Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: uh-sen-shuh

Definition: The act of rising.

The mercury in our thermometers is ascending as much hotter temperatures arrive in Arizona. We will probably hit 100 by this weekend if not sooner.

Wednesday’s poetry corner.

Today I am in the mood for something silly so I chose Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky.” While attending the University of Colorado in Denver I was required to take a class in theater fro my communication degree. I think the instructor was a frustrated actor because she always had us warm up before class by recitingthis poem while gyrating and writhing around the stage. It always felt weird but I still find the poem very silly, which suits me, just fine today.


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the manxome foe he sought --

So rested he by the Tumtum tree.

And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came wiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

The poem was taken from this web site:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Chess team does it again!

This past weekend my son’s school went to Flagstaff for the State Chess Tournament. They did really well and earned the Schools second trophy. I was so proud of my boy as well as all the other boys who went to play. Between the four boys, they played 28 games and earned 13 points. For their very first time to a state Tournament, they did extremely well. They also had a very good time.

Tonight the boys get to revel in their success. It’s the schools first Athletic banquet to honor all the team payers as well as the cheer team. The boys are bound to earn a trophy or two considering the school would not have a single trophy so far if not for the intrepid Chess team. Yea chess team. We have even been told that it is possible for the boy’s to eventually letter in chess, how cool is that? I told my son that chicks dig a boy in a varsity athlete’s jacket.

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: kĭb'ĭts

Definition: To look on and offer advice sometime unwanted.

Kibitzing was strictly forbidden at the State Chess Tournament in Flagstaff this past weekend.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Now you know.

Tag I’m it!

Fuzzy’s dad and RT have tagged me with the seven interesting things about your self.

Here are the rules if you decide to play along:

1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2) Share seven facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3) Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven interesting things about me.

1. I have belonged to all three political parties at one point in my life. First, I was a democrat, then an independent and finally, and very unlikely to change, a republican.

2. I like to eat ding-dongs by first easting all the chocolate icing off then nibbling the cake until I am left with a handful of cream filling.

3. I still like to eat dessert with a little spoon so it lasts longer.

4. I have absolutely no sense of direction. The only time I ever knew where I was, was when I lived in Colorado and had the mountains for reference.

5. I didn’t get my drivers license unit I was about 23.

6. I can’t say the alphabet unless I sing the song.

7. I worry too much about whether or not people like me. I tell my children that not every one is going to like you and that's all right. It's their loss. I know that's true but I still get bothered when someone doesn't like me because after all I am very likable.

The people I tag are

Big bad wolf

Evil lunch lady

Voices in the night

Looser old guy

And that all I can think of. If you haven’t been tagged it’s still ok to play.

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: sur-sees

Definition: to end.

After last weeks lack of responses to what’s my punch line I have decided it time for it to surcease. I’ll try to come up with something different to start the week off. Any ideas feel free to let me know.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

Eight years ago today my baby girl was born. While her arrival was preplanned, it ended up being a rather exciting delivery. After a few hours of being induced, it was determined that we were going to need a c-section after all. I had sent my husband home to wait with our son so he wouldn’t be alone and we didn’t expect anything to happen until the next morning any way. I tried to call him and tell him to get back to the hospital they were going to delivery her now! He wasn’t home. Then my mom called me to see how I was doing. I told her their doing a c-section and I don’t know where Duane is! She took it from there and after several long distant phone calls; Duane was there just in time to be with me when our daughter was born. I can still see it as they lifted her out, her hand brushed her face and it looked just like she was waving hello. Her arrival was exciting and life with our Robyn has continued to one exciting adventure after another. Happy birthday Baby!

Vocabulary word of the day.



Definition: loud and unrestrained merrymaking.

Let the revelry begin, today we celebrate Robyn’s eight birthday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

wE haveYOur CAR!

The kidnappers called yesterday with their list of demands. My husband is to meet them at a designated place know as the Scottsdale police department. He is to bring with him the following items: his driver’s license, the registration to the car they are holding hostage, proof of insurance for the car, and 150 dollars in unmarked bills. At that time, they will give him a piece of paper and directions to where the car is being held. He is to go there and give them the paper as well as 75 dollars. The car will then be returned to him. I just hope it has not been too traumatized by its ordeal

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I still do.

