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School Days Again, Seven

10 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

On my next Wednesday morning with second grade, I needed help finding the room. The vice principal was just leaving the office where I had stopped to get my sticky badge. I stepped over and asked if she might be going my way. She’s a young woman who keeps up with her job as the coordinator for the volunteersand a lot more. You can see her and the principal who is also a young woman all over the campus readily available when and where they are needed. We chatted as we walked outdoors on our way to the second-grade pod. I took in a few more details of where I was and where I was going and my day began.

 

 

My first client was the seven-year-old shiny ebony child I’d had the week before. He has a favorite book and clings to it as if it were the only book in the world. We discuss his others, but we return to the first one. We had a sort of breakthrough on the word frilly…the marigold in the story bragged to the pumpkin that she was frilly. I suggested that frilly rhymed with silly which got us started on the concept of rhyming and my little pal made a poem of his own.  We both enjoyed that.

Next customer was an adorable little blonde with big blue eyes. I discovered while working with her that she is an artist. We were together for about half an hour, I didn’t know why, but before leaving her with me, the teacher had told her, “Now sweetie, don’t play.” As we turned out to have so much fun together we both needed the warning. This child said she loved dancing and children’s chorus and when we got to the poem making stage she didn’t want to stop. We segued into taking a walk around the big empty computer lab which was our room for the time being. When we got settled again she insisted on drawing a portrait of me. I gave her my small pad of sticky notes and she began to concentrate in earnest.

 

 

When she finished, she showed me the pictures assuring me, “This is your headband, don’t worry, it’s just your headband.” Then she finished off the second figure which was my pet (I don’t know what kind of pet). When she reached for the pad again I had to hide it under my hand because we needed to get back to class. By that time, I knew why the teacher had reminded us not to play. I have the same propensity to flit around and have a good time as my student does. I may get fired too,because the principal walked quickly through the room when we were giggling. As she passed she did thank me for coming. I do hope she never has to thank me for going.

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

 

School Days Again- Six

3 Dec

My Take

DiVoran LItes

 

What a wonderful classroom MS Conner* has. It is full of positive energy. While I waited for my assignment, I read some of the art-lettered signs tacked to the walls. I was interested in the ones that gave the Florida Standards for Language Arts: Reading, Literature, and Writing. One sign said, Life Science, another was Math Standards.

 

Photo credit Pixabay

 

The room has several four-part desks that can be reassembled into whatever patterns are needed. If a child needs to be alone to concentrate on his work for a while his desk can be separated from others. At the four-part desks students sit facing each other as if they were at a kitchen table. Sometimes they are supposed to have discussions. Large tote bags full of library books wait where the children can reach them for reading occasions.

Although I am not a math person I did appreciate the way MS. Conner taught it. I wished I had a teacher like that. Maybe I wouldn’t have turned away from math and math teachers as I did. I may or may not have dysgraphia, I do often transpose numbers. We passed out foam numbers to use for addition. It was like counting money. My dad taught me how to do that when we had the restaurant and I needed to know how to make change.

Oh,and by the by, the computers the children have are wonderful. Each child has an 81/2x 11 lap-top they use for almost all classes. When not in use, the devices live in a row hooked up to chargers like piglets getting nourishment from their mamas. Each child has a sign-in, bar-coded card. They are learning to watch their batteries to see that they don’t get too low. One little girl is so proficient that she helps the others. Another was savvy enough to be able to help the volunteer…me.

Photo credit Pixabay

 

The teacher, instead of writing on a black, green, or whiteboard, projects videos from her computer on her desk. The biology video was lovely. Over the years our country has had questions and fears about sex education in schools. In this second-grade classroom it’s just a part of science, which most of the children seem to love. It explains the stages of life in ways they can understand. Some of the children are becoming aware of plants and the workings of nature by watching them. MS. Conner says one child is making progress faster because her mother selects nature videos at home. If there’s anything our country needs more than any other thing it is more scientists of all kinds.

 

Photo credit Pixabay

 

Conner is patient with the children. She only raises her voice when the children are not paying attention in class. She always calls them her friends and compliments them on the things they do right. A few of the children require extra patience and understanding. That has probably been true all through history, but perhaps a bit more so today. To quiet them,she says, “Catch a bubble,” and they puff out their cheeks. They can’t talk or yell with their cheeks puffed out. She explains quietly that her friends must not speak out of turn, whine, or fight. Over and over she calms them with her voice. She is so patient I wonder whether or not she ever loses it.

