Monday, August 12, 2013

First Day of Preplanning

My last first day back was even better than expected! Traditionally it begins with an ice breaker game in the front lobby followed by grade level skits to introduce team members. The principal tells a data story and outlines academic expectations. Today followed the same pattern and included much hilarity as kindergarten won for best skit and 5th grade for best costumes.

Our theme is "Take a walk on the wild side" and so naturally we went on a field trip to the Jacksonville Zoo. There we had several hours to walk about and take pictures and spend time with fellow team members. Our resource team won the walk about challenge and I personally won a $10 gift card from Starbucks. Perfect!

Of course it was one of the hottest days of the summer, but the heat just added to our adventure and no one seemed to mind at all. 

We were then treated to lunch, a rap song by all of our new teachers and a book of the month presentation. I do not think any other school had as much fun, inspiration and perspiration as we did today!
Here is a fabulous scene from our front lobby!  It's always an adventure at the Creek!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow is the first day of school for teachers. It will be my 36th first day!! I am so exited!

I work at Chets Creek Elementary, the best school in Jacksonville and alright, probably anywhere in the whole world! I had the great fortune of opening this school and have worked as the guidance counselor there for 16 years. I absolutely love my job. Even so, this is my last, first day back. I have done five years of DROP and will be retiring Sept. 1. 

I will not be the guidance counselor when I go back tomorrow, so I will have the luxury of opening the school year in a much calmer manner than usual. That will be a bit different for me, but I am ready for this new challenge. Kathi Nelson, an awesome teacher that has been patiently waiting for me to retire, will be our new counselor. I am so happy for her and she will do an absolutely fabulous job!! I can just relax and be the good will ambassador for three weeks :)

Chets Creek has a theme each year and tomorrow we are "Taking a Walk on the Wild Side." We get to spend part of our day at the Jacksonville Zoo. It will be such fun!! I can hardly wait to see the decorations all over the school, our teachers are so very creative! And my friend KK with her trusty side kicks,  always add the extra special ingredients that make the whole place magical! My principal, Susan Phillips, will lead us on an adventure that will inspire us for the whole year. Yes, it is the best place in the world to work!!

I am so very excited to be embarking on the next leg of my life journey, but also sad to be leaving my precious work family. I am doing the happy dance with a bit of reluctance on the side. Bring it on, I am ready!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 2

More music in Tallahassee...The Fried Turkeys at The Mockingbird.

First Day of Summer Vacation

It's a musical beginning... First,
The New 76ers at The Mockingbird in Tallahassee. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 2

Lots of household chores...then the first of the summer series jazz concerts at Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach. Spyra Gyra headlined, but the guitar player and the sax man did not make it, thanks to Delta Airlines.

June 11, Summer Vacation, Day 1

Saturday morning, I slept until 8:00, such a luxury! I awoke to a breakfast of sausage and sweet potato pancakes courtesy of my honey Herb. Yum! Can't do that every morning or I will quickly gain back the 27 pounds I lost this year. Usually it's a 9:15 Jazzercise class on Saturday mornings to make sure that does not happen. Just not today.

First stop of the day, Riverside Arts Market. A slow walk around all the booths of jewelry, art, food, flowers and fruit while listening to music and watching all the folks. Such fun.

Next stop, The Town Center, looking for a new bathing suit, with no luck. Instead, it was a sale at Soma for some lovely lingerie. Then to Sephora for the perfect mascara and lipstick. With the help of Julie I learned that I have long thin lashes and need a very tight rubber brush so my lashes will not clump together. I found it in Clinique with a brush and comb wand. Also some Sephora brand lipsticks in Charmer and Sienna Fiesta. Artsy Abode had a bright, colorful summer dress with lace on the bottom hem and two dragonflies, so me.

After a long day of shopping, home for an afternoon nap. Ahhhh.....

To top it all off, a party at Carol's house. The Last Ninth Street House Bash. Good friends, good music, good memories and good-byes. And lots of tequila toasts to new beginnings.

A fun filled first day and a great way to kick off the summer!

Friday, October 29, 2010

#4 An Important Book

What book made the biggest impact on your life?

My first impression of this question was...yikes, I read all the time. How in the world can I pick one book that was the most important to me? That's a near impossible task! Yet when I actually sat down to write this, it became very simple. It would have to be a book I read over and over again as a child. It would have to be the one that instilled in me the love of reading for shear pleasure and enjoyment. The one where the words just danced off the page and made me smile. The one that called to me every night...pick me me aloud..listen....there is magic on the page...

Christmas morning 1961, my parents gave me a small book of poetry called Silver Pennies by Blanche Jennings Thomson. She was the head of the English Department at Benjamin Franklin High School in Rochester, New York and she edited this anthology in April, 1925. It was illustrated in black and white by Winifred Bromhall. Nothing fancy here, just a gathering of absolutely wonderful poems.

Thomson wrote in her Preface, "You must have a silver penny to get into fairyland. But silver pennies are hard to find and it isn't everyone who knows where to look for them, even if he has time: so it is for such people, the mothers and the teachers who want silver pennies for their children that this volume is prepared. It is my hope that no child will be left out of the fairyland of modern poetry for the lack of a silver penny."

It is here I discovered Vachel Lindsay, Sara Teasdale, Hilda Conkling, Robert Frost, Walter de la Mare, and Edna St. Vincent Milay. I read about the moon and the stars, fairies, dancing potatoes, griffins, cats, camels, elves and Joan of Arc. Everyday things became magical and the magical became real. My imagination soared as the words took me on faraway journeys or caused me to look at things in a slightly different way. This book sat beside my bed and I read from it daily. Where is this little book now? On a shelf in my office, still close at hand.

Here is one of my favorites. Doesn't it sound just like me?
I Meant to do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today-
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling to me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out it's shining hand-
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Richard Le Gallienne