Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dissatisfied Customer

I just wrote three decent paragraphs and lost them to the profoundly flawed wifi access that this cheap hotel provides. To be sure, I had a much more generous perspective on the place before their idiotic Internet access caused me to lose my writing. Now? I calls them like I sees them:

Run down, tacky, two-bit, tourist trap.

Yeah! Take that hotel!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hi There Summer of 2011

657 miles
Torrential rain through South Carolina
Blood, Bones, & Butter
Oceanfront motel on Jekyll Island
Fried Shrimp for dinner
Next stop, Orlando

It's on!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Cup Fever

Was it really twelve years ago that the US Women's team beat China (in a penalty shoot out, no less) to win the World Cup? Mia Hamm, Briana Scurry, Brandy Chastain, I remember that summer so clearly for a lot of reasons, but the FIFA Women's tournament was definitely one of them.

Today I saw the first round match-up between the US and North Korea, and watching the contest sparked all those old memories. There also may have been a certain vibe that was missing in the two German-dominated contests since '99. I'm usually not "that" nationalistic sports fan, but call me crazy: I have a good feeling for team USA in this one.

(And, yes, there's an app for it.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

There's an App for That

This summer I intend to go through a lot of my stuff and get rid of things I no longer use or need. I promised myself to dispose of at least one bag a week, but as of 6 PM this evening with a scheduled vacation departure of early morning the day after tomorrow, all my junk was securely gathering dust in its usual place.

On Wednesday, we are going to Universal Studios in Orlando to meet family. Before agreeing to this trip, I had no idea how complicated such a "classic" American vacation could be. Take for instance ticket levels and pricing. There are two separate parks, and a visitor has the choice of single park or multi-park access for one, two, three, or four days. Then there is the express pass; that will provide access to a separate, faster line for most rides (except the most popular). There are two types of those-- one will let you in the express line once per ride, but the other gives you unlimited times through. There are also meal plans and discounts on other area attractions that come with some tickets, but not others. Then, there's lodging...

It's hardly surprising that there are numerous websites devoted to how best to spend your time and money while visiting this particular part of Orlando, and what I also discovered tonight is that, yeah, there's an app for that. I have one that will give me a description and directions to any attraction in the park as well as the wait-time for the line there.

I think that will definitely come in handy, even beyond eliminating the need to refold those troublesome maps they always give you at the entrance of the park. In fact, it's mere existence has already helped me meet my summer cleaning goal. After downloading the "Universal Orlando" app, I turned to the bookshelf in our spare room and summarily tossed most of the travel guides and maps that I've been hanging on to for when we go back to Paris, the Badlands, San Diego, etc., because I realized I don't need them anymore... the most up-to-date info on my future destinations will be available on my phone.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here Come the Veggies

Today for lunch we polished off that honking zucchini I picked from the garden yesterday, and tonight for dinner it's gumbo with homegrown okra. We spent a few hours this weekend trying to get the garden squared away for our week-long absence, and I can tell that, when we get back? There will be a lot of vegetables.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

A few weeks ago, I had a pretty intense conversation with the parent of a former student who is also very involved in the PTA at our school and in our district. She was concerned about some of the movies that the tolerance club had shown this year. Her objection was that we had not adequately helped the kids "process" the issues that they had been exposed to by viewing these films.

As an educator, I am wary of this idea of "helping" kids to think issues through. Many times it is reduced to getting the kids to say what they know we want to hear. This is part of the reason I became involved in the Tolerance Club. My experience has shown me that middle school children are very capable of parroting the "right" answers in discussions of, for example, bullying or discrimination, and yet their behavior when adults are not around belies their words. I wanted to find a way for the kids to come to the value of tolerance and acceptance on their own, so that they would be more likely to act on those values whether an adult was present or not.

I tried to explain my perspective to the parent. I told her that in my experience too much of education involved telling kids what to think rather than giving them the chance to think for themselves. She's a thoughtful person, and I received an email the next day thanking me for my time and assuring me that she values my experience and perspective, and asking if we can talk again.

Of course we will, and I'll welcome that conversation, because I thought of her today when I visited my garden for the first time in a week. There was a lot to do. The tomatoes were growing outside their cages, the strawberries desperately needed water, weeds were making steady progress, and the zucchini that had been no larger than my index finger had grown to almost 12 inches. I know I can't make my garden grow, but there's a lot I can do to help it do so.

