January 4, 2012

Sending out my wish for a good year for all of us in 2012.

I’ve just spent 8 days in Miami, going back to the rain forest of Tacoma tomorrow, but here in the tropics (although it went down to 35° last night) we were picnicking at a state park and swimming in the aqua-blue Atlantic on New Year’s Day.  It’s been a tremendous change of pace for me to spend a week with a working family, my grandsons are 9 and 12, it seems to take 3 adults to get their homework done, not to mention dinner, showers, bed, not to mention lunch boxes and getting to 2 different schools in the mornings. I don’t know how my daughter-in-law manages, as she works full-time and my son often gets home after the boys are in bed. I salute all of you current parents for the triple-time lives you lead, the sacrifices, and the love you pour on the next generation.

I have a bit more insight now about these standardized tests have ruined real education. The 9-year-old is forced to read at a rate of 200 words per minute (Why? I don’t know.) and supposedly comprehend what he is reading.  It certainly doesn’t encourage a love of reading. The 12-year-old, bless him, says he wants to be “an author”.  I hope he succeeds in a big way.  

I haven’t written any poems, even though I was “off” all week. I learned that for me, it is not possible to write poems in a fish-bowl-living room.  Then there was all the excitement about the new bearded dragon,  Kerby.  And making lasagna and tacos, taking pictures of boys climbing trees, and all the rest of it.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. —Julian of Norwich

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2 Responses to January 4, 2012

  1. I hope he succeeds in being an author, too! And that the young one gets to slow down enough to enjoy reading at some point! I am glad that all shall be well…

  2. Linda Spalding says:

    Best Wishes to you Risa, and may all be well for you in this New Year. The week with your family while enjoyable was quite a polar shift from your way of life. From North to South, from slower to faster pace, from privacy to fish-bowl, plus temperature extremes. I assume homecoming would be a rich experience as was your adventure.

    I agree, the standardized tests inhibit the capacity of students love of learning. The detrimental effects of one size fits all, is increasing drop out rates in some areas, plus a ‘conformity’ mind set. However, programs such as AVID (advancement via indiviual determination) which are promoting the individual students success, do predict that “all manner of things shall be well.” It is a voluntary program (developed by a teacher) which schools can elect to include in the curriculum. Do excuse me for going on at length about this issue, for your post gave rise to express this painful awareness.

    I felt exhiliration on seeing the quote by Julian of Norwich for a particular reason. Apart from knowing of her spiritual insights and having visited her cell in Norwich, (decades ago) it is the fact that this particular quote has cropped up (polar opposites) several times recently and in the most unlikely of places unbeknownst to the people gathered or who read it, say on FB. On a personal note, I experienced your entire post as an illumination/direction into 2012.
    In ending this response, I’m amused that I’ve written very little previously, and now this lengthy missive. I am grateful for what I hear, see, feel and taste about your life. Thank you

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