Steadily, They Learn


September 14, 2021- The group of 28 entered the classroom, one fist bump and “Good Morning” at a time. They knew their teacher was on a personal “Mommy Mission” today, and that she was only a cell phone call away, but the ambiance in the room was of people concerned with their own mission: Building the skills needed to go forward into a world that could go in any direction, and which they were determined to set in a direction that will reflect their emerging values.

I spent the day with 28 very delightful 11-year-olds, all committed to task and tolerant of my initial confusion as to what time to get things started. We made it through everything that was on the agenda, with a few slow workers still to complete a set of math problems, at day’s end. The math teacher is a patient man, more concerned with actual mastery than meeting deadlines, so the stragglers are, within reason, in a good place.

We covered equations, a few detail-oriented short essays on various topics, a short story about a Lakota Sioux child who was coming of age, and essential themes of geography, including types of maps. One of the short essays was about spiders. As it happened, the day began with a girl shrieking that a spider was about to crawl into an open backpack. I went over, found the juvenile tarantula, trapped it in a cup and released the hapless creature outside in a wooded area. It was gratifying that the kids were concerned that the animal not be killed.

This is an example of why I keep going in, for selected school assignments. There are earnest people who see what is going on around them, and are not going to be caught helpless. They need, and deserve, as many advocates as can be mustered. Besides, expanding my heart family is always a good thing.



December 16, 2016, Prescott-

Today was long,

because of wind, and rain.

Two of our boys fought us,

tooth and nail,

over the tests the class took.

Self- determining a curriculum

is something that

requires inner discipline.

Our students don’t

exactly  have that,

in spades.

I overheard a girl

saying that one

of the boys

likes every girl

in the school.

She said he was named

for an angel,

but couldn’t pass for one.

I think every girl

deserves to be liked.

As with boys,

that liking should

be for who she is inside,

and for her dreams.

As with boys,

girls need to know

they are surrounded

by unconditional love and encouragement.

How is it that doesn’t go without saying?

Getting Around


October 27, 2016, Prescott-

A brief update:  My landlord is in town, for a few days of repairs to our quadplex and grounds-keeping. He is considering allowing me more responsibility in the quad.  I plan to keep our backyard looking better, with his blessing.  A terraced garden has been my dream, for many years, and I hope to finally get it done.

Our team at school is upgrading the day-to-day curriculum, finally.  I am building a word wall and will post multiplication and division tables, over the next several school days.  Halloween is a half day for the students, and a few hours of planning work for us.  So, I will hopefully get a lot done, in the above regards, on Monday afternoon.

I will head down to Phoenix on Saturday, attend a morning meeting, get in some hiking and attend a Halloween party at the home of some friends, in midtown.  Sunday will be another day for hiking in the Table Mesa area, this time starting earlier in the morning.

Next week, I will begin to collate my poems and short essays, for the book which I want to put forth, in January.

That’s it for tonight.