Category Archives: Writing

#SOLSC23: Patterns

Technology has definitely not been my friend lately with errors in Word Press and the printer refusing to scan the alignment page. Today, it was another machine.

I’m feeling a time crunch with a gift I am working on. No, not the grandson one. T’he celebration in April. I waited …. not very patiently as it seemed to be shipping from the moon. Self-pressure. I could revert back to the original plan, but I don’t want to … not YET!

But ….

Strike 1

Strike 2

And . . .

And Strike 3.

That would be an “out” in baseball.

In all three cases, the piece with the “woodgrainy” look, needs to be horizontal. It was a fairly quick fix for Jack. Jack the Ripper. A bit of time, three new blocks and it was time to have another go. The pieces were not hard to replace, just a bit time-consuming.

Another “go” today. Hopefully no errors this time.

When has time not “been on your side”? How did you handle “righting the errors”


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

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#SOLSC23: Choices

Drive time Sunday gave me time to think, organize, and ready my brain for blogging this week on the downhill side of the Slice of Life Challenge.

What can I write about?

  • Lady Hawkeyes win and advancement to the Sweet Sixteen
  • Driviing Conundrums
  • My uncle’s story about the river flooding so quickly that he had to watch his brother dive underwater to unhitch the horse from the wagon so it wouldn’t die stuck in the river bed. Literally watching his brother risk his life for the horse.
  • Current quilting projects
  • Formatting issues with my blog posts
  • “Response-ability”

Each of these bulleted items could be a slice or two or three. What to do? Start writing and see what surfaces? Take a walk and narrow down the topics to just two or three?

So I started typing. And here is my draft.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Saturday I spent five hours in Zoom PD. Willingly. By choice. In years past I’ve wished for Saturday Reunions to have remote access to save time, $ and resources required to travel. Saturday I was grateful for the learning! There was a theme across the sessions whether it was Lucy, Amanda, Brooke, Rachael, Janet, Phillip, Gene or any of the other sessions I attended.

Response – ability

That was the theme! Not to be confused with “responsibility”. In education, responsibility typically deals with accountability and fidelity. Responsibility makes me think of more of a teaming, “We are in this together approach as we work on common goals in similar ways.”

Response – ability

This word conjures up possibilities. Possibilities in the way I respond to students. In the way I respond to parents, teachers, community, and administrators. It also conjures up choices. I’m thinking that this is “freeing” as I can be “responsive” both to and for students.

Responsive to students is a common discussion thread in our #CuriosityCrew group from #G2Great. Our roles deal with students, teachers, and administrators from PK – college. We collectively believe (like many others) that our fidelity is to the students sitting in front of us, first and foremost. Our goal is learning. Students learning.

So what does it take for students to be learning?

Instruction needs to meet student needs. It’s not “everyone on page 40”. Instruction is explicit. Instruction is differentiated. Instruction is designed to move at a pace that ensures students learn and also close gaps where necessary. This is instruction that is “response-ability” for teachers. Teachers are expected to as well as able to “respond” to students. If 75% of the class doesn’t understand concept x, we can reteach and check for understanding again. We make sure that learning and not “coverage of content” is the focus.

Response – ability

New concept

Old belief

Values students.

Values learning.

Embedded in a sense of urgency

But not limited to a pacing guide.


To students.

Response – ability.

Additional Resources:

“Recall that response-ability, in its most succinct iteration, is “an ability to respond, to respond to the world beyond oneself, as well as a willingness to recognize its existence” (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 39).”

link –,39)

Poetry: “Response-ability”

What does response-ability mean to you? How does it fit into your life?


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

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#SOLSC23: 182

I had begun composing in my head.

“Unexpected” might be the title.

Meandering thoughts. A bit of March Madness. More bracket busting. A quirky Saturday that began online.

No, 182 fits best.

My OS updated today and the Chromebook has not been the same.

Today, I received 182 emails from Two Writing Teachers. Every comment that added a blog post for the #SOLSC resulted in an email in my inbox. I’ve checked my settings. Nothing’s new. In over 10 years of slicing, this is a new “unexpected” happening. An email for every slicer posting their slice. It was a bit exasperating as that’s not a typical number of emails for me – especially not on a Saturday.

I can’t blame it on Friday the 13th.

I can’t blame it on anyone else as I’m the sole user of the Chromebook.

I can’t blame it on a housepet as there’s not one of those in residence.

So I’m choosing to blame my influx of emails on the OS update.

What’s your “go to” blaming situation for technical glitches? How do you resolve them?

Possible solutions?


