Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Teaching an Important Book

My juniors are taking a test on TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD right now. I love teaching that book. It is not perfect - does have some objectionable elements - but these young people have no idea how people of other races were treated so terribly back in the early part of the 20th century. Those people had no rights whatsoever. The book is a tremendous way to show rather than tell what happened. A story often works better than a straightforward lecture.

I remember moving to Alabama at the end of the segregation era, seeing the laundromat across the street from our house with the sign WHITE ONLY in the window, and asking Mother where people were supposed to wash their colored clothes. I remember driving past the blacks-only school and knowing instinctively that it was second-class to our school and that that was not right. I remember touring an old medical office from the '50s here in town, and noticing there was an extra room off of the office - "What is that?" "Oh, that was the black peoples' waiting room."

No matter what tensions exist today because of people insisting on affirmative action and race-based policies - which I disagree with very much - the treatment of blacks in those days was wrong and cannot be condoned.

The teenagers are both fascinated and appalled by what they read. They had no idea that things were like that. I think it is important that they find out.

Monday, April 26, 2010

How's That Again?

Overheard this weekend on a news program: "Arizona's New Law Makes Illegals Illegal."

Imagine that!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Severe Weather

Very serious weather conditions in the southeast today. I've been following the Weather Channel very closely. Even though the current activity is still three states away, it's headed this way - and will pass through my folks' state soon.

The horrible tornadoes of 1974 profoundly affected me, and I guess will always make the "personal radar" go up when there is severe weather on the horizon.

I am very thankful for the wonderful forecasting methods available today that were not available back then.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some Old Pics

I am looking through old pictures this morning during study hall, looking for pictures of seniors throughout the years for a collage for the junior senior banquet. I came across these golden oldies and decided to post them. These are really some golden oldies.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Misc.

- Took the Wards, missionaries to Togo, out to eat tonight, along with Pastor Bartlett and family, and Pastor Davis. Mrs. Ward was a mentor to me in college, teaching me how to teach writing, and we had a nice time with them.

- I have been reading two books by Jan Silvious, FOOLPROOFING YOUR LIFE and BIG GIRLS DON'T WHINE, looking for ideas for teaching girls' Bible next year. These books may not be useful for that, but they are great books.

- Tonight Andrew was at a church in Virginia, and after looking at the schedule at the name of the pastor, I told him to make sure he met the pastor's wife. She was the lady who taught for me at the junior high when I took maternity leave to have him. He then sent me a text picture of him and her. Kind of a neat connection for him to make.

- Start another week tomorrow. Either pollen, or the end of the year approaching, or a combination of both, makes for fatigue!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What To Do with a Day of Rest

Day of rest for ML and all other students on Wednesday, because the campus was mobbed with high schoolers there for the national AACS competition. So she came home Tuesday night, and you can see what she did with her dad on Wednesday morning. I don't know who was happier - ML for getting her first turkey, or her dad for getting to watch her get it.

Behind her dorm when her dad brought her back to school.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Worth It?

Today will be another long day, what with having to drive 15 young people to Greenville to participate in the national competition for our Association of Christian Schools. These are the students from our school who placed first in the state in their various categories. One girl placed first in printmaking, three students got first in academic testing (English, chemistry, spelling, and home economics - we also had the first in Spanish, but that's not in the national competition), a young man is first in extemporaneous speaking, and eight students are in the choric speaking group. They perform at 8:00 today - and somehow I've got to get them there, situated, the bus parked across a busy street, and back to see them perform. Will be interesting.

I was beginning to wonder if all this is worth the trouble - because it IS a great deal of trouble. Then I thought of one young girl - quiet, in the background, unassuming personality throughout high school. Last year she took speech and loved the choric speaking piece we did. This past fall she tried out for the play, and it worked out that I was able to give her a nice part - not a lead, but a part with about 20 lines, so it was worthwhile and she was on stage in every act. Then she volunteered to be in a small speech group for the Christmas program, and now volunteered for this year's group of juniors who are doing this competition strictly as an extracurricular activity. (They placed above the group of sophomore speech students who also did a choric speaking piece.)

And, as this girl participates in more and more speech activities, I am seeing more and more poise develop in her. Part of it is general maturity, but part of it is learning to get up in front of a group and perform. She's really gaining confidence. Thinking about her, and others like her, makes all the work, time, and involvement worthwhile.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good Guys Don't Always Finish Last

It's two days after the Masters, so many articles have been in the news and now also in many of the opinion columns today; most people know all about the ending - but I'm still blessed by the story. Who wins the tournament? Not the moody, swearing, promiscuous playboy, but the family man who supported his wife and mother during their cancer battles for the past year. What a beautiful picture was portrayed in the contrast between the two men. Mickelson won, and Woods lost, in more ways than one. But the most important win and loss were due to choice, not chance.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What a Time

I can't get over how this boy and his compatriots are suffering this semester.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break Buying and Selling

Well, I am having quite a time this spring break. While in the book room the other day at school, getting out achievement test booklets, I saw several new workbooks from a curriculum that we no longer use. Knowing that some of those sell like hotcakes on eBay, I asked the administrator if he'd be interested in my selling them under the same deal the previous administrator and I had - 50/50 split. (He's provided the merchandise, I've provided the time.) He was agreeable. So I've been listing on eBay and have the "itch."

That's because Mike bought me a book of Hummel pictures and a price sheet from the '60s. Which caused me to look at them on eBay again, and, probably because of the recession, if one looks closely enough can find some nice deals on Hummels. (Two years ago anything under $50 was rare.) So I want to make some "fun money" to spend!

Then. . .Had some china to get rid of and decided to try Call me a believer now. Last night I met a lady in a public parking lot - she had cash in hand, and china and cash traded places. Much easier than trying to sell it on eBay or getting nothing for it at a yard sale.

AND. . .today I found an antique desk at a furniture store that is going out of business. It's in sad need of refinishing, but is solid and beautiful. No particle board anywhere. So Mike is meeting me there when he gets off work to look at it. The price is below right. I've needed a desk for some time - somewhere to pay the bills, put my stuff - and this would be a really nice piece of furniture, IF he agrees.

EDIT: No desk. He says it's too small and needs too much work!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Signs of Spring Updated

Pot from my sister + plant from my neighbor

= this spring bouquet!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Human Body - ML's Art Classes

So bear with a prejudiced mother - but I am PROUD of what my daughter is learning!!!!!

Signs of Spring

Pot - gift from my sister.

Volunteer pansies!

One happy dog. She's caused the liriope to change their growth pattern, around the hole she has hollowed out in the center. :-)

Plants from last year. They were supposed to be annuals, but they appear to be coming back.

A lovely gift of flowers from the neighbor down the street who went with me to a ladies' conference at church last week.
Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Birds

Saw two brown thrashers this morning -the first of the season - 4/3/10.
A Carolina wren has been eating birdseed along with the regulars.
And. . .crossing the lake the other day I saw two loons. Mike's been telling me that they've been there for a long time, but I could never spot them as loons. It's hard to get a good look because of crossing the lake on a two-lane bridge - can't really study birds under those conditions! But this time I did, and saw the white chin/neck and long beak.