Midweek Musings, Too Multi-tasked

Here’s to another day of teaching middle schoolers at the end of the year ( no new content, just encouraging creativity), selling yearbooks, and recovering from an upper respiratory virus. I’m not sure I even can give 100% to any of these things individually at the moment.

Writing and being a writer is in the back burner, but this blog is part of writing. However, today this post feels like a cry out into the winds of chaos….”A break, I said…I just need a break! Please?”

By the way, I did buy that new-to-me car, which ate up a huge chunk of last Sunday, but I feel much safer now, so I don’t regret it! Soon, I’ll have time off to finish vacation planning.

That’s really all I’ve got for the moment. Thanks for hearing my impassioned plea for respite!


Weekend Coffee Share, a Season

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a sunny morning, and I’m indoors with a hot chai latte with honey in it. This should be good for my lingering sinus issue, minor as it is.

It’s end-of-the-year at school , so that means a busy time for me as the yearbook advisor. My yearbook staff and I have been working since Wednesday afternoon to deliver yearbooks to the classrooms of students who ordered them, and to sell the books for cash to students whose book was not preordered. We had 169 sold online and around 90 to sell. Monday I’ll sell the remaining 40.

Wednesday we had a field trip, and I went as a chaperone. Such fun! It’s nice to get out of the brick and mortar, to take a drive and just have time to really chat with other teachers and let the kids have fun. It took place at Main Event, which has a mix of arcade, bowling, and laser tag as well as an eatery.

Yes, I just had to take a selfie on the school bus!

Today I’ll be cleaning out my car, as I plan to start looking for a new one. Who knows, I may find the right one right away and I want my old one to be ready. This car is twelve years old. It has served me well, but the repairs on it these days are a little too much. Of course I’ll get another Corolla!

Maybe you can tell Bixby got a haircut. He got snippy with the groomer, and he may need grooming by the vet next time. We had meatballs a few nights ago, and my mom gave him one. He pranced around with it as if playing a game, before finally eating it. He’s such a nut!

That’s actually a meatball!

That’s all I have for today. Have a great weekend!

Midweek Musings, Proud

Monday, during my planning time, I had one of my Yearbook/Journalism students stay after the class to translate our week’s club activities into Spanish for our podcast. He wasn’t confident at first, but then he wrote out an outline in Spanish and went ahead.

Needless to say, it sounded great to me! This will represent the diversity of our school and make our News and Podcast more accessible. I’m so proud! It was the first time I used a new recording software all by myself. I love learning learning new things and getting into the 21st century! I love that my students found the confidence! There is one other student who can help with this, although they have to do it during their elective time during the school day. Still, it is a win!

Tuesday, on Valentine’s day, my love surprised me by having a bouquet of flowers delivered to me that included roses, carnations, and tiger lilies, all red. It’s beautiful! He has been busy since he went back to work full time after having been retired for a year, so I had no hints that this would happen this year. What a lovely surprise!

Have a great week! I’m staying positive!

A Day in My Life, Day 4 #RRBC #ADayinMyLife @PamSCanepa1

Day 4 of #ADayinMyLife Jan. 5th

Welcome to day 4 of the blogging challenge! I had a wonderful morning, now that the sunshine is back! I also slept well last night. I enjoyed the walk with my dog this morning. Of course, he enjoyed it too.

Bixby is an important part of my daily life!

I had a good morning overall, with the good sleep and a new strategy to deal with pain. Check out this text to my significant other this morning, regarding his helpful Christmas present:

I’ll certainly share more about him on another day!

At school, my day went well. I shared yesterday that I’m trying to teach students the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning, a challenge with 6th graders. With gamified learning, I’m confident at least a few of them got it!

Today was exercise day for me after school. I mostly use bands and some light weights for my arms and shoulders. My frozen shoulder has gotten much better with physical therapy, but I still get pain at varying times. Staying active helps. I attend Planet Fitness for cardio, but will use my Gazelle ( non-electric elliptical type thing) if I need to stay close to home, as I did this evening.