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

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#SOLSC23: Respectful

It was a typical Friday afternoon at almost 5 pm CT and we were closing out a Slicer Zoom when one of the hosts checked in with, ” Is it ok if I send out your emails to each of you to keep in contact?” After a round of thumbs up, she added, ” And is it ok if I take a screenshot of you all?”

What a model of respect.

What a model of graciousness.

What a model of a thoughtful human being.

The people in the Slicing Community are the best. i knew the two hosts: one in person with multiple encounters IRL and online during personal and professional lifetimes and the second on line. A third person has commented on many of my posts this year and the others were new to me. But no longer.

And before that, I was following my Iowa Hawkeye Women’s BB team in their opening NCAA game. It was going well. I was both relaxed as well as confident that the team was taking care of business on the court.

And before that, I was packing up from two days of quilting retreat. A bit low-key. No overnight stay. Just time in fellowship with other quilters and tie to dedicate to sewing. Putting everything back in its place. Oh, yeah, except for that presser foot that I stuffed into the magnetic pin holder. I’m sure that I’ll have a temporary lapse in memory (Sometimers not ALLtimers forgetful).

And before that, I was sewing. Matching corners right side to right side as I worked on the paperpiecing that will become my grandson’s birthday present (if all goes well).

And before that, I was eating lunch. All was right with the world. I had a short date with Jack the Ripper (seam ripper ) this morning before I made forward progress. I did NOT have a big flashy pile of sewn pieces but I was steadily marking them off my list. It was a mental break that I desperately needed.

And before that. I was admiring the work of the other quilters. So many pieces being joined together. So many terms that I had never heard before I began quilting during the pandemic.

Just a quick glimpse into my day in this “And before that” format/ story structure, also seen here and here.

And in Sally Donnelly’s blogging here last year as well.

How does the “reverse chronology” impact your understanding of the story as a reader and as a writer? What “story” might you tell with this format?

To spark your thinking, a link for a “Before” poem here and “the name before the name before mine” .


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

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The oil is hot,

The chicken is sliced,

And like a needle scratching across a vinyl record,

I stop.


I shake my head and mutter

“Shrimp today and chicken Saturday.”

Friday’s plan was shrimp fried rice

and crab rangoon.

Saturday’s was chicken … something.

So I cooked the chicken,

bagged it,

and refrigerated it.

I began again.



cole slaw mix,

soy sauce,


and my fried rice seasoning.

Just another seafood Friday in Lent!

In November of 2020 I began a blog post with this quote from Collen Cruz.


So much wisdom in Colleen’s book.



Rise. (Book link)

Mistakes can be fixed and there may be multiple solutions!

During a #G2Great chat in 2021, Collen defined “mistake” in a tweet.

That blog post titled “Good Enough” can be found here.

That definitely reminds me of my sloppy mistake during lunch prep today. I was following the package directions even though I had planned ahead, thawed out the shrimp and yet I also sliced up the chicken and had it ready to stir fry. Silly, fixable mistake.

I’ve written about them in other posts and I also often talk about mistakes or “missed takes” with students and teachers. I’m very human! It’s so nice to get that first mistake of the day in early so I don’t have to worry or fret about WHEN it will occur!

You might like to explore these 15 poems about mistakes. (link)

How do you respond when you make a mistake? When others make a mistake? Do you give yourself and others “grace”?


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

#SOLSC23: Meaning

“Sign, sign
Everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?” – Five Man Electric Band

It was one of those days. Disaster to the left. Disaster to the right. Disaster in front of me. Disaster behind. A choice of 360 degrees of disasters. But I digress.

Signs come in many formats. Literally roadside signs. Road marking signs. And today was filled with signs.

What does this mean for a driver?

What should a driver do?

What should a driver NOT do?

Driver’s Ed 101 taught this but I already knew it from my bicycling days.

Important meaning for anyone “out on the road”.

So why was it an issue today? Well, it was a day when twice the same vehicle passed me in a double yellow line situation.

To be crystal clear. . .

absolutely no passing

The first time I was proceeding down the road with my cruise on 59 in a 55 mph zone. I noticed the vehicle due to some unusual markings. I had planned to stop at the next Casey’s but I refrained as I perhaps would have too much fun determining the fool-hardy driver. And then within city limits, the exact same vehicle passed me again in a double solid yellow line area. Twice? I was tempted to record the license number and submit them anonymously to some vehicle enforcement group.


But I refrained.

My curiosity was high. This was a fairly local vehicle according to the county license plates so the vehicle was local. Maybe the driver was not. Maybe they were from New York or Florida.

But a quick search on the internet found that pavement markings are consistent across the US so any licensed driver would be aware of the meaning of two solid yellow lines.

I’ve been playing with words, definitions, visuals, quotes, and poems this month during the March Slice of Life. There are many shades of meaning . . .







