The One About My Favorite Public School Teacher

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{ tweet by @ericweiskott }
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So which public school teacher inspired and encouraged me the most?  Who had, and still has, the greatest influence on who I am today?

{ drum roll please }

My answer would be: Mrs. L——-, my high school sophomore English teacher.

She was the first teacher to ever tell me I knew how to write.  All the other teachers before her, many good women and men, assumed we kids didn’t know what we were doing.  But not Mrs. L——-, whose first + middle name was Clover May.

By the time I had Clover May she was nearing retirement– and didn’t give a rat’s tutu about what she was supposed to teach or how to teach it.  She’d done this teaching gig for so long that she intuitively knew how to get kids to write.

So instead of closely following any textbooks or lesson plans, Clover May would tell us funny little stories from her own life*, then have us tell a similar story from our lives… in writing.

She believed anyone could write.  It wasn’t a big deal.  All you had to do was talk about what happened & BE SPECIFIC.  Details like grammar and spelling could always be adjusted after you wrote down what happened specifically.

Yes, Clover May believed in all of us and our ability, perhaps yet untapped, to write a good story… as long as you were specific.

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* One of Mrs. L——-‘s funniest stories had to do with her given name.  From day one she insisted that we kids know her full name.  While decorum dictated that we call her Mrs. L——-, she believed we should know her first + middle name because this was an example of how to BE SPECIFIC.

So when Mrs. L——- discovered that one of her less-than-enthusiastic students could not remember her name correctly, she was ready to be perturbed.  However, she couldn’t be upset with this kid, who apparently lived on a farm, because the way he confused her name was so clever that she had to laugh.

You see, this kid, who had been sort of listening to what she said, thought that Clover May’s name was… Alfalfa June.

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

If you went to public schools, who was your favorite teacher? And why?

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What Was This Week All About? Anxiety, Awareness, Acrimony, And Adjustments

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This has been a ridiculous week.  MY MIND AND SPIRIT ARE WHACKED, ON EDGE.  In fact, so much so that I’m going to write a listicle instead of a proper post To Remember It all. 

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In no particular order…

√  ANXIETY:  Our normal temperature for this time of year would be 39ºF.  However, on Monday morning it was 7ºF here with a wind chill close to 0ºF, a light dusting of snow everywhere.  By Thursday morning, after 65 mph winds on Wednesday night that took down many tree limbs, our temp was 65ºF.  Right now on Saturday morning it’s 35ºF outside with gray skies.

These extreme temperature fluctuations make me nervous– and put a wrinkle [pun intended] in my early morning “what to wear?” decision-making process. 

√  AWARENESS:  I’ve always said that I believe that education is everything.  I was naively referring to learning about language and history and math and science and critical thinking and how to get along with people.  I was not thinking about learning new terms for sexual deviancy, but thanks to our PEOTUS I now know more about said topic.  Unless you’ve been visiting Mars this week you do too, right?  

Perhaps we should change the aforementioned acronym to mean Pervert Elect Of The United States.    

√  ACRIMONY:  I’m disappointed to know that one member of the board at LL Bean, a woman who is a descendent of the founder, has used her vast wealth to fund The Donald’s campaign.  I agree in part with the current LL Bean Executive Chairman’s FB message [instead of a proper press release?] reminding us that this woman is free to do whatever she chooses with her money, but I disagree with him about how her behavior does not reflect upon the company.  

A company’s board of directors, chosen for their acumen, is the brains behind a company, and as such whatever a director values will influence [obviously] his or her input into how the company operates.  Thus any connection to anything or anyone dodgy [Hello Donald] casts doubt on the way the whole company is run. 

Not saying I won’t shop there in the future, but it’ll no longer be the first place I go to when I need clothes, bedding, sporting equipment, outdoor furniture.   

√  ADJUSTMENTS:  My iPad, which by techie standards would be a great-great-grandma, is doing wonky things.  It has taken to tweeting not what I write, but a link to the last article that I read.  Fortunately I’m not ashamed of anything that research and read, so that aspect of this problem isn’t what worries me.  No, it’s the fact that great-great-grandma seems to be on a tweeting bender.  The poor dear just can’t help herself.  Nor can I.

So I deleted my Twitter app from my iPad and this week have lived a life in which I only see Twitter when I’m using my desktop computer, which means not so often.  

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Hello Red Heart Emoji, Bye-Bye Mary Jane

YESTERDAY PEOPLE IN MY WORLD talked about two diverse topics: 1) Twitter icon, acceptance of new “like” paradigm and subsequent “heart” emoji;  & 2) marijuana, legalization for all uses of said within our state.

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Screenshot from my Twitter feed.

