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.
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:
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!
“On 26 June, however, the company published a brief note advising users to “take a moment to review our updated terms and policies”.’
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.
I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I’ve created a classroom project request through DonorsChoose.org, 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.
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.
Saturday, 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?
If you don’t know who Jeff Mack is, you have to meet him! Or at least read one of his fascinating books. His art can move a story along with few words!
Four groups met with him. Each presentation was different. Each was fascinating. The students were enthralled.
The highlight of the day for me was our luncheon though. We had a contest to see which students got to eat with him. A picture story book contest with one winner from each grade. Now I say it was the luncheon, but it wasn’t the food, it was the time that Mr. Mack took with each student. He read every story and looked at each picture. He made comments and suggestions. He treated each child like an author worthy of his time. I was impressed on so many levels and really hope that I have the opportunity to work with him again!