Today is day 2 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, and I had left my computer ready to relax on the couch. I was going to sew faces on some of my bees–spelling bees, which will decorate the certificates for our students. Of course, what else is there to do on yet another evening at home?
As I sat down though, fortunately I remembered to come back and write this post.
We are conducting a virtual spelling bee for any students who want to participate. We had 52 sign up by Sunday’s deadline. Then today we had them come to a scheduled preliminary placement test on Google Forms. Just a multiple-choice spelling test that should help us determine which of three groups to put them in. Surprisingly we only had 28 of them who completed the preliminary round. Hmmm….I’m not sure why. Maybe we will hear from some tomorrow. I don’t know what we’ll do.
We will have three different levels of the final spelling competitions on Zoom, based on the student’s score on the preliminary. We will give them some time to study words now. Then we are thinking of three rounds–
Round 1–they each write the same word in the chat to the host (judge).
Round 2–we’ll say the same word and everyone will write it on a whiteboard. On the count of three, they will turn it around and show the judges.
Round 3 would be a traditional spelling bee where each child left in the competition gets a different word and spells it orally.
There will be double eliminations, so everyone can make one free mistake.
Sadly, we have to think of how to do this in a way that will discourage cheating.
I wonder if anyone has any ideas for pulling this off! Please feel free to offer any advice on any part of this, as obviously we are building this plane in the air.
(Oh, my goodness–as I wrote that last line I did a quick search and other people, of course, have already been building that plane.) Now, I’ll go watch some Zoom spelling bee videos, and then I’ll get back to finishing the faces on my bees.
It has been a month since I wrote on this blog. That’s the longest I’ve gone without writing a post during this past Covid year. Living with this pandemic has gotten so long and difficult. People are dying and we can’t even have proper funerals. I miss my family, my friends, and my church. There is only so much cooking and Zooming one can do.
This month I started watching The Man in the High Castle, which is a sci-fi, historical fiction, dystopian World War II series on Amazon Prime. My husband stopped watching after two episodes, but I can’t stop myself. Now I’m on Season 4, and I finally understand what it means to binge watch.
Tomorrow Lent starts and I am going to fast from sweets, even karak tea, which is sweet, spicy and milky tea that I love for a treat a couple of mornings a week. Today, Fat Tuesday, I ate a brownie, a cookie, a chocolate bar, and I had a whole pot of karak. I’m trying to decide if I also want to give up The Man in the High Castle, but I’ll probably finish Season 4 instead. I need more praying and being in God’s presence than watching this, though–that’s for sure!
March is coming. I’m excited to try the Slice of Life Story Challenge again. Last year was the first year I successful wrote each day in March for the SOLSC on the Two Writing Teachers blog. Maybe you would like to join us! Sign up here if you haven’t yet.
Let’s Meet Somewhere
between Paullina and Orange City
where the odor of hogs occupies every pore
ubiquitous as it is noxious
and the gravel dances behind trucks
until it goes rogue and cracks your windshield
Let’s meet for burgers and fries,
where a veggie burger means
tomatoes, onions, and lettuce on your
all-beef patty with a homemade bun
at the greasy spoon that used to be called the Dug Out
Between the gas pumps out front and the toilet out back,
the one with the cracked mirror, no toilet paper,
a cloth roll for drying your hands that long ago was spent
and didn’t get replaced
and where the calcium deposits are so thick
you could chip them off with a strong fingernail
After lunch we’ll go to the ball park
pride of Granville
home of black soil and an immaculate diamond
and watch our Catholic boys beat the ego out of
the Protestants from down the road,
which has a bigger town and a richer school,
but they don’t know baseball
We’ll eat salty sunflower seeds and spit the shells under the bleachers
We’ll drink lemonade and eat watermelon
and stay for the second game of the double header
We’ll laugh and swear,
spit and eat,
talk and enjoy each other’s company
Elizabeth the Integral
Without you, we would be
Less than the whole
Your colleagues and kids
Respect and adore you
You’re loyal and sunny
To know you is to love you
And today is your day!
So we say,
“Thank you, God, for Elizabeth!”
It’s already Wednesday, Inauguration Day. I have refrained from watching the news the last couple of days because of lots of other daytime and evening commitments. This morning I woke up thinking about this post and a poem I didn’t write yesterday. Since it’s still Tuesday in parts of the U.S., I got up writing a poem about walls.
The world is due for a big change after one more sleep for the United States. I’m praying for justice and walls to come down during the next administration.
I am also posting my “Walls” poem and others that I’ve been trying to keep up with this week on Ethical ELA.
I open the letter
breathed by you
I sit at the seashore
and chew on the manna
flow of justice,
17 January 2021 Evidence with Susie Morice
Read Susie’s poem called “Thin Ice” to take a sad journey with her (at the link above).
Today’s sky was covered in buttermilk–
streaked, like the sides of a
finished glass of it.
I thought of my childhood when
three generations of relatives
sat around the table
eating beans and cornbread. Earlier
ancestors hailed from Georgia,
so we still remembered–
after dinner everyone got
a tall glass of buttermilk
so they could crumble another
piece of cornbread
in and eat it
with an iced tea spoon. Meandering
rivulets, like today’s clouds,
ran down the glasses as we finished.
Today’s buttermilk sky was
a welcome winter anomaly. I didn’t see
buttermilk white, but instead I saw passionless
smoky curdles. Gray tinged
with subtle pinks as the sun tried
to push through the foggy undertones.
Skies are small here. City buildings
take up a lot of room. Today’s
buttermilk sky was stunted,
and as I walked to school
trying to glimpse more of the soured sky,
I thought back to the giant skies
above Iowa’s farmland. Now there
was a place one
could get lost in the sweet sky–
Cirrus, stratus, cumulus
galore. The sky was
generous and gracious
and made room for all. Layers
and layers of clouds
fill the heights, depths,
and breadth of the expanse
in every direction, in
every shade of white
they dance across the azure sky
Thinking of buttermilk
and big skies
made me home sick today.
The moon held me in her gaze tonight
as I walked through the city.
She asked me why I didn’t
pay closer attention to her
(sometimes I don’t notice her at all)
but here she was
on full display
even amid the screaming
glare and clutter of the city lights.
Her heart was full, and her
body was a sweet smiling sliver.
She spoke to me kindly, and
asked if I had any questions for her.
Yes, I did, and right there
in the busy street,
I poured out my questions.
Luna, you’re just a toddler today,
Do your cheeks hurt with that ear-to-ear beam?
How do you keep track of all your phases? Which one is your favorite?
Did you have ears to hear the spoken Word that made you ruler of the night sky?
Do you give quick comebacks for jumping cow and green cheese jokes?
When Jesus was born, how did you feel being subordinate to that bright star?
How powerful is it to ripple the oceans with your constant pull on the earth?
How many wars have you seen? How many rapes have your eyes endured?
Do you wish you had wind? Have you ever seen an alien?
How many night skies have you lit up? How many skinny dippers have made you blush?
Did you weep when the astronauts left their footprint on you?
She answered me,
indulging me with her serene replies.
I continued, hoping for more wisdom…
How did we ever elect that man? He’s made such a…
That’s enough, dear, she interrupted, Get along now.