 

Photo credit Pixabay

 

When we went outside for recess, MS. Conner had a new toy. It was a parachute big enough for several children to get under. Two of them took hold of the handles and made it fly up and come back down over them.  They all loved it. One second-grader had on a tee shirt that said, “Be Happy, Be Brave, Be You.”

*not MS. Conner’s real name

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

 

School Days Again-Five

26 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Another week passed and I found a note inmy email from a second-grade teacher who wanted to know if I would like to come and work with her class. Fortunately,the FBI had accepted me. A few more emails and I was promised to second grade.

 

Photo Credit  Pixabay

At the corner where you turn in at the school, a group of teens with all kinds of percussion instruments tapped out a lively beat. It felt like a personal welcome, but I soon learned that it was walk to school day and the young players had come from the High School to encourage children and parents as they arrived.

Inside, I got lost the minute I stepped into the room next to the office, but there was someone to escort me around the maze of octagonal buildings. Even then I ended up in the wrong second-grade classroom. When I walked into the roomful of children I met a pretty blond teacher in a red dress. She asked what I had volunteered for and when I told her reading, she said, “Oh couldn’t you come yet another day and help us too?” Suddenly, I had a strong urge to cry. It was a coming-home kind of crying because at last,I was where I needed to be. I told the teacher how I felt and she said, “I feel that way every day.” Later I wondered if she was being funny or serious. Either way, I enjoyed the interchange.

Photo Credit  Pixabay

At first, my assigned teacher failed to understand that I was there only to help the children learn to read. At any rate, my real goal was to read one-on-one with as many kids as I could from eight o’clock in the morning until their early lunchtime at eleven thirty.They gave me a large, empty room to work in.

Photo Credit  Pixabay

The first reader, a small ebony boy with shiny golden eyes wiggled in his chair like a puppy and we immediately became buddies. His favorite book was about planting seeds and growing things. I imagined that someday his old grandfather,if he had one, would teach him how to grow a garden. When he left, another child came, then another—three in all.

                               Photo Credit  Pixabay

 

 

 

Back in the classroom,  it was time for the science video and teaching session. After that we all went out on the playground for recess. When we got back at math-time I told the teacher quietly, “I don’t do math,” and she excused me.

I got lost halfway back to the office but there’s always someone to show you the way. As I started the car I counted my blessings. I can’t wait to go again.

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Thea and the Porch Crisis

19 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

 

Dictated by Thea (two years old)

Typed by DiVoran

Florida, November, 2018

 

Thea says:

I spy a squirrel on the swaying branches

Of an African Daisy bush

Eating with tiny paws.

He chomps down on a yellow petal.

 

Photo by Pixabay

I must have dozed off, for suddenly

I hear a frightful pounding on the roof

It’s Squirrely 1, chasing Squirrely 2.

They squirrel-fly onto the tallow tree.

 

Photo by Pixabay

 

Photo by Pixabay

 

Floating leaves catch my eye.

Squirrel brothers tight-rope-circus-walk across the power line.

 

Today:

Something terrible…

I asked to be let out

WOMAN opens the door

It’s ssooo cold on the porch.

 

“I’m going to make my bed.” Woman says.

I try to find a warm place,

But when WOMAN comes back

I streak into the house.

 

WOMAN picks me up for a hug.

I hate to be picked up and hugged,

But WOMAN does feel warm.

I wiggle to be let down,

 

Purr-meow and prowl aroun’.

Rub my cheek on her shoe.

Murmur my song, “leettmee owt.”

WOMAN lets me out again

 

 

It’s still cold

WOMAN turns on heat in the house

Why can’t WOMAN heat the porch?

For mmee. Pleeze?

 

WOMAN lets me out once more.

Then I’m in again for a second

Then begging with

White paws on her knee.

 

Looking into her squinty eyes with

My round, yellow-green ones.

When I stare at her

WOMAN can read my mind.

 

But, she says no. I pout and purr,

But I know no and soon obey.

Find a rattle mouse to play.

