Cozy, rainy morning

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Steady rain. Not much on the to-do list today. Norah Jones playing in the background. Obviously, it’s a good morning for homemade sour cream scones and chai latte.

  
Later in the day – fingers crossed for a break in the rain – The Boy will pick up the drywall in a pick-up borrowed from his grandfather so the bathroom project can keep moving ahead. And at some point The Husband will come home, and this cozy, raining morning will turn into a cozy weekend. 

As I check in on Facebook today, I see multiple photos of multiple friends who are off vacationing in Cabo, St. Croix, Sanobel. For now I’m pretty content with the bathroom renovation, my family for company, and the comforts of home. At the very least, I don’t have to worry about taking a decent selfie while wearing a swimming suit. I don’t need that kind of pressure. 

Love what you have. Cuz it’s all you’ve got.

A shocking dose of educational reality.

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This Facebook thing I saw and re-posted yesterday really hit me hard, especially in the comments it generated from my many friends who have a vested interest in public education.

  
Somewhere in the back of my mind, even though I’ve been out of teaching for 11 years, I’ve held out the possibility that I could always go back to it at some point. Not that I’m looking for an “out” from my current career (Director of Children’s Ministry for a large, progressive congregation). But, in my head, I still think of myself as a teacher. I’ve always maintained that a good teacher is born rather than made, and that excellence in teaching is an art that comes from who you are – as well as from well-grounded research, best practices, etc.

Here’s the deal, though: Through the conversation surrounding this FB post, it hit me: There is no way I could ever go back to teaching in public schools as they currently stand. My conscience would not allow me to follow the many educationally inapporpriate practices that are the norm today (and I’m talking from the perspective of someone who has taught in and had my own children in one of the nation’s highest-ranking school systems; I shudder to think what it must be like elsewhere). For example:

  • Seriously reducing (or even eliminating) the amount of movement/excercise time children are given, and ignoring the research on the important relationship between mind and body.
  • Flawed homework policy; the “gold standard” currently is 10 minutes of homework per day, accumulated per grade level year. Example: kindergarteners should have 10 minutes per day of homework; seniors in high school should have 120 minutes – TWO HOURS – of homework per day. Not only is this policy impractical in the modern world of working, busy families, but it chips away at the free, unstructured time kids need to grow and develop in a healthy way.
  • Over-emphasis on teaching how to take tests and teaching specific information that wil be on standardized tests. To my way of thinking, any emphasis on this bull$%#! is over-emphasis. Honestly, if I were in the classroom again, I think I’d probably get fired over this one. If it came down to free reading time/read-aloud time vs. a lesson in test-taking skills (which it mostly does in today’s classrooms) I would ditch the test-taking crap for reading every time.

The irony is that if I went back to the classroom, I know for a fact I could be a much better teacher now than I ever was all those years ago. I have the experience of my current career, working with families and understanding their challenges. I have the perspective of a parent with three kids who, though they received excellent educations, suffered greatly from the kinds of issues listed above. But I wouldn’t be allowed to use that experience and perspective effectively. I’d be too hampered by seriously poor policy-making in education. So it would be a choice between doing what I know is right and doing what I had to do to keep my job. 

This dose of educational reality created a minor earthquake in my personal narrative today. It’s a darned good thing I’m challenged, fulfilled, and happy in the work I’m doing now, because it turns out I wouldn’t be able to go back.

Haiku, Day 2

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Our wifi is out.

I’m not good at writing on phones. 

Our provider sucks. 

***

All-day work “retreat;”

at least it’s with cool people – 

Ms. Butt-pain’s gone. 

***

“Retreat” is misnamed

when you’re working all day long

and lunch is pizza. 

***

Drywall is purchased. 

Next: Infinite measuring,

then the nails and mud. 

***

Thanks for tuning in;

haikus are more fun than just

writing normal posts. 

Horrible humpday haikus

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Hump day’s a gross term;

But when alliterating,

quite necessary.

***

Snot is in the sink.

Next I’ll find some toenails in

my best coffee cup.

***
Drive to the landfill.

Dismiss the horrors of the

nasty old bathroom.

***
Showering at night

Feels great at the time but then

crap hair next morning.

A butt-pain at work

is about to leave our place.

Not a bit too soon.

***
Chick peas and onions

fried up in the morning are

making me feel ill.

Watched “In Bruges” last night.

Funny and poignant, but sad.

Lots of dead people.

***
Sun and thick green plants

Create a lush canvas here.

Hope your Wednesday’s** great!
**Please go with the two-syllable pronunciation of Wednesday. Thank you.

Screwed by ADHD, yet again.

