel to thank the gentleman for helping me.

He said to me, I don't want you to have a bad impression of Venice, when I thanked him for his help.

And just like that, Venice returned to its beautiful splendor.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gods and priests (and nuns)

This story, out of many, coupled with visiting the Vatican (and countless other churches) got me thinking about my relationship to Catholicism ... and into some not too friendly discussions with my mom and sister ... ah ... not sure I have the strength to recreate the thoughts here ... suffice to say, there are too many issues that continue to arise for me to "commit" to faith in a church that allows so much pain.

In this News Round Up (RANT-don't say you weren't warned) you will find snippets of the issues I have with the church and that some believers have with me:

The pope, in his most recent past life, was in charge of just this kind of "discipline" but never saw fit to deal with the issue of pedophilia ... instead charging that it was an American problem.  Hmm.... Clearly not ... as the same issues have arisen in Germany; and, now Ireland, perhaps the quintessential Catholic nation in the world, folks are demanding answers.

And, even in the light of this, among many, many other scandals (not just sexual crimes, but also financial involvement with the mafia), the Vatican is busy investigating the nuns in the US who, in the Vatican's eyes, are spending too much time worrying about social justice, and not enough time fighting against abortion ... yeah ... and folks want me to lighten up on the nazi youth pope, I'm sorry, but I just can't.

Thankfully, neither are the nuns ...I am happy to report that the nuns are not just taking it on the chin ... and that there are some priests who are willing to "speak their truth" -- respectfully (that is more than I can bring myself to do).  The Vatican's attempts to distract from their other scandals with their investigation and tightening down on the nuns is nothing more than that ... a distraction.  A perfectly played page out of the Republican handbook ... or perhaps it is the reps that have been borrowing from the Vatican. 

Folks also wonder why I care ... yeah, regardless of what others feel about me, I am a confirmed Catholic, so I have the same right they do to have an opinion about the pope and the church ... it is not an issue of practicing -- unless someone is going to get the practicing meter out and check folks first before they have opinions.  Like the survivors, I, and all others raised in the church, have the right to opine about the church, its ethics and its leaders.

Monday, June 18, 2012

News Round Up

I interrupt this vacation musing to show you the articles that caught my eye in the past few weeks:

This doesn't mean that Trayvon will get justice.  Though having Zimmerman's wife arrested for perjury was fun. 

I am guessing that Fox News will not lead with this even for the sake of obfuscation.

I am a total sucker for this campaign -- though I have been told by others that it feels like overstepping.  I don't know if Starbucks will be successful in raising awareness to the issues of unemployment in the United States, and I am fairly certain that these campaigns cannot in and of themselves "fix" our economic woes.  But, I can say that I am impressed with their gumption ... perhaps it is all smoke and mirrors, or maybe they will just reform themselves into a more caring corporation... I don't know, but I am buying a mug!

I was saying to a friend the other day, I just wish someone would give this guy a break ... a tryout, something.  And it turns out someone had! I don't know what will come of this, either -- perhaps it is just another publicity stunt for these NFL teams.  But, I hope that it is some guys trying to give this guy a break.  He deserves one. [Apparently, the Seahawks have asked Banks to join the minicamp.  Keeping my fingers crossed that his life will get back on the track he wanted before he was wrongly imprisoned.  Boy would that be some lemonade.]

I was tickled to read this story ... though when I read it, she had been cut off... and when I pulled it up to include it here, she had gotten the social media reprieve (this is foreshadowing for something that I am plotting to write about...someday, in my free time).

I was going to end on a high note, but when I pulled up the draft Sunday afternoon, there was another story that could not go unreported: Rodney King's death.  What struck me the most is that he is only four years older than me ... and he always has been.  But back when the beating happened and the trial happened and the acquittal happened, four years difference seemed like an eternity.  Now it puts my graduation from college, a month after the acquittal, in distinct relief between what could have been and what might have been and what was ... in Rodney King's life, in my life, in the lives of all of us brown and black people who live on the edge of the American Dream, sometimes getting a toe-hold and sometimes watching from behind a chain link (or barbed-wire) fence. [Um...this, too, might be foreshadowing for something else I have been meaning to write, in my free time.]

There is more ... but it will have to wait for later in the week or next week ... for instance, I didn't miss President Obama's executive order (wonder if he read my post?!), but I just can't write about it yet ... I haven't even been able to read about the reactions.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

UPDATED: Happy Fathers' Day

UPDATE:   This is a lovely story about a father who is lucky to be alive on father's day... may he recover quickly and well.

