Friday, February 27, 2009

lunchtime smile

Just finished grading some writer's notebooks and I'm not an expert at making inferences, so I'll let you make your own. I simply adore my students and the way they make me smile. It's happy.

Pink is an appropriate princess color, so here's the entry--I have made no changes to its original form--that made me smile:

Once upon a time there was a beautifull princess. She was an english teacher princess. Of Englishea. She was noble and honest, and her amazing language abilities gave her the power to rule and govern the wicked land with peace and harmony. The end.

a lil sicky but happy for friday!

I am thankful to have slept soundly last night. I didn't have the same luxury the two previous nights due to a somewhat stuffy head. But I'm feeling alright this morning and hope my voice won't falter too much whilst teaching today.

And for redundancy's sake: it's Friday and for that I'm happy!

I splurged some monies last night and ordered these boots from During the colder months I've been wearing my old mission shoes. My mom hounded me after I got home to throw them away (and that's been over two years ago), and now I'm finally feeling I've given them a good wear. The inside soles (do those even exist? you know what I mean...inside...right, it's early and I'm not too into punctuation and explaining myself clearly this morning) are finally breaking down. I hope these new ones are comfy.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

loving this lyric

for some reason...

"You said that I'm the best swimmer you've seen
Give me a ring

from "Swimmer" by Kathryn Williams

no, not Catherine with a C, but that's completely another matter.

I love the ambiguity of "give me a ring." Who's saying give me a ring? The speaker or the lifeguard? And what sort of a ring is this? Is it a ring on the telephone, or a life-saving device, or even a ring of the band on the finger variety? I'm just exploring here. The next lines read (sing):

"You sat there up on your high chair
Give me a ring

Cause I can't swim to the edge

So it's probably a fat-tubed ring that floats, but the first couple times I heard this song, I thought it was a ring of the phone sort. But I'll continue to think of all the meanings when I listen to those lyrics.

Anyway, happy halfway through the week. It's Wednesday. And Nikki, don't think I'm overly dedicated. I couldn't make it out of bed this morning for a swim. My alarm sounded and I slumbered for another delicious half hour. It's not easy. Intentions are there, but they don't always become reality. Do what you can and be happy. (Not that I'm one to dole out advice...that's just what I feel.)

Yesterday I did make it on a gorgeous bike ride. I say gorgeous because the temperature peaked a little above sixty and that meant shorts for me. I love the freedom of shorts because I've been wearing tights on all bike rides since November!

Ok, I'm done, time to finish planning for today. Juniors. Personal essays. Using NPR's This I Believe series. Love it. Today we're listening to these essays by Tarak McLain and Tony Hawk. I'm excited to see what my students create with their writing.


Monday, February 23, 2009

run with Ma

4:30 alarm
wake up/pray (they seem to occur at the same time...I struggle to wake up as thoughts begin to form)
call time and temp
49 degrees! that means shorts and T
bathroom and brush teeth
see if Mom's coming
make sandwich for lunch
also pack into bag: banana, two apples, yogurt
then to the outside
not cold
not hot
just right
running with Ma
before the sun comes up
energy for the day

Thursday, February 19, 2009

sarah, plain and tall

I don't know if I quite like this new look, but the previously black background was making me think dark thoughts. Well, not really....I think I just need something a little new and I love the sound of the following colors spoken out loud in a row:






--the colors of the sea.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

leprechaun report

No, it's not St. Patrick's Day. I'm talking leprechauns because we ventured into a canyon in the Leprechaun area. This lovely canyon is found about 28 miles away from Hanksville (Utah). Here's the group before even getting to the mouth of the canyon.

Somewhere in the depths with Angie and Lauren.

The whole group.

My tongue and Nate's leg.

Simply put, this was a much needed day for my soul. There's something magical and powerful about red rock. My eyes behold glory as I admire the twists and turns and ripples in the rock. I soaked up the sun as the temperature rose to a rosy 62 degrees. I started the day with my fleece, thermals, and hat on, but soon warmed up to feeling comfortable to just my tee on top. Sigh, a foretaste of summer's plentiful warmth. I really am a child of summer. I'm grateful to have such good friends who have good friends. Beforehand, I only knew two of the seven people I went down with, but had a splendid day with all. I could write more, but I must away to finish preparing for Parent Teacher Conference. Yippee, I'll be here for just under four more hours! Good thing I went swimming this morning to get all my squirmy worms out (hopefully they're really all gone!); I'm not very good at sitting in one place for more than 27 minutes.

Monday, February 16, 2009


More to come about this perfect day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

two skunks for a valentine

Last night we spent a more than lovely evening at the Hunts'. I simply adore sitting round the kitchen table for hours and listening, talking, and laughing (oh, and, of course, eating!). Such pure happiness fills me up when I'm with loved ones.

So, yesterday was the day of love, eh? One of my favorite poems is "Valentine for Ernest Mann" by Naomi Shihab Nye. Contrary to what the poem's title might suggest, the poem is much more about poetry and finding poetry in the things which make up our everyday lives. Anyway, I thought I'd share:

Valentine for Ernest Mann

by Naomi Shihab Nye

You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, "Here's my address,
write me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he re-invented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been
in the eyes of skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us,
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but

not quite.

