I’ll admit I’ve been influenced by Kurt Vonnegut… I saw a post about a letter he wrote in response to student letters sent to him from one particular class. One thing he said stuck with me.
“Practice any art, ( not to get rich) but to practice becoming…. to find out what’s inside of you, to make your soul grow.” These words are beautiful, so beautiful!
Here’s my take: Truly living is an art, and art is risky. Not everyone will get it, some may be offended… ( As May have been by one or two of Vonnegut’s books). But you are so much more enriched by your artistic expression! I feel this in my soul. I wrote a poem about censorship this morning. I won’t share it now, not until I feel the time is right, or maybe it should only be spoken?
Kurt’s quote above makes me think about the situation with books in schools in my state, Florida. Some of us feel censored, and I’ve heard stories on the dismay of elementary children who can’t get books to read at school.
A Google search on Vonnegut books being banned led me to this letter he wrote in response to his books being burned in one school district in 1973. After all, freedom of expression is a FREEDOM. Check it out: https://fs.blog/kurt-vonneguts-letter-book-burning/
It was another day of weather around 80 degrees and of teaching students to write and to read closely, which went alright. I got a lined journal/notebook I had ordered from Amazon.
Tonight, Chris and I are planning to go to trivia. Of course, as he mentioned, sometimes the trending mood of my day can wipe me out and make me change my mind. He is pretty patient with that, as should be! He has some special nicknames for my moods. Let’s keep in mind, shoulder pain, any pain, lack of sleep, workday stress, any of it can wipe me out. I do have ways I try to deal with it, but there are good days and bad days.
Regarding my nicknames: there’s protective Pam, willing to take down anyone crossing him in his day ( a humorous exaggeration, of course). Then there’s Krampus Pam, who will step on anyone who gets in the way of me and my dinner. She’s concerned with her needs and has disdain for poorly managed restaurants, traffic, and bureaucratic red tape or over-encroaching laws. Rightfully so!
Let us not forget Creme brulee Pam. The weekend that he took me to Savannah last December, we had to wait for dinner but found another restaurant with outdoor seating, and the 65 degree weather felt perfect! We enjoyed our conversation and laughter. The waitress thought we were newlyweds! I wanted to introduce him to creme brulee. I don’t have it very often, so when I do, it’s a special occasion! The restaurant didn’t serve it but provided a great dinner! Afterward, we searched for a dessert spot.
Google came to our aid. We had walked to the restaurant, and my feet were complying, so we used Google maps to walk to the dessert restaurant, not without a few wrong turns in the cover of night, down streets he said were not the ‘good side of town.’ Still, we walked arm in arm; I was feeling satiated by dinner and in happy anticipation of creme brulee. The street corners didn’t look so bad. We passed many art galleries and art college extensions. (I want to go back during the day when they’re open)! Finally, we got to our dessert spot.
There was a line, but Chris and I waited together using good conversation and laughter to keep our spirits up. Once we got in and received our creme brulee, there were no seats inside, so we shared it with a fork standing on the street corner, with a kiss and a laugh, oblivious of other tourists. Creme brulee Pam doesn’t let ANYTHING dampen her mood, because she knows something good is on its way. I am capable of being like that. Gratitude helps, having a pleasant goal in mind helps! Well, I was also on vacation with him. You see, being a Gemini, I can own up to having all these different personas!
Ah, I like these memories. On that note, I think I’ll close my post. It is the end of the 30 blogging challenge, and I did it, for myself, despite one post that I actually wrote and finished then fell asleep and had to send it the next day once I remembered. LoL! I wanted to do something different in this post; I hope it held your interest. Have a good evening, everyone!
Jan.27th- Welcome to day 26 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 5 of Literacy Week. I hate to see Literacy Week come to a close, but I’ll admit there was a whole lot of planning involved, and I am tired, ready for the weekend, for sure!
We had a two-sentence story contest this week, and all entries were due today. It was a lot of fun reading their entries! I had two other teachers helping with the judging and decision of the sixth grade winners. There were some very descriptive stories with imagery, personification, and alliteration. They only had two sentences to work with, but they found ways to wow us!
There is a whole thread on Reddit of funny two-sentence stories. Check it out! I made up a few two-sentence stories during the pandemic. One of my favorites:
I was worried about the flight, but I have reassuring friends. The dragon says, “Who needs an airplane anyway ?” -PC
Literacy Week brings back memories, memories of my mom reading to me, my lower grades teacher teaching me and encouraging me to read, my 7th grade teacher (Mr. Troje) having us read A Tale of Two Cities, my Senior year English teacher giving us choices of books to read, my dad for gifting me with Little Women, and many others who inspired me through the years . Mr. Troje died of cancer about ten years ago.
