25 March 2020

No Day

A month ago, I was wondering whether a teacher would or would not wish for a snow day.

I know of no teacher who would rather not be at work right now.

Least of all my wife, sick in bed.

03 February 2020

Snow Day

Working at a school, I find that a snow day brings out two kinds of colleagues: those who cheer for a day off, with no thought of when they'll have to make it up - OR - those who see no joy in being buried in a blizzard and are already griping about having to work an extra day tagged onto the end of the year with beautiful summer on its way.


So I suppose, at the depth of it all, a Snow Day seems to shine a light on a person's philosophies on life:
live for the present or live for the future.




Which might you live by? 



 

29 January 2020

One After Another

I have a handful of pieces fanned out on my writing desk--just a couple of poems and short stories. But each one has me sliding into my chair every evening, excited to keep exploring where the words will take me. I expect to be working on most of them through the rest of the season.

However, I also have stack of stories and poems, a full inch worth of paper thick, sitting on my computer desk, all ready to be typed into final drafts. That is the stack that has me hurrying to my writing room. I stand on the verge of a productivity burst, the likes of which I have not enjoyed in ages. All I have to do is keep knocking each piece out, verse by verse.

I almost hate to keep fending off the urge to start a new novel.

31 December 2019

Holiday Theatre

Quite the busy Holiday Season. Now that Christmas Day is past (and the new air hockey table that Santa brought is assembled and positioned), I finally have a moment or two to share a few thoughts on a couple shows I was able to attend this year.

Stage III Community Theatre presented A Christmas Carol, adapted by Gayann Truelove and Tammy Barton, and directed by Heather Rankin. I read the book every year. I'm sure to catch many of the movies every December, especially Scrooge starring the late, great Albert Finney. I've also seen a few local stage productions of the story. The most impressive aspect of this version is how it begins: with Ebenezer Scrooge walking the city streets, wishing folks a Merry Christmas, and then inviting the audience to learn of how he used to keep Christmas and what brought him to such miraculous change of spirit.
In the novel, the main character's introduction as a morose miser remains so powerful that the name "Scrooge" evokes for most folks thoughts of stinginess, greed, and grumpiness--and little else. But ever since I was a young reader first discovering Dickens's work, I came to think of Scrooge as the fictional embodiment of transformation and redemption. It was, therefore, compelling to see that characterization instead serve as the introduction to CD's ghostly little tale.
Also, a ring of carolers wassailed the audience between scenes--A beautiful, melodious method of helping the cast and crew do such a fine job with accomplishing scene transitions.
Lastly, the stand out of the evening was Jeremy Patey as Ebenezer Scrooge. He did a wonderful turn with the honourable role.

We also took the family to see "A Charlie Brown Christmas - Live on Stage". This one had me excited--but also a bit frightened beforehand. I have loved this cartoon since I was a wee lad, watching it every December with my family. (We still call each other to make sure everyone knows when it's scheduled to be broadcast--and it still makes us all hungry for snack cakes.) Anyway, I did not want to sit and watch a bunch of humans ruin the cartoon. What if they "killed it!"?
They didn't kill it. They brought it to life! The cast honoured the original, doing justice to nearly every word of every line in the cartoon. The singing, the dancing, the jazz trio--each member of the cast and crew did a splendid job. Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was that they went onwards to present the Christmas play that the gang was working on through the end of the cartoon. Using Snoopy's doghouse as the stable, the cast sang carols in order to tell the Nativity story. It proved to be the perfect way to end the play.

(I just became aware that Lee Mendelson, producer of "A Charlie Brown Christmas", died upon Christmas Day. Strangely poetic to think that one of the men involved in making such an enduring fixture of modern Christmas celebrations passed into eternity upon the sacred day.)


Finally, I spotted a handful of students at both plays. Pupils know that if I catch them at a public library or museum or, yes, a theatre, they earn a prize at their school library. I look forward to seeing the kids when we return to school


 

21 November 2019

Thanks to NCPL and "Friends of the Library"

The Natrona County Elementary Librarians collected at the Public Library yesterday for their monthly collaborative meeting. Heaps of appreciation to Twyla Gaylord for showing us up and down and all around the facilities and explaining the available resources and services.

Thanks also to Sherry Good for inviting us all into the "Friends of the Library" room and outlining the numerous ways the Friends can help support our school libraries--and also for sending so many of us away with armfuls of books. 
The Friends of the Library is a magnificent organization made up of extraordinary folks. 

A great way to support the Friends is to attend their seasonal sales. 
The next sale is coming up December 5th-7th. 
Here's a link for all the details: https://www.natronacountylibrary.org/support-us/friends/

27 October 2019

Better Late...

Here are pictures of our House Painting (mis)adventures this past season.


Took us 7-1/2 years to get around to painting the place.

Only took 1-1/2 months to share the photographs.


Before:





















After:









  


Not too shabby for not knowing a lick about paint and painting.




Thanks to Jereco Cleaning Systems for the advice, equipment, and assistance.



29 September 2019

Crest Hill Celebration

I am astonished and honoured at how Crest Hill students and staff helped celebrate my Outstanding Librarian of 2019 from the Wyoming Library Association.

I'll never be able to hear "O, My Darling Clementine" in the same way for the rest of my days.

Here's a link to the story:
Oil City News Article
 
My 2nd Grade Twins