Wednesday, May 31, 2017

roses: ye know what to do with them

Brave blossoms still on their stems after being pelted with rain/hail.

This heavy humidity (or is that redundant to say?) brings out all the earthen smells.

Standing next to this hilarious colleague for graduation rehearsal~I think I need these earrings!

Turn of the calendar page into the unknown~welcome to June and a relaxed schedule and much visiting.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

magic & luck

Another weekend of endless fire alarms going off.  As if the girls weren't enough on edge for exam week, now they're shaking from industrial level of alarms.  Something about humid air triggers them~looking forward to living in a space of quiet.  Am a little cranky as I didn't get to bed until 3 and had to cancel today's fun outing to explore more of DC.

On the bright side, tomorrow's first appointment is at 12:30!

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Seems fitting to end this year by my writing lab playing Macbeth hangman.  

Off to the B/W Junior/Senior banquet~lots of toasts of success and people to thank.  And, what the students have been twitching for all afternoon....the yearbooks were handed out!  As a teacher, I am grateful that they did this now, so they have all weekend to sign them and they won't appear in the classroom.

Can't say that I am a fan of spiced cider with sparkling water in it, but I applaud the ingenuity of the dining hall staff in concocting it.  Am sure there's a story behind a mixed-up order behind this.

Penny found on the library walk this afternoon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

if it's cold, wear a jacket

My sis and I were just joking about how weird it is that people out here have spring jackets~in Texas and California, those are only for winter.  So, this poem~which I had tucked away seems like a good one for this Friday.

beautiful silk bag and fun magnets from one of  my cooking students

As soon as the snow melts the grass begins to grow. Even
though the daytime high is barely above freezing, even
though May is very like November, marsh marigolds bloom
in the swamp and the popple trees produce a faint green
that hangs under the low clouds like a haze over the valley.
This is the way the saints live, no complaints, no suspicion,
no surprise. If it rains, carry an umbrella, if it’s cold, wear
a jacket.

"Saints" by Louis Jenkins from Just Above Water. © Holy Cow! Press, 1997

Hard to grasp that it's the last day of classes.  As they don't deem the Arts academic enough to have final exams next week; I'm pretty much done.  Choir is singing at Baccalaureate and I have many dorm hours, but it's done.  Really done.  YAY me!  If my niece were here, she'd clap for me.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

circumstances of pomp

Made a quick dash up to DC to attend the end of the 'Phew's school~we feasted on "sugar muffins" prior to the ceremony.  Little boy is becoming quite the baker.

I used to roll my eyes at Pre-School graduations (and will continue to do so), but I will also tear up when it's kith & kin.  With the rabid parents climbing over pews for their telephoto lens attacks, I only got one blurry shot. It will be terrifying to see these same parents at an actual graduation with grades/scholarships attached.  

Love the protective choke hold.

Then, the hair messing up. 

Last day of school!

After brother is dropped at school, lil' girl goes shopping.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

cracking up ourselves

Was sitting next to the singer who had the Hairspray line "I am now a checkerboard chick" during an interminable athletic awards dinner~so, we amused ourselves by playing chocolate checkers.  We also think it would be amusing to do an arts/music awards dinner in the same vein:  "Chloe lifted her team spirit by her improved brushstrokes and inspired purples throughout the spring season."

23 days until storage begins and all that's left to pack are a few dishes and clothes.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

the long farewell has begun

At least I won't have to drive~actually, the driving bit wasn't too bad, it was the backing it into the parking slot~these ever again.  It is also my last weekend on-duty!!!!!  (Other than grad weekend, when it's all hands on deck.)

The ESL girls declared that there was going to be a farewell beach picnic and they practiced speeches to say to the teachers that they invited.

One of the best perks of teaching international students~besides just them~is that I have standing invitations to homes all around the world now.   Janet (on the left) was one of my advisees, a voice student and one of the leads in the musical.  She will be rooming with Mackenzie (in the middle) whom she met during the play.  Mary used to drop by the music room to see what she could learn about singing in her spare time.

Speeches with many vocab words used!!

Handmade card and a gorgeous silk handbag.

