Tuesday, May 26, 2009

a discovery i made today

WV Poet Laureate Irene McKinney
By Irene McKinney

Download MP3
May 22, 2009 · West Virginia Poet Laureate, Irene McKinney talks about "Marginalia."
The word sent us to the dictionary. "Marginalia" has a few meanings, the first: handwritten notes made in the margins of books.

For librarians this is may be considered a capital crime, but if you own the book and you become famous, your "marginalia" may become the fascination of future scholars.

The second meaning of the word is flourishes and drawings in illuminated manuscripts. Either meaning could apply to this essay.
Irene McKinney, West Virginia's Poet Laureate, lives on her family farm near Bellington. This occasional series of essays is produced by John Nakashima. Her latest book is "Unthinkable: Selected Poems 1976 to 2004," published by Red Hen Press.

May 26, 2009

I remember a time when I was perfectly happy. I remember it because I said to myself: this is a beautiful day - the weather is sunny and warm; the family, including the extended family, is healthy, safe and for the most part outwardly happy. I am healthy and I feel good about myself, my life, my job and my past, present and future.

I can only remember the setting now; I can't remember the date. I was driving west on route 50 from Grafton, toward home - looking into the sunset. But, it's nice to even remember the feeling once in a while.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's the same the world over

Below is a post I copied from Hobo teacher. I love it. We are into testing now and have finished the 3rd day. I have so many things to share about this week, but I would be finished in the profession if I wrote them now instead of in my memories book (I kant spel memwarse)

Gone in Sixty Seconds
The administrative assistant from the front office e-mailed us to let us know that someone left a note in her box with a message that the scriber was leaving campus at noon. That person didn’t sign the note, and the administrative assistant wanted to know who left the note.

That’s not the only thing to be worried about. The end of the year is so crazy that the note could actually be a resignation letter. I could see myself being that frustrated—except it would most likely be attached to something ablaze.

That’s how I envision things going down for me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WESTEST begins

It's 5 am edt and I haven't been to sleep since 3. I have been tossing and turning. I can't get this test ing thing out of my sleep. I have 40 unsharpened pencils in a basket in my room at school and a very poor pencil sharpener on the wall there. I know it sounds like just a little thing but little things are buggin me these days. Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves?

i couldn't remember where I put the key to my room... I got up and found it again...

i am going to hit the shower now. maybe things will be clearer when I get out...

also, i bought another pair of reading glasses so i can see the computer screen... if i can just find them...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Room of One's Own

Because I have not mastered the art of linking to another post, I have copied this, again - I copied yesterday's also. I liked the title " A Room of Our Own" that is a similar one to Kate Chopin's short story of ages past -- "The Awakening".
Because my bell is ringing, I will have to tell you why I chose this to blog about - later...
Read and enjoy.

A Room of Our Own
By: Diana Butler Bass
Monday May 4, 2009
Categories: Christians, Defining Progressive, Religion in the Public Square
My family lives in a typical 1960s house in the Washington DC suburbs, and I work at home. "Typical 1960s house" equals small and no closets. As a result, my books were taking over and there wasn't much space to write. We decided to move my job to the backyard. Thus was born "Mom's writing cottage," a 150 square-foot white clapboard house with green trim and a window box. In recent weeks, my daughter and I planted flowers all around making the tiny house literally bloom with creativity--not to mention a plethora of purple pansies.
About two weeks ago, I posted pictures of my cottage on Facebook. What happened next truly surprised me--my wall and my inbox were literally flooded with comments. "Oh, it is so cute!" wrote a good number of my friends, "I want one, too." Strangers requested copies of the building plans. Indeed, the envy factor ran so high that I apologized for causing so many people to break the 10th Commandment--Thou Shalt Not Covet.
As I read my these notes, I began to realize that they represented a powerful spiritual impulse in our culture--to have a place, a cozy place of retreat, to think, read, reflect, and pray. A little place to do good work; a room to call one's own (many people quoted Virginia Woolf's famous line back to me).
The really odd thing about this is that many--if not most--of my friends self-identify on Facebook as "liberal," "left," or "progressive" when asked about their politics. They are activists, justice-oriented, politically engaged, non-profit do-gooders, and most of them live in cities. They are busy people working to make the world a better place. They feed hungry people; they lead marches at city hall. Frankly, their response to the cottage reminded me a little of the kind of thing that Thoreau might hanker for--a tiny corner of the world where one might better encounter the spirit in order to feel the ethical heartbeat of the universe.
There's a bumper sticker that says: "If you want peace, work for justice." I think that is true. New progressives, however, may want to turn it around: "If you want justice, seek out peace." Historically understood, progressive faith has always insisted that activism springs from prayer; that ethics must be grounded in devotion. Thus, the way to social transformation is a way that knows when to retreat--not escape--but retreat to connect with the God who is justice, and whose beautiful dream of justice shapes the political imagination.
When I was a teenager, I read a book by Elizabeth O'Connor called Journey Inward/Journey Outward (no longer in print). In it, she argued that the greatest mistake of 20th century religion had been to sever the relationship between spirituality and social justice. She pled for the inner of devotion and outer life of activism to be reunited.
With all the difficult challenges we face with international relations, the economy, and the environment, it is a good thing to remember that fixing the outward circumstances isn't the entire goal. A more complete progressive goal is to help bring about a world in which all people might experience the profoundly human journey of loving God and loving neighbor. We have to pay attention to the inner life as well as the outer one. Journey inward. Journey outward.
Many thanks, Facebook friends. You reminded me that progress often involves retreat--the right kind of quiet pause to grow deeper as we reach further. And if you are ever in DC, come by the little house for a cup of tea. We'll talk about changing the world.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A twenty-first century encounter

