This post inspired by fellow blogger Colline – Wednesdays she publishes a “grateful post”.
Last year at school in the final staff meeting, I was awarded the Most Optimistic Award. I found the little plastic trophy and happy dancing apple in my school cupboard yesterday afternoon and took it out and placed it on my desk. A reminder to remain optimistic,
It’s a new year so don’t want to rest on my laurels, though.
HA! (Just this morning my sister was remembering how dad would say that when he wrote to us)
Would be cool to be a repeat for this new school year, I thought to myself and laughed at myself. A good plan.
Last June Selfie. An unexpected award voted by my colleagues- Most Optimistic
On my way home this afternoon, a different route, there’s a bridge out. What a mess.
It means everyone sits and sits, winds around the corner like snails, waiting to get a quick left turn, the arrow light. It’s a real clog.
I first saw the rainbow on the straightaway and you can see it’s photographed through a tinted windshield.
But then I had to inch up.
What a glorious rainbow.
Were there a parking lot to pull into, I would have done so and gotten the end of the rainbow as it arched into the Allegheny River.
Back in my car since school started, driving around the city all over the place.
Opportunities to see things I wouldn’t have seen if I were stretched in my hammock on the front porch, sipping a lemonade, reading a book, or knitting for winter.
Today I was grateful for the traffic standstill. Got to catch a rainbow. Thanks, Colline. For more posts on Colline’s Gratitude Project, click here.
Uh-oh, can’t see it between the wires as I did when I looked with my eye Interesting wires intersecting.
It gets better and the traffic winds around the bend.
And the other half of the rainbow as I made my way in the traffic
But look what I found this morning on the way to school. (And yes, I pulled to the side of the road)
I was behind a workman’s truck and saw the silhouette.
Pulled over to the curb, mindful of the time, knew I could wait a minute. Parking brake on, the hill’s steep.
The school bus
and then two students walking to our high school.
Turning onto Brownsville Road
School bus coming down the hill
I was hoping for some separation between the two but not this morning.
Hopefully not my nerves or the rope
I hang onto with my best grip.
I sleep with the comfort of the worn red calico and
yellowed muslin quilt my grandmother stitched decades ago.
. I told my friend V what the photo challenge word of the week was and she said,
“Fray? That’s an easy one. You start school Monday.”
It’s all over the internet. Bill Gates did it with an elaborate contraption he designed. Friends, neighbors, coworkers are challenging one another and the videos are all over social media. People challenging others to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads to call attention to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. ALS is defined on the ALS Association webpage as “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.”
One thing is the crazy stunt has not only gone viral, a dreaded disease- ALS has come to the forefront and received 22.9 million dollars in donations, a marked increase from a year ago. Of course there’s controversy and debate, too. Are the participants really understanding what ALS is and how it affects those who have it? and their families? Others think it is a waste of perfectly clean water when so many parts of the world are in drought, or don’t have easy access to clean water. Here is an excellent blog post about what an ALS Family REALLY thinks about this challenge
Yesterday, I was invited to photograph the cheerleading squad accepting the ice bucket challenge the first day of school. I know they are fundraising and sending a donation in addition to pouring the water on their heads.
Here is a crop of that photo.
(I was careful to keep the camera far from the ice water, though) Here’s more information about ALS
Turned in the Grade Summary Reports and my keys. The room is able to be cleaned now the clutter is gone.
Got the required signatures on my close-out sheet for School Year 2013-14 and took a photograph as I was getting ready to leave.
Thursday and Friday we go to training at another location from 8-3. Three o’clock Friday it will be School’s Out for the Summer.
Here is the room in response to the challenge
A photo of a colleague in an art room upstairs, photographed almost exactly one year ago
An a giant room/gym with the graduating class of 2013 last June, keeping with the school related room theme
(Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Al Green, Chuck Berry and Supertramp are featured)
As I left the school today, I noticed the big barrels of janitorial products and a giant mop wringer system. Ready for action! Industrial Strength Action.
I read the labels and they seemed poetic. Purplematic. Pink Concentrate. iShine.
Three more days to go. And the the custodial staff will make the building ready for the new school year.
Our school is a really clean one and you can see why.
My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School
Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk. It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me. I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven. I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates. We followed each other to junior and senior high school. Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again. At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand. Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.
The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik, our physical education and health teacher. Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion. She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning. Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher. She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China. Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!
Allen School closed in 1961. The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School. However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place. On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that. Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward. Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them. Oh, I almost forgot! Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System! I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle. “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.
(Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the striped shirt!)
A couple of weeks ago, my next door neighbor at school put out a call for a poster about reading.
There was to be a state inspection and a visual aid encouraging reading was on the checklist. When I saw her in the hall, I offered a collage of photographs of students reading their favorite books. She was thrilled and one of her students created a large poster with the photos and added some text about the benefits of reading.
It looked good and she told me it was well received by the inspection team. My colleague was pleased. And grateful. I wish I had a photo of the finished poster to include in this post but it is at school.
As a thank you, she brought me this unexpected gift.
She said when she saw them at the store, they reminded her of me. I looked in the mirror and I see the resemblance!
When I saw the smiling face socks, I thought of fellow blogger Stef and her Smile, Kiddo blog. Always on the lookout for smiles.
Right now the high school students are working on creating images for a positive image campaign so it’s a great post for that theme.
This lone tulip was left out of the water overnight. I tried to revive it, see if it could stand up again. Gave it a drink.
The curved lines seem to repeat.
My dad gave me two of these vases ages ago.
The students have been photographing the white tulips and painting them in Photoshop elements
to make them a color.