Tag Archives: Reading

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.”

 

Little Free Library

18 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

 Our daughter, Rebekah, brought a book to read on the flight up from Florida and it was a page turner. Now as her visit was drawing to a close, she needed a fresh book for the long wait at the airport. Isn’t it crazy that the wait to get on the airplane is longer than the flight?  I knew that our local Community Center had a Little Free Library, and suggested we look there for a book to read on the flight home.

 

 

The anticipation of not knowing what you will find, makes it a fun adventure. Will it be a classic or a thriller by a popular author? I would be tempted to choose a local cookbook if one were in the box. Of course, choosing a book or books to leave is fun too. Should one leave something funny, self-help or inspirational?  I think leaving a book that I enjoyed would be fun.

Of course, if you are an Indie author, leaving one of your own books could be fun too!

What sort of book would you leave at a Little Free Library?

 

Speaking of authors and books, Rebekah is participating in the Grace Filled Summer Book Sweepstakes.

 

We are entering an exciting and happy time of year. Summer…a time for fun, relaxing, going barefoot, hanging out with family and friends around the grill.  It’s the perfect time for the Grace Filled Summer Sweeps 2018. And summer reading has never been this much fun with eight stellar authors and their exciting and insightful books. This is a sweepstakes. So, each author will give away a copy of her book according to the most interesting, clever comment.  In your comment, please let us know which book you’re dying to read, and also your second choice. This way we’ll be sure to give everyone a book that’s to their reading taste.

 

If you are interested in entering, head on over to the blog:

 https://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/grace-filled-summer-book-sweeps-2018/

 

 

 

 

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

What Type of Reader are You?

29 Jun

On the Porch
Onisha Ellis

 

This morning I was idly thinking about my reading habits. I consider myself a “fluff’ reader.  I didn’t enjoy what my teachers called the classics. Steinbeck and Hemingway bored me to tears and I really wanted that old man in the sea to just cut-the-line. And what was the point in the Iliad and the Odyssey and sirens luring men to their death? Hello, who didn’t know that men will fall for a pretty face and enticing body. Reading the book was not going to change that. Give me a good mystery or romance novel. I also enjoy a rousing action story.

I definitely don’t enjoy fantasy novels, although I have read a couple that engaged my attention. Thinking about reading made me wonder about authors. What influences their choice of genre?

It seems to me that authors of fiction fall into two very general categories, fixers and story tellers. Fixers write in genres that involve building worlds that are a better place, especially fantasy novelists. The authors who write dystopia and thriller/war create problems then set about solving them. Romance novelist are serious fixers. They create wounded characters and spend the entire book setting them up to be restored, complete with a happy ever after ending.

Story tellers take a more gentle approach. Their characters need to be fixed but that is not the point of the novel. My favorite story tellers are D.E. Stevenson and Miss Read.

 

 

 

Their books and writing style are now considered simplistic and old fashioned but they draw me into the lives of their characters and include me in their journey. James Herriot was a fine story-teller as well.  His books are classics I can relate to.

 

 

Reader friends, are you drawn to fixers or story tellers? To my author friends, I would enjoy your take on my theory. Do you see your writing in terms of fixing or telling a great story?

Voracious, and Novel Cure

16 Nov

1

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistYesterday, I went to the SPCA to cancel a pickup appointment I had made for a desk. I’d realized how fond I was of that desk and that I wanted to keep it, so no pickup.

While I was in the thrift store I bought a hard-cover book for a dollar. It’s a romantic suspense novel by Elizabeth Lowell called, Amber Beach. I then went to the library and searched the donation shelves as usual, but this time I found nothing to buy.

