Job Comes to a Close

Scored standardized tests
replaced grant money we lost
no lend to repay

 

At the start of the year, we learned Rachael did not qualify for grant money from FAFSA that she was given her first year at ASU. I also saw an article about a work at home job, remote reader for standardized tests. Well over 20 years ago I received a BS in English Secondary Education and it’s been collecting dust. So I whipped up a resume. I haven’t worked a “real” job in almost 20 years either so I asked a couple friends to be personal references and then what do you know? I qualified for the work. It was nice to be able to earn some money from home. Especially when I cannot drive. I did not have to worry about how to commute to and from.

Tuesday as Gretchen started her new adventure at EMCC, Mom wrapped up her own and did well as I earned more money than was given to Rachael in last year’s grant. We are hoping to be able to finance Rachael’s four year degree so she doesn’t have to graduate in debt. Both my parents and Shawn’s parents paid for our undergrad degrees and it’s great not having to worry about student loans when you graduate. Of course Rachael is doing her part earning her AA while she was still in high school and keeping up her GPA to earn the top academic scholarship from ASU.

Meanwhile even though I only worked for a little over two months it feels strange not to log in and read papers. I got an email from my company this morning thanking all of us for our hard work. Qualified readers will get an email at the end of this year to score for the Spring 2018 test period. I’ll definitely sign up again. It was nice to bring in a little extra money.

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Nasturtium

Nasturtium-Tropaeolum

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Wikipedia

Nasturtium leaves
add some zing to salad greens
with hint of radish

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 5 – In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful.

Here we are on day five of NaPoWriMo. On the first day I told you Rachael is taking an outdoor eduction course at ASU. She is also taking a garden class. She learned about the nasturtium flower and told us how it tasted like radishes. Well Mom wanted a taste and she brought home a couple leaves last week. Whew! They definitely have a kick.

Meanwhile Gretchen is not feeling well and stayed home from school today. Poor girl has slept the morning away. I need to get set up to work, the new adventure I told you about the last day of March. It is online so I am able to work from the comfort of home. Great gig for someone who can’t drive. I need to check on Gretchen to see if she needs anything before my work day begins.

If the little American sentence was not enough poetry to satisfy your nature needs, here is one I wrote on Desert Spring Silver Birch Press published a couple years ago. Enjoy the rest of First Contact day.

End of March

End of March

Single file march
over to the park
children laugh
and dogs bark
outside to play
before it gets dark
she tries to teach
and ignite a spark
for the water cycle
this last day of March
but it is dreary
the wind picks up
students grow weary
looking for desert
plants and animals
how do they adapt
to dwell in the desert
where rain seldom falls
leaving them parched
a hare hops across
their path unexpected
sign of rebirth
or cruel April fool

 

Welcome back everyone! It’s day one of NaPoWriMo. This is my interpretation for the prompt at napowrimo.net: our (optional) prompt. In honor of today’s interviewee, I’d like to challenge you to write a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.

Yesterday, Rachael took Gretchen and me over to the park to teach us about the life cycle in the desert. She is taking a course in outdoor education and had to write and teach a lesson plan. It was in the mid 60s yesterday, and for us desert dwellers it’s chilly. I was cold anyway. When we came to the part of the lesson where it asked us to walk around and find plants and animals who live in the desert. I said, the only animals I see are children and dogs. Rachael said to find, draw and write about the plants then. A few minutes later, she pointed out the rabbits. Her first teaching experience didn’t end up being all about flora after all.

Vote for Rachael

Read Rachael’s message
help her make a difference
every vote counts

Rachael is on the DR.Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Veterinary school is pretty expensive. She has wanted to be a vet since grammar school. She is really doing well in her first semester at ASU still striving towards her goal. I am one proud mom. Please go read her page and vote for her – THANKS!