Friday, June 24, 2011

No More Teacher's Dirty Looks

The last day of school is a necessary evil. Every year, the kids ask why we even have school and I always tell them the same thing-- if we weren't here today then we would have had this conversation yesterday; there has to be a last day. We do our best to maintain a regular schedule, or at least focus on academics in a fun way up until the bitter end, but it's really no better than glorified babysitting.

A few months ago, I read Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, the Newbury winner this year. In 1938, the main character, Abilene, starts school in a new town on the last day. She meets her future classmates and even receives an assignment from the teacher, Sister Redempta. As for the other children, they collect their report cards, clean out their desks, and go home.

There's something to be said about going old school

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Old Lady and the Young Woman

Years ago I visited Ireland and took a driving tour around a couple of its scenic Atlantic peninsulas. At the time I was not a very experienced driver, and yet I did not hesitate to climb behind the wheel of the rental car, even though the wheel was located where I was used to having the passenger sit. Driving on the opposite side of the road gave me no pause either; I giggled a bit when, in a very charming Irish brogue, the rental agent advised us to “mind the roundabouts” and then politely added, “and please don’t curb the tires,” before depositing the keys in my outstretched palm with ill-disguised skepticism.

How many other Yanks had she seen go from brash to abashed when they returned their bashed rentals? Her attitude did not bother me, though, as I casually drove off on the left side of the road, and nor did the narrow winding roads scribing a thin line between the rolling green hills and the seaside cliffs. Admittedly, the roundabouts were a bit tricky, but it was in negotiating them that I realized that this endeavour could not be conscious—it was like looking at one of those optical illusion pictures that can be seen in two ways, like the young woman and the old lady—once you see both perspectives, it becomes easy to switch back and forth and also to focus on one. Of course, I lost this new point of view every now and then, but we returned the Ford Focus undamaged at the end of the week.

A while ago, Heidi decided that she would like to try a vegan diet for a while. At first, I was extremely resistant. Such a change seemed radical and frankly, a little depressing. Still, I agreed to go along for three weeks, cooking, if not eating, only plant-based foods. It wasn’t long before I discovered that I was having fun trying to create tasty, balanced meals from limited ingredients. I approached as a kind of cooking challenge, ever-mindful that it was only for a limited time. I found that I had kind of a knack for vegan cuisine (despite the inevitable failures: “cheesy” macaroni was the worst), and I also realized that I had been in a bit of a rut before, often relying on a rotation of the same old dishes in various combinations. For the first time in a while, I was thinking about new flavor profiles and researching new recipes and ingredients. I stopped focusing on what I couldn’t cook and turned my attention instead to what I could.

It is not my nature to embrace change, and lately I feel a shroud of dread descending on me at the least provocation. Reform Medicare? Change our email platform? Implement flexible scheduling? Work on Columbus Day? It doesn’t matter how minor the adjustment may be, I don’t want to deal with it, especially if I have not chosen for myself. They say that the Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of danger and opportunity, and I can see how that is so. For me the choice is a little different: will it be the old lady or the young woman?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Silver and Gold

We held our end of the year staff party this afternoon, and it was a fun event. A couple of people are retiring, and so we took the occasion to honor them and wish them well. This is the end of my 18th year at this school, but it doesn't feel like it until I look around and realize that I am one of the old timers now. In fact, a few former retirees attended, and  not only was there definitely a generational divide, but I was on their side now.

One of my colleagues and I sat chatting as the party swirled around us-- music was playing; people were eating and drinking; groups formed and reformed on the couch, in the kitchen, and out on the deck. There was a lot of laughter, and my friend turned to me. "All of our young ones are really good," she said with a smile. "We're lucky."