In the new books section however, Voracious: A hungry reader cooks her way through great books, by Cara Nicoletti waited. Who wouldn’t want to read about books and food in the same tome? Cara Nicoletti grew up spending time in her grandfather’s butcher shop and eventually became a butcher, baker, (but not candlestick maker) herself. She always loved books and many of the days in the shop were spent sitting behind the cash-register reading. In Voracious she writes about the books she has read and offers her own recipes for many of the dishes she found described there. The first is, “Little House in the Big Woods Breakfast Sausage.” Cara also teaches sausage making classes. I probably will just read the recipes and maybe they’ll change my cooking for the better by osmosis. I do love this type of memoir and this one has everything you could ask for. I took it to the desk and checked it out. It’s good and I recommend it.

When I got home, Novel Cure filled my mail box in a brown wrapper from an Amazon source. I was pretty excited about getting that one. It will last a good long time. It’s so jam-packed with witty writings about novels that I can’t spare the time to count them all. Novel Cure is a bibliotherapy book meant to help people select novels that show characters as either good or bad role models and can help with all kinds of mental and emotional hurricanes. I wasn’t as interested in using it for my personal aberrations as for the enjoyment of reading about books in a book written by witty and educated writers like Ella Berthound and Susan Elderkin. Someday I may run into one of them in a discard situation.

When I pulled the Novel Cure from its envelope I had a decision to make. Which one should I open first? It was like trying to decide whether to have a chocolate sundae with nuts or just a little dish of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Since the Novel Cure is a dense, thick book and I can keep it as long as I want, I decided to go for the library book first. I could read, Elizabeth Lowell’s Amber Beach any time and then if I liked it share it with my neighbor.

I realize that one of my favorite subjects for book is books. I have a yellowed copy of Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Marley, copyright 1917. Of course mine is a later edition. I’ve read it twice and plan to read it again soon. So far it’s my favorite except for one I had by an author I can’t remember (nor can I recall the title) but I can probably find it again someday if I try. Of course none of them is only about books. They’re about characters and what they do and what happens to them. That’s what I like. If they’re well done they’re the memoirs, too, of the people who compiled them.

Another book I’m thrilled with right now is The Singer Trilogy, by Calvin Miller: the mythic retelling of the story of the New Testament. I guess that makes it about a book, doesn’t it? It consists of Singer, The Song, and The Finale. I loved it so much that I have purchased it on Audible so I can listen to it on my phone. I haven’t read anything that so jolted my soul and spirit or that gave me so much hope and encouragement since I started reading the Bible over 60 years ago. I got, The Singer from the church library discard shelf. I couldn’t believe it had been left there. Was it just for me?

At Calvary sung by Linda Randall

Voracious: yummybooks.com (blogs)

Caution to vegetarians, Ms Nicoletti is a butcher and some pictures on the website would be for other butchers to admire. But those of us whose parent was a butcher can probably either enjoy or overlook them.

Do You Like Books or Love Books

14 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistAbout a year ago, I started taking a family consisting of Mother, Laura, two-year-old Sunny, teen-aged cousin, Rita, and fifth grader, Clarisse, to the library every three weeks. I did it because Rita is an avid reader, but lost a book from the high school library and couldn’t check out any more until it was found or paid for (which eventually happened). I understood what it might be like not to have anything to read because I too am an incurable reader, though until recently I’ve only been able to read LP books.

The first time we went, Rita selected so many books that when she stacked them she had to hold them at arm’s length. She placed her chin on the top one to steady the stack. That was an endearing sight.

We went again this last Sunday, but this time I was the greedy one. I checked out six novels and three non-fiction books from the NEW bookshelves. Books are almost as important as shelter or clothing to a writer.

Fiction

  1. The Fever Tree, Jennifer McVeigh
  2. Lookaway, Lookaway, by Wilton Barnhardt.
  3. The Cleaner of Chartres, by Salley Vickers
  4. Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg
  5. A Nearly Perfect Copy, by Allison Amend
  6. One Glorious Ambition, by Jane Kirkpatrick.

