Tag Archives: Marsha Ingrao

Book Review: Entertaining an Elephant

Thank you and congratulations to Larry Otter, the 30th “LIKE” on my new Facebook page, GOLD STAR!  Thanks to the many others that also pressed “LIKE”

Many of you are teachers, and many more of you have children, grandchildren, or at some point in time are expecting to have them.  A few months ago I went to a Common Core Conference, at which Dr. Bill McBride presented strategies to help teachers implement Common Core Standards.  His presentation style was just as interactive and fun as any I have attended.  I also purchased the book , If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well, a step-by step instruction manual on teaching students how to develop an argument. 

Entertaining an Elephant, on the other hand is a fictitious book about education, and I warn the reader to have a Kleenex or two nearby.  (That was clever, I wasn’t sure about how to pluralize Kleenex.  Putting es on the end, just didn’t look right, and ‘s did, but ‘s indicates belonging, so just a simple rewording solved my problem.  YEAH!)

by William McBride
by William McBride

Written by William McBride, Entertaining an Elephant documents the metamorphosis of a seasoned, but jaded teacher who encounters a new janitor that changes his life.

“Reaf wasn’t allowed to leave for a half hour, and he decided not to let the janitor run him out.” p. 7

His tired attitude helps you dislike this teacher right from the start.  He thought he knew what the kids needed, and I can just hear his gruff voice speaking to the peon janitor.

“You see, I’ve been in the business for a long time, and even though these kids have had a lot of schooling, they still don’t have the basics.  I don’t know what those teachers are doing at the lower levels, but these kids can’t tell a participle from a noun.  So I take it upon myself to make sure they understand grammar.  None of the other English teachers spend that much time with it, so it’s up to me to hammer it in.”

If that wouldn’t make a student want to take his class, I don’t know what would!  I’m sure the other teachers loved him just about as much as the kids did.  Every teacher loves to think their teaching taught the kids all they were expected to learn that year plus a little more.  They NEVER like to hear that the kids FORGOT any some of it – or worse, they never had time to teach it, or worse still, they taught it, but NOBODY got it.

The janitor was a wise, wily fellow, though, with some tricks up his sleeve.

“Unfortunately, most of them don’t use the grammar.  That’s why they’re going to be failures, which proves my point.  But that’s between you and I.”

“Me,” the janitor said.

“Yes, you.”

Who else would I be talking to, thought Reaf.  …then suddenly (he) realized the janitor had corrected him.  It is between you and me. … the teacher threw the grammar book he had been holding …

I have to admit that, as a teacher, I want to make sure my kids learn grammar, but I’ve also made MY share of grammar errors as an adult with lots of education.   In fact I’ve made the very SAME mistake that Reaf made.  It was embarrassing the first time I made it, sitting at a dinner table with a movie star, no less – and corrected by HIM.  It was worse the third time I said it.  And I was the EDUCATOR, but the star seemed like a Reaf to me, and he didn’t earn a fan that night.

So where did Reaf throw the grammar book?  What did the janitor do to cause the teacher to change?  What made the teacher so irritatingly uninteresting in the first place?  Why would you want to find out?

I’ll answer the last question for you.  Reaf learns and practices some new teaching and relationship strategies as the book progresses which change his life, but most of all HE changes, and the story is heartwarming.  Common sense strategies are easily employed by anyone, teachers or non-teachers, who want to see improved relationships and motivate others to learn.

The real question is, will YOU cry at the end?

Featured Blog

You must read and enjoy Sierra Foothill Garden if you want to learn more about the plant life in my neck of the woods.  This blog is more focused than my streaming thoughts site.  We really do get snow in the mountains and higher in the foothills than I am.  Sue has a handy list of California bloggers in her sidebar, which I am going to find helpful.  If you want to get more familiar with California, this is one place to start.

If you have already read the book Entertaining an Elephant, how did your react?

  • I threw the book across the room.
  • I cried.
  • I planted the book to see if I could get it to grow.
  • I gave it away at a White Elephant Christmas party.
  • Other responses

The End of Fall

Tulare County, approximately the size of Connecticut,  has two climates.  One is mountainous – the Sierra Nevada, home of the Sequoia National Park.  The other, home of over 400,000 cows, is a temperate, farming-friendly valley.  Four days ago as I drove towards the largest town, Visalia, I passed two grape vineyards, one with yellow leaves, and one with bright red.  The sun was just breaking through the clouds.  It had rained the day before, and everything sparkled like animated ornaments on a Christmas tree.  No camera!  The cardinal sin of an amateur photographer.

