Square Perspective #31

It is only 8:30 pm CDT here in Chicagoland, so I’m still on time for the LAST (Boo hoo!) day of Becky’s Square Perspectives!

Camouflage is nature’s way of helping animals protect themselves. Like this little frog…

From this little guy’s perspective, this lily pad is the ideal place to sit and take a rest. And perhaps – if he’s lucky – catch an insect flying by!

I couldn’t believe my luck to spy this frog on a crinkly lily pad! At first, I thought it was fake! But later when I passed it again, the frog was gone.

Taken at Chicago Botanic Gardens on July 23, 2020.

Eiffel Tower Perspectives

One of the most memorable moments of our three days in Paris last June was visiting the Eiffel Tower at dusk – we did not reserve in advance to go up to the top, but it was just as well. They light up the tower in the evening so it was especially beautiful on a cloudless night and I was able to take photos of it with various perspectives!

Yours truly & hubby take a selfie!
My sister Judy and my son Jayme
Mini Eiffels for sale – all with flashing lights!

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week: Tower

Becky’s Square Perspectives Day 30

FPQ: Rediscovering My Joys

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week encourages us to look inward, at ourselves. Fandango writes: I saw this question on a site that offers up a bunch of “deep, philosophical” questions and this one intrigued me. It’s about evolution, but not in the context of Darwin’s evolution of the species. It’s more about evolution of the individual and about who you are and how you change over time. Here’s this week’s question, which is essentially about you. I hope you’ll have fun with it.

Is the concept of “you” continuous or does the past “you” continually fade into the present and future “you”? (Yes, it’s both.)  Considering that your body, your mind, and your memories are changing over time, what part of “you” sticks around? (My essence, my soul, my identity).

Now that I’ve answered both questions in brief, I will expand, as I am wont to do!

I once had a revelation about myself that I told my daughter: You may have changed a great deal since childhood, but whatever you were good at and interested in when you were 10 will come back around when you are an adult. Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy challenge has a theme related to this: rediscovering your childhood joys.

For me, it was art (I drew and doodled incessantly) , languages (I fell in love with Spanish in 5th grade), cultures (I was fascinated by the pictures in my parents’ National Geographic magazines), cats (I have always had one as a pet, except when my son had allergies growing up), and writing (I wrote many stories and even a short novel when I was a kid).

This is one of my more recent drawings – it’s a combination of drawing and watercolor. First, I chose a photograph I had taken. Then I drew it freehand with black pigment liner. Then I used watercolor pencils for the color and background.
Another of my obsessions – cats. This is the best cat drawing I have done, but not the only or most recent one!

Another art form I love is photography, as any reader of my blog knows. I first started taking pictures with a Brownie black & white camera when I was about 10.

I took these photos of my friends with my Brownie camera in 1966!

In high school, I bought an Olympus SLR and got “serious” about photography. It helped that I had a boyfriend who was a photographer, and he taught me how to develop my black and white pictures. Later I installed my own mini darkroom in the second bathroom of an apartment I lived in in college.

In my late teens and early adulthood, for years I tried to become something that I couldn’t become – a musician (I’m not very talented in music, much as I love it), a best-selling author (I don’t have the discipline), a counselor (I have trouble giving advice on the spot) – and then I dreamed of being something that I could become, but didn’t: a linguist, an anthropologist, a translator at the United Nations – and finally became something I’d thought about in childhood but never thought I could become: a teacher. One of my sisters was a great teacher and she was very patient. I have never been patient.

I wasn’t actually a great teacher. I was, in fact, mediocre as a classroom teacher, and kept losing classroom teaching jobs. I was better at being a “pull-out” resource teacher (teaching ESL and bilingual literacy to smaller groups of students who came to me during their classroom’s literacy time). I was better at this because I didn’t have to worry about 10 things at once and didn’t have to keep track of 20+ kids at the same time. I also love languages and was very passionate about language acquisition and a strong advocate for bilingual education. So that job (where I spent more years and was happy) utilized more of my strengths: using Spanish every day, teaching English as a second language, enthusiasm about learning, working with students, doing creative holiday projects and writing projects with them.

I started a paper recycling club at my school one year, and this is me receiving an award worth $200 for the paper recycling we did. The money was used for the school’s club fund. I have always been passionate about environmental issues.

On the other hand, classroom teaching emphasized my weaknesses – midway through my teaching career, I found out I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). This is not a good thing to have if you are a teacher but at least I knew it wasn’t because I was a failure – at discipline, executive functioning, at remembering to send in my attendance every morning, at trying but never succeeding at being organized. This diagnosis helped me become more accepting of who I am and not ashamed of what I am not.

