Friday, September 23, 2011

blog anniversary #4

Happy belated anniversary! I started this blog in July 2007 with the idea to write about my teaching experience, with scenic detours about books and family along the way. I've pondered the value of blogging just about every time I write a post, weighing the joys of writing against concerns about privacy, confidentiality, and professionalism. The desire to write about what I love - teaching, books, family, vacations, photography, cooking, humor, etc. - never faltered, though I agonized many times to write about educational policies and other teaching-related things that drive me crazy.

So I plan to continue! I wish many more happy writing years ahead for us all!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10th anniversary September 11

I wrote about my experience of 9/11/2001 a year ago. I'm grateful that the 10th anniversary is not a school day because being with family today allows me time and space I still need to think about what happened. In the future, I want something meaningful to share with students who don't remember that day, so I'm searching for good literature related to 9/11 suitable for 12 to 14 year olds. Please let me know if you have recommendations.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I fully subscribe to the 10,000 hours rule in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. 

These are the two hats I knitted during the summer. I started the purple hat at the end of June and finished it a few weeks ago. I knitted the other hat yesterday in about 8 hours. The main difference between these 2 hats (that shows I learned something) is the type of yarn - for the second hat, I used bulky yarn that makes knitting easier and faster.

I'm in the middle of knitting a scarf (worsted weight, NOT bulky, taking FOREVER to finish). I thank YouTube for many many MANY knitting videos! (I also thank Debbie Macomber for The Shop on Blossom Street that inspired me to learn to knit last June.)

I knitted this flag pin in about an hour, using a free pattern I found on Mine is raggedy all over! I had to hot glue the yarn end to the corner area. The back is a mess. It was extremely frustrating to create, a total mess of yarn to manage (due to 3 colors, small areas, my lack of skills, etc.).

The satisfaction of creating a common useful object is unparalleled, despite my husband's reminder that "they have machines that do that". The main difference between knitting and writing is editing - I can't "edit" (correct mistakes, change pattern, etc.) during knitting like I can change writing. When I become more experienced with knitting, I'll probably know how to correct dropped stitches and other problems. I've had the opportunity to make design decisions/changes while knitting the scarf - colors, stripes, etc.

I plan to bring my knitting work - both finished and in-progress pieces - to show students and make connections about learning new skills, practice, mistakes, creativity, rules, and real-life MATH. Did you know there's a LOT of math involved in knitting???

Happy Labor Day, everyone!