Two days ago, after a minor rain shower, I took my camera and drove that road again, at the same time, hoping to recapture what I had missed.  You can be the judge of that.  Actually I’m just being polite – you can’t because you didn’t see the first sun-sprayed scene.  I’m going to pawn these photos off on you hoping that you will PRESUME that they are as lovely as the first ones would have been if I hadn’t sinned.

SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts049
My favorite – a stand-alone beauty.

This is my heart to y’all.  If you see it from a distance, it sort of has that hearty look.  The rest of these may all be too similar for you, but i just couldn’t leave any of them out.  You know how they talk to you, and say, “Please don’t delete me.  Pllllleeeeaaassseeeeee!”

SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts085 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts086 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts087 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts090 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts091 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts093 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts094 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts088 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts096 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts098 SFW TC Fall Grapes & Walnuts099I loved their colors, and the shadows, but I was convinced not to take any home to use for the fancy grape leaf dishes.

By the way, I started a public Facebook page yesterday.  I need 30 likes to make it go.  I have 27 likes so far.  Just 3 more.  What could I give as a prize for number 30?  hmmmmm

Ah ha – a gold star and a home cooked meal, without grape leaves, next time you come to CA!

Book Review: The Everything Theory

Dianne Gray became my blogger friend four months and three weeks ago now, and we have rallied blogger chit-chat back and forth between our blogs.  As I read her blog the other day, I learned about her book, The Everything Theory,  Browsing the comments on the post, I decided that I definitely wanted to buy the book.  So I headed over to Amazon, made a few clicks, and started reading, and finally put it down because I had to sleep at about one in the morning.

by Diane Gray
by Diane Gray

I am excited to review Dianne Gray’s new book, The Everything Theory, which I just finished in less than a day, but certainly not because it was flat, or simplistic.  Though not to be confused with the Theory of Everything (ToE), which Wikipedia defines as “The “system building” style of metaphysics attempts to answer all the important questions in a coherent way, providing a complete picture of the world. Plato and Aristotle could be said to have created early examples of comprehensive systems,” the reader does get a flavor of those intertwining systems in this book.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_everything

Gray, in her own logical way, unfolded ancient theories, and outlined plausible outcomes to those ancient predictions.  She postulated a plausible answer to the question of the age:  How did the ancients get the knowledge to build the pyramids?  Readers will learn about the way scientists use numbers, referring often to the mathematics of the pyramids, and the books of the Nine Unknown Men.  Recorded on the History of India website, the Nine Unknown Men, according to occult lore, “were a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka 273 BC. …  Each of the Nine is supposedly responsible for guarding and improving a single book. These books each deal with a different branch of potentially hazardous knowledge.”  http://www.indohistory.com/nine_unknown_men.html From another civilization at another time the ancient Mayans predicted that the end of the our world nears daily.  Were they right?  Is this even a possibility?

Scientific facts dotted the story, and at the time I assumed that these stated facts might be purely fictitious, but they seemed plausible.  Last night I checked with Diane, and she said that she spent a lot of time researching and that her facts were all cross checked.  Even though I haven’t researched the many details in the novel, the fact that she didn’t fabricate the scientific references made this book an even better read than if it was science fiction.

The prologue and epilogue book-ended The Everything Theory with men, dressed in animal skins, looking at pictures in a cave.  Curiously, the main characters in the prologue and epilogue had very similar names to the protagonist in the body of the tale, yet clearly the Lukes were not from the same time.  Thus, the Everything Theory mystery began and ended.

Besides the ordinary human bad guys, the primary culprit in this story was a wayward planet named Eris.  As it turned out, Eris is a real planet larger and farther out than Pluto, and Google has hundreds of pictures of it.  Here is one of them.

eris_and_dysnomia_485

The mystery intertwined the lives of archaeologists studying past ancient writings, with amateur astronomers who discovered the rogue planet, Eris.  A couple of murders launched the story, and alerted the reader to the extreme urgency and seriousness of the obstacles facing the heroes.  The lives of these two groups of scientists collided early in the book as they attempted to evade the inevitable outcome of their actions thus becoming the next murder victims.  In the process of survival, the group began to cohere and collaborate to try to deal with the havoc that Eris would bring into Earth’s universe.

