Friday, January 2, 2015

Time, Patience, Coconuts, Pileated Woodpeckers, Doodles

Photo by Jessi Watson, Thai Coconut Timepiece

As in,'s been a long.

That's all relative, of course.

The beginning of my hike
I have managed to maintain some online connections, and managed to attend OpenEd14 (which was fantastic and after which I got lost in VA someplace as my phone died and darkness fell and the Famous Virginia Traffic Overtook).  

My work at school has been rewarding. The pain levels in my body have not. They seem to cycle, and for the past few weeks the cycle has been Not So Good. As in, Bad. 


Through these weeks, I have truly thought of my #ccourses folks daily.

I have been yearning to connect with them, but only managing the Life Minimum to succeed in "real" life, AKA my job....which basically means I have devoted what ever energy I have to my school and staff and students.

So. Connections.  


We have now had ten days off from work, which has helped my pain. Less typing. Fewer desk-sitting hours.

I have been trying to Capture Moments in order to Maintain Sanity. Take advantage of the times when less pain has reared its head.

Listening to pileated woodpecker.
Books, they help a lot.  And nature.  I was able to take a gorgeous hike in Patapsco State Park and watch a pileated woodpecker for a wonderfully long time. 
Sky at Patapsco State Park
One of my students, who is homeless, has been at the Barnes and Noble store in town daily for about 8 hours a day, because his mom got a job in the mall. He and his sister can't stay at the shelter during the day, so they wait at the book store. I have been showing up there with my chess board and challenging him to a few games as we both learn to play chess.  

A colleague and I have been playing Chess With Friends across space and time. I'm awful, but willing and learning!  (You wanna?)

Another student has mainstreamed back to his home school, but I maintain contact with his mom.  He and I went on New Year's Eve to see the new Hunger Games movie. Popcorn ensued, and discussions of The Walking Dead, and mostly I was just happy to see him.  He has grown 6 inches since I last saw him.

My BFF and I have seen some amazing films as well - Imitation Game, Theory of Everything, Fury, Unbroken, Wild.

PopArt filter on Zendoodle of owl
I am learning a new meditation-doodling method called Zentangle, which I am really enjoying. Hoping to incorporate it into our SEL program at school.

Embossed Filter on Bird Zendoodle
Most days for me consist of a choice between accomplishing a lot (more pain) and accomplishing a little (less pain). 

Today was a good day.

And...tomorrow will be another good one.

I need a cMOOC.


  1. I am putting together a MOOC Hostel, a space where folks can come to between MOOCs or during or before. I am hoping to have something up by the middle of January and I hope I can get you to have the first cup of coffee there.

  2. And your pain...well, at arm's length I am reduced to finding distractions--funny gifs, off-color jokes, shaggy dog stories and news of the wierd. I hope we can transform a bit of that pain into...hell, I dunno, not pain. I have seen some very funny pileated bad boys nearby of late. BTW, are you allergic to peanuts?

    1. I love the distractions, like you do. gif gif gif

  3. I love your relationship with your students :) and my next cMOOC is the critical pedagogy #moocmooc starting Jan 19 (i am co-facilitating a week,too).

    So sorry about your pain.wish there was something i could do to help

  4. Hi Susan! Sorry to hear about the pain. Happy to hear about a bird that I have never heard of...pileated woodpecker er ? Will Google it.

    1. Thank you, Simon - and - they are beautifully weird looking birds!

  5. Connecting isn't the cure but it can be a way to make sense of the world. Or so one hopes. I've missed you in the corners where I write.

    1. And I have missed you. I know you are an early morning writer and that's when I tend to think of you creating.


  6. In trying to capture moments in order to maintain sanity,
    something rears it beautiful head,
    just for a moment -- the corner of the eye --
    the blue sky beckoning in wash of quiet ---
    repose and inside this off-kilter reflection of why
    we arrive here, expecting so much and getting so much more
    before we power down back our devices
    in order to recede back into the lives of the world.


    PS -- a little line lifting for a poem ... a gift of words

  7. One more thing (sound like Steve Jobs shilling another device don't I). I am attaching an annotated link with lots of bonus tracks for your post. I had so much fun making it that I forgot that its all about you. May you stay forever young: