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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004  

Scaryduck asked for this on his blog, so I thought I would, too. What are the best and worst books you've read?

I have quite a list for each, so I went with recent selections. I really do like Ann Patchett's Patron Saint of Liars and Taft. I'm in awe of her writing.

I wanted to throw The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve across the room and jump up and down on it because of the ending. The Horse Whisperer had an unbelievable ending, too, and I'm glad they changed it for the movie.

Since I'm an English teacher, I've read some good and bad novels as assignments. I've caused some student uprisings and protests, too, from some I've required for class.

9:43:00 PM

Monday, September 27, 2004  
Catching Up

It was definitely the right time to go to Florida when we went to the conference. We managed to be there between hurricanes. Those people in Florida have been through too much of this! It's horrible. Enough already!

We had such a good time at the conference. We went early, so we could do some things we wanted to at Disney and paid for our room that night. The NCLB money paid for our rooms, the conference, meals, and flight. The way I feel about the No Child Left Behind program made me really glad to have them pay for us to attend this conference. We learned a lot from it and plan to see about changing the name of Credit Recovery to Course Recovery the way Memphis does. People think it's a financial counseling program.

So anyway, we went to Epcot which is like a World's Fair. We went to Mexico and rode through the history of the country on boats. They had a restaurant and shops there as well as a band and singer. Festive and fun. Norway had a male fragrance designer with an amazing body who was probably gay (not that there's anything wrong with it). Those Norwegians scare people. The Viking boats went through a dark passage with frightening voices, trolls jumping out, almost going down a waterfall backwards, and then actually going down one forward very fast. It was exciting.

We also went to China where they had a surround-screen film about the Great Wall, cities, and the countryside. There were also shops and a restaurant there, too. We also went to Japan, France, Italy, Germany, and most of the countries except for Canada and the UK. We ran out of time, so we need to go back. We opted not to go through the US.

We ate dinner at the Restaurant Marrakesh at the Morroccan section. I had chicken, vegetables, and couscous. Very good.

The conference hosted us at Animal Kingdom where we had a wonderful meal. It was outdoors under thatched roofs with tables in various places with the best turkey I've ever tasted (some kind of seasonings and roasted - wonderful!), lamb, butterfly pasta, couscous flavored so well, mixed vegetables, desserts, and drinks. Then we saw their production of The Lion King.

This conference was right up there with the Academy for Teachers of the Gifted and the Governor's Academy for Teachers of Writing. Those were outstanding, and so was this one.

Brendan at the Mall

I took care of Brendan at Bellevue Mall Saturday afternoon while Brian and Melissa cleared out their bedroom in preparation for painting it. We spent most of our time at the play area for kids under 5 years old. Brendan had a ball and just loved being there. He's so exuberant! I took three pictures. Since he was in constant motion, I couldn't manage more. He really is like John Belushi! We had fun and enjoyed the afternoon.

9:52:00 PM

Saturday, September 25, 2004  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What corporate giant did Erin Brokovitch crusade against and win?
2. TV - What show teamed Eddie Murphy with the makers of the dancing California Raisins?
3. MUSIC - What hard rockers from down under were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What position in baseball is known as the "hot corner"?
5. BUZZ - What does Marie Osmond sell on QVC network?
6. FAD - What publication was derisively dubbed "McPaper" upon its introduction in 1982?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What peaceful country was the site of the Cafe Voltaire, where Dadaism took form in 1916?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What 1980s rock group took its name from a character in the 1968 film Barbarella?
9. HISTORY - What did The New York Times do for the first time on September 15, 1997?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - Which wild animal can go without water even longer than a camel?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What ball sport took its name from the Tibetan word for the "willow root" from which the balls were made?
12. WILD CARD - What direction would you travel from Detroit, Michigan, to get to Canada by the shortest route?

11:21:00 PM

Thursday, September 23, 2004  
I'm Back!!

Had a wonderful time in Orlando! The weather was great, conference informative and interesting, and the shopping was fun! We went to Epcot and really enjoyed it. Plato hosted a dinner at Animal Kingdom which was delicious and then showed us The Lion King production which was exciting and entertaining! Well done!

