My friend Marvin Awbrey died. I loved him dearly. He was such a close friend that I could criticize him when we disagreed, but don’t you dare unless you loved him too!
He was my mentor. He taught me how to be a history consultant. He dedicated himself to all educational organizations especially history. He sent me tons and tons of picture and story emails that I was supposed to pass on. I seldom did, but they showed me that I was on his list. He loved me and thought about me every time someone sent him a chain email.
Marvin’s last few years were rough, but he did not complain.
His good friend and sometimes caretaker, Linda Boaen, said,
“It is a testament to my best friend Marvin Awbrey what a great person he was. We can all take lessons from his dignity. He let those he loved know it. He never ever complained through kidney transplant. Three bouts of cancer and all the treatments that go with it. Massive surgeries that would devastate most. He kept extremely busy with causes he believed in. He gave to all charities. And he forgave those who trespassed against him. He loved my children, David and my pets. He was a kind caring human that most will never encounter. I hope he knows how much we miss him.”
I will miss Marvin a great deal. We always went out for his birthday. He turned 78 on January 14th. I emailed him asking when we could go out for his birthday. He didn’t return the email. Sometimes people don’t. I emailed him about something else, and he didn’t respond to that either. Sometimes people don’t. I rarely called him. Cancer took his voice box. I called him and left a message. He didn’t call back. Sometimes people don’t.
He sent me and six others an email on January 13th. I finally emailed him back 22 hours before I heard that he was gone. It was about going to the doctor.
On the 23rd of January he sent his last email along with a personal message.
At birth we boarded the train and met our parents,
and we believe they will always travel on our side.
However, at some station
our parents will step down from the train,
leaving us on this journey alone.
As time goes by,
other people will board the train;
and they will be significant
i.e. our siblings, friends, children,
and even the love of your life.
Many will step down
and leave a permanent vacuum.
Others will go so unnoticed
sothat we don’t realize
they vacated their seats.
This train ride will be full of joy,
sorrow, fantasy, expectations,
hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.
Success consists of having a good relationship
with all passengers
requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
The mystery to everyone is:
We do not know at which station
we ourselves will step down.
So, we must live in the best way,
love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.
It is important to do
this because when the time comes for us to step down
and leave our seat empty
we should leave behind beautiful memories
for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life.
Reap success and give lots of love.
More importantly, thank God for the journey.
Lastly, I thank you
for being one of the passengers on my train.
(By the way, I am not planning to get off the train anytime soon
but if I do, just remember I am glad you were part of my journey.)
“Marsha happy new year dear friend! Can you forward the particulars for the SJCCSS Alcatraz visit? Can it be done in one day? I could use the minutes from the Reedley meeting, too. When is out meeting this month and where is it? I am feeling unconnected to SJVCSS and I don’t like that. Thanks, Marvin”
I replied back 11 hours later, and he didn’t write back. Sometimes people don’t. That’s rough!
I am blessed to have been his friend. I will miss him. I had fun with Marvin. This is rough.
It’s four in the morning here in California as I write to you for the first time in weeks. I have a good reason – for not writing, that is.
“Really? What possible reason could be good enough for not writing to your friends?” asks the little voice in my head.
One thing I learned about writing good dialogue – and writing in general is that you leave the boring parts out.
“So what made you think you should even write anything?”
What a pesky little voice you are. there are maybe five or ten people in the world that are still interested in even the boring little details of my life. Maybe they miss me.
“Well get on with it then, and write what you’re going to say, and quit talking to me.”
OK OK, the truth is that I have a new job, and I was sort of waiting until the Board President announced to the public before I wrote about it, and I’ve been extremely busy doing exciting things like filing and trying to balance the books. I am the new Executive Director of the California Council for the Social Studies, and it’s not entirely clear what that job will be, but for me it starts with filing and organizing.
Maybe, but necessary. Today I will attend the Executive Planning Meeting in Los Angeles, so I stayed the night in the hotel where our conference will be next March, and took a tour of the facilities.
