SOL17 DoodleaDay 25 Triumph


How does a person shake out of a slump?

In January, I set goals which I didn’t meet, although I tried. I had challenges and ideas, but they did not inspire me as I’d hoped. Too much going on in the news, too much to consider and worry about. 

Then, DoodleaDay by Royan Lee started in March.  Listen to a song, and doodle. Wow. I could do that. And, the March Slice of Life challenge started — a doodle with a song and a slice from life: a refocus that starts with art.

I’m not an artist, my lines are never straight, and what’s perspective? But doodling? I could doodle. And the first few doodle prompts provided some tips. And in researching [of course, I had to research…], I discovered zentangle doodling. 

It also reminded me of my classroom.  The last fifteen years has seen an emphasis on one standardized test and its scores, which refocused all work by teachers and students to reading, writing, and math. So much was eliminated: art, music, even social studies and science. But kids can’t focus on just those– learning isn’t just skills. Learning is thinking and doing and connections and reflections. So one thing I did was to bring in art, and to take art breaks. Just simple things, like draw five dots, then create an action figure from those five dots:


Or Scribble Art: draw a line, and make some thing of it:


Or small art: Give everyone a one inch square and a topic. Mount the results on black paper and hang. [I have a picture somewhere…]


These didn’t take much time, but ah the sound of joy and relief in the classroom. The sound of sharing and chuckles and success. Art is the human story in shapes; art centers us; art gives expression to our feelings and hopes.

So, in the classroom, our schedules and impromptu art sessions helped build our relationships with each other and improve our classroom climate; art rounded out the mandates and made us whole. 

And that’s what Royan Lee’s DoodleaDay did for me!  Thank you, Royan Lee!

Shake out the slump with art!

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Resource on Art in Education: Commensense: Art in ELL Classroom

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If you’re down, and your smile can’t be 

Found;

If you’re sad, and your mind needs some

Glad;

Give a sigh, and grab a pen, close your

Eyes;

Make a squiggle, add some spark ’til you

Giggle.

Make a start, find yourself, find your glad in

Art.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: triumph and failure

Doodle Prompts March 21-31

Doodling Song: Bellamy Brothers: Let Your Love Flow

SOL17 DoodleaDay 22 Emoji


Did you know that one in eleven people in the United States is diabetic? And that it is the seventh leading cause of death? Find out more here, an American Diabetes Association info graphic based on data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].

That’s a lot of people, and you can protect yourself if you are prediabetic with regular excercise and by eating a diet filled with green vegetables and protein, with a limit on complex carbohydrates while cutting out simple carbohydrates. Of course, it’s more complex than that, but it is a lifestyle that would benefit almost everyone. Here’s the info from the CDC to follow to help learn more to help yourself.

I found myself in the hospital emergency room last April, and found the diagnosis of diabetes 2.  My new lifestyle began based on this information from the CDC. It’s actually pretty easy for me: I haven’t had a soda or diet soda since that day! I quit simple carbohydrates and began eating nuts, especially walnuts. And broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, which I still love. I’ve learned how to balance my meals with this type of plate:

I listened to and followed the directions of my doctor and nutritionist, and I subscribe to a newsletter at Everyday Health, which I found in one of the pamphlets from the hospital. Here’s a great article on sugar and inflammation, an important read– and why cutting that junk food and simple carbohydrates is important.

Fortunately, I have health insurance– but how long will that last, and how affordable will it be now that the GOP plan to gut health care? While I am not a recipient of ACA health care due to my former employment as teacher, anything that changes the health care system and Medicare will affect my coverage — and yours.

So we’ve been eating and exercising to keep my A1C score at 6%. If I’m eating at other people’s houses or an event, I eat something first — just in case what is served is filled with carbohydrates that would set my system wacky. And I’ve found that most restaurants serve chicken Caesar salads, which is my standby. If I must eat fast food — I eat chicken without the white bread and fries. I’ve found Applebees to be a diabetic friendly menu [but they do change up their menu]. I love the pork chop, sweet potato, broccoli meal. It’s delicious. I also carry walnuts and carrots in the car for traveling.