Connecting to the Common Core English Language Arts Standards

Most of my book reviews bring up the Common Core English Language Arts Standards.   For the California sixth grade teacher teaching  ancient world history, the Nine Unknown Men would be the perfect place to insert a research project.  Student-generated questions about the end of the world, dangerous knowledge, and an ancient secret society would capture their interest and motivate research.

Without question this book contains academic language making it an effective novel for the language arts teacher to use to support the teaching of science as well.  It corresponds directly with eighth grade Earth in the Solar System (Earth Sciences) .

4. e states “Students know the appearance, general composition, relative position and size, and motion of objects in the solar system, including planets, planetary satellites, comets, and asteroids.”

Are you thinking of a Christmas gift for the reader in your family?  Do they believe that aliens influenced the ancients?  Do they look for answers in astrology?  Do they watch the History Channel or the Discovery Channel?  Do they like Bones, Lie to Me or Fringe?  The Everything Theory appeals to anyone who loves a mystery.

By the way, Dianne did not ask me to buy the book or write a review.  I don’t make money writing reviews either – maybe now you know why!  I just learned yesterday that my website is a “vanity” site because I am not using it for making a profit.  That being said, this review strictly reflects my opinions.

Blog Tip of the Week

When I make a comment, and it doesn’t post and displays a 403 error, I have found that if I close my browser, then open it again, then I can send to that person.  I do lose the reply, though unless I save it somewhere else.

Featured Blog

It only makes sense to feature Dianne’s website.  In it she offers sound advice.

run-from-stag

She shares her philosophy of life, how she writes, and thinks.  She tells you what’s happening in her real life.  Best of all she reads her friends’ blogs and makes comments.  If you don’t already know Dianne Gray, this is your chance.

Sunday Post: Peaceful

water-dragon-poster1

I thought about the ocean, but sometimes it is NOT peaceful.  I considered farm animals, but they make a LOT of noise.  Then, I looked around for something at home where I feel most peaceful.  Who should be peacefully resting in my folder, but Mama Kitty?

Mama Kitty is peaceful

Granted Kalev is NOT peaceful.  Every morning she charges out to see Mama Kitty, her body twisting and writhing with excitement.  Amazingly Mama Kitty just stands waiting for her morning kiss from Kalev.

Mama Kitty is Peaceful 2

Scardy could do anything to her without rousing her ire.  Scardy mellowed in adulthood, but as a baby….  Mama had to have the patience of a  … oh yeah – Mama.Mama Kitty is peaceful 4

Even when Kalev first came to live with use, Mama tolerated her advances.Mama Kitty is peaceful 3

Mama Kitty can even bear the burden carrying a tree on her back without getting riled.

Other animals lose their cool from time to time, even me, but Mama Kitty is ALWAYS peaceful.

Featured Blog

I met Richard Tulloch’s Life on the Road just last week when I saw his Reflections post.  Richard writes children’s books, and travel articles so he has to be a new hero of mine, but since he is based out of Sydney and Amsterdam, I hadn’t heard of him.  From him I learned about a famous walk,  El Camino se Santiago, that my friend Leslie wants to take and invited me to join her – and any other brave souls.  I hope you’ll enjoy Richard as much as I have in the short time I’ve followed him.

Leslie's goal I just want to tag along.
Leslie’s goal I just want to tag along.

To participate in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post:  Peaceful

1. Each week, he will provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

So I learned something today.  How about you?

Here are some of the participants I gathered.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

To all my blog readers!!!
To all my blog readers!!!

As I reflect on my blogging experiment this first day of December, I realize that it has gone from experiment to addictive hobby.  I am thankful to all of you for taking the time to visit my streaming thoughts started in April, 2012.  While not breaking any records, this blog has attracted over 11,000 views, and 2,000 comments.  I was awfully lonely the first couple of months, but on November 29th the site reached a high of 196 views.  THANK YOU!!!

Reflections on December 1st.
Reflections on December 1st.

Back to the topic as I’m sure it was intended, I have almost no reflection pictures in my collection.  I came across this picture that a friend of mine took for me.  She is much more of a professional photographer than I, and I absolutely love Johanna Coyne’s picture of the little lagoon in Mooney Grove Park south of Visalia, CA, and north of Tulare, CA on Mooney Boulevard.1102_Mooney_1285

Early Tulare County settler and saloon owner, Michael Mooney, like most European immigrants worked hard to acquire property in the United States.  Mooney speculated in thousands of acres, and sold many of them at a profit.  However this plot of land didn’t earn Mooney a dime, and it protected the largest native oak grove in the county.  He purchased a 173 acre oak grove from another settler, Benjamin Willis in 1878 for $4,000.  After Mooney’s death in 1881, his heirs sold 100 acres to Tulare County in 1909, thus saving the huge grove of native trees for the people.