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Here’s what it looks like when a (mostly totally awesome) 20-year-old with ADHD does the weed trimming so his mom can mow the yard:

  1. Go buy a new weed trimmer.
  2. Make a few phone calls, check Reddit, ,and have a Gatorade while your mom sits around waiting and tapping her foot.
  3. Trim the front yard fairly thoroughly.
  4. Decide you don’t like how the new weed trimmer is running.
  5. Play around with it awhile.
  6. Consider whether the gas was stale. Call your father to ask his opinion and chat for half an hour.
  7. Fiddle with the new weed trimmer some more. Lazily try it out in the weeds around the back patio.
  8. Set the new weed trimmer aside.
  9. Take out the old weed trimmer. Play with it for a while. Get it running much better than the new one.
  10. Shout at your mom, who has started mowing the front yard and has to stop the mower to hear you, about how pleased you are that the old weed trimmer works again and you can return the new one, which sucks.
  11. Rev the old weed trimmer a few times.
  12. Put away both trimmers, WITHOUT doing any of the trimming in the back yard, because you’ve totally lost track of why you were messing with weed trimmers in the first place.
  13. Go have a shower, while your mom struggles over the bumpy back yard, trying to get close enough to all the  obstacles (trees, shed, play gym, flower beds, tree trunk, patio) because you forgot to do the task she asked you to do in the first place. 

It’s a darned good thing this kid is building up so much good will with his bathroom remodeling work. Otherwise he’d be sleeping out back with the weeds tonight. 

The latest handiwork

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We’ve been a productive, creative bunch around here recently.
I’ve been knitting like crazy, creating summer-weight scarves with a turkish stitch. My favorite so far:

 

LOVE these colors.


A couple of weeks ago, Middle Sister bought some houndstooth fabric and created a beautiful and functional journal for her also-an-Engilsh-major boyfriend. She had quite a bit of fabric leftover, so yesterday she made this lovely decorative sofa pillow:
 

I used to do this sort of project all the time, but figuring out all the details of seam allowance, inside-out-ness, etc. makes me cry. So glad she did the hard work on this one instead of me.


The Boy put his creativity to work in a different direction, the bathroom reno project. He spent much of yesterday tracing down wiring and creating these schematics to bring all the electrics downstairs into the 21st century:

 

This kind of stuff makes me cry, too. I literally skpped school the day we had our exam over circuitry in my high school physics class. I was that bad at it.


It’s raining out so no photos of this one, but The Husband brought out his skills to effect a minor repair on my car’s exhaust AND take the stereo apart to fix the auxilliary jack so that I can listen to music from my phone while tooling around the suburbs. Joy!

And now, back to knitting – there’s another scarf to finish!  

Technical difficulties mostly resolved

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It’s been fun playing around with themes, colors, backgrounds, and images today. I’m fairly pleased with the new look for Mom Goes On.

But a widget I particularly like is acting up.

“Posts I Like” is telling a bald-faced lie. It keeps saying that I haven’t liked any posts recently, but that when I do it will start displaying them.

Not true, blogging friends! I have read and “liked” several posts today. Please do not be put off by this offensive widget. Maybe I’ll figure out how to get it to work again soon.

Stupid WordPress interface.

Experiencing technical difficulties.

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So on a whim I decided to play around with my WordPress theme this morning.

Perhaps not such a good idea – Mom Goes On currently looks like a business under construction.

So…until I can get things straightened out, I’ll go with what they always put on signs at stores when this happens:

“Forgive our mess.”

Let me give you a little tip…

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The Boy had a first-time experience yesterday while working at the farmer’s market. An older couple wandered by, pretended to look over his wares, and handed him this as a “tip”:

IMG_0179

Apologies for the orientation. With the advent of the $^#*$(#~! “beep beep boop” version of post writing, I can’t find the way to re-orient photos that get screwed up in downloading. **Fuming**

You'll probably have to zoom in to read the incredibly inspiring text here.

You’ll probably have to zoom in to read the incredibly inspiring text here.

Of course, they couldn’t just leave it at handing over their pain-in-the-ass “religious” tract. They had to ask him whether he’d been “saved.” That led to an interesting conversation, considering the fact that our son declared over Christmas break that he’s an atheist. Doesn’t bother me, but I think the “bash you over the head with Jesus” couple were taken aback – mainly because our son was polite, pleasant, and reasonable when talking with them about his lack of interest in their “religion.”

My take – and I say this as someone who has worked full-time in church ministry for 11 years – is that my son had the moral high ground in this situation. To my way of thinking, the worst possible way to represent your faith is to ambush people in a public setting and try to talk them into submission. Well, I guess the Crusades were worse than that, but I’m talking about the kind of proselytizing that I’ve witnessed¬†personally.

Our son may profess that he has no belief in a Higher Power. But he lives every moment of his life authentically, kindly, and thoughtfully. I’d rather spend time with him than with this type of God-botherer any day.

Someone left the Shakespeare in the rain. 

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Thunder, lightning, and heavy rain can’t keep teens from sharing The Bard with their friends and families. The temperature is plummeting and we’re pretty damp, with 150 people huddled under a smallish shelter. Our view of the stage:

  
 Currently the drumming of rain on the shelter roof is drowning out the performers. But hey, it’s giving me the chance to do my first post via iPhone. And we have three big bags of kettle corn to share between six people. Silver linings!

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