Saturday, July 24, 2010


I just created a new blog with some of my poems on it. As I get time I'll add to it - so don't expect them all at once. :-) We'll see if this works, and if it doesn't.... I guess I'll try something else... :-)


What more can I say? Thanks to pioneers past, present, and future...

Happy Pioneer Day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pride... Prejudice... Invasion of the podcasters... and an anniversary of sorts...

Pride... and...  Prejudice... *sigh*
Last week a good friend and I were able to drive down together to Cedar City to attend the Rural Schools conference that is held every summer on the campus of SUU. We also had the opportunity to go to a play that was put on as part of the Shakespearean Festival that takes place at the same time as the conference. We saw "Pride and Prejudice." I've loved the story since I read the book in high school and love to see all the different renditions that are made. This play was a wonderful adaption of the story and did not disappoint. It was well-written and wonderfully cast. Elizabeth and Darcy were suitably prideful and prejudiced to begin with, and just as equally in love in the end.
All I can say is.... *sigh*... Mr. Darcy... *sigh*...  :-)
(You know the character of Mr. Darcy really was the first 'McDreamy'
Invasion of the podcasters...
Over the last year I have been able to be involved in a grant for teachers  to create educational podcasts for Math concepts related to the Utah CORE curriculum for 4th grade. As part of the grant participating teachers are required to create and complete a series of professional grade video podcasts over a period of two years. When finished, reviewed, revised, and approved these podcasts will be uploaded to iTunesU for use by all Utah 4th grade teachers, and basically anyone else who cares to watch them. 
We were each assigned to do a sort of "practice" podcast on math vocabulary to "get our feet wet" so to speak with all of the new technologies we would be using. Once we finished with that we were given our first of three "official" podcast assignments. I'm glad to say the podcast I submitted was approved for inclusion in the first round of uploads. Yea! I still have two more podcasts to create and submit before May of next year, but I've decided I'm giving myself a couple of days off after a summer full of master's classes, summer school, and teacher conferences. 

An anniversary of sorts...
Thirteen years ago today a couple of important things happened in my life. First, my lovely niece Lacey was born. Second, I interviewed for a teaching job in Green River.
I remember well many things about that day. Early in the morning we received a call from the hospital saying that my niece had been born. My dad - who had offered to ride over to Green River with me since he knew the area a little (having worked several years for the county in addition to teaching) - and I - stopped by the hospital on the way over to see the new family addition and then continued on to Green River for the interview. After the interview I had my first meal in town at the Chow Hound and then went for a drive and learned why Long Street got its name! I was able to visit with Iva, a former teacher of mine, that day as well. Who knew we'd end up teaching together?! My dad and I stopped at the hospital on the way back home then continued back to my parent's home in Huntington. When we got there, my mom told me that Mr. Rowley had called and requested I call him back as soon as possible, which I did - and was offered the job. I tell my niece she was my good luck charm. She just smiles whenever I say that. (I think she probably shakes her head to herself and thinks her poor old auntie is slightly loco... :-) )
(As a side note - 10 years ago today, my nephew Allen was born as well - so it's a day pretty full of memories... )

And so it goes...
Well.... I guess I have rambled enough for this post, my post overfloweth... lol .... my apologies to your poor eyes.... I'll give them a break.... for now.... 

Monday, July 19, 2010


(To the tune of When the Saints Go Marching In)

Oh yes its in, oh yes its in, oh yes my final paper's in (for the semester)... Oh how I'm glad to be done with it - Oh yes, my final paper is in.......

(Thank ya, thank ya very much)

I'll catch up more later - just had to share my joy at being done (at least for a week or two).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day - July 4th!

     I sit here listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The Star Spangled Banner" and watching fireworks on this, our nation's 234th birthday. This day commemorates  what was essentially a grand experiment that, at the time, had little chance of succeeding. How could a country that had no standing army or navy beat what at the time was one of the most powerful countries in the world? How did a rag tag band of farmers and merchants overcome a highly trained professional army? It was a struggle every step of the way. There were times when its very existence was far from secure.

      The 56 men who signed their names to the document knew that by doing so they were in essence signing their own death warrant if the war did not succeed.  Yet still they wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It was no idle promise when in the Declaration of Independence they said, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

A few short years later many of these same men came together to save the fledgling country they had create from falling apart. To have these men living at this time was nothing short of the "divine providence" that so many of them spoke of. At the time, Benjamin Franklin said, "I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others...I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does... I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best."

     I love this country that I was blessed to be born in. I understand that there are millions of others who do not have the same rights and privileges as I do. I also know that with these great blessings come great responsibilities. I must do my part to help this country fulfill its divine destiny. I must take the opportunity to voice my opinions, to vote, and to honor those who defend this country.

Happy Birthday - America! I hope that we can keep you a land that truly is "blessed above all others."

     On a lighter note, yesterday evening my good friends took pity on me (j/k) and invited me to be part of their 4th of July celebration. :-) First, they had a "parade" of their kids on decorated bikes in the backyard.  Then came the delicious BBQ and my contribution for dessert. Afterwards we went out to the gun range to watch the fireworks. (Usually I just stand in my backyard and watch from a distance. I must say, it was better to be closer up. :-) ) By the time the fireworks ended everyone was just about ready to drop from the days festivities. It was a lot of fun. It's good to have such wonderful friends around. Thank you - you know who you are!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cartwheels in my mind.... not to be confused with windmills of my mind...

These pictures are what I would be doing, if I could do a cartwheel! LOL! You're wondering why, aren't you?

After 45 hours (or more) of work over the last several weeks - including 2 marathon days together -  I, and four other colleagues finished and submitted our final paper and presentation for one of the classes I am taking this semester on organizational change. (After the 2 days as a whole team, another teacher and I spent another 20 or more hours collaborating on both portions, while communicating via phone and email with the other members of our team.) We did a presentation of our project last night in class and received an A+ on it. (I didn't even know there was such a thing in college, especially at the graduate level! :-) ) The professor even asked if she could use it the next time she teaches the class! YEA, US!!!!!!!!!!!!

The project consisted of creating a plan for changing a school's organization to better meet the needs of students and faculties. Even though we were writing it on a case study, it felt as though we were doing the real thing for a school that we might lead one day. It certainly was intense enough. We had to do our presentation as if we were in front of a school board outlining our change for them. (It was a teeny tiny bit intimidating.) We received some pretty positive feedback and were glad when it was over!
This semester's classes are finished next Wednesday, with one more paper in my other class due on July 19.
Hallelujah, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Next week I will attend CORE academy, a 3 day science and math workshop put on annually by the USOE. The week after that I will be attending Rural Schools Conference, another 3 day conference for teachers. After that, I will continue working in the summer school program that another teacher and I created and are over. That will end during the last week of July. Then maybe I can take a breather for a day or two before school begins on August 24. (Wow! I can't believe that summer is going by so quickly!)

Well - back to the old grindstone! :-) I still have a few papers to finish for class.... BLAH!