My mother encouraged my reading by letting me learn about life from books. She’d have books on her nightstand, and I’d take them to read. She allowed me to do that. I read beyond my age. I tried hard to enjoy Literacy Week this year, because we need joyful occasions in a middle school to celebrate with the kids.
So, now the question is, how do I share one of the things I love most with my students? How do I flourish in a job where I feel censored in this state? I keep looking for positives. Sometimes I find them. The questions I have asked here are still to be answered.
That’s a day in my life, that closes a work week in my life. Happy Literacy week. Go and read a book of your choice, and be thankful you can choose!
*Any opinions I express on my blog are strictly mine and not those of my employer.
Jan. 26th. Welcome to Day 25 of #ADayinMyLife. and Day 4 of Literacy Week. I was so tired last night, I fell asleep before posting yesterday’s post. I sent it just this afternoon when I finally realized. I certainly did get my sleep last night!
So, today in Literacy Week, we celebrated the strategy of visualizing while reading a book. A few students made some art and drawings. A few others wrote entries today for our really-short story contest.
After announcing the other day that students could no longer borrow books from me probably for the rest of the school year, I asked if any of them would like to get the book checked out that we are reading excerpts from for my lessons. (Which is approved in the curriculum). I had about 8 students out of two different classes raise their hands. They were able to get them from the school library to take home today. That warms my heart, and I needed that for the following reason: Our library books are all covered up now. 😦
Three to five years ago, they sent off all of our biography and nonfiction books in the library somewhere, got rid of those particular bookshelves, and made a dedicated testing area. I was so hoping it wasn’t an indicator of changes to come, but it does seem that it has been an indicator of our state’s priorities. *Keep in mind, that this is my opinion and not necessarily that of my employer or of any state leadership.
Here I am, exercising my first amendment right. At any rate, my yearbook / Journalism class came in all boisterous as usual, but we got a lot done. There were photos to be downloaded from our cameras, photos to be tagged, students I needed to meet with about some changes to be made to their pages. It was quite productive!
Some of my energetic students, the type always finishing work early, helped decorate a bulletin board outside my room this week. They had the ideas, I supplied the materials, all of which I had in my cabinet. I love their creativity!
Wow! There is still some hope. I love many things about my job. I guess today has been a day for receiving appreciation and sending out gratitude! Have a great evening, everyone!
Welcome to day 24 of #ADayinMyLife and day 3 of Literacy Week. Today was wear-red-if-you’ve-ever-read-a-good-book day! There were many in red. Some of my yearbook members took pictures around school. I can’t wait to see them!
In conversations with many people, there arose a question of why schools are shutting down their libraries and hiding classroom libraries until further notice. A Facebook group led me to this Florida House bill, on which our state leadership added the requirement of one media specialist vetting all books for the school. It’s lengthy, so scroll down half of the page to get to the pertinent bits:
I went home and exercised on the porch, talked to Chris, then fell asleep early. I didn’t sleep so well the night before. Who could blame me, with all this crap going on. I was so tired or even forgot to post this on the correct day. Good thing I’m not in a contest anymore! Thanks for stopping by and reading about my life, and I will have this day’s post up definitely later on.
Jan. 23rd: Day 22 of #ADayinMyLife and Day 1 of Literacy Week!
We wore black and white today to represent newspapers. I pre-recorded a video describing what newspapers remind me of, memories of my youth when my dad would get engrossed in a newspaper. (Mom was always the one engrossed in books. I was fated to become a writer and an English teacher:)) Anyway, here’s the video I made: https://youtu.be/F5vrGODSr3c
I showed it to my students. They seemed to like it and were impressed that I had a YouTube channel. Yikes! Doesn’t everyone? My educational YouTube channel is private, and the videos only available to those with whom I’ve shared the link.
So, I did as I was told to do. Day 1 of Literacy week , and my bookshelves were almost empty at 10:30. Books all hidden away. I explained why to my students, state statute 847.012….they didn’t get it. * I cleaned off the bookshelf during class, and many kids were socializing and cutting up, but I had to do this. I couldn’t go in early. I do feel bad for my students, though. * I look back to the first year I started teaching and our county’s push for us to have a “print -rich environment” with reading choices, and I could just cry. It makes me want to leave teaching, but I won’t leave these kids behind. I hope to teach them to be very aware of what’s going on in the world and in our state. **This is my first hand experience, not even opinion! However, I’m sure you can figure out my opinion, and any opinions shared here are my own and not those of my employer.