And the next day:

 

MAN makes a box shelter and

WOMAN puts me inside and holds my tail until I

Feel the warmth of my furry body fill it up.

“Wait here,” Man says, “until God sends a spotlight

For you to bask in the rest of the day.

 

Photo by Pixabay

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

School Days Again 4

12 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

I waited two full weeks to hear about my acceptance as a certified school volunteer..

 

Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash

 

At the beginning of the third week, I was thinking I should ask somebody. I called the School Board and they said, “Yep, you’re good to go.” You can go over to the school right now and start.”

I didn’t want to go over there, “right now.” I had no idea where to go or what to do. I wanted to know the next step. I called the school and the woman there connected me to the voice mail of the volunteer coordinator. I left a message, but she never got back to me, I believe it was because they have just made changes in the phone system there.

The next day the School Board left a message on our phone telling me my fingerprints had been rejected and we had to do them over, no expense to me. So I wasn’t good to go after all.

Before that day came, I talked with a friend from our church’s Book Chat. She is a volunteer at the library with the very impressive background of having been a research librarian herself. I asked about her fourth-grade grand-daughter who is brilliant. The last time we talked, the granddaughter was doing virtual school, but it wasn’t right for her she was way ahead. Next,they tried a charter school. The granddaughter got the only slot, and she began to succeed. She loved her teachers and they loved her. My friend, the grandmother, said she had volunteered to work in the media center where her granddaughter attended, but they didn’t need any more help, not even from a certified research librarian.

Today I went back to have my fingerprints done again. When I told the receptionist I was back for the second time she got everybody hustling to tend to me. I’d been told not to use hand sanitizer but to wear lotion on my finger-tips. I had done that, but when I got to the computer every one of my prints were labeled, poor quality again. The finger-print taker said she would send them to the FBI and if they were rejected again, she would ask for a name check. I guess that meant an FBI background check. I was feeling more and more important, not discouraged at all. Hmm, certififed and approved by the FBI. I was coming up in the world.

 

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

 

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

A New Way

6 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

School Days 3

5 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

I went to the school board website to fill in an application as a school volunteer. I’m not great at filling out things on the computer, but with a bit of help,I got it done last week. I would have to pay thirty-five dollars for a set of fingerprints and be charged eight dollars a year for the prints to stay on file.

Photo credit Pixabay

Bill drove me to the County School Board building in another town, but before we went, we had lunch at Chick-Fi-l A with our daughter. I love that place. It’s feels like a giant family reunion. We mingle with military people, sports team people, and lots of mothers and a few dads with babies and pre-school children. Children are God’s best work of art. I have to be careful that I don’t just sit and gaze at them.

 

photo credit Melody Hendrix

I’ve always liked children, that’s the main reason I want to help with reading again. Over the last year,I’ve been a bit slow as I recuperated from an emergency gall-bladder operation. While I was getting back my strength, I felt as if I had no real purpose in life, so as I got well I prayed for God to use me in some way that He knew I could manage.

Since it was around lunchtime when we got to the School Board the tiny security room in the large building was standing room only. Eventually,it was my turn to go in. I had a pink sheet that asked if I had ever been arrested. They wanted to know what, where, when, why, and how. There were strict instructions against lying.

Thank the Lord, I have never been arrested…uh, well but… when I was in high school, I got hauled into the police station for drag-racing at night on our main street. I kind of hated to quit, because I had always won. Maybe I won because of the Green Hornet Hudson my dad let me drive. The other driver, the Lutheran pastor’s son got taken in too. Apparently the police liked him, though. They let us go without calling our parents. I didn’t know until later that Dad had replaced a transmission on the Green Hudson Hornet. Let’s not tell the School Board any of this, okay?

 

Photo credit commons WikiMedia.org

Back to the fingerprints, which aren’t nearly as exciting as drag racing. (Kids don’t try it at home). The fingerprint space had two big desks in it which meant four people filled the room. Did you know that fingerprinting is now done on a computer? The old way was probably better, but at least I didn’t have ink on my hands. Words come up for each print at the top of the monitor. Mine always said, “Poor Quality.” I figured I had worn off most of my prints like the woman I heard saying hers had been rejected because she was a cook and they had mostly burnt off. Next,I will get an email notice of whether I passed or not.

 

Author, Poet and Artist

 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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