Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kennedy

I am not a Kennedy fan. I do appreciate his fight for the poor- which I think he saw as a family legacy. I do not appreciate that he found a way to get his marriage annulled or fought for abortion rights. I appreciate that his family came out to greet those who stood in line to pass the casket. I would probably stand out to witness my own Senator's passing. I think the entire Kennedy thing is simply an acknowledgement to the country's need for sensational news. Where are the pictures of the soldiers dying in Afghanistan? Oh yes, those are people who CHOSE to serve their country- so they are not worthy of our eyes.

I was on another board taht I read often and the topic was a family who has $8000 in debt over lots of small medical bill and $320. a month in medication ( They still paid $145 a month in insurance). The family made $50,000 a year - but were struggling. This was my favorite reply:
"Geoff Says: August 28th, 2009 at 6:28 am
And you crazy Americans still are protesting about health care reforms!!! So what happens now if you get sick and you can’t afford it?
The Australian system with an English NHS style ‘free’ minimum cover (at a cost of 1.5% tax on salary) for everybody, but still with a very active Medical Insurance industry. If you earn over a certain amount and do not take out insurance, the government taxes you roughly the equivalent cost of health insurance - stopping the ‘free’ service from getting too overcrowded.
Most people from the rest of the world cannot understand the heartless approach to your health care system, but then cannot comprehend why people are protesting so much about changing it."

Couldn't have been said better!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Up at 5 down at 9

I am TIRED!
Loving school. Praying before the kiddos arrive has really helped!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

After A While

After a while you learn
the subtle difference
Between holding a hand
and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love
doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn

that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman,
Not the grief of a child

And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much

So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,

In stead of waiting
for someone to bring you flowers


And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth,
and you learn and learn...

With every good bye you learn.

Veronica Shoffstall 1971
I was reading http://outofthecrayonbox.blogspot.com/
She has suffered a miscarriage. This is not her first one. My heart aches for her.
I thought a great deal about my brother in laws and sister in law who all passed away with in two months of each other three years ago- beginning with Paul- beginning today. This poem says it all. I love you Cath.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Parent night

We met about half of the parents on our team last night. The turn out was the best the school has had. Lots of smiling faces - a few warnings about behavior. Some cell phones shared. Most of them brought their children as well. Lockers were tried out and band rooms were found. Several extremely shy kiddos- but they will be nurtured into our loving team.
I love school.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Listen to PRIMARY sources

I am having an interesting time listening to my congressmen (I haven't heard from my congresswoman) and their take on health care. Both have agreed there is need for change. They talk about the exploding use of Medicare/Medicaid and the costs. They also see that Kansas does a pretty good job with children of the poor. What about in between is their question? Kansas is a very conservative state- ranked just above Utah.
I really don't have to worry about his topic. I am covered for life by socialized medicine- military health care. My daughter forgot that she had insurance while at college and we received a $17,000 bill for her surgery- done in the emergency room and discharged after six hours because "she did not have insurance". It was cared for by military insurance (who argued and got the bill down to $7,000). My mother has money to buy supplemental insurance for Medicare (another socialized medicine). The debate is interesting though.
How about you? If you lost your job tomorrow- could you cover COBRA payments? What happens if your next employer does not offer health care and you need to go with the Walmart plan (Walmart has a some plans BTW). What type of coverage would you get? If Medicare went bankrupt- would you be ok until you died? If you got a terminal disease- could your family pay out of pocket for the expenses? Even with GREAT health care some pay out of pocket right now for "experimental" treatments...my brother in law did.
It is a scary debate. Is it a Christian one. Do unto others?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Inspiration


The first weeks before school begins, my juices begin to churn. Inspiration is top of the list. How to engage and motivate kids to learn about people so long ago?
This is a painting from the Yale Gallery on the passage of time. It will be one of my main themes for the room this year.
What can we learn from an earlier time? What does it have to do with our present?
I am beginning to see the fall out of NCLB. I will have a child who spent the last three years in fourth grade in the south. He could not pass their state test. Our district promoted him to sixth grade. I asked for him in my home room. My plan is to get him going and move him out. He will be 13 this year- so his brain should make the next jump. I plan on using that to my advantage. the passage of time and the movement of people. That IS world history.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Can you believe it?

School starts for teachers tomorrow. My first two weeks of lessons are done and I am busy putting in primary sources into my classroom setting. How about the study of cuneiform for a child interested in language? Here is the picture and link I will be using. The bas relief is from the hallways of Yale's Art Museum. The cuneiform is in the middle of the relief.
The bas relief is 9'by6' and the cuneiform goes across the middle of the sculpture to tell the story.
Thanks to my friend, Mindy, I have these pictures to share.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

They are ARMY proud

The newest class of Kiowa pilots

Pictures!





It was a great day for a pinning.


This is the bird he flies!


Friday, August 07, 2009

What does a "full time liberal" do?

Scott says that I looked at the calendar and realized I only had one week of freedom left- just a minute more to travel.
I went to Alabama to pin on my son's aviator wings. My baby will be in Fort Lewis in three weeks and flying full time. Then he is off to Iraq.
I chuckled to myself when I think that one blogger calls me a stupid liberal. What happens when children are raised in a "fully liberal" household? Service to God, country and family. I guess that if being conservative no longer is a part of those things- then I am liberal. But, most of you know I am really conservative:>) I actually DO know what a conservative believes. I just have an open mind that things COULD change. Not stuck in the imaginary 1950's. What a concept.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The last days of summer

Enjoying the little turkeys learning how to fly off of my walls is always a sign that it is almost time to go back to school. We have a number of flocks who roam through our land on any given hour.
There are two hens who bring their broods to our house yearly. They line their chicks up on the retaining wall and push them off to fly. The chicks fly about five feet down. Then they are lined up again. You can tell the chicks are nervous. The hens are always in pairs- one up/one down.
Turkeys are huge body birds- even when young. Their flying wings are sort of stumpy for those large bodies.
Soon I will open my classroom door and shoving a few chicks of my own off of the wall into the pit of "learning for yourself". It is scary, since most have never attempted to find knowledge themselves. Their brains are a bit stumpy and they are nervous. Once they find their wings- life in school is so much better (at least it is in my room).