And let me know.

Friday, February 13, 2009

sometimes plays spinning tricks in which says it's waiting, waiting, waiting, and yet the page never loads. All I want to do is listen to and read along with a talk from Генеральная конференция. But, alas, I'll resort to the good old book in the hands trick. Oh, wait, I think I found a secret link--through the Russian church site. Yes! It's working. Урa! Maybe it's not so secret, but I think it was tricky on my part to find a different way to work it out.
It's Friday and a three-day weekend is right in front of me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


One more thing for the day: Svein Tuft--crazy amazing cyclist.
Read this.

"dragons can be beaten"

So, I was chatting online after school yesterday with Rachel. Here's a snippet of our 333 line chat (hopefully it's of no significance that half of 666 equals 333):

Rachel: you're always READING
i'm jealous of you
me: i read instead of watshing tb
Rachel: tb?
me: tv

Apparently my reading habits have a hard time translating directly into grand literacy skills. I was pretty sloppy on the keyboard yesterday. That aside, if possible, I actually have been treating myself to some good reads of late. Last night I started and finished within an hour and a half Coraline.

I want to see the film and my cousin and aunty told me I needed to read the book beforehand. I listened to their advice. It was a good book which filled me with the creepies and made me cheer for brave Coraline. I especially like the quote at the beginning of the book:

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

-G. K. Chesterton

Happy halfway through the week! Back to grading and planning for me. Midterm grades get downloaded today and I've late work to trudge through.

Oh, War Music came in the mail yesterday! So more happy reading for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I finished reading The Glass Castle last week. It's an amazing memoir in that it's an account of an incredibly hard childhood. Walls writes and recounts well. I can't believe some of the things she went through. I'd really like to read this book with my juniors, but I don't know if it'll pass parental muster with the language and other episodes. This is a good book if you're looking for a reason to hope.

I failed to read past the first 20 pages of Swann's Way by Proust. It was our latest book group choice. Ugh. I really tried and now that it's on my shelf, I might get around to it one day?

War Music
by Christopher Logue is the next book we're reading for book group. I'm looking forward to reading it. I ordered it last Friday and should receive it in the mail soon. I'm a fan of poetry and the excerpts I heard Wednesday night piqued my interest.

I especially like the little blurb about Logue found here:

"Christopher Logue was born in 1926. He was educated at Prior Park College, Bath, and at Portsmouth Grammar School. He served as a private in the Black Watch and spent sixteen months in an army prison. His publications include several volumes of poetry and a pornographic novel. He lives in London with his wife, the critic Rosemary Hill."

(My emphasis added.) Well, that's all for now. Time to finish grading and planning.

Monday, February 9, 2009

monday morning

Not my words, but something to incite me to face the day:

"We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it. But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass, say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless: I am living...."

-Marie Howe What the Living Do

Saturday, February 7, 2009

more of the baby

I just can't get enough of Elijah. Well, I just can't get enough of pictures of him, since I've never actually seen the lil' one in person. Soon, though! Only a bit over two months and I'll get to hold him. Here are two new pictures:

And so you don't think I'm completely obsessed with my newest cousin, here are some other happenings:

I went running with Marmee this morning and it was grand. I haven't gone running with her in over a month. It's been a long time because she injured her hip flexor and just wasn't up to running for a while. As we made our way north on Canyon Road, I heard some crunching of snow as we passed by the horse field. I looked over my right shoulder and saw a horse, also running north. It was a glorious sight: white snow, white mountains, white fog, spotted horse, brightening morning. Peace.

Hmmm, all the other happenings seem to be details of my physical exertion because the only things I can think of to write about are the bike ride I took Thursday and my run Wednesday. But it starts to get boring, doesn't it. I'd love to write more about school and goings on there, but I don't want to be too revealing. So I guess I'll stop for now. Happy weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

10 minutes to write

It's Wednesday morning and I need some sort of outlet before I give myself over completely to the school day. But what to write? Do I write of the dream which kept me up all day long? Do I write of the anticipation of running this afternoon with Lisa? It'll be a nice long one: 11 miles. I'm feeling up for it right now and hope my legs will be able to push through. Do I write of the way sometimes (it seems more often than not, but less this year than last) I feel like a sham in front of my students? I have confidence, but what makes me the teacher of them? Kto znaet. Do I write of the way writing sometimes comes oh so easily? Other times, like right now, I'm feeling all the jerks, stops, and rushes as I try to get some words out. Do I write of the way I heard my cousin crying on the phone? He just wanted to burrow his little head into the crook of his mom's elbow. I said, "I'll let you go," to Sierra, and then she called back five minutes later after he'd settled into his last little nap before his day's last feeding before going to bed for the night. I wanted to hold him, rock him. Let Sierra's arms rest. I hope a phone call lessens the distance of being so far away from family. I wish it wasn't so far, but vain are my wishes. And now I have two minutes left and I'm beginning to wonder if I ought to even post this. "You already know. Yes, you already know how this will end." -Devotchka. I'm not always listening to this song; I promise. Just often. Alright, that's all for now. Posting for whatever reason. Happy Wednesday. Love, peace, and happiness.