Thursday, September 27, 2012

fourth grade singers

Every month at Loma Heights, the administration has an evening meeting to share news with parents. They are sure to get a crowd each time - even though it isn't always the same crowd - because at each of the meetings, one of the grades performs the songs that their music teacher prepares them to sing. The music teacher is a young lady who has been one of Raine's favorite adults at the school from kindergarten on. She also is involved in the summer music camp that Raine has gone to for several years, and I think she is one of the reasons Raine enjoys going to the camps.

4th graders led by Ms. Ward
 This year, they sang several songs, including "Pay me my Money Down," and "This Land is my Land" for their performance. Know what? They did a pretty darned good job. You could tell there was some growth in these kids, from previous years, in maturity and skills. Good job, kids! Good job, Ms. Ward!

And since I told you she could do it, here's Raine, on her bike! (Good thing there was just enough battery in my camera to take these pics!

gonna have to raise the seat when we take of the training wheels!

Monday, September 24, 2012

i ride my bicycle

It has taken Raine a while to decide that she wants to ride her bike. I'm not surprised, really, and I figured that when she was ready, she would ride it. She kind of did the same thing learning to ride the scooter. When the neighborhood kids showed up riding theirs, she got on hers, too. Pretty soon they were zooming through the neighborhood.

Now, it is the bike's turn. Ron had to replace a tire tube a couple weeks ago. The back tire, of course, for maximum irritation. Last week she took it out almost every evening when the neighborhood kids were playing after dinner. (I LOVE my neighborhood because she gets that experience.) Tonight she took it out again. Her confidence on it has grown, and she was riding up and down even though none of her friends were out yet.

The training wheels are still on it. At this point its because she hasn't figured out that she'll actually be able to ride it better without them. I give her maybe to the end of the week to be ready to go without them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

fall in the air?

I love summer. I know, it's hot. And I get hot. When I sweat, it isn't pretty. Still, I'd much rather be hot than cold. The long summer days fill my soul with the energy that gets me through the rest of the year. Thank goodness winter here in NM isn't long nor particularly wintery. Most of the time, anyway. Summer seems to last and last, and the leaves on the trees often stay green until the first hard frost finally convinces them that it is time to abandon their branches.

This year is no exception. It was 90+ degrees today, sunny and bright. Still, when I left school this evening, admiring the "long" shadows of the ants on their curb highway, there was something in the little breeze. The seasons are changing, it said. Enjoy the warmth of today because it won't be here forever. Remember how the winter feels? Get ready.

Sometimes winter sneaks up on me, unawares, and I have to hunt down my jacket one fine morning, surprised that I need it. This year, however, I caught the hint, and fall is in the air.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

one more

Getting acclimated has been taking up a lot of my emotional and creative inner space, I guess. It seems to be all I can write about. I think I'm getting more to a point of comfort, though, and finding "my place," so to speak.

I'm really enjoying working at OHS. I know I've said that before, and it is still true. Hope it will be true for a long while. Now that several weeks have gone by, I feel like I'm making friends there. I have a lunch bunch, and while they aren't the same as the old lunch bunch (and that would be kind of weird if they were...) this group is entertaining to be around at lunch. People come in and out - including students, so I think it has that in common with the CMC crowd I had been enjoying at GHS. But I'm not just making at work friends. I think they are the kind of people you can emotionally invest in, and let into your life. Now, I'm not the kind of person that does that immediately, but to feel that it could be there? Yeah. Pretty nice.

I do have one kind of bitter sweet twinge now and then. When the afternoon rolls around and the deaf ed interpreter comes down the hall, and enters the classroom next door. It makes me think of Lou, who worked at Onate, doing that very job. Who LOVED working at Onate, doing that very job. I just have to miss her momentarily, and think about how awesome it would have been to be there with her, and her be there with me.

Even though Lou's been gone a while, now, I still miss her, and I suppose I must feel her around now and then, just checking in.

