Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday checking in

Okay, so I didn't do very well this week either. Next year I will be closing down for most of the summer, but still it's been fun touching base with my Florida traveler, Josh. Anyone else doing any good traveling? I went to Taughannock last night to see the Sim Redmond Band. They were terrific. I must admit, though, I didn't get to just sit and listen to them. Benny, the puppy, needed to wrangle with his leash more than I would have liked. He's a lot of fun, though. Not a barker and not a runner, but he hasn't quite gotten the hang of the doggy door for doing his business!!
So, another week and it's already August!! I will try to get on to put some more quotes and poems on.
Oh, Mrs. Filzen got me our textbook--it looks great--thanks again to all of you who put it together. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo impressed with it. Stop in and see it when we get back to school--of course, you'll want no part of the middle school but you could stop in and see it. It really is going to be great to have everything in one place.
Enough. Play, read, and write to me; I'll get on sooner or later. Enjoy! I think it's going to be sunny and warm this week!

How about some posters you did at the end of the year for review? I've got them to put on too. I think I will right now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Finally back--sorry!

Yes, I have been slipping. I haven't been on in over a week. Good to hear from Josh and Kaitlyn. I'm assuming it was you, Josh, who is still busting on my wonderful Volvo. Have fun in Florida? I hope you've had more sun and heat than we have!
We got a puppy and that has been keeping me busy and then it was vacationing (here, not at the beach- someone wasn't too thrilled to think of seeing me at the beach. I rejected that comment since I didn't know who it was) with friends who are visiting. So, I hope to be back on better, maybe not every day, since trips out to the yard take up time. I'm sure hoping Benny, the new puppy, learns to do his business outside soon!!

And, to all who commented, thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must admit, it's difficult to keep posting every day and not hear from anyone. I figure people are off having fun and not checking it, so I didn't worry too much about it. With comments that'll keep me going.

The pictures are of Benny, at the SPCA before we got him and then at home, both by himself and with Tommy the cat and Twitch, the gerbil. Benny is part terrier so he is interested in catching Twitch, since that's what terriers were bred for! I'm trying to get Benny to look and not touch. Then when I'm at school they can all hang out together. Twitch doesn't seem to mind that Tommy and Benny both look with desire on him.

Today's poems come to us from Jordon, Molly and Martin. I like how they all are different; two are on favorite sports and one is on writing a poem. Not having seen poems for a week, it makes me want to get back so we can start working on them again!

We won't be doing poetry till December though, so here are some thoughts from the end of the year essays. Those we do start right off with! The first one I pick up today is Katie's and she writes of peer pressure and words. "There are so many kids in school who still don't know what their words mean to others." That is so true. All of us speak without thinking, but in the halls, I think it can be worse. So many can hear and BE HURT by what is said in passing. I'm with Katie; we must think and use our words sparingly and correctly.

Crissy ended her essay by saying "I have set goals for myself to become what I want." Good. You all have so much time to truly decide what you want in life, but moving into high school is a good time to begin setting goals and working toward them.

Tyler had thoughts much like Katie's: "think before I do." It's so easy when we're young (and sometimes when we're old!!) to do before we think and then all we can say is, 'I didn't mean to.' Well, in the real world, that doesn't cut it. Making mistakes as a teenager is a part of life, but at some point we're all held accountable; we want to learn the major lessons before that happens. Thinking before doing is an important lesson for us all.

"when my obituary is written I want them to put in it that I was smart and everyone thought positively about me." That's from Brandon. Well, I know he's smart; I could always count on him to get the total picture, looking beyond just the facts to what the facts were telling us. As for everyone thinking positively, it's good to know that people appreciate us and we all want that. There also comes a time, thinking back to Katie's comment, that doing what you know is right and not giving in to peer pressure (another way of saying people thinking positively of you) is more important than people liking you. Part of life is striking that balance.

For today's final essay comment, Tyler wrote about his schoolwork; "I am proud of my schoolwork that I have done this year." So many of you could have written that! Tyler turned out to be a surprise poet who I enjoyed working with, but he was also a person who made mistakes and then grew from them. He wrote about that. I appreciate that he could see his year in such honesty. He was a fine student who grew.

