Spoken Word Poetry


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I was first introduced to Spoken Word Poetry about two years ago when Jamie Tworkowski mentioned it once on twitter. Later, I heard a number of students perform it in a “Poetry Slam” at a teacher’s writing conference in Orlando. It reads more like prose, with but with a definite rhythm. Of course, there is beautiful similes and metaphors sprinkled throughout. Most importantly, it is intended to be “spoken” aloud for an audience.

My favorite poem I have heard was performed at TED Conference by Sarah Kay. I had not watched this video for about a year, but it came to mind during two different conversations this week. I was able to share it with one close friend and one complete stranger. They both loved it, and I thought you might enjoy hearing it, too.

Sarah Kay’s performance of “If I Should Have a Daughter” is in the first three minutes of the video. If you are interested, you can also watch her lecture at the conference. It’s a little lengthy, but very interesting. Let me know what you think!


A Window Into My World


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If you peer into my classroom window at different times throughout the day, you are bound to see many different scenes. Kids might be running to one of the four corners of the room holding a whiteboard with a math problem scrawled across the front; playing our own version of Four Corners. They could be sitting quietly at their desks scribbling lines furiously as they compose their Harris Burdick papers. Or, you might find them under their desks, laying across the floor, with their nose buried in a good book. I love the peaceful, serene moments you can observe through the window; the calm before the storm. This is the time when I am able to lesson plan, organize, and reflect on any changes that might need to be made to my instruction. There’s a lot that goes on behind the panes of these windows, and I enjoy every minute of it.

Books I Read: The 2013 Edition


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As a teacher, I spend my days thinking. Deeply. Critically. It’s extremely taxing on my little brain, and one of my favorite pastimes is to come home, sit on my little porch, and read. Reading (as well as a good stress-relieving workout) is my escape, so when I flip through the pages of a novel, I need it to quickly transport me away from thoughts of: How do I differentiate tomorrow’s lesson on making inferences? How am I going to explain to Cara’s parent’s that their “perfect” child deserves a C in writing? Why is Luke struggling in math, but not in reading? And a million more similar questions.

Following, are some of the books that I enjoyed this past year (Shout out to goodreads.com for keeping tabs on all of them for me!). These are listed in order of my preference:

images-2The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth – I loved the first two books in this series, and I currently have the third on hold at the library. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, you’ll also enjoy these. There are many unexpected biblical allusions, and each of the major groups that live within the city where the book is set, prides themselves in having a character trait we would say comes from the fruit of the Spirit. The heroine, attempting to unify a warring city, is learning that everyone should embody each of these characteristics.

images-1Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. This is a non-fiction book that blew me away from beginning to end. I know very little about Japan’s involvement in WWII, outside of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but this book is an Olympic athlete’s biography of his time in a Japanese POW camp. The best part is the ending. You won’t believe who he meets that changes his life. I bought it for my dad and he has recommended it to every person he has spoken to since the moment he turned the last page.

images-3The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. A friend of mine was appalled by the fact that I hadn’t yet read this book, so she immediately went out and bought me a copy. It is a great love story and the plot is very creatively written. This is definitely one to “take you away” from reality for a little while.

Room by Emma Donoghue. This story sounds extremely intense, but because it’s told from the viewpoint of a child, it’s easy to handle. It’s quite the adventure, and I loved it!images-4

images-5Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This is a mystery that was quite gripping in the beginning, but by the end of the book I had lots of questions. It just got too out of hand. Go easy on the twists, Gillian. But, then again, it had great reviews! You just might like it. 🙂

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer. This was an interesting novel about a 1920s bank imagesrobber. He never hurt anyone; he just wanted to keep himself from suffering in poverty.

images-6The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This book is fun, but definitely not my favorite. It’s an underdog’s story about a young boy getting the girl. The stuff they say and do as teenagers was the furthest thing from my mind when I was that age, so the book definitely made me a little uncomfortable, but I think that was part of the point. I’m a goody-goody. So what?

