SOL17 WorldPoetryDay 3.22 Spine Poetry America


Spine Poetry America

For #WorldHistoryDay 3.22.17

The Crisis:

The Greatest Show on Earth!

A Brief History of Time

Castles From the Air;

Founding Father

Letters of a Nation–

Shadows of Meaning

Frames of Mind

(Forgotten Tales)

*Developing More Curious Minds

*The Good Heart:

Speak-

Active Voice!

“A is for America!”

…Let the Circle Be Unbroken…

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Writing. It clarifies. It calms. It calls. 

I continue my journey to understand the coup that has happened in America, destroying to the Western World’s amazement: democracy. Yes, we are a democratic republic, but the President of the United States is gathering his powers -against “others” by spreading fear and -against democracy by organizing all power within the White House, a model after the President’s hero: Putin [and guided by Bannon, Miller]. That is how I see it, and I am caught in a sense of disbelief. 

I know I join many, many of my educated friends in this sad call of thoughts we share through writing.

While reading poetry under the #WorldPoetryDay hashtag, many were of the same mind, but angry. I saw many others sharing hope and humor. One included spine poetry– taking the spine of book titles in an order for a poem. That inspired me to do the same as another way to express my hope that the tales of our founding fathers, of whom we seem to have forgotten in this show of American politics, will be a circle unbroken: that our people, our elected officials, and our Constitution will prevail, unbroken since the 1776 dream in America began.

What do you think? How do you cope with the ongoing crisis?
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Part of Slice of Life 17

Image: Flickr by Sheri Edwards teach.eagle 

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Update: I’ve already received an answer from my PLN, Scott Glass, and it’s prefect: Develop Good Heart, Active Voice.

Thanks Scott!   Absolutely “made my day!” 

SOL17 DoodleaDay 20 Graph a Walk


Walking is required for good health; a dog makes that walk enjoyable, and a must twice a day. 

“Walk?” Is all that’s needed and the dog’s ears pop up, his body jumps up, and his tail wags a “Ready! Let’s go!”

Happiness is a walk with the dog; I get excercize and mediation, and the dog checks her messages — you know, all the smells left by everyone else within 30 feet of the human’s path, as you can see in the map above of dog walking.

Always alert to any new message, that nose to the ground sniffs every possible inch where that message came from to determine exactly who was where when. At least, that’s what I suppose. 

I miss those walks.


While reorganizing during my retirement, I found this note from a granddaughter to Grampa:


The note was written on an old typewriter the grandkids loved; a favorite way get a message out.

Our grandkids miss that little white dog too. At the lake, she would swim with them, and even pulled them around while they held her tail. Precious. A walk with Pooka and Grandpa to the bat cave was a summer favorite. The cave was an old railroad tunnel, now fenced off, up the road from us; bats live there now, and the grandkids love that!

[sigh]

Wherever kids were; so was Pooka: playing, watching, protecting gently with her kind eyes.

[sigh]

Now, go pet and hug your creatures– thank them for the memories and love they’ve given you.

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Patient.

Sprawled out

Across the floor,

Bored.

Tail

Flops once

And eyes watch

Hoping.

“Walk.”

Ears up, sit up,

Head turns aside,

Listening.

“Walk.”

Jump up

Tail wags

Ready.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Graph an Idea

Doodling Song: Don’t Worry; Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

SOL17 DoodleaDay 19 Best Friend


New puppies are such a joy mixed with frustration while filled with laughter and unconditional love.

Every time I see a dog and its family, I miss our best friend. We recognize those with “kind eyes” and think again about perhaps finding another Rezmutt to tug at our hearts and make us walk twice a day. A dog is man’s best friend, and they require the continuous care of a best friend. Unlike our cats [whom we also love dearly]– they only require a huge bowl of food and a big bowl of water if we need to leave town.  But dogs are different; they need your company and to tag along, not content to sleep all day and night until you return. Nope: they are part of you and part of you wherever you go. A dog owner’s entire itinerary is completely different than dogless people: walks, pet friendly hotels, walks, fetch, tug-o-war, sniffs, walks…are planned events! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So… we’ve been talking about it, but still…we miss the best dog ever:

We loved our Rezmutt: reservation mutt~ from the Colville Indian Reservation where I taught. Here’s how she came be ours for thirteen years:

And she grew old with us:


And after hundreds of miles of walking and playing, swimming and napping with always a tail wag and eager kindness, she left us.