For all those fathers -- those I know and those I don't -- that are doing what they need to do to make sure their babies (regardless of their ages) are getting what they need ... and leading by example... I am wishing you all the best on this day and always.

Here's a story about one of those dads... and my prayers go to him and his daughter -- so that come what may, they have the strength to deal with his illness.

For my pops, too ...

Dad at Acoma, 2011

Friday, June 15, 2012

Switzerland

10 hour train ride (part 1)

German rider helped with bags
The traveling coffee and snack seller
Out of Germany and Into Switzerland

Red shutters
Red poppies
They love red
Modern buildings
in primary colors

The commuters from Zurich
Lake Zurich
A pool in the lake
Gorgeous houses and parks
RVs from all over Europe

To Chur
The twists and turns and bridges on the way up the mountain
The commuters who didn't look up from their newspapers

Sheep
Happy cows
Goats
No real wildlife
Penned up reindeer

Villages up high and against the mountain
Crazy bikers didn't stay at our hotel-on a budget - not the town for you

St Moritz
My mom's in love
Breakfast with the chinos

Straight up the hill
Long walk thru town
Shuttered homes
Tons of upgrade work on off season

Dinner with our best friend in the restaurant - best wine from Puglia.

Special dessert - we earned it walking til our feet hurt

Hope Floats in German

So many different German accents
The socioeconomic language split
German French Italian and English in St. Moritz.
Train workers, train station ticket, seller grocery clerks and waiters

A town full of workers
On the off season
A resort sans the wealthy

The fisherman docking the boats and coming over for breakfast
The orange work-clothed construction workers lunching at our hotel
The single man communal table

Switching from German to Italian to French and searching for words in English.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Poetry Thursday -- not really, sort of ...

I have been looking for a scrap of paper where I have written some quotes I want to share ... but my apartment is awash in little pieces (and big pieces and piles) of paper.  Let's just say, I will find it by next Thursday.

In lieu of those quotes...and some pictures I have yet to get off my camera, I am going to share some postings from one of my favorite people. She is a poet in her own right ...

These are all posts I have been hording on my google reader from when I was on vacation.  Enjoy!

On dreams and difficult tasks, Andrea wrote (in part):
"What if every single thing you did, every experience you have ever had led you to this moment? I wrote a letter recently that was incredibly hard to write, but I have never been more proud of myself than I after I put my pen down. I felt peaceful. The kind of peace you feel when you’ve told the truth, with love and gentleness. I felt like my entire life (every book I have ever read, every course I have ever taken, every painful experience, an entire lifetime of dedicating myself to personal growth) prepared me to write this one letter."
 Also, check out her piece on rest.

Actually ... just scroll through her wonderfulness.

She is brave and imperfect and vulnerable and overwhelmed and real and open and terrified and holding it together and melting in a puddle and asking for help and standing tall... in short,  she is a superhero.  I am always inspired by her ... always.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Germany

The loveliest train ride
The castles
High up on the mountains
Mom's eyes when she saw them

Hotel mix up
Single instead of double
Room with a kind of a view.

Chocolate museum
Little green train
River cruises
Beautiful buildings stacked together

Good thing I took a nap

Where was my recorder?

Using the Dom as our compass
Cherubs from the cathedral
And all the artists
Leaving mom at the mass while I went to sb!

Mom's day brunch
Rollerbladers and stunts
Bikes! Bikes! Bikes!
Long walk down the river

Mix of old and new bldgs
The wealthy and the riverside
All the families and their various modes of exercise

Tasty train treats
at the gas station!
Only in Germany?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I was reading while on vacation...

 Intermittently, I had access to the internet, which mostly meant that I was reading the news.

Here are some stories I just need to share. [I tested the links, and these were all working... hope they are when they reach you, too.]

This piece details how some undocumented students are leaving their hiding places to make real their experiences for their fellow inhabitants of the United States.

This past semester, I was lucky to take a class with NM's Centennial Poet - so when I read this piece on California's unconventional poet laureate, I was tickled.  I wish I knew more about poetry, understood it better, could express myself in tightly knit and worded pictures as poets do ... alas, mostly I just read what they write.

My ongoing interest (and feud) with standardized testing and the way that the powers that be want to use them to "evaluate" teachers could not let me pass this one by ... even though it is not the most interesting piece I read on education while traveling ... those will have to wait or possibly not make it at all as I didn't save them ... to balance it out, listen to this man's story on NPR ... he is asking all the right questions ... and I can't wait to be his colleague.

I find myself most fascinated by these pieces (both in the NY Times and the LA Times) where doctors talk about what it is like for them to practice.  This piece is specifically about how doctors grieve and how it affects their ability to be objective in end of life situations ... fascinating!