I agree with her, and I hope they feel the same about us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm Blushing

and those are real tears in my eyes. What I'm about to post may seem self-serving to some, but I want my mom to read it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we're wrapping up the year with personal profiles, People Magazine type pieces of journalism. The kids interviewed each other, but in the classes with an uneven number, I got involved in the project, too, both as reporter and interviewee. Here's what one of my kids wrote about me:

On June 30,1962 in Washington, D.C a child was born not knowing she would be come a teacher and a miraculous writer and reader.
    Tracey is an amazing, outstanding teacher. But there is definetely a child within her. "I think because she has had such a happy childhood that she is so good with kids." Tasnim  says.
    She is exciting and always knows what to do. She definitely likes teaching and she loves kids. And she also liked by everyone of her students.
    She is the oldest kid in her family so she was mostly always in charge. And being a teacher and having to be in charge of kids, she does not really feel out of place. "My brother and sister didn't give me a hard time so it was easy being in charge as a child!" Tracey says herself.
    Tracey as a little girl would pretend to be a teacher and would dream about it too. And now she is living the real thing. So what do her kids think about her in class. "She is fun to hang out with but also strict." her student Ashley says.
    Her childhood is such a big part of why she loves to teach and be a good teacher. "My mom was nice and awesome but also strict just like I am now." Tracey say she loves to teach and be a cool teacher with  her students. "She knows how to explain things but make it interesting." Maeve says.
    You really just have to admit she is a great teacher. "Although I have to work hard I love to work with kids." she says. I for one think she is an awesome teacher. Teaching makes Tracey happy.

Reading this piece was a special experience for me, and I know from listening to the students over the last few days how eager they are to read the profiles that their peers have written of them. I'm just so happy to have found such a great way to end our time together.

P.S. To regular readers of this blog, the author of this profile was the very same student who accused me of sucking the fun out of everything. Redemption is sweet.

Monday, June 20, 2011

But Who's Counting?

Today was the day when my students totaled up their independent reading for the year, and as usual, there were some pretty impressive figures.

Average pages per student: 10,788
(That's over three quarters of a million total pages.)
Average number of books completed per student: 49
Most avid reader: 73,286 pages and 190 books
Reader most in need of acceleration and encouragement: 904 pages and 10 books

Every one of those numbers is up from last year. I had my doubts about these kiddos in the beginning of the year, but, both in terms of writing and reading, they have finished strong.

Best of all is the improvement they see in themselves. "I can't believe it," one student said when she saw that she had read 33 books and almost 6000 pages. "I used to hate reading! Now," and here she picked up her copy of The Divide and literally hugged it, "I looooove it!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seven Wonders of the Modern World

Or, Instant Gratification is NOT Overrated

Streaming movies to mobile devices
Downloading books
Managing a library account online
Forever stamps
EZ Pass
Digital photos and phone cameras

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Six Word Review

For Terrence Malick's Tree of Life:

I like a more narrative movie.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Einstein Never Met Us

e = 95 6th graders + 20 bowling lanes x 2 games each + 25 pizzas + refills on fountain drinks.

It wasn't the beach and dolphin watching, but it sure was a good time!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Citizens of the World

One of my students is moving to Okinawa over the summer. As the daughter of two USAF officers, she has moved around a lot in her 12 years-- Arizona, Colorado, Germany, Alabama, and Virginia have all been her home. Inevitably sad to leave her friends, she is excited, too.

She posted this on her kid blog:


So, for dinner, me and my family and our friends went to this Japanese place where, I ate SEA WEED!!!!!! Haaaaaa……. It was so good……. I was like, dry, crunchy sea weed…… And along with rice,teriaki, a wee bit of pickled ginger, and tofu, it was a very delicious meal. It was probably the most exotic meal I’ve had too….. Pickled ginger is very, very strong, it tastes like a REALLY strong herb or something…… Everett, our friends' less then one-year old baby, was staring at the waitresses with his huge eyes……. SEA WEED!

I confess that, given the variety of ethnic food available in the very culturally diverse area in which we live, I was a little surprised that she'd never tried Japanese food before, but okay-- she's in for an adventure, and she seems up for it.

My family moved overseas when I was in middle school, and it changed our lives. For one thing, living in a foreign land can alter your perspective on what's relevant simply by expanding your frame of reference. This alteration continues in my life to this day: sometimes I find that, given my life experience, it's easier to grasp the implications of a certain international event, but more often, I'm left with the awareness of how little I know.

