June, 2011

Kansas City MAKE Fair

I was first exposed to the MAKE movement about a month ago when the National Writing Project sent me to San Francisco to experience the MAKER FAIRE and bring back ideas on how to incorporate hands on learning to my local writing project.  Since then DESI has decided to back the idea of hands on learning and informational/technical writing, and is planning a state wide conference September 15 & 16. The Ozark Writing Project will also be sponsoring a local conference October 6 & 7 at MSU. I thought it would be interesting to compare the fair I attended on the West Coast with the one being held in the Midwest, so I packed up my family and we took a day trip. While the fair in Kansas City was much smaller, it was filled with the same innovative spirit as the SF fair. I had countless conversations with very creative people. And more importantly, with many students who were involved in MAKE projects through the schools. These children were articulate and passionate about their projects. I’m excited to be a part of this project and look forward to finding ways to incorporate MAKE in my new classroom in Galena.

Here’s just a taste of what I saw:

2011 Master Gardeners Garden Show

A big thank you to the folks who opened their homes for the show- the gardens I wandered through were truely inspirational. Here’s just a snipet of what I saw:


Writing Retreat at Conception Abby

I spent an amazing weekend at the PLWP writing retreat at Conception Abby.  Couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting to write in- or better company! I enjoyed walking the grounds, attending a service, and prowling through the cemetery when I wasn’t writing, writing, writing. Ate at Maid-Right for the first time too-didn’t try the loose meat burger-but my cohorts assured me it was delicious! I came home with thousands of words on two new projects completed-and a rekindled writing flame!


On Memorial day, my husband and I decided we would take a little road trip down to Lost Valley National Park in Arkansas. We got up early, grabbed a cooler and our hiking boots and headed out. However, life doesn’t always go as planned. We should have begun to worry when we saw this:
First sign of trouble


Long story short-a washed out road kept us from enjoying the park. But the trip was not in vain-check out this great “slice of life”

We went with the flow and had a lot of fun. And with that in mind-there’s this little issue of me taking a year off. I envisioned early morning gym workouts, leisurely cups of coffee, lots of riding, reading, writing, and gardening. I was going to tackle and conquer the closet. Then I got an invitation to apply for a job in Galena. I fell in love! It’s a small, rural district and I’ll have the chance to loop with students for three years! So there goes my year  off- but I haven’t been this excited to take a position in years! I’m revamping my bookshelves to hold all the new upper level material I’m merrily snapping up.I’ll continue to ride and garden on weekends. There will be no leisurely lingering over a cup of java in the morning,  but I’ll drink my coffee at night to help keep me awake so I can write after work. And that closet will jut have to wait a while longer. So for me, change is good.  I hope all of you wander off the marked trail sometime soon  and that it brings you unexpected joy.

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