Botanicals, Art, Cats, Music, Education

Today began cloudy and turned out sunny. We went to Fort Worth for all the various errands we can't do, books, art supplies, a, make that great, Kincaid's Hamburger, vitamins, bird bath dripper parts, education supplies for the church, and a visit to the Diocese of Fort Worth offices to check out Sunday School material and find out the time of Bishop Venables' visit on May 3. Can't wait to meet this wonderful man. Whew...we listened to a Val McDermott book-on-tape while traveling. Very good. Oh, and we're getting ready for a week-long trip to the Texas Hill Country.

When we got home, the clouds, as I said, had lifted, so I took my pad and watercolors and tried painting another iris. They are glorious...thanks to Jim and Louise!Here are some flowers in our garden thus far.

My model for the sketch above.
Jake was thinking about doing the laundry! But he decided to sleep instead.
Turtle was doing a little work on the computer.

And here is Raf with Willy Coe (at left). They will be performing at our church on April 26 in our Coffeehouse Concert series.
And finally, for those of you who are teachers and see how ridiculous the everlasting testing and "no child left behind" and all kids are the SAME!, this is from my teacher/friend, Bethy:

1. Should a severe weather situation occur during testing, please remain calm. To display any kind of anxiety would be a testing irregularity and must be reported.

2. Please do not look out the window to watch for approaching tornadoes. You must monitor the students at all times. To do otherwise would be a testing irregularity and must be reported.

3. Should students notice an approaching tornado and begin to cry, please make every effort to protect their testing materials from the flow of tears and sinus drainage.

4. Should a flying object come through your window during testing, please make every effort to ensure that it does not land on a testing booklet or an answer sheet. Please make sure to soften the landing of the flying object so that it will not disturb the students while testing.

5. Should shards of glass from a broken window come flying into the room, have the students use their bodies to shield their testing materials so that they will not be damaged. Have plenty of gauze on hand to ensure that no one accidentally bleeds on the answer documents. Damaged answer sheets will not scan properly.

6. Should gale force winds ensue, please have everyone stuff their test booklets and answer sheets into their shirts…being very careful not to bend them because bent answer documents will not scan properly.

7. If any student gets sucked into the vortex of the funnel cloud, please make sure they mark at least one answer before departing…and of course make sure they leave their answer sheets and test booklets behind. You will have to account for those.

8. Should a funnel cloud pick you, the test administrator, up and take you flying over the rainbow, you will still be required to account for all of your testing materials when you land so please take extra precautions. Remember, once you have checked them out, they should never leave your hands.

9. When rescue workers arrive to dig you out of the rubble, please make sure that they do not, at any time, look at or handle the testing materials. Once you have been treated for your injuries, you will still be responsible for checking your materials back in. Search dogs will not be allowed to sift through the rubble for lost tests…unless of course they have been through standardized test training.

10. Please do not pray should a severe weather situation arise. Your priority is to actively monitor the test; a student might mark in the wrong section if you are praying instead of monitoring. Surely God will put war, world hunger, crime, and the presidential primaries on hold until after testing is over. He knows how important this test is.

And from my other teacher/life-long friend, Toby, the REAL story:

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do.. Those who can't, teach."

To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)
"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.... You want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make Mr. CEO?"

His jaw dropped, he went silent.

God bless you all and keep you safely until the morning comes, and forevermore!


Barbara said…
The painting of the Iris is good. Such sweet cats.
Thanks for the reminder of Fort Worth. I have a photo with the cowboy guy who lets you pose with him.
Thanks for your lovely comments.
Kate said…

Your irises are beautiful. I love the watercolor you did. it would make a lovely card,


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