For example, I have a student who has left school a week early to travel with his family to Dubai and then on to the Sudan, where they are from. Just this morning, I heard a piece on the radio about violence in the Sudan as the date draws near when that country will be split in two, and South Sudan will become the newest country in the world. I don't even know which region my student's family is from, or where they will visit, or whether they supported splitting the country or not, but now, I really wish I did. Knowing Omar and his brother and parents has put a human face on this conflict for me, and that makes it relevant.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Writing Up Until the End

So, we're wrapping up the year with a taste of journalism. The students are conducting interviews and writing personal profile pieces. First, we drew names to see who would be interviewing whom. Next, we read about interview strategies and composed a list of questions. Then each student had 15 minutes to conduct their first interview. After that, they went over their notes, looking for a theme. We read examples of profile pieces, too. Once they had decided on their angle, they conducted brief follow-ups and worked on figuring out what questions to ask other people to get the supporting quotes they needed.

Today we started getting a few rough drafts in, and I was very impressed by the products I saw: there were some compelling angles and interesting quotes, too, and the writing was really good. This was a great activity to end the year with. It gives the kids a chance to talk to each other and to write about a topic of interest, one of their peers, for an audience they know well, also their peers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm Proud of This

As the end of the year culminating activity, the science teacher on my team has asked our students to design a clean water action project, so several of the kids proposed starting a blog to inform people about the issues and to build support and involvement.


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak

I've written a lot about one of our cats, Bingo, but I rarely mention the other. Her name is Penelope, and it is the name she came with when we adopted her from a rescue organization. For the first couple of years of her life, she was a feral cat-- born wild and living as nobody's pet. The vet said she has had at least one litter of kittens, too. Her first three months in our home were spent in the guest room, under the bed. She was terrified of everything and everyone. We were okay with giving her as much space and time as she needed, though, because really? What's the rush?

Over the last seven years, she has come a long way-- much further than simply out from under the bed. Oh, she's still very skittish; in fact she still runs away from me any time we meet on the stairs, but she warms to visitors much more quickly, and there is something about her manner which clearly communicates her desire to please us.

Desire and willingness are not always the same, however, and so she occasionally bites and flees, not to mention puts up a hell of a fight whenever the cat carrier makes an appearance. Still, I admire her spirit, though her flesh may be a bit weak. It all reminds me of one of Aesop's fables:

A scorpion and a frog met on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asked the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asked, "How do I know you won't sting me?" 

The scorpion said, "Because if I do, I will die too." The frog was satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stung the frog. 

As they both began to sink, the frog had just enough time to ask "Why?" 

And the scorpion replied: "Because it is my nature."

70-30: Penelope would have made it across.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


As the daily blogging challenge has continued, I've noticed that my students often post an empty message with nothing but a subject line in the morning and then go back and edit it throughout the day. This practice makes me curious, and I have asked different kids about it, but so far, they can't really explain why they do it.

Call me a writing romantic, but I kind of like to think of it as a promise to themselves and their readers that they will find time in the day to write something meaningful.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Caught Pink-Pawed

I've written before about our geriatric cat, Bingo. Pushing 18, (isn't that like 300 in cat years?), he continues to astonish us. As I've probably mentioned, the most notable thing about his dotage has been his weight loss and subsequent voracious appetite, particularly his extreme fondness for vegetables-- green beans, butternut squash, avocado, and so forth.

Today, he added to his bony bad-ass reputation:

Roasted beets cooling on the stove? Shouldn't be a concern, right?


Missing: One whole roasted beet.

Exhibit one: Torn aluminum foil and a trail of beet bits accross the stove.
Exhibit two: Bright pink paws and muzzle on a certain Maine Coon cat.

Gee. I wonder what happened to the beet.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Think Twice, Click Once

There was news today of the press descending upon Sarah Palin's FOIA-released email messages, not the ones she sent from her official account, but rather the ones she sent from her yahoo account to addresses and also the ones she received from the state servers. Reporters were lined up to receive the 24,000+ pages, and news organizations are enlisting the help of their readers, viewers, and listeners to wade through the material in search of something newsworthy.

Who knows what they'll find, but it certainly sends home that rider that is automatically attached to our school email messages:

Please be advised that email is not a secure form of communication. There should be no expectation of right to privacy in anything sent via electronic mail.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Bloggers

That's the name of the blog that I set up for any interested students. A purely optional activity that I put in place to encourage summer writing, so far over 60% of my kids have signed up for their first "real" blog. They seem pretty enthusiastic, and who can argue with that?

