Little Lamb

So I have this poem in my head: “The Lamb” by William Blake

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Because my son and I went to Borders this afternoon and on the way we saw a strawberry flag flying from the local U-Pick farm sign, we stopped in to check out a local apples etc. farm.  Yippee!  They’re open at last after a long winter.  “Let’s go!” my son shouted and I swerved onto the side road.   Turns out we missed the strawberry picking for the day, which ended at noon, but we were able to buy a quart in the farm store.  Of course, while there we had to say howdy to the animals, and there were several beautiful lambs there.  Gosh, their cute!!

This one was pure white and hanging out with its mom frolicking about, but he ran into the barn before I could get a picture of the pair.  I guess he wanted to say hello to his sleeping pal… (sorry it’s fuzzy — camera phone!)

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Then I noticed two other sleeping babies right by the fence next to my feet.  They were so close that I didn’t see them, but man, were they sacked out!  Their little heads are intertwined — I’m thinkin’ twins…?

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Anyway, we’re having strawberry shortcake and deviled eggs for dinner.  (My son’s choice!)  I figured, who cares, honestly — good enough.  Eggs are a fine protein, and strawberries are excellent anti-oxidant rich fruit.  Too bad we’re out of lamb chops in the freezer, though.  For some reason I have a hankerin’ for some grilled lamb kabobs… 🙂

SPRING is here at last

Finally!  We had a record-breaking high today of 93 degrees, and the leaves are definitely STARTING to unfold.  Still a ton of bare branches, but plenty of pollen and more and more bright spots of green and patches of flowers.  Spring is here at last.  Felt like an interminably long winter this year.

My son and I planted seeds in old cardboard egg cartons we’d been saving for a couple of months.  Hubbie and Boo and I made two beautiful raised bed planters to replace part of our ugly lawn.  We’ve now got those done, chicken wire stapled below to keep out critters, good organic soil inside each 3 x 3 x 1 foot wooden box, and a plan to sow some seeds directly outside and others to be transplanted in another month when they’re ready.  Carrots, tomatoes, green beans, zuchini, yellow crookneck squash, pumpkins, rhubarb, and we’re thinking of trying to grow potatoes, too.  I have some cucumber seeds, but that may be beyond me.  I’m not sure about buying and instaling a frame for them to climb on at a 30 degree angle.  Bad enough to have to stake tomatoes and tie beans!  Whew — so much to learn!

Honestly, I’m no gardener.  I’m expecting this not to work out very well.  I guess that’s why we belong to a local CSA farm.  So we won’t starve….  But I thought we could learn a bit of gardening, too.  So today, when my son and I were working on the garden out front, three neighbor kids we hardly know came over and asked if they could help.  Of course, we said yes, and thus ensued about an hour of teaching the kids how to ge the bed ready and plant carrot seeds.  About a week or so and we should start seeing sprouts.  I told them to check back then.  And then 70 days to maturity.  I said they could have some of the carrots.  Cute kids.  Made me feel really neighborly, teaching the  children about where food comes from!

I’ll try to take some pictures and post next time.  For  now, just wanted to let y’all know that we’ve got winter on the run at last in New England.  Even though there’s a danger of hard frost for another six weeks, heck, when we start getting LEAVES, winter’s through!  I’ll just hold back those tomatoes for a bit….

Isn’t March SPRING…?

Yeh, well, so I think Spring is coming….  March is supposed to be Spring, right?  Only not so much today.  This weekend was in the low 60s and today five inches of snow.  Hmmm.  Well, at least my son enjoyed it…

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He created a bow out of some branch that came down int he last storm plus some string he found.  Thena  neighbor kid gave him one of his arrows (my son had created one of those, too, but it was pretty wobbly).  Teh thing is that with snow on the ground, archery is a lot more fun.  (1) You can see the arrow better against the white snow, and (2) It sticks into the snow much more firmly thatn th ground, so one can easily see how much one “rocks.”