Thirteen years ago, today I married an incredible man. I said I do then, I still do, and I always will. It has been a wonderful journey so far. There have been a few rough patches; we have survived two moves, the loss of a job, the threat of a lay-off, as well as a few financial glitches. We have made it through the rough times because we always remember that when we work together, there is nothing he and I can’t do. The struggles have only made us stronger. The good times have far outnumbered any of the rough times and I will treasure them always. Together we are raising two wonderful children. We have made a home for ourselves and we are both continuing to grow in our personal lives as well as our careers. I couldn’t ask for a better man then Duane; he is a good husband, father and friend. Happy Anniversary and know that every time I say I love you I am saying I still do.

Wednesday’s poetry corner

Yesterday was Wyatt’s 39th Birthday. Since I didn’t get him a present, I thought I would use Wednesday’s poetry corner to give him a birthday poem instead. Happy Birthday Wyatt! For more information on today’s poet, use the following link.

Birthday Blessings

Instead of counting candles,
Or tallying the years,
Contemplate your blessings,
As your birthday nears.

Consider special people
Who love you, and who care,
And others who’ve enriched your life
Just by being there.

Think about the memories
Passing years can never mar,
Experiences great and small
That have made you who you are.

Another year is a happy gift,
So cut your cake, and say,
"Instead of counting birthdays,
I count blessings every day!"

By Joanna Fuchs

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: teks-tahyl, -til

Definition: Cloth made by knitting or weaving.

The traditional gift for a 13th wedding anniversary is lace and the modern gift is textiles. I think I will go with lace.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I’m back in the saddle again.

I finally was able to get back my practicum teacher yesterday and I think she was glad to see me. I logged in 30 minutes of observation time. It has been so helpful to watch a good teacher in action. I have been able to see how she gets them back on track when they have just come in from recess or solve hurt feelings without taking sides. I think I have learned more in the classrooms about how to teach then all the rest of my classes combined. I’m not saying the classes are worthless , they are excellent in teaching theories and concepts about learning but when it comes down to what actually happens in the classroom you need to be in one.

While the students were taking a quiz, I had a chance to talk to her about finishing my practicum hours and my thoughts on a lesson I would like to teach. She was very agreeable to both so I am feeling more optimistic about finishing the class work onetime to pass the class. Life is good again.

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: rash-ee-os-uh-neyt

Definition: to reason.

The ability to ratiocinate seems to be stronger in some people then in others, fro example Republicans versus Democrats.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The truth is out there?

I just finished reading an excellent post by the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler about religion and it got me thinking. Why does my belief in God upset those who don’t believe in God so very much? I know there are many people who believe very strongly that aliens have visited us from outer space and that they still come by and cruise our skies. I don’t believe that, I never have, but I do not get upset that they believe something I don’t. If you think about it, there are many people like my self that do not believe in aliens but you don’t see us persecuting those that do. The way I figure it, what they want to believe in has no impact on what I do or do not believe. I may think they are silly for believing in little green men and they can think I am silly for believing in God but we should all be allowed to believe or not believe as we choose.

I made it, 2000 visitors!

Not too shabby I have had 2000 people stop by to check out what I have to say since January 3, 2008. If my count remains the same and here, hoping it doesn’t and if I have dome the math correctly, be patient, math makes my head hurt. It comes out to almost 4 months to reach 2000; that’s wait about 1,000 a month so it should take roughly 400 months to reach 200,000. That’s close 33 years. I wonder if I will still be posting when I am 80, if I am I hope you will all still be around when I reach that goal. By then I should be able to afford a cool gift, if I remember.

On to a more important matter - who is the winner the winner is my next-door neighbor Paula. She confirmed that it was she on my blog last night and she chose “Force Ten from Navarone” as her prize, Congratulations Paula!

Baton down the hatches!

We experienced gale force winds in Arizona today, hurricane Cody blew through the house. His life was ruined, I didn’t care about him, he hates his sister, he hates his life, and it’s my entire fault. We ended up shouting at each other and I became very angry and upset. Moments later the hurricane winds died down and he was all sunshine and rainbows again, but I was still reeling from the effects of the storm. Why is it that when the storm is over for the hormonally challenged boy he’s fine and I’m left cleaning up the debris? I never did this to my mom and I am sure she would back me up on that. I think I know why God made teenagers. It’s so much easier to let them go when they reach adulthood.

Help police!