Here are a few excerpts that show the kind of writing they are doing all on their own:

Well hello, I see you are reading my blog. Are you this interested in what I have to say? Well then go ahead, keep reading because, I HAVE A LOT TO SAY (most of the time). Let me just start out with me and my interview with myself. ~Lili

I can’t believe I have a blog! I feel so special! I have also come up with some ideas to make the blog(s) better! I think we should hold competitions, just like the SOLSC and Alphabiographies. ~Chris

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and possibly Thursday have been and will be the best days of American Studies for this whole year. We have been watching the movie Glory! ~Jay

Just wanted to know who is ready to get on with summer!!! To take a nice long break from school, and kick around doing nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am!!!! Right now, I’m having a mental breakdown, and I NEED a break. ~Bridget

This is sooooooo cool! I just love this! I have always wanted to be part of a blog, but I haven’t until now! Is that just like everyone else? I just can’t wait to really get started. ~Maeve

Being stuck like glue onto a song isn’t a very good thing. Are you stuck like glue onto a song? Well, I am. And coincidentally, the song title is stuck like glue!  ~Joann

Take 5s are one of my favorite chocolate bar, if you’ve never tried one it’s like chocolate covered pretzels in a bar. Anyways when I was six my family went Hershey park and they sometimes give out free samples so I got to try a take 5 before it was even out yet. So when I go to Hershey park tomorrow I’ll try to get a take 5. What’s your favorite candy bar? ~Helen

It should be an interesting summer!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Century Club

Today marks the 100th day since my students started their Slice of Life challenge back on March 1. I have five kids who have never missed a day since then, including one boy who called his mom from a soccer tournament in Philadelphia and dictated his post.

Here's what one student had to say about her accomplishment:

WOOHOO!!! It has been now 100 days of posting CONSTANTLY on SOL!!!
I feel proud now.......
Has it really been 100 days of posting on SOL?
Time does go quickly..
Anyways, I wonder if anyone else have posted for 100 days....
I would like to thank MS. S for making the SOL challenge, and I HOPE THAT YOU KEEP DOING IT TO THE FUTURE 6th GRADERS!!!

Thank you, Silvia. (I'm sure she meant "for" the future 6th graders...)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Number Sense

A couple of weeks ago I was in meeting where the topic of a particular student's number sense came up. He can identify coins, the math teacher said, but he has no idea about value. I am not a math teacher, although I do love math, and I like to show off my own math skills anytime I have the chance. For example after-school homework club:

Me: What's wrong?
Student: I can't figure this out.
Me: Can I help?
Student (with doubt and a dab of disdain): I'm in advanced math...
Me: Yeah, I think I can probably give you a hand.

A few minutes later...

Student: You should be a math teacher!

And so it goes, but, as I also like to tell the students, I have been in sixth grade for an awfully time, and it would be pretty sad if I didn't know the curriculum by now.

So this discussion about the student and money threw me for a loop. Not having children of my own, I never considered how you teach monetary value. I'm guessing an allowance and shopping opportunities, but I was surprised again yesterday when one of my homeroom students came up to my desk.

"Can I go to my locker?" he whispered.

"Why?" I inquired.

"My mom gave me an envelope with 12,000 dollars in it," he told me.

"What!? She did not! Why would she do that?"

"It's for the thing," he said quietly.

"What thing? You do not have 12,000 dollars in your locker..." I started, but then I realized the quickest way to get to the bottom of all this was for him to go get it.

He returned a few minutes later looking sheepish. "It wasn't 12,000 dollars," he said.

I was not surprised.

"It was only eleven thousand two hundred," he continued.

"Let me see that," I said. "This says 112.00 dollars!" I told him.

"Oooooh," he answered apologetically.

"What's it for?"

"Math summer school," he whispered.

"Good," I nodded. "Good."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stay in Touch

Yesterday, I stood in a large crowd downtown while a man to my left carried on a loud phone conversation. Where are you? By the theater? I can see the theater. Are you near the guy in the chef's coat? Oh, you're past him? Which way are you going? What side of the street are you on? Wait there-- I'm coming to get you. No. I see you. Do you have a thing in your hair? I'm waving. Do you see me? Come on over. Bye.