Which brings me to the Doodle for #DoodleaDay today: an emoji I wish for:

I searched for Diabetes emojis, and there are some — but for my phone and for menus, I’d like one that points to diabetes friendly meals– no simple carbohydrates, but green vegetables and protein. I could add it to a map with diabetes friendly meals.  Hmmm. That’s an idea. With twenty-five percent of seniors being diabetic, I think the emoji and the map is a good idea. 🙂

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Stay happy,

Laugh;

Eat healthy,

Live;

Hug always,

Love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, a word about emojis in general. I find them confusing because they are open to interpretation — I’d rather hear or see the words. And my students laughed so hard when I thought the pile of poop was chocolate ice cream.  And parents, they’ve got to know, as this article shows exactly what teens are saying through emojis– or what adults think they might be saying, but don’t: Time: emoji-meaning.

So, here I go with carrots and walnuts and “Sky Between the Branches” tea.


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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Draw an emoji you want for you phone

Doodling Song by BREAD, David Gates: If

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SOL17 DoodleaDay 9 Hope

Today is March 9th, a rainy day turning into a foggy evening, but filled with hope because my PLN friend Denise Krebs tweeted this:

The article by Abby Brockman in Medium [https://goo.gl/KkMwQG], Despair is Not a Strategy: 15 Principles of Hope, reminds us of the process of change towards a better world of justice through nonviolent actions. The small moments joined together keep the issues focused in the forefront for those who need to hear. My doodle is a sketchnote of my connection to each principle in the article while listening to Raffi’s Turn This World Around.

I’ve been writing daily to clarify answers to understand the change to make America greedy again: we need to turn this world around for the children. Through my interactions with my PLN, and building more connections, hope is everywhere — look for the bursts, the positives, and the actions each of us can take in our corner of the world. Every small act matters: postcards, phone calls, connections, votes, meetings, conversations, sharing on social media. 

I hope you take heart in the hope from Abby’s message.

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Hope

A dream of better

With knowledge to reach it

The friends who join

The journey and detours

That hold back ’til a burst forward

To a dream of better

Hope

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Lightbulb Connectivity

While doodling I listened to Raffi’s Turn This World Around.

SOL17 DoodleaDay 7 Inner Critic

IMG_3634_inner_critic_dad7.PNG

How do you overcome your inner critic?

#DoodleaDay is helping me have that conversation — the one in the above doodle. It’s so common, isn’t it? Especially if you’re just starting a project of any kind. For me it was starting blogging, and then to keep up with blogging.

And now it is doodling– I doodle in lines and squiggles; I’m not an artist, but I think this doodling daily is improving that, along with overcoming my blogging arguments.

So my advice to myself and my readers is to to keep trying — and like that last part on the doodle:

we learn when we read and watch what others do,

so acknowledge those who went before

by honoring them with your take

on what was learned from them,

and share so others learn too.

Just go where your heart takes you and share it–

As sharing like this makes the world great!

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Places I’ve learned:

Resources to Start Blogging:

The Fear of Sharing by George Couros 

A Series of blog posts on blogging by George Couros

Why Educators Blog: A series by Sue Waters from Edublogs.org Scroll down for more posts

A JumpStart in Technology Class by Jennifer Gonzalez [I’ve take it; it’s awesome- my work here]

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haiku sol17 blossoms hail.001.jpeg

Ideas blossom

Doubt hails to destroy, yet melts

to open thought’s bud.

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This post is:

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today:  Inner Critic Conversation

My Doodling song — one of my very favorites:

Title Song from Star Trek Enterprise: Where My Heart Will Take Me (Faith of the Heart) originally written by Diane Warren, reworked by Dennis McCarthy for Star Trek Enterprise and sung by Russell Watson.

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Doodle by Sheri Edwards

Blossom image and poetry by Sheri Edwards

DigiLitSunday: Free from Fake

Is our freedom real or fake?

Journalismcanneverbe.png

Fake or real? I don’t think that is the real issue. The real issue is whom do we consider to be our journalists, the voice of the people; they let us know. It’s their job.

thebasisofour

Yes, we need ways to discern that what we read is valid and true. Margaret Simon shares how her students think about and validate their sources in her post, DigiLitSunday: Fake or Real?  And they discovered that the truth is not easy to assess — a person in articles may say one thing on one day and change their mind on another. But the point is, the students are verifying the information:

  • what type of site? [edu, gov, org, or ??? ]
  • are their links to their sources?
  • are their cross-references?
  • is the ‘news’ on multiple sources?
  • is information or opinion verified with evidence?