If you’re wondering about frozen shoulder, here’s a breakdown of what I know:

-a shoulder injury or rotator cuff tear can make you more likely to get it, and a tear doesn’t necessarily require surgery. I have a tear, but it’s 40%, which doesn’t necessitate surgery

-someone with diabetes is more likely to get frozen shoulder. I’m not diabetic, but my cholesterol did jack way up over the summer, so maybe it was a warning sign.

-it sounds to me like those with arthritis are more likely to get it, which indicates that those of us beyond 40 are probably more likely

-it can take from 6 to 12 months to resolve even if you’ve done everything right. That’s a tear-jerker for me, because the first time I got it was 2 years ago and it got better within 4 months. This time, I am sitting at six and a half months so far, and though I still do the physical therapy exercises and have good movement, I still get pain.

-diet can make a difference, such as cutting down on sugary foods and or alcohol, so I’m also trying to lower the carb intake. Easier said than done!

-cortisteroid shots do help, and I have had a few. Patience also helps. I really don’t want surgery.

That’s most of what I can tell you about it. I’ll just keep working at staying mobile! I plan to also read a little more tonight. Here is what I’m reading, a Rave Reviews Book Club book, and it’s not exactly what you might think it would be like:

It includes metaphysical, historical, and spiritual aspects and somewhat sci-fi ideas. I find it fascinating and imaginative. I promise to give more details and a full review on another day!

Well, it’s time to relax and decompress. The weekend is almost here!

A Day in My Life, Day 3. #RRBC #challenge #ADayinMyLife @PamSCanepa1

Day 3, #ADayinMyLife Jan. 4th

Heading into work this morning, our first day back with students, I felt excitement and dread. My favorite things are planning lessons and looking for strategies to engage students. My least favorite, includes state testing. Well, that happens next week. It’s not the official test, but it’s kind of a practice test to see where they are and how we need to get them ready for the official test in the spring. I try not to worry on it too much.

One of my favorite things that arose from discussions on planning day yesterday, is that I’m going to plan a lesson where we compare and contrast the nonfiction book by Malala to that of Anne Frank, as we are supposed to teach students to compare and contrast two works of literature from different time periods. There are a lot of universal themes we can explore with those two texts in different ways. I’ll be challenged to come up with some good questioning to make them think. Pretty lofty for 6th grade, right? It’s a challenge, but we’ll do our best!

I think goal setting is important. I have a little bit freedom to decide how we’ll start our class, so, this morning, I thought about giving them an online assignment asking about one of their future goals and what they could do today to help them reach it. On the drive to work, I still hadn’t decided whether to do that goal setting or a warm up with academic vocabulary. Wouldn’t it be great if we could know what would happen either way? I chose the goal setting. 🙂

All in all, I’d say my teaching day went alright. Students were super chatty from not seeing each other for 2 weeks. I had to overcome that. We went through our lesson and then did an online game together, which they love doing. It was noisy, but they were engaged, they were involved, and they were talking about and defending their answers. It seems to help them remember the content.

After school, I had a meeting with my News and Podcast Club kids, which I co-sponsor along with a retired STEM teacher. We started it in Spring of 2021. Once the club had been established for a year, he suggested we also do podcasting of our news stories. I’ll tell you, the kids love it, and I am still learning it. He has also introduced the metaverse, which is really cool but we are just at the beginning stages. I myself am learning so much from this experience!

Photo from last month with two club leaders. How do you like our news backdrop?

That’s my day. When I got home, my dog was so happy to see me as it had been raining, and he hates that. I’m once again tired, but at least today is a rest day from exercise. I think I’ll catch up on some reading. I’ll share more on that tomorrow!

A Day in My Life, Day 2. #RRBC #blogchallenge

#ADayInMyLife January 3, 2023. Morning came too soon. Back to work today for me! I had to move through breakfast and showering more quickly. No matter how early my day starts, I have a healthy breakfast. I don’t count the sugar, but I make sure to get my fruit and grains!