By the end, I was as anxious to see his friend as he was, maybe even more so because of how curious I was about the thing in her hair. Fortunately, it wasn't long at all before she and her pink silk flower walked past me, her arms outstretched, her hand still clutching her phone, and soon I tuned out their face to face conversation, trying to remember how we ever connected before we had our mobile phones.

This morning I heard a little story on the Writer's Almanac about Maxine Kumin and her best friend Anne Sexton. Back in the early 60s, these poets were so close that they had extra phone lines installed in their houses so that they would never have to hang up on each other. I'm sure at the time it was considered a bit extreme, but they were definitely on the right track. Visionary, even.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Post-Alphabiography Post Syndrome Post

They say it only takes 30 days to develop a lasting habit. Could be. I'll tell you what, tonight all I can think of are possible alphbiography topics: W is for Weeding, X is for X-men, P is for PostHunt (F is for Fink-- you know who you are), and 2 is for Could There Really Be Over 2 Weeks Left?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A is for Alphabiography, Again

Today is the last day of the challenge I issued to my students back at the end of April. It started out as twenty-six posts for the month of May, one for each letter of the alphabet, but we expanded it to numbers for the kids who wanted to continue posting every single day, so there ended up being 35 possible topics, and those of us who did them all are on our last post today.

I am very proud of my students for all the great writing they have done this month. Most of them really stepped up to the challenge. Last week as part of another assignment, one of the kids was interviewing me. "So, how did you come up with the alphabiographies?" he asked.

I explained that I had adapted other teachers' ideas that I'd read about on the internet, and I told him that one of my objectives was for the students to build writing fluency. He looked puzzled. "You know," I said, "the ability to write more easily-- longer, faster?"

"Ooooohh," he seemed surprised. "Because I've really noticed that in myself lately and was wondering how it happened."

Life Lesson: It's not rocket surgery: skills improve with practice.

Friday, June 3, 2011

1 is for Just One of Those Things

Every year since 2001, our sixth grade team has taken a trip in June to go dolphin watching. It's about three hours away, so we charter buses, spend a couple of hours at the beach, and then board a really big boat for a 2-hour cruise skirting the capes of Delaware in search of marine mammals. Next it's back on the bus, and a few hours later we're home. It's usually a nice day and a pleasant way to end the year. It also offers experiences that many of our students have never had: the beach, the boat, or both.

This year will be an exception to the tradition. Our school system has adopted a stricter set of guidelines for planning field trips, and the charter company we use could not produce the paper work we needed to have the trip approved. I don't want to judge either the new rules or the guy who owns the charter boat; I believe everyone involved wants what's right and what's safe-- it just didn't work out for the kids this year.

Life Lessons:

1) Better safe than sorry...
2) A person's word and a handshake ought to mean something.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

6 is for 6000 Steps or So

Tomorrow we're walking to a local park for our annual water cleanliness and testing field trip. Because we have about 100 kids on the team, we're taking them in two groups. It's always a negotiation to decide which teachers will go and which will stay back on such a trip. Of course, the science teacher goes; it's her curriculum, but after that? It all depends on who's absent, who's healthy, who's willing, and whose turn it is.

This year, like last year, I'm present, healthy, and willing, and so I'm going both times. Lucky me! The walk is lovely, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, and the activity is fun. Not only do I get to be outside all day, but I'll get a little exercise, too.

Life Lesson:

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life.
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we keep on the sunny side of life. 

~Ada Blenkhorn

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

8 is for 823

That is the number of this post-- I've posted to my blog 823 consecutive days. Usually, I try to avoid writing about the number of times I've posted, even the milestones, because I've decided over the last couple of years that there are two types of blog posts that are crushingly boring: writing about how you don't know what to write and writing about how much you have written.

Don't get me wrong. I've definitely written several of each type, but I try to give those pieces either an alternate focus, an original spin, or both. I'm not saying I succeed at that, and in truth I've almost made peace with the fact that it's okay to post something I don't love. It's okay, because it means I'll write again tomorrow, and who knows? That one might be awesome.

Do you know what will really be a milestone for me? The day I stop caring about how many times I've posted in a row. Because then writing every day will not be a chore or a requirement, but rather just a thing I do.

Life Lesson: If you have to think about it, it's not a habit.