Tulare County Supervisor, Bartlett “suggested in 1915 that the park should have a lake.” (Allen. p. 41), although it was not until May of 1933 that the lagoon officially opened.  Stocked with fish to ward off mosquitos, the pond, with its “No Fishing” sign, tempted young poacher Stanley A. Clark, who brought home more than the bacon to his widowed mother and siblings during the World War II when meat was scarce in the market.

Through the years Tulare County residents swam, boated and were baptized in the reflective pond in Mooney Grove Park.  Today the only swimmers are quacks – I mean ducks.  At times photographers would have to Photoshop a reflective picture of this body of water because “goopy algae” scum covers  much of the surface.  Vast numbers of summer visitors feed the ducks, dropping food that decays in the water and feeds the scum.  In the fall, when the weather is cooler photographers can capture pictures of clean water.

Anybody for a picnic in the park?

Bibliography

  • Allen William R.  Mooney’s Oak Grove 1828-1881 Volume I
  • Allen William R.  Michael Mooney 1906-2003 Volume II

Other Reflections

  1. Reflections « juliapulia
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Flickr Comments
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflection | Chittle Chattle
  4. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : REFLECTIONS « beyond toxicity
  5. » Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « e-Shibin
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | A Little British Pea …
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Bold Conversations
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflections | Just Snaps
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Frames & Focus
  10. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Figments of a DuTchess
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Lonely Travelog
  12. Le città e il gioco. 6. | Empire of Lights
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection « thelifebus
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Max510′s Blog
  15. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflections | Canoe Communications
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | My Sardinian Life
  18. Reflecting on the impact of AIDS: Meet Esther. | Thirdeyemom
  19. Reflecting at Sunset « Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Wind Against Current
  21. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « cumakatakata
  22. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Tea with a Pirate
  23. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « cumafotofoto
  24. weekly photo challenge: reflections « a nomad in the land of nizwa
  25. WordPress Photo Challenge: Reflections « A year in the Life
  26. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « The Unwitting Traveller
  27. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | belgradestreets
  28. Reflecting Solemnity | play-grand
  29. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflection « Cornwall – A Photographic Journey
  30. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Lucid Gypsy
  31. Weekly Photo Challenge; Reflections « Day One
  32. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | MixerUpper.com
  33. Reflections « Detours by Deepali
  34. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « britten
  35. LIfe on the Inside | Beyond the Brush
  36. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Blatherskite
  37. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | FOTO chip – © Birgitta Rudenius
  38. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections at sunset « Julie Dawn Fox Photography
  39. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflections | adrianpym
  40. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection | Words & Pictures
  41. Reflections: A WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge « Life in the Foothills
  42. Portrait of a Tourist « Beyond the Brush Photography
  43. Photo Blog: Reflections | Re3ecca
  44. Self-portrait with boat | Cardinal Guzman
  45. River Thames in Flood, Weybridge, England, « Day One
  46. Reflections from the past year | Thirdeyemom
  47. Weekly Photo Challenge : Reflections | Les Petits Pas de Juls
  48. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections – A Day In the Life of Jennay
  49. Reflected light | Pseu’s Blog
  50. Reflections | Time flies when you’re having fun…
  51. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Sin Polaris
  52. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Disorderly Chickadee
  53. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Creativity Aroused
  54. Weekly Photo Challeneg: Reflection « The Urge To Wander
  55. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « CURLY BUG
  56. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « scrapydo
  57. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « patriciaddrury
  58. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | travelbugdownunder
  59. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « It’s Just Me
  60. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections. « Fotografía Incidental
  61. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Photo & Tour
  62. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflections | Tacts Blog
  63. Reflections on Sumida River « Summerfield84′s English blog
  64. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « Lagottocattleya
  65. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « The World According to Me…
  66. Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflection II « The Urge To Wander
  67. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Travel. Garden. Eat.
  68. Life’s reflections « the thirdeyeworld
  69. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: REFLECTIONS – on Chicago’s Cloud Gate | Richard Tulloch’s LIFE ON THE ROAD
  70. On a Clear Calm Day « Breathing Space
  71. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections « What’s (in) the picture?

