Books

Dear friends, help me scour
Through the world of books
That I can then devour
In many cozy nooks,
At least one, every hour.

At the risk of being a lout,
I ask before you shout.
That the books you recommend.
Be short ones, my reading friend.
Encyclopedic tomes…beyond my power.

To let you know what I intend.
I’ll not spend money on this.
I’ll ask a library to me lend
The writings I just “can’t miss”
Which you’ve recommended I devour.

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Right Answers

The skill of the author
If they shall bother
Is never to lead her.

To interpret the lines
As the mind inclines,
It’s the work of the reader.

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This rhyme was inspire by an article about poetry used in a Texas standardized test.

http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-writer-who-couldnt-answer.html

I am a retired teacher. I started doing that job long before standardized testing became prominent in the K-12 grades. I admit that I struggled with the sanity of their implementation.

Learning is a response to challenges given to students. “Right answers” sidestep reality, making it seem that, in education, one size fits all.

I must ask, “What shoe size ‘fits all’?”

 

 

Creativity

Creativity is a self-filling pitcher. No matter how often we pour our ideas onto the page, the blog, the fediverse, new ones or, at least, provoking variations fill the temporary void.

As a corollary, avoiding the step of pouring out the ideas can have the effect of merely bottling and capping the output, trapping the creative process itself.

Moral: Don’t hold it in. Pour your ideas freely. Who cares if nobody else cares! And there’s a chance someone will make something useful in the end!

vegetative

Weed/Wildflower Wednesday

One of the skills for gardeners to develop is recognizing weeds and intentional plantings apart, long before the flowers show. Young shoots are much easier to remove than well-established weeds.

Likewise, pulling out young fall-flowering New England Asters like these would not be my personal preference. This is a well-established plant with last year’s stalks still poking through. Elsewhere beside my house, there are more, new asters coming in for the first time. Fall glory!

aster

botryoidal

botryoidal

/ˌbɒtrɪˈɔɪd(ə)l/
adjective
(chiefly of minerals)
having a shape reminiscent of a cluster of grapes.

Origin
Late 18th century: from Greek botruoeidēs (from botrus ‘bunch of grapes’) + -al.

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The geode cracked open to reveal a bunch of botryoidal agate crystals looking like a cluster of grapes. I’m guessing that might be the origin of the shooter marble known as the “aggie” (which early on was actually made from agate mineral).

Image

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I was born in Texas, in a house my parents had purchased for a retirement home. We occasionally traveled back and forth from there to Chicago where my parents ran a china, glassware and tableware (knives, forks, spoons, etc.) store. When I was still very young, still not speaking full sentences, my mom and I returned from a trip to Chicago. My mother told me this story.

As soon as we got into the house, I rushed to the living room, repeating “mambluche, mambluche” over and over again. Mom, naturally didn’t understand. She wondered if I needed to go to the bathroom and forgotten where it was. Directing me there, against my childish wishes, she heard me continue the insistent “mambluche, mambluche”. I succeeded in dragging her back to the living room and pointed to the closet there. “Mambluche, mambluche!”

She opened the closet door and I pointed up to the upper shelf above the coat space and I danced about. “Mambluche! mambluche!”

Still puzzled, she reached up and realized I was after the cake tin. She pulled it down, opened it and set it on the floor. Immediately I got to work pulling out the marbles and pushing them gleefully around the floor.

Kids may not know the right way to say what they want, but they do KNOW what they want.