When your car is stolen you can usually call the police but who do you call when it’s the police that has your car? That is right the City of Scottsdale has our car and is holding it for ransom. Ok they sort of do have a legitimate and lawful excuse for taking it. My husband got a ticket just before Christmas and thought he had paid the fine on line but he failed to make sure it was resolved. He missed the notice sent out that the ticket was not paid. So his license was suspended and a bulletin was issued when he was pulled over for driving with a cracked windshield. Long story short, the car was impounded, his license was taken, and my husband was left stranded in Scottsdale and forced to take a cab home after missing a bus connection. However, that is not the point! My husband paid the fine and got his license back the next day but they still won’t give us our car back. Instead, we had to request an impounded car hearing on line. After it was submitted, a helpful little message popped up. Thank you for your request and officer of the court will get back with you in several days. The backlog they told my husband is because there are literally 100’s of cars impounded daily by Scottsdale. Now we know why they do it. It a moneymaker. They steal your car, impound it, and make you wait several days and possibly up to 4 weeks to get it back all the while they get to charge you an impound fee. In the mean time we share a car.

What’s my punch line?

Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, and john McCain find a genie’s lamp. They decide that it is only fair that they each get one wish. What does each one wish for?

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: tar-ee

Definition: To remain or to stay in one place.

I was forced to tarry inline Saturday so that my son could buy a half dozen skate shirts at a huge warehouse sale. FYI skaters are an interesting group of people.

Friday, April 18, 2008

And the winner is!

Everybody! I liked all the entry's this week for what do; you think the letters IRS should stand for. Now for your amusement I give you the many different meaning for IRS.

Idiotic Redistribution’s Solution by Conservative Scalawag

Internal Robbery Station by fuzzy’s dad

Income Reduction Scheme and It Really Sucks by Big daddy

Investment Redistribution Strategy by the tax man

And Anonymous said irregardless of Regulatory Statute

I feel like I could fly!

I did it, I spoke to my resource teacher and we both concluded that it was not going to work out with me in the resource room. She explained that due to an IEP (individual education plan), there was nothing she could do but she understood that I had to do what I had to do. My principal equally understanding and I feel like I have left the door open to come back if it works out with my schedule. I don’t plan on doing that until after I finish my classes though. I don’t want to go through this again. After my conversations, I felt as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I practically floated out to my car. Life is good!

Can you say reek? I knew you could.

The other aids' I work with at school have been complaining about the smell of one of their student’s feet. I thought perhaps that they were exaggerating a bit. I know better now, I worked with him today He is such a sweet boy and I felt bad for him, but I swear I thought my eyes were going to water. At one point, I saw that his feet were out of his shoes and he was wiggling his toes effectively fanning the stink around the room. I almost gagged. I said, “Put those feet back into those shoes now!” That helped a little, but man what a smell I think it took some of the curl out of my hair.

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: dē'lěk-tā'shən

Definition: to feel extreme pleasure of satisfaction.

To say that my mood was one of delectation after I finally resigned form my after noon job to focus on my school work would be an understatement.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tag I’m it.

RT tagged me with the favorite drinking vessel meme and I have finally come up with my choices. My husband would tell you that my favorite drinking vessel is the one he is drinking out of at the that time It drives him nuts because very often I will finish off what ever beverage he was drinking. While I haven’t totally changed my ways ,I now refrain from finishing his drink. That’s progress right? My next favorite drinking beverage is probably whatever container it came in whether a water bottle or a soda can. I chose the two wine glasses not because I drink a lot but when I do have a glass of wine I like it to be in a nice glass and these are two of my favorite ones. Finally my coffee mug, like most of you I do not drink coffee and only occasionally tea but I do like a good cup of hot cocoa and this is the mug I like it in. Because I don't think they have been tagged I will tag the ambulance driver , voices in the night, fuzzy's dad and the evil lunch lady . Tag , your it!

Vocabulary word of the day



Pronounced: dis-ri-gahrd-fuh

Definition: To be in extreme disregard to someone else’s feelings.

The Scottsdale police officer who pulled my husband over for a cracked windshield then learned that his license was suspended resulting in his impounding my husbands car and leaving him stranded in Scottsdale twenty five miles from home at 7:00 pm last night was very disregardful of how my husband felt about that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I am 72 hits away from 2000, so I am going to follow the example of Wyatt and offer a prize to the 2000 visitor. While I am very proud of reaching this number in a little over three months I don’t think it warrants a very big prize. Just wait until I reach 200,000 then we’ll talk about a bigger prize. Instead how about your choice of the following: my paper back of “Force 10 From Navarone,” in pretty good shape, “Romancing the Stone”, in really good shape, or my hard back copy of "Star Trek The next Generation All good Things…” It’s the novelization of the final episode and is, I think, a first edition. I could be wrong though. In order to get your prize I will need a mailing address but I promise once the book is mailed I will shred the address and never speak of it again. Good luck.