Round Robin


So what if?

The yellow double line means, “Hurry up and pass before you get to the end of the double lines.”

The yellow double line means, “Go fast, before you get caught passing in a double yellow line zone.”

The yellow double line means, “Try not to pass a vehicle where you will cross double yellow lines.”

Those possibilities seem a bit silly but so did the vehicle that crossed double yellow lines TWICE in passing me within 20 miles.

So WHAT meaning matters in life? The most obvious? The loudest? The one where you get caught and try to construct a narrative?


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

#SOLSC: Perspective

The meteorologist says, “50% chance of rain today.” I grab my umbrella before I head out the door as I wonder if I will REALLY need the umbrella. Does 50% mean at noon, midafternoon or evening? Or is that percentage just an average for the day? They are NOT showing hourly forecasts so it’s NOT the latter. But is it some combination? I just want to know … What’s the likelihood that I will be standing in the rain today?

Life happens. How we respond to life is shaped by our perspective.

When there is a glass sitting on the table … is it mostly full? Or mostly empty?

Are full or empty or some degree therein our major choices?

I captured this on Facebook a while back but did not see an author claiming ownership.

Which glass/ label fits you best?

Quotes about Perspective:

  • “What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.” ― Martha Graham. …
  • “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” ― Stephen R. …
  • “You will always define events in a manner which will validate your agreement with reality.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free.

And here’s a favorite!

In stories, perspective can play a variety of roles.

This poem can be read from top to bottom . . .

OR from bottom to top.

Best poems about Perspective from Poetry Soup here.

As you go forth today, what perspective will you embrace? How will we know?


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

#SOLSC23: Round Robin

(Day 7 of the March Daily blogging)

When you hear “Round Robin” what do you think?

Is “round robin” one of these, all of these, none of these or something else entirely different? Feeling in an inquiry mode, I decided to test out several “round robin” ideas and let you help me make a decision!

How easy is it to make a determination from the choices above?

Round Robin Basketball Tournament?

“A round-robin tournament (or all-go-away-tournament) is a competition in which each contestant meets every other participant, usually in turn. A round-robin contrasts with an elimination tournament, in which participants/teams are eliminated after a certain number of losses.”

Left? Middle? Right?

Does the answer depend on your role? How would a basketball player answer? A parent? A coach? A younger sibling of the player?

Round Robin Reading

“Round robin reading is when teachers have individual students read aloud from a text given to each member of the class. Each student reads a small portion of the text aloud to the class and then a new reader is chosen.”

Left? Middle? Right?

Does the answer depend on your role? How would a confident reader answer? A striving reader? A parent?

Round Robin Poetry


Left? Middle? Right?

Does the answer depend on your role?

Round Robin Quilting

Four people will take turns adding a row around this square. I won’t see it again until four more borders are added.

Left? Middle? Right?

Does the answer depend on your role?

Was your initial thinking about “round robin” the same as your current thinking? Has your thinking changed? If yes, How and Why? If no, why not?


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

#SOLSC23: Rules

” For the upcoming overnight travel, please have your suitcase at school by 8 pm for inspection. Please make sure it is marked with your name. We will be checking for contraband.”

Message to parents at the bottom of parent permission documentation for the travel.


Violation of students’ rights?

Violation of parents’ beliefs/rights?

Current rules? Past rules? What’s your “inference” at this time?

School trip overnight. Who’s responsible?




Participating school staff?

The school board who must approve the travel per school policy?

I remember taking my suitcase in early.

We organized them in alphabetical order to match student lists.

Who actually searched them?

We weren’t told.

By definition according to Merriam Webster.

Which definitions(s) seem to fit what you know so far?

Additional Resources

Quotes about Rules

  • You are remembered for the rules you break. …
  • The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. …
  • Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. …
  • Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. search

A Poem about Rules

Source link

When is it best to follow the rules? When is it okay to break the rules? What helps you make that decision?

The beginning description was from the 1970’s. Was your guess accurate about the time frame?


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

#SOLSC23: Frustration




That message was consistently displayed at the top of WordPress.

I left the page.

Still displayed.


Typical message is either:

Save draft


What is this “Autosaving”?



I copy the text.

I paste the text into a new post and quickly hit “save draft”. I sigh as I read the “Saved” message.


Do I dare edit or revise? A hundred and one “What Ifs?” race through my brain. Basking in my success, I choose to hit publish.


When is it enough to “complete” a task rather than worrying about the quality of the work? How many battles must be fought over simple tasks when technology appears to be a major foe?


  • You’ve done it before and you can do it now. …
  • Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. …
  • Success is not built on success. …
  • When you create Hope in people, you create expectations. …
  • Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.


Source Link


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

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