Now I’m happily retired and doing the things I used to spend hours doing when I was a kid: drawing, writing, learning foreign languages, pursuing intellectual interests such as politics, international affairs, and traveling (I didn’t do these last few much as a kid, although I have fond memories of family trips and I never avoided controversial topics with my parents, which didn’t always work out very well). I love other cultures and seeing new things.

Here I am with my cousins in Tanzania in 2018 (that’s me in the light colored shirt) – we are about to learn a traditional dance in a Maasai village.

These interests have always been a part of me, even though I have evolved a great deal in my journey of self-discovery. I’m not so hard on myself as I used to be. Finding out about having ADHD was a revelation about my entire life – why it was hard for me to make new friends, why I daydreamed so much, why I talked out of turn in school, why I was a “slow reader” (I wasn’t slow – I just got distracted so that by the time I had finished a page, I couldn’t remember what I’d read and had to go back and read it again), and why I was constantly losing things.

Besides the self-discovery that comes with maturity, I look back at my life and sometimes feel I really haven’t changed that much. I’m still me. I sometimes think I’m still that girl I was in high school. I still have the same soul, which I will have until my dying day. I carry buried memories and emotions of the last 68 years in my brain, but I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, because that doesn’t matter. I have a good life – everything I need and much of what I want. I’ve been lucky, I know that and I am grateful.

SYW: On ADHD, Nature, Talking, and a Dog

Monday means Melanie shares questions for Share Your World.

SYWaerosolworld

Questions:

Are you a clean or messy person?
I try to keep myself and things around me clean, but I am excessively messy. It doesn’t help that I have ADHD. I’m incorrigibly disorganized. Every once in awhile, I will discipline myself and unclutter a space because I can’t stand it anymore. But come to my house and you will definitely find a mess!

If I asked you to describe yourself in five words – what would they be?
enthusiastic, talkative (see below), adaptable, procrastinator, ADHD (using initials is only one word!)

Do you enjoy being out in nature?
I love it! It’s my favorite place to be! Without it during this Covid crisis, I would go crazy!

What could you spend all day talking about?
Wow, this is hard, because I love to talk! And if I spend the whole day talking, I would get into a variety of subjects, but my favorites are: politics, traveling, languages (including speaking in a couple of foreign ones! 🙂 ) Pretty much what you see me blog about is what I like to talk about.


Attitude of Gratitude:(OPTIONAL)

I am grateful that our granddog is home safe.

Two weeks ago our daughter & son-in-law got a dog to join their family of two humans and three cats. She is shy and scared – she may have been abused in her former home. Last week, our daughter was out walking her and she was startled by a kid coming up from behind her on a scooter. She dropped the leash and the dog – who was also scared of the scooter – took off. My husband went over and helped them look for her but no luck.

It’s hard to see her on this couch which is the same color as she is, but she hardly ever leaves it!
I hope to get better photos of her soon!

Next morning about 5:30 am, our son-in-law got a phone call – he was up already, getting ready for work. The dog, who had a tag with both of their cellphone numbers, had been found but she was injured. Apparently, her leash (still attached) got caught on something and she tried to get away, tearing the pads of her paws up pretty badly. He went to get her and they took her to the vet, who prescribed some ointment and said she was not to walk for 2 weeks! So they have to carry her to get her food, go outside, etc. It’s a good thing she is not very big!

Also, they gave her a new name. Her name had been Winter, which seemed odd – none of us could figure out why she’d be called that (she’s black with white paws and a white strip on her chest) – and they changed it to Lydia.

CFFC: The Golden Spike

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week continues with a series on vehicles that provide transportation, with the theme anything having to do with trains and railroads.

Bailey’s Railyard in North Platte, Nebraska is the place to take an elevator to the top of what’s known as the Golden Spike.

It isn’t golden and not much of a spike, but from up there you get a fantastic view of Bailey’s Railyard, with freight trains coming and going, east-west, north-south, and there is also a small railroad museum. When you reach the top, you will meet a very enthusiastic worker to answer all your questions!

FOTD: CBG

For the next several days, I am going to be posting photos I took this week at Chicago Botanic Gardens for Cee’s FOTD. I went to CBG twice – last Thursday, and again yesterday.

Today is a “group shot” – lilies and blazing stars in white, with some allium on lower right.

Cee’s FOTD 7/29/20