Mississippi Moments

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Gratitude is Heaven."---Gunilla Norris

It has been a long day. Squishy and I were outside watering the garden and communing with Mother Earth (read: he was playing Cedar-ball and I was laughing at him while trying to balance on my feet and not pee my pants too much.)

Started a grad class on Leadership at Seattle U today. First time I have been back on campus for several decades. Arrived early and explored a bit. Found an ethnobotanical garden dedicated to the Northwestern First Nations people who spoke that L-shoot language. This garden was near Lemieux Library. Found another serene garden complete with waterfall and setting stones near Campion. It was almost 30 years that I got my first college summer job working at that library in the periodicals sections. I remember sitting outside on the steps and eating my peanut butter sandwich everyday until I learned that I could go to the special collections section (ie. old, historical, reference, authentic items) and with clean hands, cotton gloves, could spend an hour every day getting lost in original Harper's Weekly magazines circa American Civil War years. That was some job! I hated working indoors and by myself most of the time. I loved the order that reshelving brought. I liked helping people find things for research and projects. I liked not having to go through official channels for my own research needs and I liked being confident that what I learned in that library I could transfer to any other library. It was a good thing. Sort of. You can hide from the real world in libraries, too.

The class is a good one. Learning some new things about 21st century constructivist collaborative learning community models of teaching and learning and the role that data plays in this. We are actually learning some good, hands-on, minds-on skills for gathering, reporting, and using data to inform our decisions. A couple of more days and some grad credits. Need to keep my credential up to date. Signed up for another class on critical thinking, healthy brain, and computational fluency for later this summer. Should be interesting. I need to revamp the way I teach math. These are good places to start. I also got to watch a flicker and some hummingbirds in action during the early afternoon. I hate being bored. I also hate sitting still. Sounds like some people I typically spend my days with.:P

I had a wonderful day yesterday. Started out cleaning out and loading up a bunch of stuff from my classroom. I plan to do more tomorrow afternoon. Got help unloading because I had no energy left. Then I spent a wonderful, relaxing afternoon with Julie and Connor Q. at the zoo. Oh, my is it fun to be around a 19 month old who can sign and communicate his ideas to his mom with sign. It is the most natural thing in the world and yet people were watching him in amazement and he was just talking to his mother. And she was talking back. With her hands, her words, and her heart. It was a beautiful thing to see over and over. And the gorillas and hippos and mountain goats and AMERICAN KESTREL (oh, so beautiful and layered in colors) and the Peregrine Falcon. And docent/handlers are responsive, quiet, centered, respectful, open to questions and careful. The respectful way the humans are with these beautiful animals--it was my favorite part of the day. I enjoyed the meanderings around the zoo, and I enjoyed our conversations about anything and everything. It was time to go when it was time to go. A lovely, spontaneous Gift. Thank you Julie and Connor. I love being Auntie Erin to this one, too. Don't know what will unfold around that but I hold it as an honor, a blessing, and a joy.

Mr. H started disassembling the raccoon motel today in the front porch. Get this! There was a 26 inch bees' nest in there. I will take a photo of this. You won't believe it. The wasps' nests get removed tomorrow. And it wasn't just raccoon central and not just this season--rat AND raccoon central for EONS. There is a ton of crap (literally) and other junk he removed from there. He will rebuild and whatver needs to happen later this week. Thankful we are for that, too.

Took some long walks with Squishy around the lower and upper trails that border the lake on which Fletcher lives. We were in the back section on a hillside when we accidentally disturbed a large bird. Turned out to be a young owl. He sat in the tree and just looked at us for the longest time. He was being watched closely by a couple of what looked like sapsuckers. He would vocalize every couple of moments. I tried to stay quiet with Cedar and just watch for a bit. We did not make him comfortable though. Then it was time to go. I love the smell of being under trees and the moss and the scent of sun on cranes' bill geraniums....


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