Non-Fiction

  1. Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in eating and living from America’s best chefs, by Allison Adato.
  2. This is the Story of A Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
  3. To the Moon and Timbuktu, by Nina Sovich,

So that’s the list of what I have to look forward to. I feel rich. I teased Rita a bit when I showed her I had more books this time than she did. She was proud to announce that she left a few she wanted, knowing they would be there the next time she came back. Oh, yes? I’m not so sure about that, I wasn’t taking any chances this time.

Do you have your books in the public library? We have ours in two libraries in our county and in the Orlando Public Library as well. Bill just asked and they took them. You never lose by giving things away. God always gives more than we do, and some people read so many books they can’t possibly afford to buy them all. I understand Amazon Kindle has a lending policy, as well. There are a lot of benefits to being open-handed. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

boat

 

Top Grade Literacy

11 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

jungle divoran

I’ve always liked kids, reading, and books. That was the reason I took on a once a week job with reading challenged kids. It was fun. I learned a bit about ADHD, Dyslexia, and people who can read, but don’t comprehend what they read. We had young man stuck in the sixth grade because although he could mentally photograph a page, he could not explain what the words meant.

Several people I know have severe dyslexia. One is on welfare for it; the other is a brilliant doctor who gets books for the blind from the library so he can enjoy adventure books in his spare time like anybody else.

That’s one side of the coin. The other side is a friend who could go through ten romance novels a day and still take good care of her husband, children, and home. She ended up going to adult classes to get her college degree and supporting her children when her husband left them.

I know a couple of people who have turned reading into a fine art. One is Albert, a tall brown fellow about ten years old who is a wonderful natural athlete, especially as a basketball player. The first time I heard Albert read aloud in Sunday school I was thrilled and amazed. He had inflection; depth, tone, rhythm. I asked whether they  recognize his skills at school, and he confirmed that they do. He reads the announcements over the intercom every morning. When asked, his mother said she had read to him with those same embellishments since he was a baby and he had picked it up from there.

The other artistic reader who was an English teacher, taught her children to read before they went to school. Now she is frail and cared for by a daughter and a son who is a policeman. I never have heard one word of complaint from this dear lady. She’s always telling other people how wonderful they are.

She tells me that, frequently, her daughter calls her on the phone and reads to her from Jane Austen. They just finished, “Northanger Abby.” Every night her son reads a chapter from a James Herriot novel. “I get a bedtime story,” she says, happily.

Does that thrill you as much it does me? I’m not going to say reading aloud is a lost art. Obviously, it is not and someday perhaps someone will read to me in just that way, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying my IPod, http://www.audible.com, and my all time favorite author whose books are recorded for a new generation: D. E. Stevenson.

The best book to read, aloud or silently is, of course, the Bible, which can change your life for the better forever.

Matthew 4:4

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

*kids.

Trade-Off

7 Mar

I think I may have discovered a hidden treasure. While visiting with a friend’s mom we began discussing books and this lead to writing which led to the discovery that she has been writing for years. Of course I pounced at the chance to have her as a guest on our blog. So today I am sharing with you  Louise Gibson, a friend and poet who has a delightful sense of humor Onisha

 

 

 

Trade Off

 

Pigeons are not on my list of favorite creatures

 

They destroy my peace of mind.

 

The feeder in my yard was dwarfed

 

By pigeons of every kind.

 

 

They came each day and flapped their wings

 

As they fought for a position.

 

The feeder was too small, you see,

 

Which affected their disposition.

 

 

 

My patio used to be a place

 

Of quietness and contentment

 

Until the pigeons came in droves

 

And filled me with resentment.

 

 

 

“Lord” I cried, “I need your help

 

I cannot stand their spats.”

 

The Lord obliged, to my chagrin

 

And sent instead eight cats.

 

 

 

No squirrels, no birds, they fled in fear-

 

The cats you see, do domineer.

 

Now you find no pigeons on Chipola

 

God sent them all to Lake Eola!

 

 

 

English: A flock of domestic Rock Pigeons (Col...

Downtown Orlando at Sunrise

Downtown Orlando at Sunrise (Photo credit: camflan)

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