Right after work, I left to go to physical therapy. It seems to be going alright. After that, I stopped for a bite to eat and a woman at the table next to me asked for my prayers. She’s waiting to hear about a job interview she had a few weeks ago. She got caught in the rain yesterday. I’m not sure if she has to take the bus or is homeless. Most would tell you if they are. She didn’t want anything from me but to be heard. Send out an anonymous prayer, won’t you? She really is trying.
So, my evening is winding down, but I’m on my Gazelle exerciser typing this out. My phone makes that possible! The WordPress app is a wonderful thing for a writer.
That’s my day in a nutshell: the good a bad. What a rollercoaster! Have a good evening, everyone!
Jan. 21: Welcome to day 20 of #ADayinMyLife and my Weekend Coffee Share, which is hosted by Natalie the Explorer.
I woke this morning still unhappy about hearing yesterday that we teachers who have books on our classroom bookshelf have to empty those books into boxes or put them away until further notice. They have to vetted by a media specialist, which is something we don’t have in my school due to budget cuts 5 years ago.*In my opinion, not that of my school or district leadership, our state has made very confusing decisions regarding educational freedom.
At least I can get a massage today. I will need that escape. Today is pretty much a relaxing, self-care day. Yesterday was preventative health care day, as in doing what we must to be or make sure we’re healthy. Here is that short post: https://wp.me/p7aqV2-37X
The appointments of yesterday got me to a different part of town, San Marco, where I enjoyed the views of murals.
My dad and his partner got out on their way home this morning. It was a good visit with him and Patsy! I think they’re a good pair, but partly because she keeps him on his toes and trying to be a better man. I’m going to try to get to his side’s family reunion in Minnesota this summer. One of his sisters helped me with genealogy and our family history on that side, which is really interesting. It makes me think of this quote ( found on the internet):
Anyhow, I’m at the gym now, doing my 30 minutes on the bike, jamming to Salt-n-Peppa, being a woman- over -forty- in -short- running -shorts (how dare she)! I feel a little rebellious. People will judge either way I might as well be interesting! I come from a long line of unique individuals and will embrace my freedom if expression. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Jan. 19th. Welcome to Day 18 of #ADayinMyLife, in which the best ideas happen before breakfast, before my morning alarm even!
I kind of would have preferred getting back to sleep at 4 a.m., but that didn’t happen. I had a mixture of bright ideas and health worries (shoulder, inflammation levels, upcoming tests). I’m not sure why my brain was doing a jitterbug instead of a lotus on this night of all nights, but it is what it is.
On to the productive results of my insomnia! As I’ve mentioned, next week is Literacy Week in the U.S. , and I am an English teacher, so this is big for me! Several teachers did a recorded book talk with our Reading coach yesterday about a book from our youth. I did mine on a Judy Blume book, Deenie. Well, last night I remembered why it was once banned. No big deal, I am a quiet rebel. 🙂 Which led me to make this:
My other idea had to do with newspapers.. I’ll share more Monday, since that’s newspaper day and the first day of Literacy Week!
My workday came to an end quickly. It’s a lot of fun planning for Literacy week and talking to my cohorts who share a joy for reading with me! Tonight, we’ll be having dinner with my dad again, but this time Chris can attend. It should be fun!
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.
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!
Things are moving along with my upcoming novel, Undercurrents in Time! It has received its first ARC review by a book blogger. Here is a snippet: “After an emotion-filled tight rope of a beginning, this tale settles in and an easy-to-follow adventure begins! A little danger, a lot of luck and some amazing characters really make this tale tick!” -Dianne, Tome Tender Blog You may visit it here: Tome Tender Cover Reveal and Review
Undercurrents in Time is also on Goodreads. Please add it to your “Want to Read” shelf; it helps my book gain visibility! Just enter the title in to the Search bar and it comes up as Undercurrents in Time, Detours in Time Book 2. I’d much appreciate it. You can also pre-order a Kindle copy for just .99 between now and June 16th. After which it will be going up to 2.99, as it is a full-length novel. Visit the Amazon page at Undercurrents in Time on Amazon to pre-order or preview and read the full book description. Whatever you can do, I thank you for the support!
If you are a book blogger/reviewer and are interested in reading and reviewing my book, please contact me here with the URL of your blog with your contact information. I will get in touch quickly and would love for you to read and review my book on your blog and, hopefully, on Goodreads as well!
In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing visual graphics for the book, GIFs, and the official book trailer, made with the help of some of my friends, and in some cases, on my own with Canva. It’s going to be a great, bookish summer!