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Blah. This story was told from Ernest Hemingway’s wife’s point of images-7view. His writing is great, but he was one crazy man. This story further confirms that and makes you a little sick after hearing the author’s version of the details.

What are some books I should add to my reading list for the new year? I have a few in mind, but I’m always open to suggestions!

Weekly Photo Challenge: One




My little abode signifies one, because it is, simply put, built for one. Well, one and a smidgen if you count my cuddly cat, Fancy. With the exception of the big-city traffic on Dunlawton Ave, moving back to my hometown has been wonderful. It’s nice to feel welcome even though I show up, unannounced, at my parents for dinner. Mom always has something delicious cooking, and it’s usually fresh out of my dad’s garden! Also, the school I was able to land a job with is one of the best in the county. To be considered an effective teacher compared to some of the ladies I work with, is an honor.

I’m just one trying to make a difference in the lives of nineteen little ones and countless others that I’ve begun to encounter in my new journey. Change is good and I’m excited to see what lies ahead.

2012 in Pictures


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A Very Merry Christmas


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There’s nothing like being home with your family for Christmas. I love all of our traditions, both old and several new. This year we were able to bring out my favorite old tradition of waking up before the sun rises Christmas morning. A big thank you goes out to the little one who was added to our family! We have actually added a couple of stockings to our mantle the past few of years. It’s a blessing to be part of this family!

This was the beautifully wrapped gift my sister gave me. What’s inside is just as beautiful! It’s Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. Get ready for some fun projects! You can find more information about Gertie on her blog: http://www.blogforbettersewing.com She has some great ideas and sewing patterns.IMG_0300Meghan and Alex getting help from the little one with unwrapping. And the following picture is my Christmas tower that my amazing cousin, Jeff, put together for me!
IMG_0309IMG_0321The remaining pictures are some shots that I took with my new camera. I might have gotten a little carried away, but it’s something you really have to do with photography. I believe the photographer’s motto is: live and learn. or maybe practice makes perfect? Sorry I am far from perfect, but I hope you enjoy these. I also hope you had a wonderful Christmas, as well.

The King is Coming!


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Bless the Lord God of Israel because he has come to help and has delivered his people. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house, just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago. He has brought salvation from our enemies and from the power of all those who hate us. He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered his holy covenant, the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham. He has granted that we would be rescued from the power of our enemies so that we could serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes, for as long as we live. You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way. You will tell people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.”

-Luke 1:68-79


The King is coming! Seek Him, find Him, and rest in Him today. He promises to give light to those in darkness and guide you along the path of peace. Merry Christmas, dear friends and family!


Your Love is Strong & Flowers Better Dressed


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I’ve wrestled for a while about how to write this post because it’s difficult to put words to the source of your inspiration. I’m not usually inspired to write. It doesn’t come easily for me. I’m inspired to go and to do, but rarely to write.

I have to force my students to write; telling them their grade hangs in the balance. There is even one boy who cries literally every time that I pass out a new writing prompt. That’s sort of how this feels for me, but I write, in large part, because of my students. I tell them that they have to practice their writing, and I regularly (don’t tell them that it’s not really so regular) practice, too.

So, I gave my writing practice place a title that is inspirational to me. The name Flowers Better Dressed comes from artist Jon Foreman’s song, “Your Love is Strong.” The lyrics are derived from Matthew 6, beginning with the The Lord’s Prayer, then followed by a command not to be anxious. I drew my inspiration from the lines:

I look at the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

It reminds me that, no matter what I have (or don’t have), I am clothed in the Lord’s righteousness. He has given me all that I need and if He has given so much care for the flowers, how much more will He care for me?

It’s hard to remember that promise day in and day out, but I pray for constant reminders of it. I seek it in community, in my sewing, in my reading, in my classroom. I know I will find it because He has proven Himself faithful time and time again. I choose to clothe myself in His love, which is all around us.