And we still miss those kind eyes.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a Photo; Add Caption

Doodling song: Dog Beach Jazzooo by Doug Robinson

SOL17 DoodleaDay 18 How To– Share



3.18.17 How To Share

I miss teaching, being in the classroom where students look to the teacher and each other to learn together. I miss how students huddle together to piece together what they are to learn to create authentic work– helping write a blog post to build awareness about the problem of child labor around the world, for example. They share facts, determine the best relevance, and choose the language that makes their point– together in peer review before publishing.

I also miss the one type of meeting that is valuable: our Professional Learning Teams, where we discuss student work and student needs [of all kinds]. We share what worked in each of our classrooms and planned for next steps to help students move forward. Sometimes we planned family conferences to work together with families; sometimes we created graphic organizers for a group of students who needed more structure to learn an objective [such as including 5Ws in writing [who, what, when, where, why]. When we meet again, we reflect on what worked and revise accordingly. It’s a continual process of improvement and innovation.
Both of these actions by groups of people brought diverse people together to share, and with each participant’s perspectives and experiences, better ideas for next steps developed. Sharing with others improves our work and our world.

How Sharing Innovates [ and Why Everyone Matters: For instance, Elders, People from other countries [immigrants, visa-holders]

Have you heard about the amazing new battery? Goodenough Introduces New Battery Technology/ University of Texas

“Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a recent paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.”
John Goodenough is 94 years old. 

Maria Helena Braga, research fellow, hails from the University of Porto in Portugal.

Imagine if they and their team had not been able to work together? 

Why wouldn’t they be able to?  Immigration bans, protectionism, nationalism. If we build walls, ideas don’t mesh and re-emerge as a benefit to all of us. America is turning away from what made us great: diversity!

Here’s why:

How Diversity Makes Us Smarter shows how diversity encourages us to work harder, be creative, and seek alternatives; it stimulates innovation.

And, hopefully, the elder John Goodenough would not have horrendous health insurance rates and enough coverage to maintain his health and the mind that held the history and facts about glass lithium. Hopefully, he didn’t need Meals on Wheels.

America is supposed to be mostly Christian, but all religions, and those not religious but spiritual [including atheists] hold a basic truth that keeps the human race alive: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It means caring about each other — and helping our fellow humans. This belief made America great.  Shouldn’t that basic value be our guide? How to get back to caring, sharing, and justice? That’s the biggest How To.
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Penned

Thoughts

Imagined,

Ideas shared,

Joined in a journey

To live dreams together,

To better the world

For all.

( ..)φ
For all

Live

Beside

In community

Thriving in thoughts,

Imagined understandings

Of acceptance

That’s penned.

( ..)φ

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NOTE:

Survival of the individual goes to the fittest, but societies only thrive through cooperation and acceptance. We work together or perish.
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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a How To
Doodling Song Woodstock– Joni Mitchell
“We are stardust; we are golden; billion year old carbon”

SOL17 DoodleaDay Data History

IMG_3683_doodleaday_data_history.PNG

Data fills our lives, much of it we create to share with family and friends, to work with the community, or to share with the world. Information flows to us with the click of our thumbs in Google Search. Humans create; humans communicate; humans share: it’s our story since the beginning of our time.

Today I watched a video about the Data Center Mural Project in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which describes the point where east and west met in the history of our human endeavor with the “data” of our stories. I had not realized that this city was an important middle point in connecting our coastal stories.

 

Yes, we create our data, but how safe is it? How do you protect your data?

Some Resources:

Smartphone Safety [From Pew Research –See sidebar for many resources]

FCC allows selling of our data???? Looks like it: Wired

The Open Internet

FCC to gut Open Internet / Net Neutrality?  Looks like it: Wired

Mozilla Net Neutrality

Having an open internet and net neutrality keeps our costs down, encourages access by all, and allows the free flow of information.  Without net neutrality, our costs increase, many will not have access, and information is controlled by providers. That’s the end to “googling” for the relevant and accurate information — because all of it will not be available; someone will be censoring it.

Once more the deranged regime of 2017 zaps freedoms and the values near and dear to the people. Stand up. Add this to the growing list of attacks on our freedom and values.

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Word

Work

Fork

Folk

Fold

Sold

⊙﹏⊙

Word: we create

Work: we contribute

Fork: we find the road changed

Folk: we the people

Fold: we’re turned away

Sold: Out!

