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Letter to Governor Bullock

Dear Governor Bullock,

I wanted to reach out to you to offer some feedback, but I first wanted to say that I am deeply sorry for your nephew's tragic death. No family in this country  should have to go through such a heart-breaking moment. Unfortunately, far too many Americans share in that horrible grief.

In the recent Democratic debate, I heard you frame your beliefs around gun violence in this country around three things: 1. being a gun owner, 2. being a hunter, and 3.  your nephew's death. You have every right to share the story of your family's grief in the way that you feel is proper, but I think you missed an opportunity to center the reality of gun violence in this country on victims, and not those who are centering their identity on a recreational activity.

In the wake of yet another mass shooting, this time in El Paso, Texas, I kept thinking about your words. Every American who sets foot in a school, church, theater, concert, or the local Wal-Mart has more of a r…
Recent posts

New Year's Eve

I've struggled to write anything in honor of ending this calendar year. In teacher life, the end of the year is May, the beginning is August, so December just doesn't feel exactly like the end of anything-it's more of a middle feeling, a not quite done thing.

In my life, I feel like I have crammed the equivalent of a year in under 6 months. I left a job and moved in with my parents for four months, leaving Oklahoma for Arkansas. I searched for a house, made an offer on  a house that was denied, bought a different house, then moved into that other house. While that was going on, I took one graduate class, and put off working on my final internship until the last possible moment. I turned thirty; a few weeks later, I pulled off a semi-miracle and turned in my internship assignments, and completed the master's degree. Oh, and I designed and executed a 9-12 grade curriculum- that went (mostly) okay.

Here and now, at the end of December, I just feel drained; even writing t…

Text Selection: Another Teacher Moment

I have spent over $800 of my personal money on books for my classroom. A few friends have sent over books, which I am eternally gratefully, but one of the problems is balancing buying copies for whole class (10-20 copies), book clubs (3-5 copies), and independent books (1 is fine- more is cool too!) And, before you ask, my principal told me there was no money until the end of the school year, and all evidence in the room points to maybe purchasing 2 class sets a year at most.

I know that a problem I have right now is that a lot of the diversity I have (authors of color and women, characters of color, books written in the last 50 years, LGBTQ characters), lives in the book club and independent world. I'm hoping that there will be kids who love an independent book enough to want to make it into a whole class book- which I'm cool with, I just have had genuine trouble finding enough copies to make a class set or, honestly, to justify the cost. I just can't get wholesale prices …

Teacher Life Update

Since the last time I've updated, I've accepted a teaching job across the state line in Missouri, and moved back to rural Arkansas. I have been busy trying to make a decision about housing, while staying at my parents, taking summer graduate classes, and trying to reset my orientation back to teacher. Oh, and planning for my fall internship for graduate school. So....definitely not busy. Nope, not at all.

I will be the English teacher for 9th-12th grades. When I met with my principal, he was supportive of my plans to implement what amounts to a readers/writers workshop model. (I'm excited to finally get the opportunity to try this model out- especially after reading 180 Days (Gallagher and Kittle) and Novel Approach (Roberts) this summer). I asked about curriculum guidance or required texts per grade, and for the first time in my teaching career....I sort of have free reign. This is both really exciting, and.....well, a big responsibility. My priorities are preparing 11th…

A Few Words About Acrylic Yarn

Since January, I've done my best to avoid buying yarn, no matter how crappy my day has been or how much I've wanted to forget about my troubles for a minute in the local big box craft stores. I knew that I wanted to buy some high quality yarn when I went to the Dallas Fiber Festival, and I knew the only way I could psyche myself up to make the purchases was if I knew I had not indulged in several months. And besides, I needed to finish up an assortment of half-started projects anyway.

In the last 2 years or so, I have had the luxury of living in a city, and not only that, I have lived one street over from a Michael's, JoAnn's Fabrics, and a Hobby Lobby. When I have been particularly sad or anxious, I have gotten into the habit of visiting these stores. It's not like I've bought something every time I've been in- heck, I walked around two of them today and made no purchases. However when I have made purchases, all of those purchases have been acrylic or acry…

How I Organize Digital Patterns

This is probably a really dorky post, but one of my all time pet peeves is disorganized files. One of my favorite organization systems I've created is my ststem for keeping all of the patterns orderly. I don't think this is a finished system, but maybe it will give someone an idea!

I keep all of my downloaded files in .pdf format. If there is a blog post or non-.pdf file, I use printfriendly.com to clean up any advertisements or fluff that isn't relevent.

I first created a general "Patterns" folder on my flashdrive. You can see from the screenshot (left), that I use a common naming convention. Basically, type of craft/thing being made/title of pattern.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD: If you are in charge of organizing a lot of documents for yourself or others, please come up with a naming convention. See how everything stays in alphabetical order? BEAUTIFUL. 

 As this folder got...well, a little long, I noticed there was some natural groupings that needed folder.…

Some things I made, and some things I learned, in 2017

I know this may sound bizarre to some, but a lot of things changed for me due to the election of 2016. I simply could not take all of the vitriol and, well, crazy that became my facebook. I love lots of podcasts and NPR, but even they seemed just too much. I want to always be involved and informed, but I simply can not be angry and anxious all of the time. 
Once upon a time (circa 2008), I was very much into crafting blogs and found a sort of peace and belonging in that community. So, since google reader is gone (#RIP), I flooded my facebook with knitting, crochet, loom knitting, and bullet journal groups to get away from all of the arguing and hate and to recapture a peaceful corner of the internet. It inspired me to find my way to The Crochet Crowd over on YouTube and finally learn how to crochet.  I played around with some cotton and attempted to make a washcloth at first, but lesson learned- making even edges requires counting. Instead, I discovered Bella Coco's excellent tut…