Most important to me is establishing face to face contact. I met Deb, Ryan, Tim and Carmita. Ryan will be our main contact person as we prepare for our biggest event, a conference for about 700-800 social studies teachers, professors, and administrators in California.
Seeing the rooms gives our planning committee and me an idea of which rooms will be best for the presentations, and where the exhibits and ticketed meals and social events will be. You can see about one-third of what will be the exhibit hall in this picture above.
Session rooms are huge, but they can be divided into thirds. Left open they seat almost 200 guests. The hotel has recently been remodeled, and is quite lovely. Most importantly it has good internet access for everyone – in public places and in the rooms, and I will soon learn the cost to make it available during sessions.
I can visualize two history teachers networking here with computers open and a cup of coffee, discussing how they will use what they learned in a session in their class .
I expressed surprise over how pretty the tables looked, and Ryan told me that the facility is linenless. That’s a new term for me. Normally when you see tables at a hotel without their linens on, they are rough pieces of wood, that sneaks up and snags your nylons when you cross your legs under the table.
“No one wears nylons anymore.”
Be quiet. I do sometimes. It’s cold in hotels.
“That’s not why YOU wear them.”
There’s a perfect little office right outside the registration area where we can set up shop so everything will be close by. It is linenless, too. I never realized how pervasive linen was.
This is a small part of the foyer outside the exhibit hall. One year we had Mexican folklorico dancers in the foyer it was so big. Another year we had extra exhibits. Our conference planners will have all kinds of decisions to make about the space, but at least now I know how the space looks, so I can picture it when they ask me questions.
A beachy place wouldn’t be complete without swallows. It was nice to have the time to enjoy the scenery. I’m sure I’ll be very busy the next time I see this place.🙂
Now you know I haven’t disappeared or died. In fact I just renewed my domain, so I’m here for another year, starting my fourth year of blogging. Thanks for reading and chatting, and being my friend.
Nothing is not the right answer. Blogging is not it either. I wish it were.
Do you get roped into things? Do you sometimes feel like you’ve been branded as the girl who says yes to too many things at once?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve kicked up so much dust, that a can of worms might be a good thing in comparison. Today I talked to our CPA and learned about 501(c)(3), and I hope we’ve filed all out paperwork. I created a program for our Western Regional Breakfast that’s happening at the NCSS Conference in Boston next month. I found out about awards for the program. I learned about the Woodlake Rodeo. I did laundry, made lunch and dinner, cleaned the kitchen, took a walk, went to the post office and mailed a letter to a 10-year-old P.O. Box and I hope to find the person who owns the bottom picture to get her permission to use it, so promise me that you won’t steal it.
I posted important stuff on Facebook for CCSS. So the truth is that today, I’ve done a lot, but can I remember it when my husband comes home and asks me what I’ve done? I do, but that was the wrong question. Does he really want to listen to me list it all? I think you know that answer. That’s why I’m telling YOU – and guess what? He’ll end up reading about it on Facebook tomorrow. hehehe :)
Right this second I’m feeling a little light headed (yes, I did get my hair cut, but only about 2-3 people even missed the 5-6 inches I’ve chopped off) But that’s not why I’m light headed. I’m dizzy with excitement because I’m almost finished with my book, Images of America Woodlake – 15,894 words out of a total possible of 8,000 to 18,000, and 192 pictures out of a possible 200. What I’ve learned cannot even come close to a limit of 18,000 words. That has been the hardest part. Collecting pictures from those whose names I get from friends, and of those, the ones who return my call or email. Those are the ones whose minute pieces of the story get in the book. Some people have given me hundreds of photos. Some only one. I have to leave out so much, and someone’s feelings are bound to get hurt when the book is published. There is SOOOOO much more to tell. But, that is not my story – at least not for this book.
So what did you do today? Do you need someone to listen to your list? Write it in the comment section. There, doesn’t that feel better? You really did do something today!