(╬ ಠ益ಠ

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: YouTube Doodle — I chose Data Center Mural Project

Doodling Song:  We Gotta Get Out of This Place by Eric Burdon and the Animals

“There’s a better life for me and you” — that’s the truth.

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SOL17 DoodleaDay 16 -Hopeful To Dos

IMG_3681_dad_doodle_lists_bullets.PNG

What do you do when the world seems to be falling apart in hate, the opposite of the god of love?

Why is the world falling apart? See Bill Moyers on Fascism and What can we do? See the Guardian’s How to Survive Gaslighting Manipulation

What do you do?

Keep your self grounded and connected!

Know that you do know the facts! 

Today’s DoodleaDay by Royan Lee suggested that we create four bulleted lists– with doodled bullets.

What better list than one that grounds me to daily options that encourage connections and creativity?

On the left are things I usually do every day in some way. On the right, are evening doings with my best friend and husband of thirty years. We also start the day with coffee, cats, and breakfast, and I didn’t get that into my list– but that evening time helps us to understand our world and our place in it – together.

IMG_2940_scott_sheri_17.JPG

Scott and Sheri at “Clover” 2017

In the center of my DoodleaDay are two lists which are also very important to me:

  • Discover, my version of “stop and smell the roses”
  • Protect the Earth, especially since it’s now up to us

An exciting thing happened today on my walk; the usual dry or  trickling Fiddle Creek was flowing free again. The wind through the trees and the rushing of the water mean spring is here.

IMG_3811_fiddlecreek.JPG

And while grounding myself in my Twitter PLN, I ran across this BookCreator tweet:

I have BookCreator on my iPad, but had never used it. What a great opportunity to be creative and join others in creating a book in a one hour Twitter Chat. What an awesome idea, Mark Anderson!

So step by step, people followed the tasks to create a book that will be collated by Mark and placed in iTunes!  And now I know how to create both a pdf and an ePub using Book Creator. Here’s a pdf you can view of my part: Sheri’s BookCreator PDF. Thanks again,  Mark Anderson!

I connected with others to collaborate on a project as part of my “Daily” list of hope.

How about making your own lists to follow for Daily, Evening, Discover, Protect to help you stay grounded? Or perhaps you support all the changes? You could make four lists too. Maybe, we’d find some commonalities. Maybe.

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Feet firm,

Head high, not too;

Hands open, outstretched.

 

Facts firm,

Heart welcoming;

Mind ready, confident.

 

Home loved,

Family too;

Grounded, spirit sound.

 

Evil stopped,

Hope now renewed;

Force strong, it is.

Love lifts

One another;

Together, we stand.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Bulleted Lists

Doodling song we need, and another favorite:

Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison / Beatles

SOL17 DoodleaDay 15 Blowin’ In The Wind

doodleaday_iconssre_freedom.PNG

I spend time each day to learn from others by reading their ideas linked to in tweets on Twitter. Before November 8th, this daily activity inspired me and my work; the twitter feed offered the opportunity to share, learn, grow, reciprocate, and remix to make the world a better place.

After November 8th, I took some time off. I found the world had shifted off the humane course of a world seeking peace– seeking liberty and justice for all. It careened of a cliff and away from but a call to:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

~Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson

I don’t know if you felt it, that tremble under your feet that knocks you off balance; a feeling of dread that the world beneath your feet is crumbling away. Before November 8th, our country opened up that joyous word: freedom — it acknowledged and upheld differences; it celebrated a world that includes everyone. Yes, places in the world were still horrific, and the world was trying to help that. Yes, sometimes the opportunities were not available as easily for some than others. Yet, we were as a country working on those. We were not perfect, but we were open; we had avenues to take to promote freedom and justice for all.

Then we elected oligarchs, white supremacists, anarchists, illiterates whose sole purpose is to disrupt and control.

I thought that the Republicans were American patriots — that they would see the evil in the actions and the power negating freedoms, but now they are complicit.

I am a fool; I thought our government of the people, by the people, and for the people through our elected representatives would govern for all the people.

I am a fool.

Today, I looked at the blogs of people I follow on Twitter. One post, My Un-Representative by Alan Levine [@cogdog] really hit my heart- the ideas touched exactly how I’m feeling.

Look at the graphic at the top of the post — this is a Wikimedia Commons public domain image representing the House of Representatives, 2017.

houseofrepresentatives2017_publicdomain.jpg

There are, indeed, more Republicans [red] than Democrats and others [blue].