I got home a little after 9:30 and slept very well and plan to again as soon as I can. I walked more during this time than I have in a year, so maybe this will motivate me to keep on. We all had lots of fun, got along, and learned things. More later. (yawn and smile)

9:01:00 AM

Friday, September 17, 2004  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What 1996 Scottish import featured a troubled gang with names like Rent-Boy, Spud, Sick-Boy, and Begbie?
2. TV - What entertainer did Judy Davis win an Emmy for portraying?
3. MUSIC - What R&B singer was paralyzed after a 1990 on-stage accident?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What quarterback is the great-great-grandson of Brigham Young?
5. BUZZ - What actor appeared in black face at a Friar's Club roast for Whoopi Goldberg?
6. FAD - What hairstyle is short on top, long in back, and widely mocked everywhere?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What two-time U.S. presidential candidate had a grandfather who was a vice-president in the 19th century?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What comic relatives starred in the 1932 radio show, Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel?
9. HISTORY - What president established the Central Intelligence Agency?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - Which natural phenomenon can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less from the horizon?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What martial arts form was known to have been practiced in the east as early as 2600 BC?
12. WILD CARD - What is the most desirable part of a fitch polecat?

7:27:00 PM

Thursday, September 16, 2004  
Flying in the Face of Reason

Is that the expression? Doesn't quite look right. Well, apparently we're going to Disney World! I've been making preparations for a substitute for my classes, which is more work than being there. I hope the kids behave. We don't have all the plans worked out about meeting to go to the airport yet. The flight leaves at SEVEN A.M.!!!!! That means I'll have to get up in the middle of the night to leave here at 4:00, so we can get there at 5:00. There is so much to do before then! Wish us luck.

I'll post the new quiz and answers to the old one tomorrow. Then after I get back Wednesday night, I'll have something entertaining to read.

7:52:00 PM

Wednesday, September 15, 2004  
Blowin' in the Wind

It's not sounding like a good idea to go to Florida to a conference Saturday. All these people are evacuating the entire area, so we're going there? Not sure about that!

1:22:00 AM

Sunday, September 12, 2004  

I've been having a problem in my honors English class with cheating. First of all, four boys turned in their summer reading list folders with exactly the same information in them. The fonts were different for each of the four books, so I called them out in the hall to point this out. Eventually they admitted that each wrote about one book and then made copies for the others. I said I guess they should make 25 on the folder since they only did one-fourth of the work. I told them I appreciated their admitting what they did and said I'd let them get the grade I gave them (not 100 but an A). I told them I wouldn't be able to vote for them if they were nominated for Boy's State or outstanding students since they cheated and also showed them what their grade would have been with the 25. I pointed out what that would do to their GPA and explained that I was giving them a break this time but to consider what a zero would do.

During the next test, I moved the boys away from each other, and one of them failed the test. I commented that I knew one was the tree and the others were mistletoe - parasites living off the knowledge of others. They thought this was funny and joked about it. I decided to talk to some others in authority which I don't generally do, but I didn't see any attitude from them that made me feel better. I talked to one of the assistant principals and their coaches. The football coach said his player's attitude was good and that he apologized. He didn't to me, though. The basketball coach said his boys laughed it off and said everyone cheats, so he made them run while the others played which was about 3 miles. They weren't laughing then.

I talked to them privately out in the hall about talking to their coaches and the assistant principal and gave another speech about cheating. As soon as I finished and they were back in the room, I gave a 50-point quiz on The Old Man and the Sea, one of the summer reading list books. When I was grading the tests, I noticed that the two basketball players missed the same answers that "the tree" did on his, so I gave them all zeroes. When I returned their tests, they tried to talk to me about it. I told them I'd already said everything I had to say to them and that I was totally irritated with them since they cheated right after I'd talked with them again. They tried to say they didn't cheat and pointed out that I'd watched them. (sheesh) I told them I didn't watch them but trusted them instead and that this is what happened.

These kids all know what goes on with each other, so I thought this would be the end of it. But noooo! I can't beleve how blatantly they cheat, the little remorse they have, and how it continues no matter what.

I'd told the boys they were going to have to take their tests in ISS (in-school suspension). The reason I'm doing this is that public humiliation goes a long way. At least I hope it will. I told the assistant principal that I could move them in the room but that this way others would see them and know I was serious about cheating. I also said I'm not going to make separate tests every time because I'm not going to make it harder on myself because they cheat. I will make separate tests now and then, though.

This is so frustrating. Unsurprisingly, this is worse in my honors class than regular since grades are so important. I tried to give them a break but that was a mistake. No more! They interpret being nice as weakness. Apparently, they also must think I'm just stupid.

Have any of you read The Cheating Culture? Those who say we shouldn't teach values in school, don't realize that we do it all the time when we try to instill honesty, hard work, respect, and other such ethics.

