Thursday, December 31, 2009
Apparently I and my siblings are of an older generation. For the past week or so we have been exchanging memories about years gone by, focusing on highlights in our lives, the purchase and use of farm equipment and some events such as new year's celebrations. Today's generation would have chosen Facebook or blogs as their media.
Now it is the evening of the last day of the year. Supper is cooking, the news is broadcasting and most of the world is either sleeping and again awaking in a new year. In several hours we too will mark the change of the Western calendar among friends from the church at Margie's home. She will serve a traditional Greek cake with a coin baked into it which will award the recipient with good luck.
I wish all a great new year and, in concert with many others, peace to the world and peace to each individual.
Monday, December 7, 2009
A former student and now dear friend were discussing her doctoral research project. She was feeling a bit concerned but not quite frustrated that her research had so many variables that she might not be able to make definitive conclusions. Another newbie PhD chimed in that when she reaches that conclusion she has done her research well.
Yet daily research is announced through various media stating conclusively that certain behavior or responses are the result of certain other conditions. Some conclusions are surprising or at least unexpected while others seem so simplistic, logical and natural. I believe one should never underestimate the relationships or correlations we observe through our daily lives. If carefully noted, these observations are a type of qualitative research.
Today we are experiencing the first serious frost of the year. The temperature is in the 20's. The water for the horse, goats and fowl is freezing. Last year a similar freeze fell on another day of the year. Some years a freeze this deep never even happened. Based on observations and note taking, it would be foolish for me to expect this deep freeze to be on the same date each year. It would be equally foolish, to expect each student to learn the same way in the same time frame each year. It is for this reason, I maintain very loose deadlines for assignments and why my expectations for each student depends on their experiences, culture, and abilities to move forward.
I will not journalize these observations or informal research, as it were, because the variables are too many. Nor will I ignore it.
The outdoors, nature and the animals are calling for my care and asking me to learn from them. I go!
Monday, October 26, 2009
The grapes are juice. The tomatoes and apples are sauces. The pumpkins are waiting their turn and the turkeys are growing nicely. It's fall.
It's also Monday about halfway through the term and it's raining. It's hard to get the energy going. Class today was anything but exciting, however we all survived. Mary was great; it's her specialty: Internet literacy.
On the other hand it's a great day because every day when you are alive and healthy is a grand day. Besides the grandkids will be here for Thanksgiving and there are thoughts of some moving this direction. One daughter has a birthday today, by the Chinese calendar; another has it in a week, by the American calendar. A sister had a birthday yesterday and the other will have hers in a couple months. Babies are being born all around us, I guess so their youthful energy can replace our waning energy.
The trees are colorful but shedding their leaves quickly. Life is fruitful. Life is great.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
In this moment nothing is happening. Here! But around the world and in our hearts there are memories of entertainers, concerns about our economy mostly as it affects our homes and thoughts about wars and injustices. In our educational setting, we can strive for an A and a better job in the future. Education is not for the future, it is for now, for growth, for relationships, for living. I know this now. By the calendar I am old; in my heart I am young and ready to use my energy, even as it wanes.
I wish everyone in every day and at every place, a new lesson.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
There music in the air. It's wedding bells. Wedding bells for wedding that are happening now. Wedding bells for weddings that happened forty years ago.
It was on the longest day of the year in 1969 that Denvy and Gail exchanged the vows of marriage, vows that say "forever, until death do us part." Secretly we agreed to 75 years with the option of renewal. "Forever" seemed like such a long, long time and 75 years seemed more reasonable for human mortals. Of course, if you do that math, the chances of getting to "death do us part" are much better than 75 years.
Now it's forty years, just a little over halfway and all is well. No, all is great. Youthful playfulness has been replaced with undying maturity and devotion. It's a part of evolution. It's part of becoming a superb wine.
It is our wish that the days of those exchanging vows under wedding bells in this bell would have such a grand life. It is our hope and dream that all should have such a great journey.