Weekend Coffee Share, “That Sweet Spot.”

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Welcome to my #WeekendCoffeeShare hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali!  It’s Valentine’s Day week, and I am in love with life.  As hectic, busy, and packed-full as my brain is, I am not miserable at all!  It seems my hard work has been paying off, and I don’t mean paying for vacations or bills, but producing results, nonetheless.

My Facebook job of record is “In training at- Trying to be a Positive Influence on Others.” It’s true abd shall be true all my life.  I make enough money to get by.  I may get a bonus now and then to provide for a vacation, but what matters is if I am reaching the young hearts and minds of those in my classroom.  What matters is that I am writing material as an author that pleases my heart and makes people think.  Somehow, between the two, I want to make the world a better place.  I’m still taking courses on how to teach and reach the highest achievers in school.  It keeps me so busy, and I’m enjoying it immensely!  I caught up on my course this week, working almost daily in the evening to get the assignments done.  So I had time Saturday to a little writing with my current character, Malachi.  I even had time to go to lunch with my son.  Friday, I started putting those planned lessons and assignments to work.  It was great fun!

Forgive me if nothing is in linear order here.  I had a Eureka moment while teaching on Friday.  I worked so hard this week at learning new strategies, sitting for hours at my laptop, working while eating, processing, planning, interpreting data. The payoff: A lesson on things I love, animal nature, poetry, and figurative language, as well as a poet I got to research in a Grad. School class. A student I never thought I was reaching said, “Ms. Canepa, you are the teachingest Reading teacher I’ve ever had.” Students had fun creating their own creative metaphors, and some sat in a group with me discussing their choice of alternate assignment because they passed a pre-test.   They looked so genuinely interested in the assignment to find out the background of the authors and maybe even appreciative.  It’s called differentiation, and it’s a lot of hard work.  It doesn’t only exist for those who need help getting it, but for those on the other end as well.

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Students seemed so excited Friday.  Well, it was Friday and there was a dance, but they were really participating in our discussion.  Next week, I’m going to play them a song called “Dog and Butterfly” by Heart,  circa 1979. We’ll discuss how we can learn from animal nature.  I felt my own enthusiasm radiating from me on Friday when I introduced our poems.  It was great, since I’d felt bogged down by drudgery most of the week.

 

person holding stick in grayscale photography Somewhere in Alaska.

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I am also excited to be sharing some poetry by Mary TallMountain, a Native Alaskan poet I studied in a Graduate class at UNF.  Some of my students will be digging into her background and where she’s from.  They’ll be learning about a beauriful place that is mostly foreign to them.  I studied her in a course on American Literature that exposed us to many authors that are not traditionally on a college course syllabus.  I loved that class…

All in all, I am feeling great and will start another assignment for my course within the next hour.  The coffee is kicking in!  I learned a few things the past week:  If you lvoe what you do, it rubs off on others.  Hard work pays off.  Never quit,  but I already knew that, I just keep re-learning it.  The other: if you are writing a novel in bits and pieces, taking weeks off at a time due to life responsibilities, do keep notes on what your side character’s last names are, and consult it often.  Also, don’t leave your main character hanging on a limb for too long!  Still, I feel much better for having given Malachi some attention yesterday.  I am in the sweet spot for the time being.  Thanks God for a clearing of the clouds!  Even though the clouds may return, each time it seems I am learning more on how to see beyond the clouds.

I have a few author events coming up as well.  They are online events, and I plan to share more about them as they get closer.  Thank you for stopping by and sharing some coffee and a little bit of my recent joys with me.  Have a great week!

 

Another Soulful Sunday. #WeeklySmile

SunflowerBuddingIMG_0335Photo taken Friday morning.

The natural/animal world makes me smile.  I get to see this sunflower budding while I walk my dog.  He always aims for the bushes surrounding it, but never for the sunflower plant.  I think this is a type of respect in the natural world.  Yes, I think he purposely does not aim at the sunflower plant,  as he knows it is higher in the pecking order of plant life.

Am I right?  I respect him more for it.  Seeing this thing grow makes me smile.  I’ll certainly share a picture when the flower blooms!  My smile this week is a quiet one.  A smile of acceptance and gratitude.  I am so thankful for my little dog monster that gets me out of the house and looking at these things.  I might not otherwise!  This little dog/monster that pulls on the leash and would chase every cat and squirrel if I let him….He’d also come home with deep scratches, I am sure.  He is quiet around me, just like me son is, but we enjoy a walk out in nature together,  my son and I, or my dog and I.  My son doesn’t chase after cats or squirrels, though.  🙂  My point is, the outdoor walks are very healthy for me and whoever is accompanying.

The natural world is so good for one’s mind.  This week at my workplace, we said goodbye to a co-worker who taught Science at my school for many years.  A dedicated teacher, she also took in and adopted several small critters into her classroom over the years.  She had such a respect for nature.  That’s what I’ll most remember, her nurturing and curiosity.  She was also friendly and always had a smile when I took my then younger son to work on an off day or after school.  She was about 60 and it was recently discovered she had cancer.  I want to go on about how her death didn’t have to happen.  Instead, I’ll just remember the stories of her outdoors adventures studying nature and her smile and, at times, sardonic wit.  My smile is a smile of acceptance, and even though that is hard, there is something worth smiling about, that I was privileged to know her.  Nature will reinforce our belief that life goes on.  I think Deb would appreciate that.  Always remember, but don’t tarnish your remembrance with regret.

IMG_0338  Photo taken Saturday evening.

***Weekly smile is a blogger’s challenge started by Trent.  Visit his blog and his Weekly Smile post at  https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/i-want-your-smiles-weeklysmile-83-reminder/

Have a great week!