Sunday Post: Natural Resources

I’ve been hoping for a challenge in which I could post these photos of wind machines.  Thanks Jake.  Air is probably our most precious and abused natural resource in California Our EPA regulations for air quality are the most stringent in the United States.  Yet, for all it’s poor quality from times and in places, air can still be harnessed and used to produce another clean energy – electricity.

I read this morning on Pairodox Farm’s blog that my home state of Indiana, “the Fowler Ridge wind farm is one of the largest installations of its sort in the world. It ranges over 50,000 acres and is currently comprised of more than 300 wind turbines which can generate enough carbon-free electricity for nearly 200,000 homes.

I pulled off the freeway just before an exit going to Palm Springs to get these pictures.  I used the 75-300 lens.  You can see that the air is hazy.  Had I pulled off the road on Saturday instead of Monday, the sky would have been blue.  Rats!!!These photos have not been altered in any way except to imprint my moniker in the sky.Developed in the 1980s the  San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, one of three large wind farms in CA, consists of 3,218 units delivering 615 MW.[1]This wind farm spans the I 10.  This is one of the windiest places in California.

Featured Blog

Pairodox Farm is my choice for today.  Their website is about sustainable living in rural Pennsylvania, but I think their ideas can apply to all of us. The reason they are a pairodox is because in real life they are a pair of docs, one in zoology and in plant ecology.  In spite of all that science in their educational background they actually speak English.

A Pair of Docs in Pennsylvania

To participate in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post

1. Each week, he will provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

So I learned something today.  How about you?

Here are some of the participants gathered by rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity.  Check his out, then you have lots of other examples also!  Thanks!!!

  1. SUNDAY POST: Natural Resources | Tea with a Pirate -
  2. sunday post : natural resources | bodhisattvaintraining
  3. Windmill at Sunset | Canoe Communications
  4. Sunday Post: Natural Resources…The Children of the World
  5. Eye candy | Thirdeyemom
  6. The Giving Tree | Thirdeyemom
  7. Sunday Post: Natural Resources « patriciaddrury
  8. SUNDAY POST : Natural Resources | tahira’s shenanigans
  9. Sunday Post:  Natural Resources -Another Day in Paradise
  10. Sunday Post : Natural Resources « restlessjo
  11. Positive Parental Participation
  12. Natural Resources. « Luddy’s Lens
  13. Jake’s Sunday Post: Natural Resources | A Number of Things
  14. BAMBOO- A Natural Resource « Zeebra Designs & Destinations
  15. If a tree falls | Beyond the Brush
  16. Jake’s Sunday Post theme: Natural resources « newsferret
  17. Tell me, was it one of those days? | The Wanderlust Gene
  18. Longing « Stray Thoughts
  19. SUNDAY POST: Natural Resources Wool | Cee’s Life Photography
  20. Wind Turbines | Figments of a DuTchess

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Orange

Have you figured out how to read everybody’s blogs when you get the emails?  I haven’t.  They pile up, and then when I have time I start through them.  I received mhdriver’s email alerting me to a new theme for December October 30- orange.  It was past 10:00 p.m.  I was sleepy.  I knew I could do that quickly.

Wrong.  Finding predominantly orange pictures wasn’t as easy for me as it was for my friend, MHDriver.  As much as I love orange I just don’t seem to take pictures of orange objects.  Then I ran into some pictures I had forgotten about – my trip to the railroad museum.

Among other activities this energetic group of elementary after-school students listened to FAQs on telephones (the real kind – not those new-fangled cell phones), and climbed in and out of engines.

The color orange abounded at the Pike Place Market.  There were more varieties of fresh, healthy looking food there, than I can remember seeing.  I cropped away some of the other colors in some of the pictures.I was so discouraged when I went to link Cee’s website to her foto logo, and saw that I was late, that I gave up and went to bed.  Today, though, I’m proud of the pictures, so I’m posting anyway.  It is still harvest time.  And I’m going with that!

SO LETS SHOW OFF SOME COLORFUL MONOTONE.  ENJOY!!!

How It Works?

  1. Most weeks I will come up with a topic and along with a tip on how to take a better photo.  Feel free to write me with things you want to learn about.
  2. Go through you photo archives and see what photos you have that fits the current week’s challenge, or better yet grab you camera and take a new photo!
  3. Please keep your photos to only three or less per week.
  4. ENJOY and have FUN.

