Graduation, however

A few years ago I wrote about graduates. In the ensuing years I thought that was all I ever wanted to say about that topic, that edge of time, that walking off process, that bravery. Until now. Because as wonderful as the notion of moving on is, it is also terrifying. Often impossible. Sometimes only accomplished by crawling. And stopping. And being nudged until you crawl forward again. As we applaud those who boldly walk and do so with ease, there are many who can not. Theirs is a walk of anxiety and missteps. Of not showing up. Of hanging back. Of not joining in. Of fearing what lies ahead far more than driving on. Their achievements seem to pale in those celebratory moments. What of them? I wondered as I sat in the packed gymnasium filled with graduates and their families.

Graduates listening in caps and gowns Continue reading

Write What You Know

There is an old adage, “write what you know,” that has been sounding away in my mind. Not that I ever try to write what I don’t know, but sorting out what story is the story to tell, the story that rolls around in my mind, and has, for years, isn’t always a direct line. To coax it into being I thought to set up a new writing area in my bedroom, away from the kitchen and living room, which although might be perfect blogging spots, tend to distract when one needs more concentrated concentration. To aid the process we carried in a table from my grandmother’s summer home stored in the garage attic. This, I reassured my timid self, is a starting point. And with that I started writing.

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From the Mouth of Babes, hope for the future

13474992_10210047238203744_6378119403823627023_oTwo weeks before my high school seniors graduated, I asked my AP English Literature students to write their own Valedictorian Speech. Much like past years, the actual Valedictorian and Salutatorian were in the class, but for their benefit, as well as a way for all the rest to express their ideas, they all wrote and then recited speeches. I was so moved listening that I am compelled to share snippets from a few of them with you. Their words are about hope, and after all, that’s what we need: day and night, simply hope. Continue reading

flying

On the go my dear ones,

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but I’ll let you know when I land,

and share the fabulous journey,

until then, xxoo

Free Write

 There are some days when you just have to let your mind wander, play with sound and imagery through words, and just have fun writing. Every Monday I start each class with a 7 minute free write. These always amount to something. Something humorous or something profound, it matters not. Sometimes we are compelled to share and other times we tuck the scribblings into a private place. Regardless, we become a community of writers during those 7 minutes. Only the sound of pen hitting paper. Heads down and hands moving. Those 7 minutes fill the classroom with a thick pulsing creativity that you can feel as vividly as sunlight.
Last week, across the state, schools just about everywhere participated in Vermont Writes Day. Students and adults alike chose from several prompts and just wrote. You can be sure something profound happened in classrooms all over.

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Skillet Italian Tofu

Full disclosure: I don’t like to cook. Not saying I can’t, but I don’t do so with the joy necessary to be a good cook, a real cook. But I do like to eat. A lot. And, lucky for me, I have a spouse who is happy in the kitchen. Who pours over cooking periodicals, chats up recipes, scans blogs for ideas, and with great innovation prepares meals that make everyone at our table happy.

Inevitably, after our workday, our conversation goes something like this: Are you hungry? Or the other, how hungry are you? Either would elicit a yes or a very, and therefore my response would be followed up by, what are you in the mood for? Yes, seriously, the sky is the limit from my own personal spouse-chef. Vegetarian? Simple. Vegan? Varied and delicious. Italian, Asian or any combination of healthy and delicious cuisine? Of course. She opens a few well-worn cookbooks, looks over her notes, checks the fridge and cupboard, and begins with what we have on hand. And this is another point because what a cook has on hand must be plenty in order to produce such meals. Cans of coconut milk and coconut oil. Fresh fennel and basil. Sushi vinegar. Curry. And of course the right knife. Pan. Cutting board. Nothing flashy but precious objects kept in their place.

I offer to help, and there are times when I am allowed a grater and cheese, or asked to scrub up a few potatoes, maybe to gather cherry tomatoes still on the vine. Sous-chef maybe not, but dishwasher extraordinaire, yes!

The following post is from her blog: The Savvy Skillet. Here is one of our favorite dishes, a wonderful tofu. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

#selfie satisfied

 

mephotoA selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. They are often casual, and are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror (Selfie). Monday mornings or Saturday nights, on every continent, 24/7, people are looking into their own lens and capturing just what they want. Sober or drunk, celebratory or melancholy, across religious or societal divides, beyond age or racial groups it matters not, the #selfie is taken through the appropriate filter and posted on a splattering of social media sites. It’s estimated that over 17 million selfies are posted every week: 35 million on Instagram alone. Are selfies evidence of a new wave of narcissistic behavior? Proof we have become a ME ME ME world?

Dare I remind you of the photo booth? How many of us spent our well-guarded allowance inside those finicky and fun booths, capturing a series of our own funny faces? I, and this will not come as a surprise to any Nine Cent Girl fans, am thrilled with the #selfie phenomenon, to a point, and am ready to tell you why.

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