Margaret shared Kevin Hodgson‘s Google Slideshow, which he shares with his students to help them sort real from fake news: Fake News and How To Spot It.  Anyone can put any information online. Who sponsors the site? Who are the donors and supporters? What is their purpose? How do they get their information?  For more ideas on Fake or Real News, see this Google collaboration started by Eric Hill.

As I said, the real issue asks this question: Whom do we consider to be our journalists, the voice of the people? They let us know. It’s their job. We get news from journalists who provide the information about the world and our leaders so we can hold them accountable.

So what is journalism? I trust you’ll find resources and share them below in comments, but here’s part of a definition from Journalism Requires a Definition at mic.com, which reflects a view that follows Thomas Jefferson’s idea that journalists are our voice:

“nine-point explanation given by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosentiel:

  1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth
  2. Its first loyalty is to citizens
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power
  6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise
  7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience”

Journalism Requires a Definition at mic.com

So, the first thing today is to search for news from organizations who follow, and whose  journalists follow, those tenets. That would be news sources such as The New York Times or the Washington Post or your local newspaper. We have forgotten that the “news” is for us– by journalists who follow and report on issues that we, the public, the citizens, need to know.

If you don’t like the news you hear, or you disagree, write a letter to the editor or your own blog post. However, this year, journalists have been denigrated by fake news sites and even by our leaders, whom we have elected. Journalists look for the truth with facts — they inform us so we can act. So we might not want to hear this from the New York Times about President Obama:

“He warned us against retreating into our bubbles, but he was never able to escape his own.” New York Times

And we might not want to hear when President-Elect Trump states a lie and is called on it:

“Can you imagine that if Donald Trump got the questions to the debate — it would’ve been the biggest story in the history of stories. And they would’ve said immediately, ‘You have to get out of the race.’ Nobody even talked about it. It’s a very terrible thing.”

That “nobody even talked about it” is a trademark Trump lie; the supposed revelation dominated the news for days.  The Nation

We don’t want to hear those things — but we need to listen.

And we need to use our own strategies for verifying all news sources — using more than one newspaper or media about the issue. We need to read world news– from other countries. We need to support valid “news” organizations.

Why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Twitter is Instant Unverified Statements: “Mr. Trump expertly exploits journalists’ unwavering attention to their Twitter feeds” New York Times
  • Basic facts are needed for citizens to discuss: “When political actors can’t agree on basic facts and procedures, compromise and rule-bound argumentation are basically impossible; politics reverts back to its natural state as a raw power struggle in which the weak are dominated by the strong. That’s where Donald Trump’s lies are taking us. By attacking the very notion of shared reality, the president-elect is making normal democratic politics impossible. When the truth is little more than an arbitrary personal decision, there is no common ground to be reached and no incentive to look for it.” ThinkProgress
  • Our Freedom of the Press is treated by the President-Elect just like Putin’s Puppet Press: “Putin always comes off as an omniscient and benevolent leader tending to a flock of unruly but adoring children.” Alexey Kovalev on Medium
  • We’ve been “Framed”: “You just keep repeating the things that you’re negating. And that just strengthens them.” George Lackof interview by Paul Rosenberg in Salon

These reasons show how we Americans have been inundated with a political strategy that has turned us against those who would keep us free: journalism and Freedom of the Press.

We must understand these and call them out. We must support our journalists and hold them true to standards built over the course of history in our democratic republic and founded in our most sacred documents. And we must hold our leaders accountable to the truth — we must discern any lies and deception by verifying the information. If even our President is creating fake news, make it known. See “Conspirator-in-Chief” from Salon.

Fake or Real? We must build up those who have spoken up through history.

