Thursday, March 29, 2007

Today is a better day. Still sad about my last grand passing (grandmother) and am getting adjusted to the idea that all I have left are my aunts and parents in the grand scheme of family order and such. Looking for ways to stay connected to that part of the world since it is such a big part of my existence and who I am. Sure, never lived there yet there is a strong connection.

Trying to find ways to get students inspired about learning in general. So many seem genuinely disinterested in anything having to do with finding out about things that they haven't gotten to see/understand. Wondering where is the sense of adventure that comes from just listening to something and then allowing it time to percolate and develop into a new sense of the world. For instance, watched a Discovery Channel show about water -- would have been great to have that clip to show to students -- really very interesting to see what water goes through before ending up in your water from the tap.

Where is that sense of adventure and desire to learn in our students? Maybe we need to look at different ways of getting the material across - hard to cheat if you are doing an experiment and presenting the results to a national and or local regulatory agency or presenting in front of the board of directors. Hard to get a "cheat list" for something like that... Just ideas.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Central Michigan University is the closest major landmark to where my Grandmother and Grandfather made their lives together. It is also the place that I go to find my center -- my connection to the grander scheme of things beyond the cars, the concrete, and the hustle and bustle that is the norm in Southern California.

Why Michigan? It provides a release from the ever pounding need to answer cell phones (no and/or limited reception), needlessly staring at TV for hours (only three stations since my grandma's house never had cable and was ruled by the antennae box that literally moved the antennae on the top of the house -- advanced rabbit ears), and no internet access (she still had a pulse phone line the one that makes the sound like it used to when they still had phones that truly DIALED numbers).

Literally connecting with the earth and watching the cycle of life, especially the crops literally growing in front of your eyes -- my version of paradise! To hear the birds, sit in front of the fan and read, ponder, write, play solitaire and do the daily routine of common meals and washing and putting away dishes -- heaven.

I wonder where I will find that now that the center is gone. Sure, I still have relatives in Michigan, but not a place near the lands that created me and has given me my main roots. When I am back in the places where the elders still pretty much refer to the plots of land with the original land deed owners (aka the Smith Place, the Getchell Farm) and where people still bring food when someone is sick and/or in the hospital, and they listen to scanners so they know how to help their neighbors --- I feel a sense of belonging that I get no where else. It is a connection stronger than even family -- it is where I began and when I am there, both physically and mentally (I have learned how to leave the stress at the last big airport before the smaller one that usually is accessed by a 30 seater plane), and where I know what makes sense.

It is not a place to hide -- you face who you are, what you are, and how you live your live in a much more forthright manner. No hiding behind facades, phone calls, schedules -- just you and mortality. How you live your life is reflected back in how you are when you are there. I have a place up in Ossineke as well, but somehow, it is not going to be the same...

Where will my heart be? In the woods and the home that came to symbolize universal, unconditional love and acceptance. Come as you are and you will be loved -- that was the motto. Check your hubris at the door and get your hands dirty doing what needs to be done. No lallygagging allowed...

Monday, March 12, 2007

7th Grade = incessant (non-stop).

The incessant crying of the baby indicated that the child had a severe and on-going sickness.

8th Grade = didactic (intending to teach)

The didactic teacher intended to teach the students what would be on the test.

"Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."

Describe what this means. Give an example of how this may be true. How would this quote change the way you interact with others. Explain.

Good work on your PBJ and Presentations (so far). We will be starting a new unit next week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

PAVE Map - Sorry no definitions on this one! You have to predict with a prediction sentence first, then figure out the definition of the word based on the sample sentence.

7th Grade = IMMUTABLE
ex. The immutable program remained the same for over 20 years.

8th Grade = CONTRITE
The contrite child apologized for kicking his mother.

How do you think life would be different as the opposite sex?
How are boys treated differently than girl and vice versa?
Is this fair or not?
Why or why not?

REMEMBER - Write until 9:25 then check grades and the bulletin on PowerSchool.