Yes, we elected them, but how did we elect them? In fact, the Republicans selected us, the voters by rigging the voting districts. It’s called gerrymandering, and this January, 2016 Washington Post article explains this concept and this fact [bold, mine]:

The GOP scored 33 more seats in the House this election even though Democrats earned a million more votes in House races. Professor Jeremy Mayer says gerrymandering distorts democracy. (The Fold/The Washington Post)

I knew gerrymandering existed, but did not think it was that bad, and in fact, I thought my state [Washington] was fair with a bi-partisan system. It turns out I’m wrong: Read the DailyKos article on why this doesn’t work either.

Some resources to correct the effects of gerrymandering:

End Gerrymandering

The Fold/The Washington Post

Brennan Center for Justice

FairVote

Still, despite knowing about gerrymandering, I’m still a fool. Because although there are more red than blue representatives and senators, I believed they represented ALL the people, not just their party.

Yes, I thought the people elected still had to be Americans and consider all Americans in their elected responsibility as my representative in the House or Senate.

freedom_iconsre Yes, I believe in our freedoms, our rights, and the freedom to live one’s life in one’s own way.

That means that our representatives need to consider all the people, to hold up those rights for all Americans. In the past, we have expected our rights to extend to anyone in our country. But that was then, now we have the inhumane, unAmerican travel ban.

Since we all live with others, freedom comes with responsibilities. One of those is to respect the freedoms and ideas of others, which I certainly expect my congresspersons to do.

respect_iconsre

Respect means listening to and accepting other ideas, tolerating that which is different, and acknowledging ways to allow those differing ideas a voice and a life in our complex and dynamic communities. I expect this of our elected officials in Congress.

In my classroom, it means we have a talking stick, a Native American way to hand off a time to share and give one’s voice [and everyone has a  voice to solve an issue].

compromise_iconsre

Another responsibility key to our democracy is compromise. We find common ground so that our country of diverse ideas and cultures can live together in peace and respect. I expect that elected officials work together to compromise so all people are represented, not just the elected person’s party.

And in my classroom, sometimes we compromise on how we spend our  time– some students want more time with the teacher and others want to work in their own small groups. I shorten up my part, and then students set their goals and work in the areas and ways that best help them succeed in their projects.

cooperation_iconsre

In order to compromise, listening and understanding respectfully is a must and so is cooperation. I expect that when a law is created, that bi-partisan cooperation takes precedence over party political manipulation.

In my classroom, students and I cooperate– giving each other ideas and feedback on our writing or videos or blogposts. We help each other be successful.

collaboration_iconsre

Sometimes issues are so complicated, that we need to collaborate to get things done — the people we elect need to research and present different ideas to each other in order to analyze what would work best to solve the issue in cooperation and compromise.

In the classroom, sometimes students have different jobs [researcher, interviewer, composer] and sometimes they have parts of topics for which they are responsible for so when their team meets, everyone has part of the information needed to complete a project. That’s collaboration, which then requires cooperation and compromise respectfully to consider and solve the big picture issue.

doodleaday_iconssre_freedomI know these concepts: freedom, respect, compromise, cooperation, and collaboration work together — and I know that they work because that’s how things happen in  the real world.

So I’m expecting the elected officials, Democrat, Republican, Independents, work together for all Americans, and not just for their party.

How about you?

Look for and support those officials who seek each other out and begin the listening process to uphold the Constitution and our American values which are now under siege by the current and very lost administration. Help them find the way back to the great America, the one that fought for and created laws — not for order — but for liberty and justice for all.

The answer is blowing’ in the wind — and we must listen in freedom for all to find the answers together.

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Maybe just you can,

Maybe you say,

Maybe you shut me up,

Maybe you pray your way.

Maybe you slam the door

Maybe you build a border

Maybe you block me out

Maybe you hear my shouts.

Maybe I stand louder

Maybe you can’t ignore

Maybe in the crying

Maybe you’ll feel your heart.

Maybe you’ll open up,

Maybe you’ll listen,

Maybe you’ll see the person

Maybe you’ll step up.

Maybe you’ll open a window,

Maybe you’ll open a door,

Maybe you’ll take my hand,

Maybe together we stand.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: icons: metaphors for concepts

Doodling Song: Peter, Paul, and Mary Blowin’ in the Wind

House of Representatives 2017 Image: “United States House of Representatives 2017” is a Wikimedia Commons image place in the public domain.