Wednesday, February 26, 2014


This article about how moms spend their time caught my attention this week. I am blessed with a husband who is an active parent, takes on many tasks around the house, and does the bed time routine every other day. 

Mornings are still up to me. We all walk to school together, but prior to that my mornings are sent getting myself ready, making lunches and snacks for all three of us, making sure the little one is running on schedule, and knowing that dinner is figured out for when we get home. 

There are many reasons I am looking forward to the conference I am headed to, but only having to get myself ready is one of them.

That sentiment then spawns guilt. Guilt that I am headed to India, a place I love to be, for a conference, which the last time I attended it was the best PD I have ever had. On top of that I am at a different school and the budget is structured in a way that this time I am staying at the five star hotel, rather than the Ibis I was at last time.

Yes, there is guilt and I won't start counting the things I could feel guilty about. I left strong lesson plans for my students. My daughter wished me a good trip as she smiled and kissed me. My husband is competent. I have no worries that the world will keep spinning without me. In the mean time I am looking forward to quite and only being concerned with getting one person where they need to be.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Are You Reading?

“It’s Monday! What are you Reading?” is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is a chance for book lovers to share their reading accomplishments as well as what is on the proverbial nightstand. She even does a giveaway. Subsequently Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts added an opportunity for those reading kidlit to join the fun. Since I read both I will post to both. Check them out, join the conversations, and discover more great books.

Books marked with an '*' I would put in my classroom library.
(Books marked with a '#' would be in an middle or high school library.)

 Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

 An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

 Unbroken: a World War Two Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand #

 Where's You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

 The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

 City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau *

 The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaighrran

 The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander *

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Trying to not freak out


March is nearly here.

How am I ever going to make it through another year of slicing every, single, day of March if I sit down on a Tuesday, when I've had an entire week, and I just stare at the screen. I then stare at the candle. I then stare at the photos on the wall.

You get the idea.

I seem to remember thinking that my husband's comment about boredom would be good fodder, but it doesn't seem to get past a couple of disjointed sentences.

What about the backpacking trip we are getting to plan for the summer? Though I am thrilled, the words don't come.

Perhaps my errand to the cobbler this afternoon. Not many people probably experience their only two pairs of works shoes needing at least repair, if not have gone completely bust, in the span of three days.

Work? Something about a central place to keep student information, but that could get me in trouble. I won't rant publically.

I could make this a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' and see how a few sentences about each of the above could be strung together for a disjointed adventure, but I am sure it would just leave you perplexed.

What I am realizing is that part of my stumbling is coming from not writing every day, or even a few days each week, as I have in previous years. There are many reasons. One is that the new Teachers College Writing Units don't have us writing in our writing notebook daily. We are writing, but with a focus. Right now it is Research-Based Arguments. I can tell you lots about chocolate milk!

I don't even know, exactly, where my writing notebook is. Somewhere in the vicinity of my desk, I'm sure of that much. So, my goal is to rediscover it tomorrow and then actually open it and scrawl across some pages with my favorite blue Bic ballpoint. Hopefully, come next Tuesday I have some complete thoughts to share.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Extravert vs. Hospitality


We had friends over and after our meal we were enjoying time on the balcony. (This un-winter in Beirut has been so lovely!) The conversation turned to the Myers-Briggs test. I can never exactly remember mine, except that I know I am the exact opposite of my husband (and he remembers his). The thing I do remember is that I was near the middle on a couple of the indicators, but for introvert / extrovert I was one point over the line, to the extrovert side.

At the time when I first took the test everyone (myself included) assumed I was extremely extroverted. The Myers-Briggs results caused me to pause and reflect on what they might mean. That was 25 years ago and throughout the years I have found that I really appreciate the introverted side of myself.

Anyway, back to the balcony, it was observed that I was the only one amongst us that had an 'E'. Everyone else was firmly introverted. The quip was made that my 'E' explains why I am the one to encourage us to get together. I am the one who makes the plans.

After they left I thought about this, while I cleaned up in the kitchen. I believe there is another explanation. I think it is the 'gift' of hospitality, not introvertedness nor extrovertedness that comes into play. I actually much prefer small gatherings of three - five people, which fits squarely in the introverted column. I like the chance to really connect with folks. The idea of a bunch of small talk can cause me to find a room to hide in with a book. I do like having people over. I like planning a meal. I like sharing our home, be it for a couple of hours or many nights. I think it is about hospitality.

(Oh, and I am a planner, but that is neither here nor there.)