Monday, September 17, 2012

film on the list

Over the summer, I got out the boxes of home movies that my parents had taken. And the slides. And some other stuff as well. I knew all those movies and slides were in there, and that time wasn't doing them any favors. But, the emotional baggage tied to them has been heavy. I got the first batch sent to be digitized over the summer, and got them back this week.

I will admit it is kind of fun to watch those kids at Lake Roberts, and celebrating a third birthday (evidently) with a doll cake, and building a snow fortress (or something). Kinda scary to watch my grandfather toss around one of his grandchildren, but I'm sure they thought nothing of it... Wasn't one of us, before our time. So were the shots of the bay, with bunches of people swimming, and kids running around, and my mom's great dane as a puppy(!).

I lent Carl the disc, so he could check it out before I could do much with it (it was his birthday), but I did get some of the clips put together for a 3 minute stroll down memory lane. Here's the link, if you are interested... Lake Roberts  . Looking forward to getting the next set put together (yep it will be pretty random, too) to be digitized. Maybe a set of slides, then more movies. Working on that to-do list after all.

Any one know anyone that might be interested in an old movie projector? Slide projector? No?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

how to do homecoming

Yesterday - Friday - was the homecoming pep assembly. WOW. I was blown away.

First, the band lines up at the farthest end of the building away from the gym. Just happens to be right outside my classroom door. When they all get lined up, the drummers start, and the band plays, and they march to gym, like the pied pipers of Onate, pulling the student body behind them.  After the confusion of figuring out where each class should sit, a minor distraction - it was the first assembly of the year after all - the rally got under way.

My second amazement was the level of participation in the rally by the students. Of course the band played, and were awesome. The football team sat at the other end of the gym. Students MC'ed the rally, and did a great job. It helped so much being inside, and being able to hear what was going on. Gadsden always had their rallies out on the football field. The powder puff game had been the night before, junior girls against seniors, and the girls had been practicing every day. The seniors won. Then the boys, who had been doing the cheering, a squad for the juniors and a squad for the seniors, came out dressed for the occasion, and performed their routines. That was a hoot, and they all seemed like they were having a blast doing it. The senior football moms pushed the cheerleaders to the side (in a nice way) and performed a routine THEY had been working on, too! Go Moms! Of course both the varsity and the JV cheer leading squads performed, in combined and separate routines. Then the dance squad came out. Of course the ROTC did the flag ceremony, and the band did the fight song - as well as some other pieces. There were class games, concurrently running sports were recognized, and the yelling and the cheering!

Last, but not least, the play production class did a flash mob piece to "Do, re mi." How fun is that? They were promoting their production of The Sound of Music, which they will be producing this semester. They sang, they danced, they wowed.

That's how Homecoming gets done at OHS.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

homecoming week

This week has been homecoming week for Onate High School. All week has been a parade of kids - and teachers - in themed clothing. I'll even admit to taking part on a day or two, when my wardrobe lent itself to the theme. Tonight was the powder puff game, where the girls take the field. Saturday is the game and the dance. I am planning to take Raine to the game. We may or may not stay through the whole thing.

Here is one of the differences between my new and old job. Working out of town meant that participating in after school activities had an extra layer of "trouble" added to them. Not like ohhhh you're in trouble now, but more the it's too much trouble to drive back out to campus after I get home kind. Oh, sure, you can save the round trip and stay there... but then a long day is even longer. And forget any family involvement.

Here in town, it won't take the extra half hour each way to get to the game. It isn't an all day, or a beyond the day investment of time just to make it to the game. I know that my students appreciate my involvement as a teacher. They see my participation as a facet of caring about them. And I do. But I care about my own family as well, and sometimes that extra time was just the point that over balanced the scales.

Here's another thing about supporting one of the high schools in town. I'm also supporting the community I live in while I do it. Not someone else's community. Of course I feel like teaching there is doing the same, so there's a double support.