One of the things I am reading about this summer is indigeneity -- and/or how it is that Indian as an identity is proscribed, inscribed and transcribed onto people.  So, though this piece is not terribly interesting, the content is fascinating ... what does it mean to be Indian, indeed.

In a similar but not necessarily directly related vein, this piece reports on some indigenous students (and their parents) fighting back in my hometown against those who outsiders (read: white people) would consider their own ... this is a little more sad for me than it is fascinating ... but an important movement to watch in any case.

Another related piece examines how the immigration crack down is seeping into the Canadian border.... note the different town from, say, Arizona.

Walking down the other border, I ran into this long but truly unforgettable piece ... there is so much here ... the man who would help those who are not related to him in any way ... the cast of characters, worthy of their own television show ... and, not the least, another sad commentary on our selfish and incomprehensible immigration policies.

You'd think I didn't have time to enjoy the beauty of Germany, Switzerland or Italy ... but you would be wrong ... I just can't live without the news. It's official, I am a news junkie...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Marathon Travel Days

----From 5/11-12/2012

It's been nearly twelve hours and we are only half way to our first destination.

Oh, and I was up to three am packing - there was a flurry of errands and tasks that needed to be completed before I could turn my attention to packing.

So I finally got to sleep around 3 and then the alarm was ringing at 4:30am.

Yup.

If I wasn't already exhausted from finishing up finals then the last minute preparations for the trip surely did me in.

Between not necessarily restive naps on planes, I have spent time in three airports in three states.

I discovered, or remembered, I had forgotten two key items: the iPod charger and running socks. I remembered this in my "sleep" if that gives you any indication of how much rest I was getting.

We walked around JFK trying to find chargers and food. And just stretching my legs in general.

 I had walked all way to the other end of the terminal looking for something to spread on the extra bread. I asked someone at a restaurant and the owner piped in that he had nutella and jam.

I asked to buy some and he said why didn't I bring the bread over and his chef would make it up for me. I said because my bread was all the way back at gate 28. He said he had another restaurant at gate 21 - to go get my bread and take it there and he would call over so they would be expecting me.

And so they were...exhausted at that point, I could barely put two words together, so I was glad when the young man saw my bread and said "I know who you are..."

He took the bread and talked to the chef...coming back with questions about which kind of jam and should he toast the bread. They made me a lovely sandwich - wrapped in wax paper and placed back in my ziplock.

I had been chatting with the young women who worked there-and they refused to let me pay for it or the little Brie I wanted.

I don't know how it is that NYC gets such a terrible reputation. This is the kind of people I meet. Just lovely and thoughtful and super nice.

Great way to start the trip.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Back...

I am going to try to come to life on the blog again ... but there will be plenty of news round up (even from "vacation" -quotes to be explained at a later date, when I can say something that doesn't sting me and others) and some posting I drafted on the road (though my ipod app has decided to only hold posts and not to actually post them -- we are communicating about what post means right now -- but I am not sure I am getting through).

There are so many parenthetical explanations necessary -- or not -- in life.

So, I was just thinking, if I were Barack Obama, right now I would be figuring out how to do all the things I promised ... by executive order if necessary... before the election.  What does he have to lose?  Crazy people in Wisconsin want to keep Walker, tea party people are still dressing up and chanting, and around the world, people are demonstrating against what these tea partiers and Walker-ites want us to do to our country.

Take a step, walk into the breach.  Be the president we elected you to be ... there is no appealing to those crazy folks ... do it for us because we did it for you. Believe.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Poetry Thursday --- finally home...

The Return  
by Ezra Pound

See, they return; ah, see the tentative 
Movements, and the slow feet, 
The trouble in the pace and the uncertain 
Wavering! 
 
See, they return, one, and by one,         
With fear, as half-awakened; 
As if the snow should hesitate 
And murmur in the wind, 
            and half turn back; 
These were the "Wing'd-with-Awe,"         
            inviolable. 
 
Gods of that wing├Ęd shoe! 
With them the silver hounds, 
            sniffing the trace of air! 
 
Haie! Haie!         
    These were the swift to harry; 
These the keen-scented; 
These were the souls of blood. 
 
Slow on the leash, 
            pallid the leash-men!

Friday, June 01, 2012

for the orange and the black

I don't wave the orange and the black very often...  and I rarely admire anything this man says ...

but I did enjoy this column.  So, in honor of our reunions, I post it for you.

Imagine the orange and the black that I will be witnessing as you read this ... and hide under the bed as I used to before I was an alumna.