Mid-week Musings

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/

With that, I bid you adieu.

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A Day in My Life, One Week Closes #RRBC

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.

A Day in My Life, Day 18, Pre-Alarm Ideas

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:

All true. But books are no more dangerous than walking out your front door.

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!

Busy at work, hoping to spread the joy of reading!

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!

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, Remnants of a Happy Start

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Pull up a chair in your favorite beverage. It’s a green tazo tea day for me, because I am moving at my own pace. Let’s enjoy a little chat.

It’s a 3-day weekend for me, and yesterday was a payday, so I rang in the weekend by going to St Mary’s seafood and having a delicious dinner. My mother and our neighbor Bonnie met me there. There was ’80s music playing in the background, so it really put me in a cheery mood to start this weekend.:)

Remnants of a Happy MEAL.

Grilled Alaskan Pollock, sauteed green beans, rice pilaf and some hush puppies. Scrumptious! I told my boyfriend about it, and he said he really wished he could have been there. He has been fighting sinus troubles and a bad cold.

Work is starting to get a little stressful, but I am going to relax and be lazy with reckless abandon this weekend, because I deserve it. My dog seems to approve of that sentiment.

If you know me, then you know that I feel creatively challenged right now because of my hand arm and shoulder pain/ impingement, which is taking too long to resolve; writing is really hard to do right now. I did get an idea to share a photo of Bixby in a chilled out mood sitting on the stoop. I posted it as a social media story with the Rolling Stones song, Waiting For A Friend. Perfect!

That song to me seems to start out so relaxed and unassuming, just the guy sitting on a stoop watching his surroundings on a weekend evening. Somewhere, somehow, at the end, we get the horn playing and suddenly the song just sounds so magical to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always loved it! 🙂

I plan to do more of these with Bixby, maybe with the advent of every weekend and giving him a different caption.

I mean, the look on his face! It could be taken so many different ways. I am having fun with this, I hope other people see the humor that I see. If not, I’m just glad I can see things the way I see them, and y’all are missing out. LOL. At least I can make myself laugh. 🙂

I think we’ll end this conversation on that note. Life is always laughable, right? At times, I have said “Life is a Seinfeld episode.” Or, Seinfeld is life. It gets me through the trying times!

Thanks for listening. I hope all is well with you all and that you find a smile or laugh in your coffee cup this morning. Take care!

Weekend Coffee Share, Old/New

Coffee with in house-entertainment! Bixby with his new toy.
Antique – Image by KL Caley

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On a mild weather day that feels like early Spring, watching my dog ham it up with his play toy, I sip a Starbucks blonde roast and in true T.S. Eliot fashion, I ask, “How shall I spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways?”

Truly, it is one of my favorite quotes from Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, so please indulge me. Sometimes I’m not sure what to write for the Coffee Share, (I get tired of saying what I did each day or all week) so I looked for inspiration today, and remembered the Eliot quote from a poem he wrote 50+ years ago. The photo is from the #writephoto challenge that has been around a few years, and it is now shared and hosted at the site https://new2writing.wordpress.com/category/writephoto-challenge/ . I have used the hashtag and challenge before, thought it’s been a while. However, today’s concept is quite fitting.

In the photo, old furniture and collectibles sit together in what may be an antique shop. Being an allergy sufferer, I’m seeing lovely things but imagining dust. My mind says, ‘Out with the old, in with the new’….but only with moderation. Keep what works, and throw out what doesn’t, right? At any rate, some things are old but worth keeping, and sometimes what is old for one of us is new for another.

In my life, I started out last week feeling very confident, then it ended with some stressors with my job and extra club responsibilities. I’m sure it will work out. I’ll just focus at the positives. I am encouraging young people to write, and how could I do better than that? I also have opportunities for creativity, something I must have to thrive in a job. I am a nurturer and a creative. These opportunities at my job are important, since my son is grown now and my parenting is more hands-off, as should be.

My family life is slightly stressed, as I have an uncle who recently passed away after a COVID hospitalization. May he rest in peace. Relatives have told us he didn’t wear a mask in public and wasn’t vaccinated. He was almost eighty-years-old. My son has been sick with cold symptoms but tested negative for COVID, thank goodness. My boyfriend has been really sick with similar symptoms and is now better. I’m just carrying on. I did get my booster shot just over two weeks ago. I will mask up when I am moving around my classroom or sitting with students to help them.

Writing has been sporadic for me, but I wrote a first draft of Janie’s story that gives a little closure for her, so that’s something new. Janie is a character from my published short story, the eerie Crossroads Diner #205, which is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098269VSN and won Honorable Mention in a short story contest from Rave Reviews Book Club. My boyfriend was the one who encouraged me to continue the story for Janie. There are other characters who deserve their closure: Cowboy, Maria, Raul. I’m getting ideas! 🙂

Truly, writing is something that should remain new, with a constant flow of ideas. Ancient stories can always have an appeal. So, ‘out with the old,’ in my wishes, will be the writer’s block and the feeling that I don’t have time to write or market anymore or the feeling that I don’t have the energy, confidence, or ideas to still actively BE a writer. In with the new: ideas, energy, and spirit! I’ve decidedly recently that I should use my energy spurts efficiently to save up for retirement time, when I use my well-deserved rest and relaxation, keeping a balance, of course.

So, today is a day, one day for rest and relaxation. I sleep late, take my time with breakfast, go to get Starbucks coffee with my son. I’m seeing lots of binaries here. Work/rest, Old/New, Maintain/Release. I guess that’s where I am. My son and I are about to take the walk on a mini-trail hike, an old practice we haven’t done in years, so we need to make it new again. Have a great weekend, everyone!

**You may find out more about Natalie, our host of the weekly Coffee Share at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

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