I am sorry.

This is a public apology to Wyatt Earp. Yesterday I put a comment on his blog about his upcoming 200,000 hit. It was meant to be funny but instead ended up making him angry. I understand why and while it was not my intent to do so the fact remains, I did.

I began reading SYLG when I first started watching 24. I soon found Wyatt’s blog and starting reading it every day. It became a habit and eventually I even began making a comment or two. As time went on, I started thinking it might be fun to try so when Wyatt posted his ask me a guest ion I asked how to start a blog. He was encouraging and said if I wanted to, he would help. I took him up on the offer and started this blog. He has been supportive, and has provided much needed guidance along the way. When my fist troll visited me, he was there to tell me not to let it get me down. When I became discouraged about a low visitor count, he was there again with encouragement and helpful advice to increase the number of hits. He even was my 1000 visitor, which made me very happy.

The last thing I would ever do is intentionally disrespect him or his blog. I respect, admire, and genuinely like him too much to do that. The purpose for this apology his because I want Wyatt to know how much I appreciate him and to let any one who read my comment on his post and thought I was putting it down to know that is not the case. Again, I am very sorry.

Wednesday’s poetry corner.

This week’s poetry corner is homage to taxes and the IRS. I also included some very funny jokes about the IRS because it’s my blog and I can. Enjoy the poems and the jokes. If you like them, I have included the links back to the original sites.

Tax ands IRS poems


Someone, please tell me,
if you know, where does,
all the money go?
Taxes, taxes, on everything,
Uncle Sam's coffers,
ka-ching, ka-ching.
I'm in debt over my head,
no relief in sight,
until I'm dead.

Whether at work, at play,
shopping, attending, a ball game,
it seems they want more every day

I pay in good faith,
year in, year out,
the return on this investment,
zero, or there about.

Then, come April 15th,
I live in fear,
I'm going to have to pay,
more again this year

I work very hard,
live day to day,
I look forward to when I can say,
Uncle, you get no more of my pay

Of course, when that happens,
it won't mean a thing,
he'll be at my funeral,
to tax,
my wedding ring

To err is human, but this you should learn.

Do not be human on your tax return.

No longer does 1040 scare me; I fill it without sufferin.

I read the instructions, grab hold of my pen

And my aspirin, my Anacin and my Bufferin.

The IRS believes that the United States is a land of "untold" wealth.

Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.

Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirts,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his chew, tax his smoke,
Teach him taxes are no joke.
Tax his car, tax his grass,
Tax the roads he must pass.

Tax his food, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his sodas, tax his beers,
If he cries, tax his tears.

Tax his bills, tax his gas,
Tax his notes, tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers, tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone, we won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance tax.

Clever quotes and jokes about taxes and the IRS.

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund ** F.J. Raymond

You have to admire the IRS. Any organization that makes that much money without advertising deserves respect.

I feel honored to pay taxes in America. The thing is I could feel just as honored at half the price. ** Arthur Godfrey

No mans property is safe while Congress is in session. ** Mark Twain

We do not seem able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business. ** Will Rogers

Income tax is the most equitable of all taxes. It gives everyone an equal chance at poverty.

April is the month the green returns to the lawn, the trees and the IRS.

The US Flag of taxes. We see "red" when we talk about taxes. We turn "white" when we calculate taxes and blue when we pay our taxes. Then we see stars when we are audited.

When your ship finally does come in how come the IRS is at the dock unloading it?

Paying your taxes goes for a good cause . . . it keeps you out of prison.

The difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector is that the taxidermist leaves the hide.

The difference between cheating the IRS and crossing the street in New York City: One is tax evasion and the other is taxi evasion.

The IRS sure knows how to take our money. You've really got to hand it to them.

The IRS is helping us with our errands this year. . . . They are taking us to the cleaners.

Motto least likely to be seen in an IRS office: "Money isnt everything."

Motto most likely to be seen in an IRS office: "Success has its price."

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. If you do, there will probably be a higher tax on it.

On April 15th you count your blessings . . . and then send them to Washington.

My kids think "damn" and "taxes" are one word.

Taxation is based on supply and demand. We supply when the government demands.

I just sent the IRS a big check. Thank goodness, I am all paid up through 1952.

Ask your IRS agent this question: "What did you do with the money I gave you last year?"

Last year there were two ways of filing your income tax. They were both wrong!

I just filled out my income tax forms. Who says you can not get killed by a blank?

The new IRS office comes fully equipped. It even has a recovery room.

