Monday, January 16, 2017

Stealing Like an Artist

Stealing like an artist on format, today.  Thanks, Austin Kleon. :)

Taken in July of 2016 at the Fairy Gardens of Garvan Garden

So here are a few things going on with me...

1. My OLW for 2017 is Cultivate.  I have many things I'm hoping to cultivate, among them a literal cultivation of a garden.  I was, in part, inspired by my visit to the Garvan Gardens this summer in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I've also just signed up for a free online class to learn more about herbs and I've requested seed catalogs from Johnny's Selected SeedsSeed Saver Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I'm excited about this new adventure.  I haven't had a garden since I was a child and it feels long overdue.

2. As I begin anew to cultivate a daily writing habit that moves my hopes-to-grow-into-a-novel forward, I keep The War of Art with me.  This book, y'all.  #genius

3. I just finished listening to Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty on Audible. LOVED it, and listening to it gave me the added bonus of hearing lovely Australian accents.  I'm also listening to Born a Crime by Trevor Noah--so, so good. 

4. I have a new favorite soup--Beef Barley Soup--that can be made in the slow cooker or on the stovetop and is perfect for a rainy Saturday.  It makes the house smell divine and I just let it simmer all day long.  Yum!

5. As usual, I'm in the middle of multiple books right now.  Marlene: A Novel is one of them.  I've loved biographies all my life--I can remember scouring the Sherman Public Library as a child and reading about the glamour days of Hollywood via its sparkling celebrities.  I'm enjoying this fictionalized one--wow! what a one-of-a-kind Dietrich was.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

for Christy

I knew her first as the wife of my assistant principal.
I knew she was in curriculum in the district, but I didn't really know her.
Then I knew her as a fellow dance mom.
Then I knew her as a fellow librarian.
Then I knew her as a friend.

She often brought a book bag full of new books to process while she waiting in the small lobby of the dance studio for her girl to finish class.

More than once she came to meetings "sorry. running a bit late from the chemo" that were after-hours, non-mandatory, but she believed in the cause so she came.

She loved fajitas and chips & salsa and shopping.
She loved her family.
She wanted what she wanted and liked what she liked.
She had very definite ideas and she worked tirelessly for what she believed in.

She was a warrior.

She asked for donations to her library in lieu of flowers.  Of course she did.
We told her husband as we stood in that line "we talked about flowers but we knew she'd kick our behinds if we didn't listen to her wishes.  I TOLD you to donate money or books, y'all." 
We all giggled a bit at the truth of that.

She was an extremely private person and, as my fellow librarian mentioned in her blog post, would probably hate this post, but it is the least I can do to honor my friend.

As I sit working on my agenda for the upcoming district librarian's meeting I can hear her in my ear. Sometimes I tear up even as I smile at this fact, but I'm grateful.

Christy, you are missed.
Rest easy, friend.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

OLW 2017

Last year was my first year to fully embrace the OLW movement.  For 2016, my word was Invictus. A strong word that helped get me through a tough year. It was the perfect word at just the right time for me.

This year, my word is CULTIVATE.  
This word fills me with hope. defines it as:
  1. 1:  to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops; also:  to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants)
  2. 2a:  to foster the growth of <cultivate vegetables>b:  culture 2ac:  to improve by labor, care, or study:  refine <cultivate the mind>
  3. 3: furtherencourage <cultivate the arts>
  4. 4: to seek the society of:  make friends with
Every single one of these definitions applies to want I want to call forth in this new year.

I've bought rosemary plants for my soon-to-be-reality herb garden, and have begun looking into some heirloom seed catalogs for others.

I'm  fostering the growth of some new habits and things I want to learn.

I have definite and not-so-definite plans for cultivating joy and other awesome things in my workplace because here is something I know-- it is up to ME to create JOY in my life.  I will breathe and add whimsy and smile and hold doors and write notes and wear pirate costumes and hold Tiara Tuesdays because these are things that make my work week bright for myself and for those around me.

I need to loosen the soil of some long-held beliefs that are no longer serving me in order to let them go and move forward. This is a hard thing, but a necessary thing and I am ready to do the work now.

I also love that my word is a verb because this year I want to do.  I came across and retweeted this on Twitter (by @thebradmontague) today. It really spoke to me.

Yes, CULTIVATE is my word and I look forward to seeing where it leads me.
What's yours?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pirate Challenge

If you've read my blog before you might be aware that last year, inspired by Amber Teamann, I created the 30-Day Happy Librarian Challenge.

I loved it and still use it, but when I was asked to develop a professional development session for the first day back from winter break--you know the day everyone is just SUPER excited to be there--well, I knew I needed to look at doing something special.

I'm presenting sessions today on one of my all-time favorite professional books, Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. This book is transformational, y'all, no matter your classroom.  In fact, this is our district librarian's book study selection this year.

I've got a simple PowerPoint--mostly images--and I'm introducing the power of Twitter chats to many teachers today, which is great, but mostly I'm excited to share the 30-Day Teach Like a Pirate Challenge I created. I also have a list of discussion questions that I printed, cut into slips and had in baskets on each table so that at the end participants are able to start a discussion.

My hope is that this challenge will inspire you to teach with passion even as we return to the sometimes cold, dark world that is January. I would be honored if you would use it, share it, tweet it, Instagram it---well, you get the picture!

Like my challenge from last year, I purposefully created this to be in the general form of a calendar, but with no dates listed. Go in the order you choose, use it as it resonates with you---after all, you are a PIRATE, matey, and no one can put YOU in a box.

I plan to share my challenges as I go through them this month and hope you'll do the same using the #tlap hashtag.

Pirate Librarians, Matey! Arrrggghhh!