Monday, July 31, 2006

5 Claims of Value

Matthew recently gave me Daily Sparks Writing Prompt books for me to develop my writing. Each book has 180 writing prompts to challenge writers. I already had the Shakespeare and the Poetry books, and he gave me Journal Writing and Critical Thinking . I just did 2 entries, and the one from Critical Thinking was interesting.
The prompt talked about making a claim that you can support. One type of claim is a claim of value, where you state that something either HAS or lacks value. Then the prompt said to write 5 Claims of Value. So I tried. I think I got way too specific - b/c I was trying to support my claim in my claim (only b/c I wanted to PROVE IT! ha!). But... I'm going to post my 5 claims online - maybe you won't agree - that's okay; I'm not looking for criticism or arguments.... but I'm wondering if you'd respond with a claim of value of your own if you feel like it!

1. A deep understanding of the Bible allows for a greater understanding of most classical literature (that written in the English language and written before 1980). For that matter, even a general knowledge of the Bible would help!

2. Learning to play a musical instrument at an early age plays an important role in developing critical and/or complex thinking later in life.

3. Poetry is worth studying: for its beauty of word choice, honesty, patterns/structure and underlying sounds and rhythms.

4. Learning to be alone, by yourself, with no form of modern entertainment has worth - you will understand yourself, your goals, your thinking, and you will come to understand others also.

5. The Internet, along with cell phones and video games, is depleting our society of its morality and empathy. Anybody can say anything and be anybody without fear of repercussions. Nobody has to take a face-to-face stance.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Illo Friday - Opposites

"I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree / A tree whose hungry mouth is prest. / Against the earth's sweet flowing brest;/ A tree that looks at God all day, /And lifts her leafy arms to pray," - Joyce Kilmer

I've long been thinking about plants and roots and weeds as I garden. Even when I close my eyes, I see weeds!

I chose to draw a tree - bare bones, of course, to illustrate "Opposites." In my image, I drew the roots as an exact mirror of the branches to illustrate the opposing forces of branch vs root. The branches reaching up are held by the roots reaching down. It's only this Push-me-Pull-you state (if you will - it was my favorite Dr. Doolittle animal!)that keeps the tree alive and growing against gravity. Might this illustrate Newton's Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Tree grows UP, then tree must grow DOWN. Forgive my trampling of biology, but it seems that the two need each other to survive? Opposites attract.

I also like the concept that while the branches are free to swing in the air and sunshine, the roots by contrast are locked firmly in place in the dark depths of earth - 2 more opposites: motion and stasis (STASIS Etymology: New Latin, from Greek, act or condition of standing, stopping, from histasthai to stand -- see, STAND).

Just my thoughts.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pigeon books

Matthew and I just returned from Borders where I forced him to listen to me read ALL the Mo Willems books I could find. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late is my FAVORITE! So clever and funny too. It totally reminds me of what I was like when I was little and wouldn't go to bed. I got a big kick out of reading the books to Matthew in my pigeon voice too! Anyways, it was fun and entertaining! You should go out and read them... and while you're at it, "How about a hot dog party?" :)

Beach- OUCH!

Back to the beach house this week for a few days - I actually got some color. Brie and Lori were there with us for awhile too. Here's a photo of Old Saybrook! The sunsets are just beautiful. This is actually from last summer. This year the sunsets have seemed more purply than orange....

I got pinched TWICE by some crabs in the sand when I went water walking! OUCH! They were scary! I mean, if their pinchers can hurt, can you imagine how big they must have been? I didn't stick around to find out - I went screaming all the way back to the sand (much to Matthew's embarrassment!) and then made Matthew carry me across the last tidal pool. Crabs are like giant spiders of the sea - and you know how I hate spiders! YUK! Plus, what are the chances of getting pinched TWICE in 5 minutes?

The last night, we had a HUGE thunderstorm blow through the area - it felt more like a hurricane! The power went out, and the wind howled and whistled in an eerie, scary-movie way! The rain was being driven in off the water so hard it was going sideways! One of the glass topped picnic tables was carried past the house into the front yard (but unbroken!) and an old wooden rowboat was pushed about 50 feet until it landed by the house! Strong winds! The sheet lightning was almost non-stop for hours with a few large bolts far away. The tide was out and the lightning would illuminate the empty beach every few seconds like a strobe light, making it seem like a wasteland. Even though there's plenty of houses around, the storm isolated us with its sound and power. Definitely did not make for a sound sleep! But it was amazing to watch.

Sweet sounds of summer...

Okay so MY sweet sounds of summer are the huge trucks coming to repave our road, accompanied by the sick smell of tar. Can one even DESCRIBE the smell of tar? I can't b/c I'll get sick...
I've been on Summer Vacation for 3.5 weeks now and just beginning to realize it!
Week 1 - Went to a 4 day workshop on how to teach Writer's Workshop in class. I'm pretty excited about it - it seems like a good way for me to teach and reach all my students at different levels. There's just a lot of set up involved by way of class discipline and students have to get used to a different style of learning. I'll keep you posted on how it goes! Right now I have about 6 books to read before I can really feel ready for it and another 3 day workshop to go to on Reader's Workshop! :)

Week 2 - Went to the shore - First we stopped at The Water's Edge in Westbrook (?) for some spa services and fantastic meal - that was great - I HIGHLY recommend it! :) Then we spent a few days at the Settipane's beach house in Old Saybrook. Very relaxing, and got to see Karen and Russ and the Kids!

Week 3 - Our church had camp meetings all week with services morning and night. All the messages were really good. Also I saw the Ericson's there too - I went to school with Kristina like back in 8th grade! I don't think I've seen her since her first semester at BJU, unless she was at Miriam's wedding?? Not sure.
Also we went out to RI to visit with Karen and Russ and Joe and Kathy - we haven't seen Joe in about a year and a half! We brought him some wedding cake since he was in Iraq when we got married! HA!


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