Birth control pills are deductible. . . .but only if they don't work.

Vocabulary word of the day



Pronounced: snip-ee

Definition: To be sharp tongued or impertinent.

When asked her opinion of my resignation letter my friend said it sounded snippy. I revised the letter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thank you!

I have been trying very hard to reconcile myself to the fact that I have to do this and feeling very guilty about doing so, but RT has given me the words I needed to hear. She said, "Yes, the kids come first, but you are not their teacher. That's what you are trying to become and they are putting an obstacle in your path.

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, thank you so much! And as a footnote, she went to Hawaii for her 25th anniversary, which is pretty cool.

A sad but inevitable day.

I did it. I had the dreaded conversation with the principal of my school and explained to her that with my schedule being changed, I have not been able to get back into my practicum class and time was running out.

She said,"I thought that was all worked out with your resource teacher." I said, "Well that was true until she changed my schedule." She said,"You have to decide what you have to do if that means resigning but the kids come first." So not a lot of help there.

I know the kids come first, but I am not putting my education on hold because my resource teacher is a bad scheduler. I have roughly 21 days to get in about 15 hours of classroom time. The decision has been made. I wrote a letter of resignation and I will give it to my resource teacher when she gets back from Hawaii on Wednesday.

Do you think I should still accept the chocolate macadamia nuts she said she was bringing back if I just handed her my letter of resignation?

Think about it

My husband and I are getting a tax refund this year from both State and Federal. We usually do, and we tend to get excited about it. However, if you think about it, the refund is actually just giving us our money back because they took too much out during the year.

Therefore, instead of letting us keep our money as we earn it and need it, they give it back at the end of the year. Personally, I would rather have my money weekly then get it back in one lump sum at the end of the year. What about you?

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: rek-uhn-sahyl

Definition: to be accepting of or resigned to something that was not desired.

I am reconciled to the fact that I have no choice other than to resign from my position in the resource room.

Monday, April 14, 2008

All hail the victor!

The young son returned triumphantly from his chess tournament on Saturday. He played in several tournaments in the past and has come home from these events with what he calls “Another stupid purple ribbon.”

I was hopping that this time he would come home with his first tournament trophy. He didn’t let me down. He earned a stupid red ribbon. However, he also earned a fourth place trophy and helped his school come in third; earning the school's very first trophy.

Yea, chess nerds!


It has been such a roller coaster ride with our daughter this year. First, she is doing really well, then she is struggling, then they think she is severely ADHD, then if she did not have issues with her handwriting, she would be fine. Then the final straw, she came home from school on Friday with a letter from the school stating that her teacher has recommended she be tested for ALP. That stands for accelerated learning program for gifted children.

What’s up with that? She’s smart, she’s not, she’s really not, she really is. I now think my husband may have been right all along and she is just really bored in class.

Anyway, we signed the permission slip to have her tested so we should know by the end of the year if she is going to be following her brother’s example.

What’s my punch line?

This week's joke is in honor of April 15th! We all know that the letters IRS stand for the Internal Revenue Service. What I propose to you is that you come up with alternative meanings for the letters IRS. I know it may be difficult, but my readers are smart and I have faith in you. Have at it!

Vocabulary word of the day.


Pronounced: prŏb'lə-māt'ĭk

Definition: Not settled; unresolved or dubious

Whether or not I remain in the resource room at my school remains problematic.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ain't it the truth!

This was just e-mailed to me and I love it.

Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist.'

Look what I found!

While searching for an image for a post yesterday, I came across a blog by a fourth grade bilingual teacher. She blogs at Total Physical Response and she is awesome. Her posts are sweet, touching, funny, and thought provoking. I have placed a link to her blog on mine, and I hope you will check her out as well. I plan to visit her site often.

And the winner is!

Everybody who entered this week is a winner. Fuzzy’s Dad gave us this entry: Why did the gun owner cross the road? It was to keep his gun away from Barack Obama.

Big Daddy is back with a two-for-one and both are very funny. Why did Brittany Spears cross the road? The voices in her head told her to. And why did the Paparazzi cross the road? Because that is where Brittany was.

And Senor Frog joins the fun with Why did Chuck Norris cross the road? To kick the chicken's ass for crossing the road without looking both ways first.

Still off track, but getting closer.

After last week's disastrous weigh-in I was reluctant to return. I knew I had not been good, but I also knew that I had not been as bad as the previous two weeks. The results were not as bad as I had feared. I am up .8 pounds, but I feel like I have a handle on things again so I am expecting good things for next week.

