#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-one

Gaze at reflection
too enamored by beauty
vanity takes hold

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our (optional) prompt. In her interview, Brim provides us with several suggestions for generative writing exercises, and we’d like to challenge to today to tackle her third one, which is based in the myth of Narcissus. After reading the myth, try writing a poem that plays with the myth in some way. For example, you could imagine that imagine the water is speaking to you, the narcissus flower. Or you could write a poem in which the narcissus berates the Kardashians for stealing their neurosis. Or a poem that comments on the narcissism of our time, i.e. beauty and body obsession, etc.

Good morning! And welcome to day twenty-one of #NaPoWriMo where we are suppose to write about narcissism and I’m a little sleepy as I stayed up to finish watching Lost in Space last night. As I was mulling over where to take my poem I headed over to twitter to see what the #haikuchallenge word today is and it’s hold. Ahhh… shouldn’t be too difficult to turn a haiku with hold into a vanity senryu and there you have it. Yesterday the word was retort and I posted a clever retort to go with my #redfored poem until I realized my syllable count was off – oops.

Schools rank near bottom
Governor offers pay raise
Teachers retort – strike

There it is fixed because I had with strike for my original tweet. Here is an article on CNN about the Arizona teacher walk out. I got an email from the high school district informing us schools will begin early dismissals on Thursday. We will get a follow up email on the 25th with greater detail, but if too many teachers walk out, they may close campuses completely. And all this on Gretchen’s “April break” she didn’t really have because her AP History teacher wanted all the students taking the AP test in May to come in for a practice test. Shawn drove her to school because no school meant no bussing. And he asked, Are you and Rachael going to pick her up? Well I know Rachael is no school also meant she could leave campus at any time without a parent signature, but she may need a pick up when I’m working. Sure enough the practice test ended while I was working, but Rachael had no problem picking her up by herself.

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#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty

#RedforEd

Teachers
Walk out
Demand better future
Students deserve higher quality
Education

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our prompt for the day (optional as always) takes its cue from Notley’s rebelliousness, and asks you to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or stricture that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it (for example, a poem that starts out in iambic pentameter, and then breaks into sprawling, unmetered lines). Or if you tend to write funny poems, you could rebel against yourself, and write something serious (or vice versa). Whatever approach you take, your poem hopefully will open a path beyond the standard, hum-drum ruts that every poet sometimes falls into.
Happy writing!

Good morning and welcome to day twenty of #NaPoWriMo two-thirds complete today. And guess what, last night teachers in Arizona voted to walk out; they’re not allowed to strike, but it is pretty much the same thing. The walk out will start on Thursday the 26th, giving the governor a chance to respond. Ducey did promise teachers a 20% pay raise by the 2020 school year. When other people looked at his math they said it wasn’t feasible and even though the governor said he would increase teacher pay without moving or decreasing school support money (support staff, building, bussing, etc) teachers and other school officials have no idea if he’ll hold true to that statement. The teachers know they can’t do their job well without support staff, quality buildings, busses and educational materials. The last month of this school year maybe interesting.

Weekend Happenings

Friday was the big day for Gretchen, she was off to see Hamilton with her school. We saw Wicked at Gammage auditorium a few years ago; I don’t remember the playbill being called gammbill. (Okay it was March 10, 2012) more than a few years ago. Gretchen loved her second Broadway musical at Gammage. Mom was a little jealous but not overly when I saw the balcony seating. We had balcony tickets for Wicked and the height really got to me. Then Saturday Gretchen went to a friend’s birthday party, they sat together at the play, so I asked her if everyone was talking about Hamilton at the party. She said yeah, and we were all talking about it in class, too. This one confused me because the play was Friday and they left at 7:30am and didn’t get back to school until 6pm. I totally forgot about her Saturday morning Eng 102 – doh! So Hamilton inspired haiku 😉

Burr Hamilton duel
honor called into question
count ten, turn and solve

Bus ride to Gammage
Spend day watching Hamilton
Bring Mom back play bill

Hamilton, a fool
not throwing away his shot
was killed in the end

The one below is a kimo. You can read about the form at Writer’s Digest.

Two men stand back to back, pistols ready
when honor is in question
after ten, turn to solve

Then on Sunday, Rachael was back to work. She did get over to the medical clinic on campus and was officially diagnosed with the flu, but there wasn’t any other problems so she was told ibuprofen and rest. She actually stayed home on Wednesday and she and I watched the second half of season one of Star Trek Discovery. I’ll make my children into full fledged trekkies come hell or high water. When Rachael came home from work, she had term papers to write. The one thing about being sick for more than a week, very little homework was done. And of course, after she wrote Mom gets to proofread. Oy vey! One of the dullest papers I have read yet. Then we went to see Black Panther so my weekly blog update for the poet blog revival is a day late.

On the positive side, I think all the cleaning I’ve been doing paid off. Rachael got sick over a week ago and no one else in the house has shown any symptoms. And last week I had two haiku published outside of my own website and twitter.

Peter Pan Envy

This is the first article I wrote that was accepted on ritro.com. Note – At Rachael’s first parent/teacher conference, her kindergarten teacher said for the first two weeks of school your daughter would only answer to Peter Pan. LOL! Mom saw nothing wrong with this. Last night Rachael told me their prom theme this year is Neverland. 😉 It couldn’t be more appropriate.