Create a Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos and post, title your blog post “Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge” tag.
  3. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly reminders.

Today’s Featured Blog

Mhdriver’s Blog  Life, Love &The World Through My Eyes

MH and his wife and dogs retired and love to travel.  He started blogging about the same time I did last spring, and was one of my first visitors.  Now he has become a cyber-friend.  He even sent me virtual flowers for my birthday.  I thought his thoughtfulness was above and beyond to call of blogging duty. MH takes some wonderful pictures, and is an enthusiastic blogger.  Visit him, and he will quickly become your friend, too.  AND if you leave a comment, you might find flowers in your email!!!  :)

 

 

 

Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

Kristen Lamb, author of Are You There Blog?  It’s Me, Writer., writes non-fiction in a folksy, easy to understand style.  Read like good fiction, the pages of this how-to book practically turned themselves.  Writers and bloggers can immediately apply her tips to improve their blog, Facebook and Twitter platforms.

In spite of the fact Are You There Blog?  It’s me, Writer. was easy to read I found myself highlighting, taking tons of notes, and rereading to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I had to discipline myself to keep on track.  My thoughts were screaming, “Wow, I need to go to Facebook RIGHT NOW, and remove my birthday, but I did a little self-talk “Take notes, Marsha.  Copy down the tips you want to remember.”  Because LEARNING SOMETHING is the goal of reading a non-fiction book, it IS a different skill than reading fiction.

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts always lurk in my brain whenever I read now.  Across the United States, by the time they start high school, students will spend 70 percent of their school day reading non-fiction materials.  I would recommend this book for students from 6th grade up.  Common Core Standards also put a greater emphasis on writing than ever before.  Teaching students to blog, and having them interact with each other as well as others, means less editing for the teacher, more interest and commitment from the students.  For language arts teachers this book will address reading and writing standards at the same time.

Even young students can respond to a teacher’s blog about a topic.  This doesn’t mean that the teacher has to “write” every “topic” on their blog.  They can copy paragraphs or quotes directly from a book they cite.  By high school many students will have a Facebook account.  Lamb’s book teaches them to use it safely and wisely.  They also learn to use Facebook as a marketing tool to market themselves.  We often overlook, or feel too pressured to teach, the importance of the “soft” skills in education, of how to get along with people, how to motivate them, and get them to like us.  Those skills are an integral part of DOING social media.  Kristen Lamb integrates those skills as she explicitly teaches basics of blogging and using social media.

“Giving is when you take your time to read their blog, to repost their story and to congratulate their writing goal on Twitter. Giving is when you write a nice review of someone else’s book unsolicited and expecting nothing in return.”

Lamb, Kristen (2011-05-07). Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer (Kindle Locations 572-573). Who Dares Wins Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Students will learn that “people love feeling good” and that “a positive attitude is a key ingredient for a hit blog that connects with others in a meaningful way.” (Ibid Location 1519)

These soft skills that students learn will be useful to them no matter what profession or trade they choose to enter during or after high school.

Kristen’s book is available on Kindle, which means that note taking will be easy for students (and teachers who are beginning bloggers).  When a quote is copied from the book on the computer the biographical information is automatically noted.  WHEW!  That was EASY!

Mike Lebsock, 8th grade history teacher, President San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social STudies (SJVCSS), John Adams in Colonial Williamsburg

Mike Lebsock, an eighth grade teacher in Fresno, posts a blog entry then has his students write one response to his post, and one response to another student’s response.  How easy that would be using this book.  The teacher doesn’t have to write his or her own content.  He or she simply copies right from the book into the blog.  The biographical information is automatically there as well.

Are You There Blog? is easy to read, but that doesn’t mean that there is NO academic vocabulary.  The academic vocabulary is primarily content-based and can be grasped within the context of the book.  However, for students using Kindle or other e-readers, they can open a window with the definition of an unfamiliar word by just passing the cursor over a word and stopping.

When I started this review, I struggled with recommending it for Common Core because it was such an enjoyable book to read.  After analyzing how the book can actually meet many elements of Common Core I have changed my mind.  Non-fiction books can be enjoyable, and enjoyable books can be academic.  Read and enjoy Kristen Lamb’s book, Are You There Blog?  It’s Me, Writer. with your students – - or just for yourself.

