Month: February 2015

Teachers as Storytellers

We learn from the stories we are told and from the people we encounter. Parents, coaches, friends, media – they are all teachers.

Teacher as Transformer

Think of the people we call teachers, not just in classrooms but in every facet of our lives. A quality they share is storytelling. They connect with our hearts and minds. We laugh, cry, yell, and carry on in every imaginable way with them. We remember them not because of what they taught us, but what they revealed about themselves and helped us discover about our self.

The best teachers are the best storytellers. We learn in the form of stories.

~Frank Smith

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Feb. 20, 2008 – Lunar eclipse

To find something appropriate for this week’s Flashback Friday, I went digging through my collection of CD-Rs.  I’m winter weary, so I didn’t want to look back at other snowy winters past.  Then I came across this…

On Feb. 20, 2008, there was a total lunar eclipse. My husband took these pictures, starting with the total eclipse.  We watched with awe from a window on our stairwell, the best place in our house for moon viewing.

DSCF6272-2The total eclipse turned the moon into a reddish color, more like Mars than our moon!

DSCF6273-2An eclipse of the moon is when Earth comes between the sun and the moon, blocking out the sun’s light which normally reflects off the moon, making it appear white and bright. This phenomenon only can occur when the moon is at full moon phase.

DSCF6274-2As the position of the Earth moved relative to the sun and moon, the eclipse waned, and gradually the moon grew bright again.

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Writing 201: Elegy for Mother

Writing 201: Poetry, Day 5
Form: Elegy
Theme: Fog
I didn’t use the device of metaphor in this poem. Instead, I used repetition, and a pattern in the number of lines per stanza.


Elegy for Mother

She could no longer travel;
Now fog descended over her eyes –
Fog that didn’t allow her to read,
Thickening fog that meant no more TV.
But that fog did not prevent her
From recognizing those around her.
She knew them by the touch of those
who massaged her gnarled hands.
She knew them by their voices
Serenading her with hymns.
She knew them by their scents
Familiar since they were babies.
She knew them because they knew
Where to find her chocolate,
Or to bring it as a gift.
~~~
Now the fog has lifted from the story of her life.
Her voice no longer speaks.
Her ears no longer listen.
Her eyes – even through the fog –
No longer see.
She no longer tastes the sweet chocolate
Someone puts on her lips.
Now there is no need
To visit the stranger she had become,
Or to sing Christmas carols to her,
Or to apply lotion to her hands.
~~~
Now we celebrate her life –
Through pictures, stories, videos,
Her writing and her letters.
We see her more clearly than we have seen her
For a long time.
Our memory no longer depends on the image
Of her frail frame,
Her inability or unwillingness to speak,
Her desire to leave this world.
~~~
Now we once again see her bright brown eyes,
Hear her laughter,
Listen to her stories of long ago,
Know the love we shared
And the love of those who preceded her
In leaving this world
And entering the next.
~~~
Now the memories
Of who she was
And the grief
For whom we’ve lost
Begin.

MTL

Margaret Thom Lovejoy
May 4, 1917 – December 3, 2014

Weekly Feature: FLASHBACK FRIDAY- my son Jayme, 1985-1990

For this week’s flashback, I’m honoring my son, Jayme A. L. Villa-Alvarez, who will turn 30 on Sunday, Feb. 22.  Here are some memories of his first five years.

Feb. 22, 1985:
Jayme with his dad, Fernando Villa-Alvarez and mom, Katy Villa-Alvarez

Fernando, Katharine & Jayme Villa-Alvarez

1986Jayme Villa Alvarez

Jayme's first birthday: I remember he wasn't feeling very well - a bit feverish.
Jayme’s first birthday: I remember he wasn’t feeling very well – a bit feverish.
Jayme meets his new cousin, Leslie
Jayme meets his new cousin, Leslie

Family pictures, 1988

Betsy Sweet, MTL, Mary, Rob & Maria Sweet, Katharine & Jayme Villa-Alvarez, Alix Waeffler, Elmer Sweet, Julia & Tom Waeffler Heather, Elmer, Julia Murray, Sara Kirchoff, Fernando, Katharine, John, Jim, Alix, Allen, Larry, Julia, Jennifer, Mary, Horace Phillips, Clark, Holly, , Maria, Betsy, Leslie, Jayme, , Julia, Eric

Jayme wearing "cangaceiro" hat from Northeastern Brazil
Jayme wearing “cangaceiro” hat from Northeastern Brazil, on our front porch in Milwaukee
BFFs - Jayme and his cousin Julia, 2 years older, were best friends during these early years.
BFFs – Jayme and his cousin Julia, 2 years older, were best friends during these early years.

1989:
We move to Illinois

 Jayme with Mom (me)
Jayme with Mom (me)
At the cottage - summer 1989
At the cottage – summer 1989
Christmas 1989: Our first Christmas after we moved to Illinois.
Christmas 1989: Our first Christmas after we moved to Illinois.

1990

Jayme on his 5th birthday, with his cousin Betsy
Jayme on his 5th birthday, with his cousin Betsy
Easter in Janesville: Jayme spies hidden Easter eggs!
Easter in Janesville: Jayme spies hidden Easter eggs!

Acrostic trust

Today’s assignment in Writing 201 is:
Topic/theme: Trust
Form: Acrostic
Device:  Internal rhyme

Once again I find it necessary to write two separate poems on the topic – an acrostic poem and a poem using internal rhyme.

My acrostic tells the characteristics of the man I love and trust.

The one who is:

Truthful,
Responsible,
Understanding,
Sympathetic and
Thoughtful

is the one in whom I trust.

Here's a man with a face you can trust!
Here’s a man with a face you can trust!

My second poem is a parent imparting wisdom to a child:

Trust has to be earned, you’ll learn,
to find someone who is true to you.
Someone who has won, my son,
the respect you expect in return,
the love you live to give
and deserve to secure for sure –
So, you see, it must
be she that earns your trust.

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A journey by limerick

Writing 201/poetry:
word prompt: journey
Form: limerick
Device: alliteration

Although I tried, I couldn’t do all three in one poem! So I wrote two:

Limerick Journey

To describe ‘journey’ in a limerick
It needs to be summed up very quick
If I could arrive
anywhere by five
I’d find out what makes the world tick!

Alliterative Journey

A journey can be
a walk in the woods
or wandering the world
in awe and wonder.

el-escorial-basilica-interior ??????????????????????????????????????????????????Photos:  Top:  El Escorial, Spain, copyright Andrew Prokos.
Bottom:  woods in autumn, copyright by the author.