Well, what a treat for me to reread these essays today. Maybe my week long break was good for me; it gave me a new appreciation for all that you did this past year!

I will try to get back to getting on daily. Hey, and keep commenting--it motivates me. Please do sign your first name, though, so I know who I'm talking to. I rejected two comments because I just wasn't sure where they were coming from.

As for reading, anyone reading any good books? I finished one called Resistance that was very good. It was set in WWII in Belgium about people working to get Jews out of the way of the Germans. It was not a sugar coating of how the Germans treated people. It won't be for everyone, but some of my best readers will like it for its honesty.
Right now I am reading The Dragon Keeper about a girl who takes care of and can talk to dragons. My fantasy people will like it. I'm enjoying it.
Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday and worked, finally!

Well, I finally got outside today and did some transplanting, pruning and window cleaning. I think my new coffee machine is kicking in!
And, I had a comment! Thanks for coming on Crystal. I love the heat...but it helps that we live on the lake. I'll bet it was just about unbearable in downtown Ithaca, so I guess you could be happy you weren't there! I've thought about various people when out treasure hunting. There were two beautiful riding hats and I thought of you, Crystal. Today I bought a couple more books set during WWII and am hoping to read them soon.
So, on to today's poems. I really like how Siera used ing words. That put us there. Martin does a great job of painting fishing. ( I won't tell you about the giagantic carp that someone harpooned and left for dead on our beach, no, I won't tell you about it!!!!!!!!) To end, there's Kraig's poem about basketball. I like the listing lines.

Today's quotes come to us from Vanesa, Jennifer, Josh, Emily and Mike. I'm so enjoying reading these essays over again. Not because they're perfect; some are pretty close and some have so many errors in them, but again, it's for the content. It is amazing how well you've got a handle on a lot of tough concepts!

Vanesa started with this line: "I guess you can say the world is stubborn." She then went on to tie that to global warming and minimum wage. What can I say but wow!! What a wonderful way to start her essay. She then went on to say about when they write her obit, "Hopefully, they'll see me for more than the mistakes I made...but for all the good things, the small things that might not seem much but were." Finally, about now Vanesa said, "I've been standing taller, speaking louder, so people know what I stand for, even for small matters." What a great essay to review tonight!

Next is Jennifer's. I like how she wrote of what she's done but that she wants to do more. I like that attitude. "To start off I am proud of myself for where I am today but there is more for me to do." Jen talked of her accomplishment, the teams she's played on, being inducted into National Junior Honor Society, the clubs she's in and being on high honor roll. What a great career in middle school to take her into high school.

Josh says, "I will make the world around me better." He would help out at animal shelters and donate money and ...speak out if he doesn't like something that is hurting the community. Those all great ways to make a difference.

I love how Emily ended her essay! "I will work my hardest not to hurt anyone and be happy with a career." I think those are two worthy goals for all of us!

Finally today there's Mike. His quote? "I like what Mr. DeVoe said." Mike then goes on to talk about name calling and what it can do to a person. He even talked about my little bit I gave you. Mike agreed that speaking out is important and not just being right. How can opinions get thought about and discussed if people won't speak out. Mike clearly read and understood the essay and my blog entry. Wonderful! He's a person who can learn from others and that's important.

Enough for today. Dishes still have to done and dinner to cook. (you can see we're late eaters in the summer!)
I hope to be on tomorrow. Have a fun and active day with reading thrown in to soothe and entice the mind.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday and hot- but I like it!

Sorry I wasn't on yesterday. Had to go get my husband's car fixed, and by the time we got home, it was the afternoon. (Note Josh, it wasn't MY car....although mine is in the shop getting the deer dent out of it.)

Today's poems are from Nicole, Megan and Kyle. I really like the use of the word rambunctious, the repetition, and stanzas. There's some good poetry to build on here!

Today's quotes come from Jake, Hannah, Caitlin, Ryan, and Deanna. Jake says about his life, "To become proud of myself, I will do better for the earth, like I will recycle paper instead of throwing it away and I will pick up trash that people throw away on the ground." I like that; we need to recycle, but we need to still deal with people's trash who haven't gotten there yet.