Today’s Featured Blog 

My blogging friend Rommel, has taught me so much.  He was one of my first visitors before I knew squat, he had nominated me for an award.  I didn’t even understand what an award was.  He kept coming back when I was working full time+, and hardly had a second to visit any blogs, there was Rommel commenting on my blog.   Then recently he featured me on his site.  Who knew?  What a kind thing to do.  So it is with great honor and pride that I introduce my first Featured Blogger, Rommel.  The post that I chose, although he writes great travel stories, posts amazing pictures from all over the world, I fell in love with Once in A Blue Moon, a poem.  This is how it starts.

Another special post.

Here goes…

You know what…. I need to pause… An image first.

Can’t you just picture a vibrant young man venturing out on unfamiliar waters, writing a poem?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

I was VERY thankful for grandparents and great-grandparents. I MIGHT have been spoiled by being the first child of two only-children.

This week’s photo challenge by WordPress, Thankful , conjures up pictures of food, family, friends, and material objects.  Beyond our immediate circle of influence and interaction, our country, and the peace, liberty, and freedom it offers comprise some of the more esoteric gifts that make us thankful.  Our lives are improved by people that serve us and do things that we can’t do for ourselves, so we are thankful for:   business people, teachers, doctors, our service men and women, inventors, even attorneys, Jean.

All of what we experience in life today thankfully and appreciatively is built on a foundation of ancestors that worked hard, made mistakes, created, and destroyed, loved and laughed just as we do today who left us a legacy.  I am thankful that life moves on, and things change.

Stocks in Colonial Williamsburg

At a teachers week-long institute in Colonial Williamsburg, we had no idea what kind of trouble we might be getting into.  I’m not sure why we are laughing, our crime was not a laughing matter.  We might have been doing something dreadful such as preaching Baptist doctrine inside the town.  Amazing when it’s out your time period, you can laugh about some pretty horrible practices.  I’m just thankful these are passé.

Here are some other samples of Thankful.

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Ese’s Voice
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Figments of a DuTchess
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « masadiso79′s Blog
  4. Over the Rainbow « Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | FOTO chip – © Birgitta Rudenius
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « MaanKind
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « What’s (in) the picture?
  8. WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « A year in the Life
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful, can mean many things « A Western Buddhist’s Travels
  10. I am thankful for… | Thirdeyemom
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « « The Great Escape » Life from behind a lens
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | The Patient Gardener’s Weblog
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful (Introducing The Prawn Of Appreciation) | EL Appleby: Short Stories*
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
  15. Thanksgiving Blessings « Sisters of Christ
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful — Mirror. « mommyverbs
  17. Thankful « Teepe’s weblog
  18. Thankful… « the thirdeyeworld
  19. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Just a few photos
  20. salsa verde « yi-ching lin photography
  21. Weekly Photo Challenge – Thankful « The Urge To Wander
  22. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Tea with a Pirate
  23. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful – Joy and Woe
  24. Weekly Photo Challenge – thankful | Chittle Chattle
  25. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Form Your Troika
  26. Weekly Photo Challenge – Thankful | Just Snaps
  27. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « warmhotchocolate
  28. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : THANKFUL « beyond toxicity
  29. Weekly photo challenge: Thankful « The (Urban-Wildlife) Interface
  30. Weekly Photo Challenge; Thankful « Day One
  31. The Gravity of the Situation | Beyond the Brush
  32. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « thelifebus
  33. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | a hectic life
  34. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Words & Pictures
  35. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity
  36. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Alastair’s Blog
  37. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Lola Jane’s World
  38. They deserve it the most… | Living in Another Language
  39. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Sigoese
  40. Thanksgiving photo post « my blog.
  41. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | colderweather
  42. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | joy cannis photography
  43. Thankful | Galang Pusa
  44. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Miljo Anne
  45. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | The Good Villager
  46. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Perceptions of a reluctant Homemaker
  47. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | s1ngal
  48. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Lonely Travelog
  49. weekly photo challenge: thankful « a nomad in the land of nizwa
  50. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « The World According to Me…
  51. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Blatherskite
  52. Why I Don’t Invite Milla Jovovich to Tea | rarasaur
  53. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful for Blog Readers | Cardboard Me Travels
  54. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Ruth E Hendricks Photography
  55. BLACK FRIDAY DEAL: 30 Minute WordPress Consultation | Open Knowledge
  56. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Efrata Denny Saputra Yunus
  57. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | blog SRI IZAWATI
  58. Photo Journal/Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful «
  59. Thankful for every minute of it … | The Wanderlust Gene
  60. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Wind Against Current
  61. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : THANKFUL | soumyav
  62. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Simply Charming
  63. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | SC Surf Butler
  64. Fotograf Sara Marklund « britten
  65. Weekly Travel Theme: Liquid | Sue Ann’s Balcony
  66. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | A Hedonistic Wander
  67. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Sasieology
  68. Challenge photo de la semaine – Gratitude « Paris en photographies
  69. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | I am Super Istar
  70. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Angel Frouk
  71. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | The Serenity Space
  72. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Tammys Pratbubbla
  73. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful «
  74. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Olivia May Photography
  75. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Nature on the Edge
  76. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Colline’s Blog
  77. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful – a time to be thankful, and a time for reflections – to my fellow bloggers, family and friends | My Notebook
  78. Thanksgiving Reflections « SimplySage
  79. Thankful !! | nirvanatrails
  80. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Mirth and Motivation
  81. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Last Train to QVille
  82. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Life&Ink
  83. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Stefano Scheda
  84. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful (Reasons to Be) | Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond…
  85. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful / My Camera | wAnderful ESCAPADES
  86. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
  87. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Julie Dawn Fox Photography