Raisin bran with blueberries and sliced bananas with turmeric powder mix, juice, and chai tea, energy green tea, or the occasional cup of coffee is my go-to breakfast. At the occasional Sunday lady’s brunch meals, I’ll allow myself maybe a waffle or a healthy omelet with spinach inside. That’s once every 4-8 weeks.

Work involved finalizing grades, lesson planning, and a strategy meeting, where we analysed test data to decide which kids need more help, and what should be done to help them. I enjoyed meeting with just my grade level co-horts, where we discussed nothing but strategies for teaching our content, with the occasional splash of humor thrown in. Both of them are in their early thirties, and I enjoy their youthful spirit!

When working alone, I used only natural light from my window. It gives me a peaceful mood! Note the obligatory stress ball and student art. 🙂 Some of these students are really talented! I teach standard, advanced, and gifted students. Last year, I had a few high-level students with autism. I learned a lot about how our brains all work in different ways! Their artwork also helps create a welcoming atmosphere.

Natural light and student art lift my mood!

My post is not in linear order, I apologize! But I must mention, teacher planning day means time to go to lunch with fellow teachers! There were 7 of us at the local pizza place, 6th and 7th grade teachers of various subjects. My friend Jen and I have been pals for 10 years. We regaled the others, who are newer, with tales of some of our rougher years . Funny, gross, and sometimes disturbing tales. This year is really not that bad!

I’m really sleepy tonight. I did some of my arm and shoulder workout after dinner. I developed frozen shoulder over the summer and went through shots and physical therapy, so I now continue the workout and stretches for my shoulder several days a week. I have to keep moving! Except for now, it’s time to unwind. Tomorrow I’ll have students in class again. Now it’s time for sleep.

Weekend Coffee Share, Hello, December!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Saturday, a.m.: I’m enjoying a chai latte and watching Bixby move about the house, rolling on the floor, shaking it off, staring at me and asking when he can go out again, then running back to someone else’s bedroom, wanting everyone to be up and about.

I’m slowly resolving the frozen shoulder and listening to Dan Bruglio’s Pain Free You videos almost daily. Pain Free You focuses on addressing what is inside in order to curtail the body’s hyper alert pain in response to brain danger signals. He says we should acknowledge our emotions without judging them. My pain responses throughout the day are growing smaller. Yesterday, I felt like I had a normal shoulder as I walked out of work. Such a big win! (Even if it bothered me later). There’s such interesting science between the brain and bodily pain.

Saturday afternoon: After a break from this post, today’s exercise was walking my dog for 30 minutes. He enjoys that! My knee has been bugging me lately, and I don’t know if it was due to knowing I have bone spurs on my knees or knowing I’ll be done with shoulder physical therapy and continuing the work at home. Either way, I decided not to let it stop me from my walk. That in itself is sometimes a battle.

This past Monday, I received many of the materials purchased with my grant from the Gator Bowl Tax Slayer for MVT award. I unveiled them at the News Club meeting and let the kids help me unpack them. It was so exciting!

Many functional Items were ordered, as well as a VR oculus I need to learn how to use in my 6th grade classrooms and the News Club.

I have permission to share student photos, but I won’t here, because this is my personal blog.

My co-sponsor for News Club is William Jackson, a blogger and retired teacher who helped us start the club and continues to volunteer in his retirement. He is well-versed in the technology side of news and got us started in podcasting! He’ll need to train me and the students on how to use the oculus to explore new things. It’s exciting! He reaches out to news outlets and has arranged interviews for us. Tuesday, we’ll have a news person come out to interview us.

Lots of good things are going on, and I aim to keep up. Hopefully, I’ll succeed.

Saturday evening: Tonight, my boyfriend Chris took me out for scrumptious dinner at Stonewood Grill, and later we visited St. Augustine to view their Nights of Lights decorations.

Chicken Tuscany:

Nights of Lights is a yearly event that draws people from around the globe. Trolley tickets are available for those wanting to take a rolling tour. However, we used our feet! You can’t tell from the photos, but the place was packed, and trolley tickets sold out quickly. I feel fine after the walk, though.