Hannah says, "I want to have time for my friends, be there for them when they need me so they can consider me a true friend." Being there for our friends sounds easy but it isn't always. Sometimes being there goes against what we want to do at the time, or it's telling the truth nicely when that's hard to do, and lots of times it's listening instead of giving advice. Listening and keeping quiet are two very important parts of being a true friend.

Caitlin talks about the war: "I do agree that we should not be sending our young men and women out to war." I don't think anyone has to think one way or the other, but I do think 8th graders are not too young to think about what's happening in the world. Good for you, Caitlin.

Ryan "plants trees all the time" because "trees are very important." He is right on the mark! Having healthy trees helps to keep us healthy. Planting trees is a wonderful way to do for the world.

Deanna understands it's the helping and not the awards that matter. "For me to feel proud, I don't need to receive any awards. Even though they look nice, it's not about that. As long as what I'm doing is helping people and the environment around me, I know I'm doing something good." What a terrifically mature statement. One of the highest levels of maturity is doing because it should be done and for no other reason. Many adults don't reach that plateau and here's a fellow classmate knowing it. Wow- a girl with a great smile and brain; I love it!

That's it for today. We've changed Twitchy's cage and now I have a rock wall to finish before going to the beach to relax.

Oh, I finished a great book, Deliver Us From Normal. It's about a working class family and the oldest boy, who worries a lot. The family decides to do something unusual. Read the book and let me know what you thought about it. I really liked it...and it has a sequel!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Shyanne's poetry and some quotes.

These are all from Shyanne. She did a great job! I like them all. I look forward to working with her on poetry... and essays too!

Today's first quote comes from Kenny's essay: "So, just let your kids be kids!!!" I like that because I think in this world of testing, pushing and gogogo, we forget that kids are kids. As Kenny said in another spot, you're only a kid once. Let them climb trees, eat ice cream and play. Now, as an English teacher and person who loves to read, I'd like to see reading happening too--and I think it does for a lot of kids. But, play is truly important. Scientists are finally understanding how importtant unstructured down time and play is. So, as Kenny said, let yourself be a kid--no matter how old you are!

Sam talks of the higher ground: "Your moral is spoken through your actions, like if you were greedy and selfish, or if you were a loving, caring erson. To have good moral through your actions is to care for the earth, not just the earth, but also the animals that inhabit it." I like his ideas. I think many young people are really coming to those ideas. If we could take care of the ozone problem, I think we can also put our heads together and come up with saving ourselves from global warming, but it does take caring, just as Sam said.

Nick went specific with "I am always going to be against pollution, racism, and animal violence." Good. Pollution and fighting it actually comes from my generation, sort of, when Earth Day started in the 70's (I remember our first one-call me old!! Oh, that's right, you do!), but racism is something that is still being worked on. Civil Rights came about in the 60's but it is such an ingrained aspect of our society that it is taking generations to rid ourselves of it. I do believe it's happening but there is still so much more to do. Finally, animal violence. Our dog growing up was an outside dog. Today, I can't imagine that. Casey and all our dogs were such a part of our lives; I know we are educating ourselves on doing our best for animals and I love that. It will be your generation that works to save the rain forest and the dog down the road with no love. I have faith that you can make a difference.

Enough for today. My hands aren't hitting the right keys. When I work outside a lot, my hands go spas on me. Today's goal is to buy some dirt to fill up the rock garden I made yesterday, to be in the sun and to hear good music. What are your goals? Hey, I'm using my ab lounger too, Kevin-- maybe by school my abs will be rock hard.....maybe.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

