Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Today's word is "tenacious." I just heard from D's room in reference to the cat (in this case Alice) who was doing who knows what.

Living in our house is always a day full of words. I think that will be tomorrow's word for school as well. I'll see how many of my high school students know what the word means.

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The President's speech

I usually don't make public comments about my political views, but after spending the last several days listening/reading about people complaining that President Obama would turn this speech into a piece of propaganda I felt that I had to post something.

If you didn't watch the speech, which I did, you can find the transcript released by the White House here. I am always amazed at how ignorant my students are when it comes to politics. I don't know why, but I probably will never stop being surprised at their lack of knowledge. After the speech, as a class we spent the last twenty minutes discussing what the President had to say. Some of the students maintained that he had told them that he was black, which he didn't. There were several other comments made that said basically "he said x" but he hadn't. It's been a few hours and I didn't take notes of the discussion. Some had no idea that the stimulus money had gone for jobs. I have no idea what they thought the stimulus was for, but jobs wasn't on their lists. All of the road projects here in Sanpete were brought about through stimulus moneys.

I actually took some notes during the speech. There were several key points he made— students have a responsibility to self; there is no excuse to drop out; being successful is hard work; don't give up on yourself; and what is your contribution going to be? I didn't find anything negative, just cold common sense and facts. Some people will only find the storm cloud in the bright sunny day and I think that they feel that way about the President.

This is my rant for today—before you talk about the President's speech to students (and he is not the first to do so, both President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush did as well), read the speech. Find out what he said. Then you can hold an intelligent conversation.

Okay back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Home again

And the traveler returns. After spending three days in Chicago, it's back to school and the daily grind tomorrow. Saturday, Deirdre and her grandparents went to the Museum of Science and Industry to view the Harry Potter exhibit. D said that everything in the gift shop was hideously expensive. One could purchase a replica of a a firebolt for only $1500! Sunday the family traveled to my aunt's for dinner and seemed to have a very funny time. Today, they went to the Brookfield zoo. Saturday my mother walked everywhere, but by today she was in a wheelchair. Her leg and back can only take so much. On a good note though she can go upstairs to sleep. She needs a cane to get up the stairs, but can actually do so.

This is where they (Delta) puts unaccompanied children who haven't been picked up yet. Between the stop and go traffic from Payson to University Parkway and the plane arriving 25 minutes early and the lines at both the ticket counter and security, I got to the gate at 8:25, but Delta had already shuffled D off to "Dusty's Den". Luckily this is the last time she flies as an unaccompanied minor. Delta allows adults to accompany anyone under 18 to the gate, so there isn't a problem there. The flight is a straight three hours with no changes. We are all thinking that in the future she will be fine on her own. She told me while waiting in Dusty's Den how much she wished she could just leave and not have to wait. Next time.

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My whole house smells like paint. Jeff put two coats of primer on our new sitting room today. Next up is the grasscloth, assuming it's still any good and that I still like it. Or perhaps the floor. Really I have no idea what part is next. It might be window sashes and sills and moldings for the doors. There is still a long way to go. But slowly, like the tortoise, it is happening.

The east wall with its two coats. That is door to the "hall" bath. There is no longer a hall, instead each room upstairs has its own bathroom.

Alice checking out the furniture in the sitting room. Lots of sunlight in this room.

Jeff painting the inside of the closet. This will be "his" closet when everything is finished.

More of Jeff painting. I don't mind painting, but if someone else is willing to do it, that is just wonderful.

The south wall with its two coats, plus the draped couch and cabinet, which doesn't have a home anymore.

Well, I'm off to pick up D from the airport. This was the last time (I hope) that she flies unaccompanied. Next time she is on her own.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fall soccer

Deirdre is playing soccer again this year. For the first time she has a Hispanic coach and for the first time, since second grade, they are winning. I'm thrilled that they are winning games. I'm thrilled that our growing Hispanic population here is involved in city league sports. I, of course, don't get to see any games. The games are on Tuesdays and Thursdays and practices are Mondays and Wednesdays. So, she keeps busy, but I miss all of it. Maybe I can convince Jeff to take a camera to a game and grab some pics. You never know stranger things have happened.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

The traveler

And she's off—

Deirdre has headed to Chicago for the long weekend. The Museum of Science and Industry has a Harry Potter exhibit that she wanted to see, so my parents are taking her. D loves to fly to Chicago; she would live there if she could. Right now her goal in life is to go the University of Chicago and then live in Chicago in a condo. No goal of a job or career, just the school and living situation. Hey at least she thinks about the future.

Filling up a water bottle. I personally find the traveling restrictions to be a nightmare and certainly don't feel safer by having them.

Hey, did you take a picture? Yep, that's me lately grabbing photos at every opportunity.

Say goodbye. I always wait until close to boarding to get her to the gate. Once announced that she is an unaccompanied minor, off she goes onto the plane. A quick shot here.

For those who thought that perhaps we went to the airport, but didn't go anywhere, her she is boarding the plane. Usually there isn't a gap between the plane and the "chute" (whatever that thing is that connects the airport to the plane).

And another getting on the plane with her TCBY yogurt. The gate person carried her bag. So nice of the woman, I'd been making D carry it.

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