This is copied from Hobo teacher blog/log
What the hell is BFF?
I know ROTFL
I’m lost at MAOWPIMP


Friday, May 15, 2009
The Text Best Thing
I had to ask a student to put away her cell phone during class, but she justified her actions by revealing that she was texting a student who has me later in the day what the assignment was because she was absent today. Since she was sharing with me, I decided to do the same. Beginning with recognizing her desire to help her friend, I went on to tell her that perhaps our absent student’s school work might be a matter that needs to be discussed between her and myself only. A third party may not be called for.
I loved her response: “But you don’t have her cell number. You can’t text her.”
The next hilarious thing that came out of her mouth might have been my fault because I reminded her that I wouldn’t contact her BFF by her cell phone.
“You don’t have a MySpace page because that would just be gross.”
- H.T. at 7:00 AM

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And a Happy Mother's Day to you too!

Yes, evening has come to the mountains. The photo above is one of green and cool WV, so I thought it best to switch headers to invite summer to come along soon!

We, here at the farm, are full of oatmeal cookies (Thank you Tracy). And enjoying the brief pause between getting ready for work tomorrow and getting ready for bed tonight.

Tracy, Keith and Delia stopped by to wish us all a happy Mom's Day and give gifts: Grandma Freda her Birthday card and cookies, me a lovely storebought card and bamboo ring freshner.

Grandma enjoyed their visit and so did Grandpa Stan who wolfed down the Subway sammy that Keith brought at my behest. ( I thought no cooking was a way we could all enjoy the day with no clean up either...I was informed that Subway was subpar inthe sammy department -- and we won't do that again...)

In retrospect, we had a nice time and everyone survived this meeting limbs intact. Yes, Tracy got her Mom's Day gift from Trisha (Thank you) and her card from Me.

School will be over for the summer soon. Delia has a fieldtrip to Prickett's Fort on the 22nd of May. And I will be finished sometime after June 9 - there is an "academy" on the 10 and 11 or the 11 and 12...I'll check my calendar later. And so it goes... whether we want it to or not.

Happy May, gentle readers.

Happy Mother's Day or Sunday in the Valley - May 10, 2009

It's just like you remember it. Green, sunny with a cool breeze. The grey squirrel escaped the hillside and made it to the silver maple in the front yard to play today.

Noone is moving inside. Grandma is sleeping after a bout with the "after breakfast cough"- Grandpa Stan is watching TV and waiting for me to dig up something for lunch. Windy is waiting for G'ma to rest before she gets her lunch @ 3.

The details of our lives are not very exciting. But the weather is gorgeous, and the weather changes daily, of course, so that give great fodder for writing.

Mebbe, yesterday's activities will be more exciting to talk about:

Grandma is officially 87 years young.

There was cake: two layers with lemon glace spread between them. Yellow and bright orange roses atop a background of white icing. yummy.

There was food: Rigatoni, meatballs, salad with tomatoes and that special dressing -oil and garlic. There was Italian sausage and peppers for Dad and Ed.

There were cards: a plethora of them - birthday and mother's day... beautiful.

There were guests: Barb n Ed; Trisha and Zoey; Windy and Linda; of course, yours truely.

There were presents: Trisha brought cards and pictures and we loved them! Linda brought gowns (and flowers from her yard.)

A good time was had by all... We missed those not in attendance, as we do at all family get-togethers nowdays.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How Long Can You Tread Water?

April Showers bring Mayflowers, pilgrims, ducks in the pool, and such... The Eastern Coast is famous for its humidity and so we have it hanging in the air, by the buckets, in the droplets and flowing across the roadways and down the rain spouts splashing into the yard.

OUTSIDE: The fragrance of the valley is changing to rain fresh (from Tracy's flowery, violet-lavender scented, (or as some would call it: PEZ) fresh mountain air.

The dandelions have thrown off their white halos in favor of their progeny and, I fear, we will see many golden dots among the green when the grass is finally cut - looks like after next Wednesday at this time...

We, the inhabitants of this country estate, have feasted upon steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn along with the plethora of deserts from which to choose - courtesy of the Wilsonburg Lions and their mates who cook to raise funds for the blind... I didn't know a single person there by name at the school this time. Nobody tried to sell me a raffle ticket or a fifty-fifty. Times have changed.

When I go, I'll leave no imprint. Just like everyone else.

Got to get to the bills and the grades.

Hope you are all well.