Vocabulary word of the day.

Hoi polloi

hoi pol·loi

Pronounced: hoi puh-loi

Definition: the common people.

The purpose of my blog is two-fold, one: for my enjoyment, and two: for the entertainment of the hoi polloi.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday's poetry corner.

I have really enjoyed this feature of the blog. I have read more poems by poets I had never heard of, and I am grateful to have been introduced to them. I just found a very moving poem by James Weldon Johnson.

James W. Johnson was born in Jacksonville Florida in 1871. After graduating college, he became a high school principal in Jacksonville. In 1912, he wrote, “Lift every heart and sing” as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln on the anniversary of his birth. The song became a national anthem to the black community. He died in 1938. It is a little long but well worth reading. If you have ever lost a loved one I think this poem will bring you comfort.

Go Down, Death

by James Weldon Johnson

(A Funeral Sermon)

Weep not, weep not,

She is not dead;

She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Heart-broken husband--weep no more;

Grief-stricken son--weep no more;

Left-lonesome daughter --weep no more;

She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,

God was looking down from his great, high heaven,

Looking down on all his children,

And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,

Tossing on her bed of pain.

And God's big heart was touched with pity,

With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,

And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:

Call me Death!

And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice

That broke like a clap of thunder:

Call Death!--Call Death!

And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven

Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,

Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,

And he leaped on his fastest horse,

Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.

Up the golden street Death galloped,

And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,

But they didn't make no sound.

Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,

And waited for God's command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,

Go down to Savannah, Georgia,

Down in Yamacraw,

And find Sister Caroline.

She's borne the burden and heat of the day,

She's labored long in my vineyard,

And she's tired--

She's weary--

Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn't say a word,

But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,

And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,

And out and down he rode,

Through heaven's pearly gates,

Past suns and moons and stars;

on Death rode,

Leaving the lightning's flash behind;

Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,

She turned her eyes and looked away,

She saw what we couldn't see;

She saw Old Death. She saw Old Death

Coming like a falling star.

But Death didn't frighten Sister Caroline;

He looked to her like a welcome friend.

And she whispered to us: I'm going home,

And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,

And she lay in his icy arms,

But she didn't feel no chill.

And death began to ride again--

Up beyond the evening star,

Into the glittering light of glory,

On to the Great White Throne.

And there he laid Sister Caroline

On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,

And he smoothed the furrows from her face,

And the angels sang a little song,

And Jesus rocked her in his arms,

And kept a-saying: Take your rest,

Take your rest.

Weep not--weep not,

She is not dead;

She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Procedure, procedure, procedure!

I had the opportunity of being in several classrooms at many grade levels, some of them are very well run, some are okay, and a few are not so good. If I were to pinpoint the one thing that sets a good classroom apart from a bad one, it would have to be the implementation of procedures or the lack thereof.

One if the first classes I took was in classroom management. The author of the text, Fred Jones, was very explicit about procedures, why they are important, and how to implement them. I didn’t understand completely at the time why this was so necessary to the running of a classroom, but now that I have seen it in action, I am a true believer of procedures and routines.

I just spent the afternoon in a fourth grade classroom where there were absolutely no procedures at all. I like the teacher - he is a great person and he loves his kids - but his classroom is barely-contained chaos at times. Something as simple as having students getting out of their desks and getting a textbook from the back of the room turned into pandemonium. They were noisy and rowdy, and it took far longer then it should have.

I so wanted to stop the class and say, "Listen, there is no reason why getting a book has to be this noisy." If it were my class, I would have one table at a time get their books, or I would have chosen one student per table to bring a book back for everyone at the table. I would definitely have a procedure for changing activities when we come back to the classroom after library, computer, art, P.E., or music. And you can bet I would have a procedure for when the class became noisy while I was trying to teach.

I like the "Give me five" that I have seen in many classrooms. The students have learned that when the teacher says, "Give me five" and starts counting down, they know what is expected of them. Five: mouth shut, four: stop what you’re doing, three: eyes on the teacher, two: listen for directions, and one: do what you have been told. It is something to that effect - and the direction may vary from teacher to teacher - but I have seen it work.

It is frustrating though to be in a classroom and not be able to help when you know you could but you don’t want to step on any toes. After all, he is a profession teacher and I just want to be one.

Vocabulary word of the day.



Pronounced: di-kawr-uhm

Definition: To behave in a dignified manner in both speech and dress.

Even young school children can behave with decorum if they are only taught what is expected of them when they are in school.