8:18:00 PM

Saturday, September 11, 2004  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What student film was the 9th top grossing movie in 1999?
2. TV - What was Frank DeFazio's restaurant called on Lavergne and Shirley?
3. MUSIC - What was the first Aerosmith video to feature Alicia Silverstone?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What innovation was introduced by baseball's American League in 1973 to increase scoring and raise attendance?
5. BUZZ - How many times have Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith been divorced from each other?
6. FAD - What company marketed Space Food Sticks in the late '60s?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What "spooky" TV actor demanded the filming location of his 1990's hit program be moved from Canada to the U.S.?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - Which nation printed the world's first books with moveable type made of porcelain?
9. HISTORY - What is the name of the country that occupied Tibet in 1951?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What tree family is the source of cloves?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What component of golf was not standardized until 1921?
12. WILD CARD - Which well-nourished cartoon character has a six-foot tall stone monument in his honor in Crystal City, Texas?

1:15:00 PM

Friday, September 10, 2004  
The Sleep Thing

Here I am at school during my planning period wondering why it is that I can sleep any time except when I go to bed. Lately I've been doing that again. What's with this?

How are you doing? What's going on in your lives now? Doing anything fun this weekend? I'm babysitting Brendan tonight. Sleeping would have been a good idea.

8:34:00 AM

Monday, September 06, 2004  

I like Scaryduck's post on his blog today. Check it out if you get a chance. Those of us with children and grandchildren will relate.

11:43:00 AM

Saturday, September 04, 2004  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What is William Wallace's final word in Braveheart?
2. TV - How many hours did David Blaine stand encased in ice for his 2000 ABC special: 22, 42, 62, or 82?
3. MUSIC - How many Pet Shop Boys are there?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What title is given to the top dog selected each year by the Westminster Kennel Club?
5. BUZZ - What city does Fran Drescher's accent mark her as a native of?
6. FAD - What beer were the "Wassuuupp Guys" hawking?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What American naturalist and writer said, "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in"?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What British architect designed the plans for St. Paul's Cathedral in London?
9. HISTORY - Who did Napoleon abdicate to in 1815, though that person never ruled?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What over-the-counter pain remedy originally came from willowbark? (Michelle will get this one for sure)
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What is the popular name of Brazilian athlete, Edson Arantes do Nascimento?
12. WILD CARD - What did Fredrich Froebel introduce in 1837 that revolutionized preschool education?

10:06:00 AM

Thursday, September 02, 2004  
Ventured Out

I've branched out and gotten away from the house and school this week. Bethel Cooksey, my ex-mother-in-law, died Monday morning. Fortunately, all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren visited her in the hospital Sunday, and she was aware they were there and enjoyed them. Mother and I went by the funeral home Tuesday after school and saw Carolyn and her children Kim and Chris and their families, Milton and Barb, Jimmy Scott, and many other relatives. Barb and I enjoyed talking about Brendan and what he's doing. She's been a good step-mother to Brian and is a neat person. I'm not sure how she's stayed married to Milton for over 25 years. I couldn't make it to 10. But I digress. I'm glad they got to see Brendan again and spend some time with Brian and Melissa even though the circumstances were sad.

Mother went to the funeral Wednesday and stayed in the kitchen with Melissa and Brendan a while since it was necessary for him to be away from the funeral. He's very active. I took off from school early to take Mother to a retina specialist in Nashville. She got a good report in that her vision and condition have not changed. Dr. Moffatt doesn't recommend surgery at this time and said she can avoid it as long as nothing gets much worse. That was a relief.

We went to St. Thomas Hospital to see my aunt (Daddy's sister Pauline) who had surgery Tuesday. Half of her liver was removed because of cancer, and she was sitting in a chair feeding herself dinner (such as it was - jello and liquids). She looked great and has always been beautiful and said she believes she will be fine. A positive attitude helps a lot. Her daughter Betty was there with her, so we had a good visit. I really hope she does well with this and feel good about her recovery.

After we ate at the Belle Meade Buffet, we stopped by Andy and Angela's new house they will move into soon. Angela's parents, a friend of hers from school, Butch, and Andy were painting. Angela was putting Carter down to sleep, so I got to see and hold him. He's so sweet and cute. Angela looks good and has energy. Their house is off the McCrory Lane exit in one of those new subdivisions. Their house is very pretty and large.

On my way home, I went by Kroger and had a conversation with a friend who teaches at the adult high school at night. There were almost no people in there. I like going late at night like that.

Tonight I went to Rachel and Molly's for dinner and to play Cranium with some of their friends. We had a lot of fun. It's relaxing to laugh so much and escape into a game.

On my way home tonight, I went by Kroger again to get a couple of things I forgot last night, filled the car with gas, and went by the ATM.

See? I'm becoming more social again. Now I just need to Clean Sweep my house and have people over. I told some people that I'd just have to let them visit in the "during" stage since it's going to last a while.

10:36:00 PM

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