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Rachael Cap & Gown Duke Photography

Have you ever suffered from Peter Pan envy? There are times in our lives when it is a lot easier to say, “I don’t want to grow up”, than it is to face change. Who doesn’t, from time to time, reminisce about their childhood and the adventure your life would take?

It seems as if life is simpler to a child. All one needs is faith, trust, and of course pixie dust and anything is possible. Your wildest dreams can take flight. But as one grows up, faith begins to wobble; trust is hard won; and let’s face it who really believes in fairies? It’s impossible to fly!

Once you stop and think about it, however, Peter Pan envy is a healthy way to deal with change and growing old. I know what you are saying, “What? Is she crazy!” But think back to when you were a child and think about all the dreams you had for when you grew up. Now, what happened to those dreams?

Most of us upon reaching adulthood put our childhood dreams aside. Reality takes a huge bite out of our imagination and as our innocence fades with age so do our dreams. All I’m saying is don’t let this happen, because dreams are what make us who we are. Once we put our childhood dreams aside, our lives become uninspiring. If there is no inspiration to guide us down our path in life, how do we remain equipped to handle all of life’s obstacles?

This May, my daughter will be turning 5 years old. This is a big change in her life. Next year she will be starting kindergarten, or as she puts it, “Big kid’s school”. Luckily she still has the imagination of a child to help her handle this transition. Think back to when you started school; did it make you feel grown up, as if you were leaving childhood behind?

I tell my daughter quite often she needs to stop growing up, and she always laughs. “You can’t stop growing, Mommy. Everyone does” is her reply. Okay, you can’t stop growing unlike Peter Pan. But why is it we believe once we’re grown up we have to give up on our dreams?

Are you thinking about how you felt upon starting school? Now think about the aspirations you had for yourself then. Have you accomplished any of them? If not, maybe it is time you took a lesson from Peter Pan. It is a good way to help conquer your fears. Children believe they can do anything. They don’t have any fear of consequences holding them back.

May is an excellent month to change your life. Spring is in the air. Flowers are blooming, and all around us the earth is renewing itself. There is no better time then the present to change your life. Remember your childhood dreams and make them a reality. Forget about the consequences and do what your heart tells you. Nothing can hold you back if you believe in yourself.

Think like Peter Pan and fly!

Academic Letter

I feel cheated. My daughter got a letter last night for academic achievement. When I was in high school, letters were only for the athletes. I was one of the top 20 students in my high school class. Yes, top 20 out of over 300 students in the class. What did I get? Paper certificates and my picture taken and displayed at the Erie County Fair. I want a letter, now. Since I was born with cerebral palsy there was no way I was going to earn a varsity letter. And I thought playing sports was the only way to earn a letter. Back 25 years ago, I think it was. Does anyone my age have an academic letter?

At any rate, I used my daughter’s accomplishment to write a couple #haikuchallenge on twitter. The first when we got the invitation for the assembly.

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Invitation

 

celebrate great grades
academic achievement
offers no trophy

 

It obviously showed what little I know about academic awards these days, because she came home with this last night.

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Gold medal 4.0 GPA and Academic Letter

 

No athletic skill
Impossible to believe
Daughter earns letter

I have to say I’m also very proud of my oldest daughter who has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school without earning any letter. Gretchen did not understand the fuss because we never went to an academic award ceremony for Rachael. I told her it’s because of the school Rachael attends takes great grades as a given and does not celebrate them. She will be receiving a special diploma in May to honor her four years of hard work. I guess that’s something.

AzMerit Score

For months they’ve been telling us to be prepared for bad test scores on the first common core tests students took here in Arizona last spring. Okay so I won’t be disappointed if my girls’ scores are within the average for the test. Well today Gretchen’s results finally arrived.

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Highly proficient in English

Switch to common core
AzMerit test scores came
Jaw dropping, great grade

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Proficient in math

 

Yes, this mother is having a #proudparent moment especially on the English score: two +s (reading for information & reading for literature) and a check mark (at grade level) on the writing portion. Way to Go, Gretchen! Now if I could see Rachael’s scores…

We Survived High School Walk Through

Back in January, we registered Gretchen for the regular public school, Agua Fria. They told us about the walk through before the school year begins, but no one told me the hassle it would be. Yesterday was the scheduled time for freshmen and seniors. I thought we could go before 10am dentist appointments. We arrived at 8am and by 8:30 were no where near getting in. The person handing out tickets, signed our ticket and said we could come back tomorrow.

Again today we were up bright and early. Shawn saw on friends’ Facebook pages the line was already big before the doors opened at 7:30am! We left the house even earlier this morning, but our time in Disneyland proved to work well. The signed ticket from yesterday got us to the front of the line. Yes, folks we got a fast pass for high school registration.

Freshman year schedule

Freshman year schedule

My german girl is taking German 1; she’s excited. We got cafeteria info, parentvue info and Gretchen got her school ID and we came home. Our timing was perfect because I turned on Good Morning America hoping to catch the Ruffino/Diamond story. It came on less than 5 minutes later.

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My friend, Laura Ruffino and her husband, adopted Liz Diamond’s 4 girls after Liz lost her battle with brain cancer. I dedicated a poem to Liz during napowrimo – I Felt a Funeral in My Brain.

Here is the online fundraising page for anyone who would like to help the Ruffino/Diamond family. It is a very inspiring story from tragic circumstances.

And now I think I can recoup from vacation before school officially starts August 3rd.