Friday, May 29, 2020

online lessons

I signed up for MasterClass to get their 2-for-1 deal and so that I could sit at the feet of Billy Collins.  He does things in his poems that I love but that are not my usual style, so I thought I'd learn something new and stretchy.  I was right, and I'm only on Lesson 5 of 19.  You can also see what other members of the family have found interesting!


My dear friend Mary Lee is celebrating the triumphant yet sorrowing end of her school year with an expansive post inviting us to a Reading Without Walls challenge.  See you there!

Friday, May 22, 2020


At the beginning of May Michelle Heidenrich Barnes shared an interview with Margaret Simon on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty. At the end of the interview, Margaret posted a timely challenge to “Write a mindful poem about the present moment.” I got a little motivated by Mary Lee Hahn's suggestion in the comments to make that into a daily challenge. We put out the idea with the hashtag #PoemsofPresence and invited poets to write small poems for each day in May.  Michelle made the gorgeous logo.  My first one quotes Margaret quoting from Mary Oliver.

                                               horns and a cowbell

walking widdershins

Thanks to all who are making this a very satisfying (and doable) project! Our host today is Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link, who has been joining us in some #PoemsofPresence and shares them in a new gallery of illustrated poetry.  Wishing you wondering and sending you mending, should you need it.

Friday, May 15, 2020

nothing to see here

No, literally and actually, NOTHING TO SEE HERE.  It's a weekend to properly read around the posts.

I read this for my book club.  It's good.

Thanks for hosting, Jama!

Friday, May 8, 2020

#poemsofpresence #shelterinpoems

This mouse is how
I reach you
roll   point    click
This screen is how
I touch you
flat    cold     far

Teacher hat on today: The state of Maryland has put out suggestions about what school may look like when we return to our school buildings:

"Today, daily school operations will likely include increased health and hygiene measures such as wearing masks, temperature checks, hand-washing, frequent sanitation, and social distancing, especially for elementary students. In addition, elementary playground areas may be marked for social distancing along with areas within schools. ...
Reduced class sizes may be expected to become the norm, consisting of students placed in the smallest classes possible with desks that are placed six feet apart. ...Special areas such as art, health, and physical education may be offered remotely via video chat along with parent/teacher conferences, discipline conferences, 504, and IEP meetings."

As my friend Jake Russo points out, this will be not only unworkable, but detrimental if not abusive to young children. THE MAIN POINT of school is "social studies"--learning to live in community to develop the skills needed to participate in the society. Even if you cynically admit that we care less about social studies than a) every other content area and b) school as state-provided child care to support employment and economic functions, it is impossible to effectively teach elementary students without physical closeness including touch. 

It's now 4pm and getting late for Poetry Friday, so I'll stop hoping that I can add anything uplifting or sheltering---WAIT!

Here's the #shelter part:

click on this:
the certainty that
not one of us will participate
they can't fire us all

Thanks to Michelle for hosting us today at Today's Little Ditty.  Be as well as you can, friends.