Since I made them paintings all year of their birth symbol for birthday gifts, they returned the favor with a good luck painting for me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Look, life is like this

Not sure why packing triggers the desire to whip up some complicated recipes, but there have been moves where I'm making mayonnaise or souffles~probably some justification that I need to use up eggs.  But stacks of cardboard always finds me in the kitchen avoiding actual packing.  How fortunate that my Joy of Cooking students demanded that we have one final gathering before summer begins. We'll be torching these brulees tomorrow night~why not see if we can get the fire alarms to go off for THREE weekends in a row?!

This poem has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks~the middle bit echoes what this blog is about~to have me pay attention to the little moments of my days.

No Ansel Adams
but the snapshots we captured
through the open car window
on our eight megapixel cell phones
on the side of the road off an exit ramp
as truck taillights streaked eastbound
opposite the earth’s rotation
in startling calm that evening
a mere dot-glow above dun fields
Look, life is like this, filled
with moments of meaning
paid attention to or not
but we tried we lingered
and sure enough it is here
looming in memory-mind
the fat orange ball above horizon
inching up into blank navy air
the full moon in early spring
we drove toward in silence

"Moonrise, Aurora, Nebraska" by Twyla M. Hansen from Rock. Tree. Bird. © The Backwaters Press, 2017. 

Bossy little boxes exerting a little bit of pressure on this move.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

bits of beauty

The sun seems to have shifted suddenly in the past couple of weeks~it now comes in my bedroom window in the afternoon~caught this little sparkle from the Hairspray prop.

Love hydrangeas~these showed up for Parents' Weekend and are still going strong on the front steps of the main building.

There's student art work all over campus~was admiring this new one while waiting for a meeting.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I want a damned medal

And a sash and tiara.  Just did an official counting of my addresses and I've moved.....forty-nine (49!!!) times in my life.  That's more moves than I am years old.  While I'm sure it has helped me be flexible and adaptable to new cultures/regions, and certainly culled my worldly goods~I'm done.  I'd like to explore putting down roots and having some continuity in my life.

Done whining and back to the gratitude bits of this blog.  The weather is breezily sunny and the students have shifted into that bittersweet phase of eagerness of saying good-bye and moving forward and yet, savoring their memories with their friends.

Onwards we go.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Just finished the last of my Costa Rican coffee on Sunday~time to return for a visit!

First lady bug sighting of the season.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

graceful gestures

More tea!  This time from India~I shall be well caffeinated this month.  While I spent many hours in the car this weekend, it was nice to be out/about.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

chatting with Lincoln

Washington, George~standing guard over his university
Took an international student into DC this morning to connect with her mother who is is town for a short-term gig.  I was going to explore the Eastern Market~which is a bit like the Ferry Plaza in SF, but there was a lot of metro construction and it involved shuttle busses.  

Since it was a cool day, decided to just walk The Mall.

It was soothing to spend time with a president who was a thoughtful and steady leader.

Beauty even at the foot level.  This outing was good on so many levels~one of which is the bloody fire alarms going off for hours.  Every time it's damp or humid, they start looping.  SOOOOOO  glad that I have only twenty-five more nights to spend here.

Friday, May 12, 2017

give us not to think so far away

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

"A Prayer in Spring" by Robert Frost from Collected Poems, Prose & Plays. © The Library of America, 1995.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.  For the umpteenth time, I am beginning the packing process.  Almost to the point of giving everything away and just starting over.  That's what Goodwill is for, no?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

a toast

Getting ready for the end of the year choir party~it's super early in the month as one of my singers is heading home at the end of the week.

There was also a broccoli/Parm frittata (still in the oven at the time of the photo shoot) and iced mochas~because why not send kids all hyped on sugar/caffeine to 2nd period??!

We watched The Soloist~one of my favorite movies.  Not only because it's a true story and leans heavily on a Beethoven sound track~but it was the movie I watched the afternoon after I passed my orals.  Am proud to say that choir went from three to twelve singers over the course of the year.  And, I was just told that I have the numbers to have a choir and a select ensemble next year.

Too bad my marbles will be in another game.