Some things I appreciate in my own "homecoming" week...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

wish list vs struggle

I look at blog posts about quilts. Not many, really, compared to what is out there, but enough. I love the fresh colors, the repeating kaleidoscopes of color. Even the quilting can grab me. I want to have them. I want to make them.

But, I struggle. Not with the crafting skills, which would understandably need improvement. That would come with practice. I struggle with lazy. With sitting here in front of the computer, instead at my sewing machine. Or in front of the TV, which hasn't been so much of an issue for a while, but I find myself there more often lately. Project Runway, Castle, I've even been able to watch Risoli & Isles, and Major Crimes, now that Raine is old enough not to be disturbed by that type of program. Of course, I've picked up the cross stitching, and that is a perfect sitting-in-front-of the-TV activity for me.

Often by the time I would really sit at the machine, it is dark out, and I'm tired. I know that creativity would help revive me, in a way, but I'm so much more able to do these things early in the day. By the time evening comes, I'm ready to sit back and not demand much precision of myself.

I know it comes down to choices, and some of the choices are even make the quilt, or look at what others have made.And those are inspiration for making. But they aren't making.

There have been times when I wished I were a little bit of an insomniac. Just a little. Get up early and do some creating when the house is quiet and others are sleeping. But, really? I know that I wouldn't be as productive as my active imagination pictures me. And grouchy? Oh, man. Yeah, that.

Still, I guess self talk is part of the process, so here it is. Make something, you! Well, tomorrow, because tonight, it's time for bed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

back into the swing

It isn't like I have nothing to say...Or at least I have things to talk/write about, if not the earth shattering all knowledge. I think I have been mentally adjusting to change. Physically adjusting as well. So, its time to get back into the swing of some good habits.

Blogging. For one. Yes, for me it is a good habit. Getting that writing practice in makes a difference to my personal happiness and creativity. So, I'm making - well, remaking - my commitment to writing here.

Biking. For the other. I felt so good about the exercising and feeling better because of the exercise. But school started, and schedules changed, and whatever other excuses I might make... and I haven't ridden in a while. But I rode today. I got on the bike and rode.

Time to get back into the swing of things.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

sewing on christmas

This has been a good weekend. We had a cold front come through yesterday. The temperatures stayed in the low 80's under a sprinkly blanket of clouds. It was lovely because its a rare day that we get that. I went and sewed with Roxanne, and we got a slip sewn up, and 3 more skirts in the works. She had an interesting idea of making skirts to layer. Wear one as a slip, and another on top. I think it could - with the right skirts - be really cute. I mean the slips we've made for her are pretty much just white skirts. She wears a lot of skirts and I'm sure she will get a lot of use out of the ones we are making regardless of whether she wears them one or two at a time. We'll have to have a little fashion show, she and I, to see how those layers look.

Today, the weather cleared up, and I got to enjoy a rare day of going NO WHERE. Not getting in the car even once. Wooo! Frankly, I would not like it if I were home bound. I enjoy going and doing, and the freedom of having a car to do it in. Still, the day at home for a change is a treat. Of course I sewed something together. 

I've been enjoying making tote bags, and I worked on one today. I can't show the picture online yet, because it is a gift, and no early peeking! Still, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, and the creativity I used to make it. It gave me some problems along the way but I think I pretty much solved them. The most perplexing one happened when I surged the handle pieces together. An "outside" and an "inside" piece of fabric (or top & bottom, whatever) and some facing fabric for strength. Well, the facing had a little stretch to it, unexpectedly, but I thought I had that going OK until I was done with the whole seam, and one of the layers of fabric had stretched in the seam as well, almost as if it had been cut on the bias, which it had not. The errant fabric was a fat quarter that we had gotten as a contrast to the other two pieces, and those were a better weave, I think. I think that the final product works all right, but, man. I learned not to use THAT facing again, in a handle at least.

I have more tote bags in the works, and some of them may even be gifts... Wouldn't it be nice to be done with Christmas making before December? Won't happen...