Category Archives: Slice of Life 2020

#SOL20: Fruit or Vegetable


A row of plants. Alternating metal cages. Sprawling green masses of leaves, stems and stalks interspersed with red. Another row. Another row. As far as the eye could see. More than 100 plants in all.

Fruit? Vegetable?

Easily canned.

Lifeblood as juice, sauce, salsa or sliced fresh from the garden.

I remember the summer that the “crop” ripened just as school opened. Day job school.

Night job. Creating recipes. No internet searching. Trial and error. Daily collecting and sorting. Ripe? Ready? Final product?

And then the Process. Remove peels by scalding. Cook. Add ingredients. Hot water processing in the galvanized blue canner with a rack to secure the jars. Steam filling the kitchen. Jars lined up on the canner. The popping as the lids sealed.

Gifts from the garden: pasta sauce, salsa and more.

Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable?

An answer from botanists . . .

New learning?

Anything that is a root, stem or leaf of a plant qualifies as a vegetable.

Tomatoes . . .

Does it matter whether they are fruits or vegetables? How specific do you need to be?

The best tomatoes (“tomahtoes” or“tomaytoes”) are the ones grown in your garden!

Growing advice? Link

Jars to wash. Tomatoes to process.Time to work! Off I go!




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Today’s bounty: 19 pints and 3 quarts of medium salsa

#SOL20: Let It Go!


 

Rumors abound.

Topics include:

Elections

Rules

Vaccines

Bail outs

Finger pointing

Blame

To Keep Your Sanity when all about you seems beyond the pale:

  1. Consider the source:  Is it reliable? Trustworthy? Truthful?
  2. Consider the proximity:  Does it impact you?
  3. Consider the emotional load:  Is the exploration going to cause stress and possible harm?
  4. Consider the immediacy:  Can I wait until a pattern emerges?

Set your own threshold.  How many “nos” do you need for the questions above in order to step away and

. . . LET IT GO!

What are your criteria for letting it go?





Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: Harvest Celebrations


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Harvest:  what do you celebrate?

  • Is it the season?
  • The produce?
  • The process?
  • The product?

What does harvest mean to you?

Sit with your definition for a minute.  Pause.  Reflect.

Harvest: (n.)

the process or period of gathering in crops.
“helping with the harvest”   (Oxford Dictionary)
My summer sewing harvest the last four months has been bountiful:
A dinosaur glow in the dark quilt
6 “Bunny” wall hangings
6 soup bowl cozies
4 Fourth of July table runners
An assist with a quilt for a graduate
2 sets of pajamas
20 different items.
2 for me.
Is it the envisioning?
Is it the design?
Is it the construction?
Is it the gift giving?
Today’s harvest
A BLT,
corn on the cob,
pickled beets,
bread and butter pickles.
No waiting.
Ready to eat
Fresh from the garden
And from the Farmer’s Market!
Not a “FALL” harvest;
A JULY harvest! 
A concrete harvest.
A purposeful harvest.

But is there more?

Also today . .  .
I noticed . . .
The lowering of the TBR stack
The conversations about blog posts
The list of books read
The list of blogs written
My reading notebook
My writing notebook
   . . . And the ideas swirling in my head!
A plethora of reading and writing accomplished . . .
As well as a list yet to come.

What does your harvest look like? 

What will you celebrate? 

How and when will you celebrate?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: Tempo


Music Theory. Ear Training.  As a band member I was so interested in processes. Real world action? Study music. Learn the basic language. 64 scales later. Each labeled. Technical adequacy?  Fun? Boring? What has “stuck” decades later?

The vocabulary . . .

The choices . . .

The freedom . . .

Allegro

Adagio

To Do List

Daily reading and writing

Zoom meetings

Savoring Slice of Life posts

Ten minute calendar warning

Clocks with the dreaded “PF”

Deadlines

A leisurely walk

Rereading text before a chat

Browsing for an entertaining read

Music surrounding

Background noise . . . white noise

Savoring morning coffee

Burning my tongue while gulping “too hot” coffee

What is your tempo?

