Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rain Decides to Visit #SOL

As with many areas of the country, it has been hot and humid but also very dry.  There has been little rain in my area, so the grass is brown, plants are wilting, and pools are low.  

Many days, the forecast says rain, but the rain has other plans.  It simply disappears from the radar.  

The other day, though, the rain came unannounced, and I pulled up a chair to watch its show.  I wish I could have seen my own face because I felt the smile of relief for the half hour it performed.  

I did take pictures of the rain because I did not know when it will decide to visit again, and I wrote a series of haiku.

A whole in the clouds

sheds light on the miracle

rain relief in drought

Tapping in delight

rain dances on the pavement

quenching earth's craving

A rushing river

unexpectedly appears,

happiness flowing

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

It's Been Too Many Weeks #SOL

Farewell to Plantar Fasciitis, I Hope

It's been over 6 weeks 

of walking with pain, 

hobbling around 

with only weight to gain.

Missing walking therapy

on the trails with a friend,

I took to the pool and

started a water aerobics trend.

I have tried everything 

from acupuncture to ice,

searching for an answer 

and taking all advice.

A sage person encouraged 

a new pair of sneakers,

so off I went in search

of the brand she prefers.

This glorious morning

for the third day in a row

I was able to walk a mile

almost painless yet slow.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Oh, What a Relief It Is #SOL

 Today, there is relief from the hot, humid days of summer.  Topping off at 77 degrees, a good 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the last several days, the day allowed me to do some things I avoid when the heat is oppressive, and I found myself sighing in relief.  

I took advantage of every minute of the day even though there were times I wanted to crawl back into bed, and I did not feel guilty about not being outside on such a pleasant day.  It was a perfect day to get things done inside the house.  

Done list:

  • Skinny Taste chicken and broccoli casserole
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning and organizing my writing space 
  • Grocery shopping
  • Facebook Live class on back-to-school ideas
  • Book Love author Zoom
  • Grad class work
Tomorrow, it will be warmer, and I will spend the day in the shade by the pool.  The school dreams are back, and school is just around the corner.  This is when I usually feel the need to take advantage of those carefree days outside using the pool to stay cool, but today, I relished the relief of lower temps, a light breeze, and dry air.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Harmony in Water

I have never been a lover of exercise.  I can usually find a good excuse to not do it.  It’s too hot.  I need to cook dinner.  I’m too tired.  All reasonable reasons to avoid the sweating and pain of exerting my body.

Well, now I find that I crave it.  There is nothing more exhilarating than jumping into the pool for a 42-minute circuit of water aerobics.  Surprisingly, I now would rather do exercises in the pool than cook, nap, or watch television.  

As long as I am in the pool, I can do any of the exercises for two minutes, even jump squats.

I don’t sweat.  Instead, the water keeps me cool and refreshed.  The hotter the weather the better.  My core body temperature stays cool.

Working out in the water saves my joints from pounding and pain.  Instead, I feel wonderful exhaustion overtake my limbs and joints and maybe a bit of cramping, but I can work that out.

Since I am continuously moving to stay afloat or to the next station, I am working all parts of my body without even knowing it.  

I do love the water, and putting a need (exercise) and a want (time in the pool) together makes for an exercise experience that flies by.  42 minutes fly by as I move my body through the glistening water of the pool. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Hitting Two Birds with One Stone #SOL

It's been a while.  Summer is here, and I am slowly finding my way back to my joys.  I have two writing goals on my list for this summer, writing Slices of Life and poetry.  Today, I am bringing them together.  

Last night, I was honored to be a part of a poetry writing session with Kate Moore, author of Alphapoetica, hosted by the Teach Write Academy.  She took me on a journey through my childhood, and I found so much joy in writing poetry last night.  It had been a while since I got lost in my writing.  

First, we picked an item from Kate's bag of artifacts.  One caught my eye, and it lead me to a memory from elementary school. I wrote two haiku poems.

Mica Mining

On hands and knees, I 
searched for sparkles and then
picked paper-thin sheets

off of rocks scattered
on the ground, mica,
treasures of my youth.

After writing three different poems, she had us do a quilt poem.  This poem required us to pull lines from our three poems to create a new poem.  This one became more of a list poem as I recognized that all of my poems had to do with different times in my life.

Treasures of my youth
a tower of books,
picked paper-thin sheets,
the first and only spirit next to me,
mucking in the ponds
for polliwogs and salamanders.
I crossed the threshold 
to that space
that held many familiar

It was a wonderful night of poetry with a trip through time for me, and tonight, I can share it as a joyful slice of my life.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

They're Not Happy with Mrs. Morris #SOLC22

Thursday, 4th period, with 4 minutes left in class and still another period to go until lunch

I look up from my book to see ten sixth grade students hunched over our class novel, Number the Stars, reading and listening intently.  

I know we are not going to finish the chapter, but I don't have the heart to stop.  I decide to let the audio continue to the end of the page.  

They don't move.  

We listen until we hear,  "Mama, what is this?" 

I push pause, and the commotion begins.  

One student throws himself back on his chair and yells, "NO!"

Another student looks up at me wide-eyed and shrieks, "You left us on a cliff hanger!"

Two more shout, "Can we keep reading?"

The bell rings, and they all gather their belongings, moaning how unfair it is that we can't keep reading. 

I smile and follow them out the door.  I walk across the hall to a group of my 8th graders who are working with my co-teacher.  

They look and state, "Mrs. Morris, your 6th graders are really mad at you!"   

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Tons of Tik Toks #SOLC22

 My co-teachers are obsessed with Tik Tok.  They send about 5-10 a day (that may be a bit conservative).  They make me laugh, nod my head, shake my head, and sometimes even shout, "YES!"   

Last week, one of the co-teachers found a Tik Tok that posed the question What is one skill you are surprised your students do not have.  

The teacher's response was, "They can charge their phones, but they can't charge their Chromebooks."  

My response was, "OMG!  That is so true."

Our state standardized testing starts next week.  Students will be using their Chromebooks, and they MUST be charged.  This is making many teachers in the building very nervous.

Unfortunately, there are usually 3-5 students in every class that come in with dead Chromebooks, even in the first period of the day, and we have been using Chromebooks on a daily basis for over a year and a half! 

Fast forward to the next morning's first period.  Three students came in and immediately came looking for chargers because their Chromebooks were dead!

We could not resist.  We showed them the Tik Tok.  They laughed and sheepishly admitted it was the truth.  

Fast forward again to the next day.  One of the students proudly walked into the room stating, "Mrs. Morris, I charged my Chromebook last night.  I remembered to plug it in at 10:00 p.m."

One out of three is better than nothing.  The other two proceeded to hook up to the wall.  

Rain Decides to Visit #SOL

As with many areas of the country, it has been hot and humid but also very dry.  There has been little rain in my area, so the grass is brow...