So, I’ve been hunkering down lately and doing a lot of grading.  I just checked tonight and saw that I have already surpassed the total number of posts to my on-line students from all of last semester by about 30% and it is only midterm.  I decided they needed more attention this term, and it is paying off.  But 362 posts in six weeks is a bit much!  LOL

Other than teaching and snow, I have nothing at all to report.  I am an empty-headed writer who has no time to write right now.  Oh, wait, I almost forgot.  I’m a liar fo sure!!   An essay collection that I’ve been editing and trying to find a publisher for, let’s seee, it has been a few years…well, anyway, I secured a contract at last.  Yay!  So I guuess I have been writing.  Just not Grandma’s book.  Sigh.  But I’m happy to get our collection published at least.

And now on to that stack of Freshmen essays….

“writing assignments for bad kids…”

Hmmm.  Well, that’s what showed up on my wordpress dashboard yesterday as the search terms that led someone to my site: “writing assignments for bad kids.”  Nothing like promoting the idea that English is torture. 🙂  Give ’em some grammar exercises, too, why don’t ya?!

I have a student this semester who is so far beyond being a bad student that he is a caricature, a cartoon.  Yet, I’m not sure for all that I’d call him a bad kid.  Compulsive liar?  Sure.  Morally repugnant?  That’s a given.  Passive aggressive?  Duh, of course.

But I hadn’t stopped to think maybe he’s just bad to the bone.  I was more thinking that his lack of any sense of personal responsibility for his own learning has led him to get absolutely nothing out of college.  And his lack of work, any writing really of note, is what led to the F on his midterm that I just passed back.

I tend to find that the worst students are the ones who are NOT writing, not doing their work.  So my answer to the person who queried about “writing assignments for bad kids” is to say the problem is not in the assignment but in the student’s work ethic or attitude or study skills, etc.  “Bad kids” or “good” — they all need to write.  Motivating a kid to write, well, if you figure out the answer to that, I’d like to know!  I already discovered long ago that grades rarely motivate struggling students.

Just checking in…

I have nothing interesting to say.  Sorry!  Just checking in to let you know I’m still out here.  When I took a first aid class once, they said you should ask three questions about a person in distress:  Is she breathing?  Is she bleeding?  Is she comfy?  Well, I’m okay on the first two….  Not sure about the last.  But I can say that not blogging has freed up just enough of a smidgin of time for me to be able to stay caught up in my grading…. SO FAR!  LOL 🙂

I tell you what…here is another link to a funny video.  Who says I don’t think of my friends…?!

Again, I can’t get this to show up directly into my post (anyone know how to do that if it isn’t YouTube?)  But I laughed out loud at this kid. She is too precious in her wily storytelling ways!

the hippo was allergic to magic

Amelie rocks!

here’s a laugh…Finnish goats

A friend of ours sent me this link to a cartoon made by some Finns of the “Three BIlly Goats Gruff” story.  It includes the most addicting little song.  My husband tried to turn it into a ringtone.  We all sing it to one another at odd moments to lighten the mood.  My son begs for it!  I secretly watch it all the time. 🙂

I could not get this video itself to show up on my site, but it is SOOOO well worth the click.  Hope you enjoy!

http://plektra.kapsi.fi/KolmePukkia.mpg

Baaaaaa!!  🙂

Tuesday, 11:22 p.m., week two

So far I am not yet really behind in my teaching/grading for the spring term.  That is an improvement over last semester when I was behind before I began and never caught up until Christmas Eve.  Ah, but this term is different.  I have found the answer this week number two.

In my husband’s words, texted to me the other day after I had been up til 2 a.m. but had a splendid day teaching (go figure), “You found the answer.  Never sleep!”

So here I sit in with my laptop, having just updated my on-line poetry course materials, sent that class an email, checked the Discussion Board (how could there already be almost three hundred posts?)  And I am trying to decide whether to tackle updating my lesson plan on Dryden’s literary criticism or go to bed.

And then… a noise, a clanking.  Hmm.  Pause.

Again a little quieter.  Oh, my son has knocked something over in his room as he sleeps, something harmless.  Typing begins again.  Hmmm.  Should I tackle Dryden or can I wing it at ten a.m. after … how much sleep will I get if I go to bed now?  Maybe I should get up at 4:30 again tomorrow.  Worked today…

Then … a different sound.

My son is singing in his sleep.

I’ll let him serenade me and turn off the light.

Goodnight.