Allegro?

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Adagio?

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When does it vary?  

What impacts your tempo? 

What connections can you make to your life?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: Keynote speeches


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Inspirational?

Motivational?

Aspirational?

What are some characteristics that you expect from a keynote speech?

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of seeing/hearing five different keynotes as a part of the TCRWP June 2020 Reading Institute. Each had its own distinct features due to the knowledge base and presentation styles of Lucy Calkins, Katy Wischow, Sonja Cherry-Paul, Michael Rae-Grant and Sarah Weeks as you can see in the keynote titles below.

Titles:

  • An Opening
  • You Never Read Alone: Community, Identity, and The Power of Talk
  • Radical Teaching: Reading Workshop as a Powerful Space for Transformation and Liberation
  • I Know, Therefore I Am: Why Nonfiction Reading Is About So Much More Than Extracting Information from Texts
  • A Few Choice Words

Some common themes I found:  Communities of learners and stories draw us together in these turbulent times.  The texts of our lives ARE our lives:  Are we living them? We are the sum of our experiences so we need to make sure they reflect our lives. If not you, then who?  Readers are never alone!

But the surprising commonality for the five keynotes was the deep emotional connections:  the tears, the laughter, and the joy of learning in a community. And yes, even through Zoom/electronic devices, the stories were that powerful.

If you would like to learn more about “keynotes” here is a great source from the business world.  Link  Tips 1, 3, 7, and 10 are my favorites. Especially 10. Always 10.

What will be your keynote for the 2020 school year?

How will you focus on priorities? 

What are your expectations from a keynote?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: #BookLove


 

Are you ready?

What is one of the best books in the world?  What is a book that will surprise you with each reread?  What book will nurture your soul?  What book will allow you to write beside the poems and unwrap your own stories . . . your own life?

I believe the answer is found in this book that is the initial book for elementary teachers participating in the Summer Book Love Book Club!

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Franki Sibberson wrote about this book by Irene Latham and illustrated by Charles Waters in her blog post here. As I read Franki’s post, I was nodding my head to every statement. And like Franki said, this week’s discussion in Book Love Foundation’s Summer Book Club is already underway. (Seriously, go read what Franki said!)

You could still see these amazing speakers.

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And interact with the almost 1,000 folks in the Book Club.

You might write or see examples . . .

Like  my first draft poem for the beginning of #BookLove.

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Week 1 has begun.

We wrote poetry Monday.

#BookLove learning has begun.

What is on your learning agenda? 

What is your favorite poetry book? 

Is there a book club in your summer plans?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Addendum:  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater Resources  bit.ly/2YU6Ifi

#SOL20: Conditions for Success


 

Suitable for a beginner.

Approximate time to completion = 1 hour

I’m still steaming from those two labels.  It was NOT a beginner’s project and it took over 10 hours to complete.  I will concede that the accompanying pictures were XERO help. Yep. Tiny. Confusing. 

I’m still working on the series of projects from last week but I won’t be returning to that topic for public announcements until all are made and distributed.

Today’s project:

I guess-timated approximately one hour to completion and it was satisfying to meet that goal completely in an hour.

Conditions for Success:

  1. Concise Materials List
  2. Picture of End Goal
  3. Step by Step Instructions
  4. Video Available
  5. Already Have the Product so I know what it looks like
  6. Choice in completing the project, choosing materials, and time to complete it!

And YET,

it was the first time that I had completed the process by myself.

I began confidently.  60 minutes (or less) to success.

After the first 10 minutes, I was ready to pause and pat myself on the back.

It seemed like success was within my grasp

Sitting on step #8.

Quickly repeating.

Marking.

Stitching,

Trimming,

Turning inside.

What was I constructing?

A soup bowl microwave caddy.

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Is it the “conditions” individually or all together? 

How do the conditions impact our lives? 

 




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: Planning


 

I have a pattern and this basket of fabric.