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ALL DAY WHEREVER I WENT, online or in real life, I read or heard a variety of points of view about the above two issues.  Everybody had a strong opinion, sometimes logic-based, often loudly stated, but freely given.

Thus in the spirit of being a transparent blogger, and a pleasant real life human being, I’ll tell you what I think about these two topics.  That followed me like a lost puppy everywhere I went yesterday.

I don’t really care.

I have no strong opinion about either of these issues.

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WHICH IS NOT TO SAY that I’m ignorant nor waffling under the strain of deciding what I think.  No, it’s just saying that because something happens in my world, does not mean that I have a strong opinion about it.

I have preferences, but being an introvert I often keep them to myself.  Or only share them with people close to me.  Like you, my gentle readers.

To wit, here are my preferences about yesterday’s topics: 1) I’m not thrilled to be an adult using a cutesy emoji to communicate that I like something a fellow adult has said on Twitter;  & 2) I’m not for the carte blanche legalization of marijuana sold through ten monopolies.

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Story here.

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I GET THAT PEOPLE ARE frustrated by intractable problems in this world, so they overreact to smaller issues believing they have control over them.  But yesterday, y’all outdid yourself dithering and worrying about icons and pot.

Kind of gave me a headache, if you want to know the truth of it all. 

And I have to wonder, once again, why I bothered to pay attention to the people spouting off about these issues.  Will I never learn to ignore the babble?

Welcome To Jibber Jabber July

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Scrat, my blogging muse, with acorn.

I STARTED KEEPING A BLOG when the earth was covered in ice.

Really.  It’s true.

Like one of my favorite cartoon characters, Scrat, the Ice Age squirrel, back then I focused on getting readers my acorn.  Keeping readers my acorn.

No matter what.

I posted almost daily.  Sometimes more than once a day even.  Can you imagine?

We all did.  Egos demanded it.

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I ONLY SHARE THIS RETROSPECTIVE with you, my gentle readers, as a way of introducing you to a concept I dreamed up last week while I sat stuck inside my house due to massive amounts of rain.

This has not been the kind of summer to be outside.  Too wet.  Too moldy.  It makes me itch.

So I thought to myself…

Why not return to a modified version of old-time blogging and post here 3 or 4 days a week?  For one month.

Like I used to do when I was new to blogging and commenters were a dime a dozen and there was a sense of community among those of us who were either courageous enough OR crazy enough to share all the details of our lives with virtual strangers.

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WITH THE FOREGOING IN MIND I have taken the liberty of creating my very own unique hashtag: #JibberJabberJuly.  It’s what all the cool kids do now, making hashtags that is.

Although they usually use some sort of acronym, or garbled words, that no one outside of their group understands.  Which I think sort of defeats the purpose of connection among virtual strangers.

But whatever.

To wit, I have used my propensity toward creative alliteration + my love of clear communication to gift the world with my hashtag.  Feel free, gentle readers, to adopt it, or the concept upon which it is based, as your own all month.

Let’s get it started jibber-jabbering in here.  Shall we?

Tweeted Twaddle: A Blog Post “Written” Without Doing Much Of Anything

•  I can’t see straight today.  My April allergies are in full swing making my eyes itchy & watery.  This happens every year, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Now does it?

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•  Because I refuse to stop reading while my vision is blurry, I have set my Kindle’s font to old-people-rheumy-eyed large.  It’s a feature on there. Really.

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•  Naturally, while reading I became a bit peckish so I tried a new-to-me snack.  I did not like it, so I had to share this fact on Twitter.  That’s what Twitter is for, right?

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•  So in closing of this eclectic [some would say filler] post, I leave you, my gentle readers, with this tweet of creative writing in which I summarize what I wish was going on outside today.  Because a girl can dream. Yes?

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Fact: I Do Not Suffer From FOMO

Friends, I’ve called you here today to confirm something that you probably already know about me.  I freely admit that it is true: Fear Of Missing Out, aka FOMO, is not a problem for me.

I’ve been outside of so many things in my life that not knowing what’s going on in my social media circles does not bother me.  I try to keep up, but there are days when I *gasp* don’t go online at all.  [Usually Monday, often Saturday.]

I miss out.

On the other hand, I do suffer from something that I have yet to see acronym-ed so I will take this opportunity to create one to explain my social media problem.

My worry is: Fear Of Appearing Rude, henceforth & hereinafter known as FOAR.  That is what concerns me.

Because I consider communication to be a two-way street, I take my side of the street seriously.  Maybe too seriously, but that’s how I roll.  And as such I fear that someone will take my slow response to an email or a blog comment or a tweet as an insult.

Especially if that someone is a person who does suffer from FOMO.

So what do you think, my blogging kith & kin?  Am I worried about nothing?  Or is FOAR another genuine made-up social media psychosis?