Summer is on the decline

For the last several years, I’ve written a “what I did on my summer vacation” post. Mainly to show that it’s no 3 month vacay. (And 3 months!? Really?) So here goes.

  • Week long training at UNCG for clinical teachers.
  • Had my “read and ride” donors choose grant funded.
  • Went through the TED-X application process. (Accepted btw)
  • PD on Exploring NC Digitally. Thanks to NCSLMA.
  • Worked on campus about 20 days. I lost track. I was in more than I intended.
  • Wrote 2 math books for Carson Dellosa – a 4th and a 5th. This took up the majority of summer.
  • Went to the mountains for a few days with my girlfriends.
  • Attended multiple meetings for school or NCSLMA.
  • Applied for an admin program and scheduled a retirement meeting. The coupling of these two is bizarre, but I’m planning for every contingency. Mwahahaha

What I planned but didn’t do:

  • Rework my school web page.
  • Practice my Spanish.
  • Plan like a library demon.
  • Read a book a week. I read, but . . .
  • Exercise like I wanted. I did but it was not at the level I planned.

The math books threw things off plan, but will pay for my new grad school endeavors.

What I worked in just because it was summer:

  • I ate watermelon. Pure ambrosia.
  • I went to the pool.
  • I napped.
  • I watched some Netflix.

Not an overly exciting time in my life, but bunches accomplished. And I got to spend some time (not enough) with old and new friends!


Brinkley, Cronkite, & Reasoner

I’m contemplating years gone by. Don’t get me wrong. I love 21st century living. If I need the answer to a question, I look it up or phone a friend. No more having to wait until I can find just that cookbook or lug out the old encyclopedias. I forgot to tell Ron something, I text him. I know people that I have never met in person, and I’ve met people in person that I never would have had the chance to meet in another time. Twenty-first Century living is amazing!

One 21st century thing that has NOT advanced society though is 24/7 news. What a lot of pressure to come up with enough “news” to fill every waking (oh wait! even every non-waking) hour of the day. So, we hear the same important news interviewing the same witnesses and experts (or not so expert) over and over and over again until we either don’t care or have gone into some kind of desperate breakdown, OR we get ridiculously trite information that no one should know about anyone.  Thank you Ted Turner.

Hence the contemplation. I kind of miss the news coming on at 6 and 10 pm from my Texas childhood. We trusted Brinkley, Cronkite, and Reasoner (at least those are the ones I vaguely remember) to give us 30 minutes of mostly important stuff ,and then we read the rest in the newspaper. Which is another story altogether. We haven’t had a paper on par with the Houston Chronicle since we left. We’ve been gone a long time though. Maybe the Chronicle isn’t as good as the Chronicle anymore either.

Photobucket bomb

It’s been a busy summer, and I haven’t had time to do some fun stuff that I’d planned – like work on my blog. Today, I’m trying to remedy that. I’ve been working on the template, and am checkout various things I can do on the WordPress hosted version, when I run across this sweet little gem:

 photo r_b_jamaica.jpg

It looks like a picture while I’m typing, so I continue unaware. But the minute, I hit publish, POOF!, it turns into a sign that I’m a stealer of bandwidth. mmmmm

When I first started selling on eBay (years and years ago), I came across a great little tidbit of information. Put your pictures on Photobucket and link them. YES! it worked on everything, eBay, my blog, my webpages! Absolutely everything. Until they changed their policy his summer. And now, I have 100s of pictures left suffering in their hands. Goodness knows where I’ve linked them all and where that badge of shame will show up. I can get them out of hock, for a mere $399 annual fee. Yes, all this can be yours for $399!

Good news is that I’m not alone.

The real issue that this isn’t a “moving forward” event. It’s a retroactive event. Imagine if every picture you ever shared on your website or blog was hosted on Photobucket. Oh! The panic this must have caused.


Doubled donations when you help my students today! 

Hi Friends, 
I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I’ve created a classroom project request through, an award-winning charity. 

Donations of any size will help my kids. Right now, any contribution you make to my project will be doubled by An Anonymous Funder. Your donation will brighten my students’ school year, and you’ll get heartfelt thank yous from my class and photos of your gift in action. 

Here’s my classroom request: 

Read & Ride in the Library! 

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, just make a contribution on that project page – donations will be doubled automatically, but only while funding lasts. 

If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. My students and I greatly appreciate your support. 


One Year Update on Library Flip

This time last year, I was just beginning the great adventure of turning a storage bin Library into a welcoming and functional place. This week, we about got the final physical changes down that I’ve been waiting to complete.

The library last year looked like this:


Below shows the space as empty as possible. Our fabulous custodial staff put as many of the tables as possible in the corner for carpet cleaning. It’s an amazingly large space.

Now, the last little challenge is computers. The desktops are in front of the SmartBoard. I didn’t take a great picture of this terrible arrangement, but you can kind of see it here. I tried and tried to get a rug in front of the board, but it was not going to happen!


I’ve been chipping away at them computer by computer. This is the next incarnation, and there is now space for a rug. There are computers hidden on those tables. Really 😉 This meant we could have a rug for the littles between the computers and the Smart Board. Fabulous move, but still not quite where I wanted things to be.

Thanks to the Reading Railroad Express grant, we got a cart of chromebooks and no longer need to house desktops in the library. WooHoo! What a game changer this is! With the desktops, the best seating I could hope for was always off center. Or I used a screen and projector in another location and just didn’t use the Smart Board. Kind of a waste of technology, but I kept trying to find that perfect layout that would work best in this space.

First of all, with the desktops gone, we were able to remove these knee bruisers.

Now, we can shift tables absolutely anywhere! What a freeing experience! Now there are two larger distinct areas in the library and several smaller ones.

I’m excited about the possibilities of these two spaces.

Coming to grips with reality

wonder_womanSaturday, I went to see Wonder Woman with my oldest son. I know. I’m late to this game, but since most of you have already seen it . . . It was great, wasn’t it!?! I didn’t think about real life once during the movie!

Now you’d think, at this stage of my life, I’d know I’ll never be Wonder Woman. But I still grapple with that little fact. I’ve got the drive, I’ve got energy, I’ve got ambition. I want to simultaneously fight for better education and funding for libraries while at the same time making my library a not-so-hidden paradise. But I had regular parents and lacked interference from Zeus, and this my friends, makes me a mere mortal. To top off that sweet little fact with a maraschino cherry, I’m at the wrong end of middle age. I can’t do everything I’d like to do. OK, so that was never my reality, but now it’s painfully obvious that doing everything I want is even more of a dream. Darn.

What is a mortal to do over the summer then? Well, first of all, I have to make some choices. I did not get to go to ALA or ISTE. I’m fighting the green-with-envy syndrome on that while watching all my friends from afar. But, last week I went to a great workshop for Clinical Teachers at UNCG.  Yes! I did use the term great and workshop in the same sentence. A shout out to Barry Barber and Evan Hill for making it an enjoyable experience along with lots of fabulous educators from other disciplines.

I am going to master the universe of an inventory allowed to lay barren for years. We obviously have our own little land of misfit toys, mmmm instructional materials, that I’ll have to mount an expedition to find.

I am going to finish what I started last summer in this beautiful library home of mine. Want to see more about my library’s transformation?

I’ve made more changes throughout the year and just been too busy to write about it. You know that old tyranny-of-the-urgent thing. But I plan to get some more updates written this summer.

Some other things on my have-to-do list:

  • Work on an OTES strategic plan with a team from UNCG. (Anthony Chow, Nina Smith, Amy Watterman)
  • Catalog a surprise batch of Title 1 books.
  • Come up with a conference theme for the 2018 NCSLMA conference. I think I’m close on that one.
  • Get conference speakers for the big events. 2/3 of the way there.
  • Open the library Tuesdays in July for students to check out.
  • Paint some chairs.
  • Nail down some quarter round.
  • Caulk more than a few places.
  • Work on a new IMPACT study for NC school libraries.
  • Not be totally bummed that the best principal known to man is moving to district to be an instructional superintendent.
  • go to the pool.
  • spend time with family and friends.
  • Move those last two to the top of the list.

Not too bad for a non-superhero. Now I’m off to fight for truth, justice, and school libraries!