Time passes by. I complete project #2 and #3 and assist on another gift.

Time passes by.

I’ve studied the pattern three times and have a copy on my phone on the event I run into a “quilting shopping emergency.”

First steps today.

Four hours of planning.

When I hit this “shredding” stage with the rotary cutter, it was time to quit.

But I am probably only 1/ 3 of the way towards completion of the planning stage.

Can you name these three stages of progress?

A.

\\3

 

 

B.

 

C.

 

Thoughts?         A.  ____________   B.  ____________ C. ____________




I am estimating another hour to finish this “part” up.  Then I will need to cut out 30 rectangles to attach to the 2.5 inch squares in B and C.  All this is a part of planning.  The cutting.  How many? Which patterns?  A balance of colors. A balance of designs.

And always considering the reality of assembly . . .

where the project will take shape.

White on white.

Rectangles.

Something to hold all these pieces together.

Searching for time.

Time to develop  layout.

Time to study the layout.

Time to revise the plan.

Time to complete the accompanying tasks.




GASP!  Revising during planning?

Of course.

Re-visioning!

Re-envision


Where in your life are you re-visioning?

What events take more planning than than the execution?

Does your planning take two or three sessions before you can begin the task?

Does planning ultimately save you time?

Does your planning always require a written component?

 



Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: Silence


 

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Simon & Garfunkel, 1964               Sounds of Silence

 

Hello, Darkness, my old friend,

I’ve come to talk with you again,

Because a vision softly creeping,

Left its seeds while I was sleeping. …

I still recall writing that first dreaded college term paper about the role of imagery in this song as it related to The Graduate. It took forever with numerous false starts and many teacher conferences as I had ZERO clue about what the instructor wanted.  At that stage, writing was all about meeting the perceived needs of the instructor.

Silence at church was a requirement or knuckles were rapped by a ruler-wielding nun who was confident of her identification of the chattering troublemaker (s).

More recently discussions among friends have focused on Catholic guilt and silence. The expectations. The dynamics. Problems that were not aired publicly. Often not even aired privately.  Suffering in silence was a reality.

Growing up and silence was a tool of punishment.  “Be quiet” often buzzed in my ear as I opted to study in “my room” (a room always shared with either a sister or multiple sisters).

Silence.  Friend or Foe? Maybe I should have questioned the evidence and the “cause of death” . Mistakes happen. I do wish I had queried the ever-changing stories. Hindsight is often noisy.

Today,

Now,

I know.

#BlackLivesMatter

I must use my White privilege to listen.

I have much to learn. Two books that I am studying in book clubs this summer are:

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I need to understand my biases.

I can rely on friends, family and teammates to support me and call me out on this learning journey.

I have to raise my voice to question and call out White privilege where I see it/hear it.

I will amplify IBPOC voices and support their work.

I must speak up in order to see justice. To remain silent is to be complicit.

I must do this work myself and commit to a lifetime of  anti-racist work even though I don’t know exactly where that journey will take me.

Silent, no more!

Envisioning 2020:  A Year of Action

How will you avoid “silence” in your future?

What actions will you commit to undertaking?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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31 Days of IBPOC posts – Link

https://www.leadingequitycenter.com/

Sheldon Eakins – “Framing Brave Conversations about Race and Ethnicity” – Link

 

#SOL20: What If?


What If?

What does it look like if/when students resume classes in school buildings?

China Link

Denmark Link

Maybe this?

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Or this?

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Or this?

What will school look like?

What will students look like?

How will everyone be safe? secure? and ready to learn?

Who makes those determinations?

From Sarah Gross and a superintendent in New Jersey: Link 91 questions.

What If?

It’s hard to plan for the future

So many uncertainties

So many possibilities

So many paths

Too early to choose

So many uncertainties.

Rest.

Rejuvenate.

Dream of “best case” solutions.

What is your plan?

What will you do in the interim while waiting for decisions?

What questions are swirling in your brain?

What if students, communities, and school staff planned collaboratively?

What do you envision?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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