So, that’s another week in a nutshell. December is looking good to me. Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, the Season for Spooking

9 a.m.: Welcome to my weekend coffee share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s gray outside, but the birds are singing. I’m enjoying some chai tea. Pull up a chair with your favorite beverage, and I’ll catch you up.

A gray Saturday doesn’t bother me.

It was a really busy week with work, two doctor appointments, and a dentist appointment. I had good substitutes who worked with my kids. The orthopedic doctor was happy with my shoulder progress; he gave me another cortisone shot in the anterior shoulder and prescribed 5 more weeks of physical therapy. This is good…I don’t want surgery!

Last sunday, as I drove back from the grocery store, I got inspired to write a short story about two aliens and their observations of humans during the Halloween season. I’d love it if you gave it a read: https://wp.me/p7aqV2-33e

While we’re on the topic of writing, I gave my boyfriend the 60 pages I have written of Ellie’s time travel story. It’s a disjointed mess, but I wanted to know what questions should be answered. So, he gave those opinions, which is good, but now I need the stamina and for my pain to subside. Maybe over the holidays, but if not, next summer.

I’ve had some new students join the news club at school, and many of them just don’t know where to start. So, I guess that’s my first job with them, giving them ideas on something to find out about the world or their community. They start searching and get interested, so they write, and I help them from there. I’ve thought about giving summer writing camps. It may be a retirement idea!

So, it being Halloween weekend, my boyfriend and I are going to the Zoo Spooktaculor event tonight. I look forward to it!

I hope you all have a great weekend, Halloween, or a blessed fall season!

8:30 p.m. –Hello from the Jax. Zoo Spooktacular!


Paper Stars and Green Fizz, #amwriting

From a prior prompt at https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2022/03/01/march-2022-writing-prompts/

She taught me that it was okay

To give my brain a break

And let my hands take over.

When I failed the goal,

We laughed, and I tried again.

I didn’t notice my brain working,

I only heard it humming

As my fingers danced

Along the paper folds, then shook up

The bottle, creating a mess.

She helped me clean it up

And make it beautiful,

Trusted me to create, and praised

My creation that I insisted she keep.

The next day, I listened

With pencil poised,

Ready to do equations…

But I’d already learned

The most important lesson:

I could do whatever I sought to do.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2022

Weekend Coffee Share, Get into the Spirit!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today, I’m having a fruity V8 with green tea. What’s your beverage of choice?

No snow, just Florida sun!

‘Tis the season and Merry Christmas! It feels strange saying that in the midst of weather that reaches a high of 80 degrees. Yesterday I was out in it. I chaperoned a group of 7th and 8th grade NJHS students ringing the bell for Salvation Army outside of a local grocery store. We were sweating for sure, but they kept it up, ringing the bells. I started singing Christmas carols, maybe because I was growing delirious from the heat…or maybe not. 🙂

Too hot for a Santa hat, but I wore my best festive mask!

Good thing I went to bed early Friday night! I was tired from this whole week of school and finishing grades. In fact, one evening, I went home and ordered my dinner through Door Dash so I could put my feet up while I waited. Thursday at 6 p.m., I attended a musical production of Matilda Jr. put on by several students in our school, many of whom I teach or have taught. It was fantastic, and they gave it their all!

The spirit of minimalism lives on in my household! I am content with this tree that fits into our home that houses three generations, mother, adult son, and grandmother. The amount of gifts is just right. However, I received a Christmas check this weekend. What’s the first thing I did with it? I ordered a green Christmas t-shirt. 🙂 Well, I wouldn’t have done that otherwise, and why not spread good cheer?

Okay, the Weekend Coffee Share is late, and it took me three sittings to complete it and then to remember I had to finish and send it. It’s my Winter break, so deadlines are a little fluid. I had a massage yesterday and then rested a while before having dinner with my boyfriend. My one regret about this post is that I could not join the inlinks for the Weekend Coffee Share community. You might be surprised to learn the temperature right now as I finalize this is just below 60. I hope you all have a great week, and a Merry Christmas of happy holiday!

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