If we let our journalists be bullied, ignored, and disgraced, we all lose our freedom and our ability to hold our government accountable. We must demand that our President respect this fundamental aspect of our democratic republic. This is the first president in my history who has deliberately generated, as a strategy, division, animosity, and threats to our journalists. I may not have liked President G. W. Bush, but he was my president and he did not divide the country with rhetoric nor did he threaten the press. Our President-Elect is different; his strategy is to engage his followers and deny, defame, and divide anyone who questions him. Our historical beginnings formed from fighting tyranny, and although I want him to be great — so far, he has spread only derision and disdain for many of us, the citizens whom he represents, and the journalists who represent us.

Toannouncethatthere.png

We have a right to speak up. We have a right to speak up against websites that create fake news and misinformation. We have a right to speak up to leaders who also do so. And journalists are part of that right. Without freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom of the press, we are not free. [ Bill of Rights ]

Fake or Real? It’s more than that: we need to expect our highest leaders in our local, state, and federal offices to be honorable, truthful, and supportive of those institutions and founding ideals that make us great.

How?

  • Subscribe and follow reliable news organizations
  • On Facebook, follow those reliable news organizations
  • On Facebook, hide fake news, biased news, misinformation; report fake news
  • On Facebook, share important news from reliable news organizations
  • On Twitter, follow those reliable news organizations
  • On Twitter, choose “I don’t like this Tweet” for false, fake, and lies
  • On Twitter, tweet important news from reliable news organizations
  • Write blog posts about the importance of journalism
  • Write blog posts based on reliable news
  • Encourage students to write letters to the editor
  • Encourage student journalism

Journalism
can never be silent:
that is its greatest virtue
and its greatest fault.
It must speak,
and speak immediately,
while the echoes
of wonder,
the claims of triumph
and the signs of horror
are still in the air.

Henry Anatole Grunwald
Former Editor, Time Magazine

Do more than determine if ‘news’ is fake or real — support the voices of the people: journalists. Make our freedom real!


[Bill Moyers: 10 Investigative Reporting Outlets]

img_3496 Part of Margaret Simon’s: DigiLitSunday

Topic: Fake or Real?

Make America Again 2

trump

I watched the Trump press conference on Jan 11th. Some things I liked, others not.

I did not like the diatribe about the Russian information; the conference was about his ethics dilemma. Is it always going to be a Trump conference, not a press conference? Perhaps the Press needs to take pictures of and acknowledge the sycophants who are there, paid, to support in cheers and applause the president, just like the leader he admires, Putin, would do.

I also didn’t like his statements about Nazi Germany: he’s the one creating the feeling that we are in Nazi Germany because he doesn’t want anyone questioning him. He wants to control the press [again, like his friend Putin.] In addition, this is another example of what Trump does: if something is suggested — or might be suggested — about him, he throws it back at his victims / accusers. Pure con. He needs to be better than this; he could be better than this.

Another problem that brings chills of fear like a Russian-like or Nazi state, was when he said:

And we focused very hard on those states, and they really reciprocated. And those states are going to have a lot of jobs, and they’re going to have a lot of security. They are going to have a lot of good news for their veterans.

Apparently those who nod their heads and applaud and say, “Great job! We voted for you” — those states will be the ones who will have jobs and security, as if there were no Trump voters in other states. Favorites. Reward systems. Discrimination. The rest of us will eat cake.  That’s pretty petty and scary. He may not have meant that, but that is the impression.

I listened as the explanation by his lawyer tried to share how Trump could step away from his business. I felt as if he is hanging on to the business he built, and who could blame him? So it seemed he was saying, “Look. Would this work?”  That was good — to offer a solution.

But then it needs to meet expectations and guidelines, which I don’t think, ethically, it did.

So, it seems, he should decide what he wants to be: President or Businessman. He can’t look like he’s benefiting from the decisions he will be making. No matter if he says, “The President can’t have a conflict of interest.” The reality is: he does. If he wants to be great; he must be better than that.

Step away. Be great.  That’s how he was voted in. Traditions matter; being presidential matters. He will be the leader of the United States of America; that is his business now.

These are my perceptions; I’m hoping they are wrong. I do want our president to do great things for our country. But perceptions matter. And he will be president of all of us– he needs to be presidential, not petty. That would make our great America again.



Image: Adaptation of image By Michael Vadon (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons