Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Back-to-School Wordle

Wordle is an exciting tool. I plan to enlarge this one for the bulletin board outside my room. I hope we'll be allowed to access the site in class, so my students can use it. Make your own at!

His Running Shoes

This’ll be tedious –
I know
you have a hard time
making up your mind
I drag myself to the sports store
For the eighth year in a row
I used to pick and choose
What you’d wear on your feet
To school
“These are cool” I say
Noting the reasonable price-tag
“These seem light and comfortable”
when the very washable mesh fabric and darker design
Catch my eye
But this year you’re drawn
To black with yellow piping
Crazy combination
“You’ll grow tired of these fast” I mutter
You try them on
Even have your dad tie them for you
Even now…
Big boy with long legs
You jump to your feet, bounce in place
Feeling the cushion, the give, the flexibility
Things I must learn to be –
You pretend to run around the shop
Testing how swiftly you’ll run
As I watch your feet grow at heart-pulling speed

Friday, August 21, 2009

Qué se puede decir

Todo lo sabe Dios,
las cosas pasan por algún motivo -
frases habladas con el intento
de calmar y
buscar razón en los eventos de la vida.

No te aconsejo nada,
me quedo callada.
Solo te miro y
me siento a tu lado –
pasando mi mano por tu frente
te alcanzo los lentes
te tapo con una frazada
te lo contesto el teléfono.

No diré algo que no me convence;
mejor no tratar de explicar lo que duele.

Aprieto tu mano.
Te preparo una taza de café y
me siento a tu lado –
así logro
lo que no puedo.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lessons at the beach

I didn’t know
the little bubbles and holes in the sand that
appeared as the waves pulled back
were tiny clams retreating deeper and
taking breaths.
I didn’t know that
the purple-edged seashells found
sprinkled across the sand
were once used as currency.
“Wampum,” he said.
And when the seagulls were all standing on the beach,
facing the same direction,
alert, as if receiving a message,
he told me
they were facing the wind so it wouldn’t
mess up their feathers,
and they were just
waiting for food to fall to the ground.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Still here...

¡Qué vergüenza! (How embarrassing!) It’s been more than two weeks since I’ve posted. I thought I’d have so much time to write and material to write about, but I’ve discovered that I’m not as disciplined about my free time as I would like to be. I’ve squandered my time on other things, and now I feel that inevitable end-of-summer-I-didn’t-do-all-I-was-supposed-to-do blues creeping up on me. Luckily, I have a couple of weeks left of summer vacation and some time to catch up on my blog.

I’ve not been a total slacker. I’ve been devouring books and have my 12-yr old son doing the same. One of the books I had the pleasure of reading this summer was the classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s been on my shelf forever and I hadn’t read it in high school nor in college. (Not sure why.) At any rate, it was an excellent read, although I wish I had discovered it earlier in my life. My son and I spend many mornings talking about our books over breakfast – a new and very pleasant aspect of our relationship.

I’ve also spent a large part of my summer experimenting with Web 2.0 tools and networking. There is so much out there, I’ve often gone to bed with the sensation that my head was about to explode. Twitter has become an invaluable resource for me; I’ve found many great people there who I’ve embraced as part of my PLN (personal learning network.) In order to connect with more of mi gente, I’ve been a part of, and recently, I joined, a Ning dedicated to bilingual teachers and parents. These sites have provided me with much information, encouragement, and camaraderie.

Since I also like to feel like I’ve made something in my free time, I’ve been crocheting like crazy – I’ve got several projects underway that I work on every chance I get. On our way to and from vacation in North Carolina last week, you could find me in the passenger seat, with crochet hook and yarn in hand. There’s something very soothing about crochet. I’ve self-prescribed it as therapy for hands that are beginning to see the effects of arthritis, and for the worries I’m feeling over a difficult time a loved-one is about to face.

Summer is a time for relaxing and reflecting, though, and I certainly did that. My down time was spent thinking about family, Wise Latinas (I aspire to be one), health, school, and what to do next. Sometimes, you’ve got to spend time doing nothing so you can see all the things you have yet to do, and all the ways you have yet to grow.

I did OK this summer – I did.