Sunday Post: Architecture

If you haven’t been to http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/sunday-post-architecture/#comments , and you like photography, and you need ideas for a short posts, Jake is your guy.  I love this because even as amateur photographers everyone usually has tons of pictures that sit unseen by anyone but a file folder.  This is a reason to open up those dusty folders, and pick out our best work.

Seattle came to its own during the 1962 Worlds Fair, and even today, 50 years later, the Space Needle dominates the cityscape.

The Space Needle still towers over Seattle skyscrapers to reign king.

Alien influence reigned supreme in the post-Roswell, New Mexico 1960s after aliens visited in 1947.  They introduced everything round into architecture.  Although the Space Needle is still grounded, it resembles a giant flying saucer, complete with windows all the way around.  The top-rated restaurant makes one revolution per hour.  If you go for dinner check to make sure your credit card is NOT maxed out before enter the man-operated elevator.

According to Wiki, the Needle was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it first peeped its head out.  It was built to withstand high winds, and you will definitely feel them if you go outside on the walk around the observation deck at about 500 feet above the street.  But don’t worry.  You are safe from structural calamity up to a gust of 201 mph.  Ordinary gusts may be too great for your to keep a hold on your camera as you steady yourself against the ledge to get a great picture.

By the way I did not remove any of the color from this photograph which I took from my 15 story hotel room about a mile away from the Needle.

Here are some other challenges that I liked.

Here’s how the weekly photo Competition works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

GET THE BADGE FOR YOUR IMAGE WIDGET….

 

 

Very Inspiring Blogger Awards

I love awards, and I have been saving them to enjoy on my birthday, which is today.  So today I’m going to open my presents, last one first.

Thanks to Sue Ann’s Balcony

Yesterday I received The Inspiring Blog Award from Sue Ann’s Balcony.  I also want to say thanks to Eunice at NutsforTreasure for nominating me November 24th for the same award.  I am so honored that my blog is considered inspiring.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State seven things about yourself.
  1. I love to read, but do so way too slowly to get through all the books I want to devour.
  2. I slip easily, but since I love to laugh, it’s great fodder.
  3. I’m going to see if I can still do cartwheels at 61.  My great-grandfather could.
  4. I have a WONDERFUL supportive husband who prefers grocery shopping without me!!
  5. I’m grateful for the many friends whom I love and who love me.
  6. I use Bath and Body works lotion to keep soft skin.  Otherwise I feel like sandpaper.
  7. Gray is not my best color.

Updated and finished:  Nov. 26th  It is such a pleasure to get to know you all.  Thanks again everybody for reading my blog.

They say getting older is no sweat. Don’t believe them!

Catch you all later.  I need to see if I can still do a cart-wheel.  Have a great day!  Hope your candidate won yesterday.

Location, Location, Location Making the Most of Meetings

President Elect, Mike Lebsock, begins his term as San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies President on July 1, 2012.  In preparation he meets with Vice-President Elect, Justin Paredes, current President, Marsha Ingrao, and Treasurer, Marvin Awbrey to ensure a smooth transition.  Instead of meeting somewhere bland, the group of history buffs took a self-guided tour of Tulare County’s largest museums located in Mooney Grove Park.