No party; off to Corning

So, noone got hurt on the fireworks, Josh? That's good; that's always my goal (even if it's not yours!). Our party was cancelled that we go to, so now we have it to look forward to on Saturday. Since it was off, we went to Corning to the glass museum.
Josh, I looked to take a pic of something to do with NASCAR, but they didn't have anything, so I took a pic of glass bullets that were to be used during WWII because of the shortage of metal. I also took a pic of my favorite glass bowl, called Cityscape.
Then, there's a pic of my memory of the entrance to the museum when I was little, the giagantic lens (it looks like a honey comb); the 'Dude on Plane' as my daughter called him, and then was disgusted when I believed her; and a glass flower, which was an amazing exhibit of glass models and drawings of flowers done for Harvard by these two guys during the 1800's (pictured).
I also took a couple pics of stained glass windows for my sister, the gardener. Finally, there's a guy in cafe sculpture that I took because, as you all know, I love coffee.
It was a fun way to spend a rainy day. We hope to go back because they now have this 'make your own glasswork', which we want to do and also do for Christmas presents.
So, that was my 4th. What did you all do? Josh, run your 4 wheelers in the rain? Anyone else reading this?
More quotes and poems tomorrow. Enjoy the sun while it's here!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Oops! Forgot to upload essays.

Okay. Here they are, the passages from the essays I just talked about below. What a nut I am! Hey, enjoy the 4th!

Cool cat Tommy and Twitchy

This morning Tommy, Rori's cat, was trying to get to Twitchy, her newest addition, a gerbil. You can just see him in the orange ball. He's a lot of fun, but messy!!!!!!!!!

Some new poems from Ashley, Jessy and Kyle. I like them. They're either Senru or Haiku.
Finally, I have some parts of Ashley's, Allison's and Tanner's essays. I like Tanner's because he shows how much is going on in your minds. What a neat idea: to make limbs for people who need them, using the nerves that are there. I like the thinking!! And, I say the same about Allison's thought, to hear both sides and think it out. Ashley says the same about religion. It's so great to see the thinking that goes on. Wonderful! I really wish I'd given you all two periods to do this. The errors hurt, but with just one to read, think, and write, there's no way I can expect you to write perfectly. Remember that, though, in the future. When you're doing great thinking, know that it comes quickly and you'll need tiime to really work it.
Off to the dentist. I hope someone is enjoying this weather; it's too cold for me!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday and more poems and essays

Heard from my car guy--I won't be getting a chevy or a dodge; I love my volvo! He's working hard it sounds like--reading too? Markie, hi back to you from the 'old biddy'. Heard you're reading. Try Farenheit 451 too. Let me know if you liked it.
I have not heard from any more parents. I guess you convinced them that your attitude was fine? I hope so!

Poems today come from Shania, Jenna and Nicole on friends, an egg and a horse. I love the variety and the ideas. Nicole used a simile and repetition. I can tell she loves horses. Jenna makes us think about something as little as an egg and yet it holds life itself. Neat! And friends. What would we do without them. I think Shania's last lines sums it all up (just as the last line should!): someone who cares.

For the essay quotes I decided to scan parts. Rhys talks about religion in much the same way I was raised. It's a private thing that helps him (and me) to be the best person we can be. Kevin starts small but goes on to taking on corporate greed. I like that. Nichole has both her essay and a poem she wrote that fit with it. I, too, try to review my day, being proud of what I did wrong...and as a mother and teacher, reviewing how I might have had more patience!! Amber talks about small works and how even small acts can make a difference. I like how she doesn't even care if people remember that she said or did it; just, people should know about it. Sara wrties about speaking out and knowing that it can be good but it can be bad too when it hurts someone. We have to think through the consequences.

That's it for today. Saturday I cleaned the hillside of brush and Friday I stained the beach furniture. Between those two acts, my right hand barely works. Rori got a new pet: Twitchy, a gerbil. He's a lot of fun, but messy!! We get up in the morning and wow! The area around his cage looks worse than Charles's or Joe's notebook!! Today's I'm off to my treasure hunting, the Salvo. Hey, I heard the one in Cortland is great. I'll have to check it out! Fireworks tonight and hopefully warmer weather. I hope to ride my bike for coffee this afternoon also. I'd love to hear from some of you. Sam, did you finish (or start) the book Red Sky at Morning? I'd like to hear what you think of it. Jen, I've started your book on Menegle's twins, not a light summer reading book but interesting so far.
Have a cool but good day! Hope for heat!