Large or small, I like social studies conferences. Teachers starve for social studies professional development because it differs from other subject area conferences.
The social studies include four core subject areas: geography, economics, history and civics.
Geography: Now I ask you who isn’t interested in traveling? One of our CCSS exhibitors offers teachers expenses paid trip for two weeks to Germany. Do they have offers like that in math conferences?
The activity we did at the N. CA conference this weekend had us identifying where and when pictures had been taken. Each group of 4 had two different pictures. This particular activity showed change over time in Germany.
Economics: Do you run out of month or paycheck first?What would happen if we quit shipping the 40% of California’s agricultural products overseas, could we save water in drought-ridden California? Studying economics helps students grapple with historic and current issues, trace the consequences and predict future results from actions we take today. Conferences bring you face to face with people in the know like Dr. Jim Charkins of the California Council for Economics Education.
History: Scholars from near and far engaged us in conversations about WWI, the trenches, the music, the need to enlist before the selective service started, and the propaganda to get people to enlist.
Now I understand a little piece of my grandfather’s life a little better.
At the other conference we Skyped author/scholar, Allyson Hobbs from Stanford, also sponsored by Glider Lehrman Institute who studied the effects of African-Americans who passed for white, and what they missed from their black culture by giving up their identities. Can you imagine giving up/turning your back on who you are? She made it personal.
Civics: We met three speakers involved in landmark Supreme Court cases. Sylvia Mendez’s younger sister never knew the court case happened until she studied the effect on the Civil Rights movement in high school. Karen Korematsu spoke about her father, Fred Korematsu’s opposition to the federal government, prison, Supreme Court Case. We met Mary Beth Tinker, Tinker V Des Moines, who wore a black armband to school, to express her views. She didn’t think it was any big deal at the time. Now she talks to children around the country. She told us stories of amazing children, and what they can do that adults couldn’t.
We heard Major General Patrick Brady tell us that people may not have equal opportunities, but we all have access to as much courage as they want. The more we use, the more we have.
We met political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz who has one of his paintings hanging from the wall of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor
Where else but a social studies conference can you rub elbows with people who played a part in exciting events you read about in the news?
Intensity sparked like electricity during a Power of Democracy Task Force meeting. Where can you get direct contact with legislators, Department of Justice, and Department of Education at the same time?
We honored our best and finest social studies teachers at the awards program – AKA Emmys. Twitterers tweeted during the conference.
Brent won a bicycle at the membership booth. Exhibitors gave free stuff to everyone. Best of all teachers connected with other teachers and shared ideas.
Next March we go to Oakland. The National Conference will be in Boston in November. California Council Needs YOU! If you teach history-social studies in CA, please join us.
If you are not a regular reader of mine, this post may seem like a waste of cyberspace. I’ve never taken such a long break from blogging, and I miss you all, but I have a Board meeting tomorrow morning in Ontario. It’s a long drive, and since I’m the gavel banger, I have to have my act together. Our big conference is March 7-9, and both Vince and I are working our tails off getting the website up to speed, and helping with the details of the conference.
I say all that to apologize for not visiting much, posting at all or even responding to comments very often. I promise you are all in my thoughts. I browse Facebook, so if you are my FB friend, I’ll see you more often since I have to post updates for CCSS every day.
Thanks for being understanding, and staying with me. I promise after this weekend at the very least, I will be a better “post”er child. That was a lame joke. BTW
Eva Paterson was only a teenager when she debated Spiro Agnew on national television in 1970. When she became an attorney she fought for Civil Rights for many underserved groups of people. Though she grew up in a violent home, she became a champion for those whose rights were challenged at home or in society. In the late 1970s she successfully sued the Oakland Police Department for not coming to the aide of battered women.
“Prior to taking the helm of the Equal Justice Society in 2003, Paterson worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for twenty-six years, thirteen of them as Executive Director. Paterson led the organization’s work providing free legal services to low-income individuals, litigating class action civil rights cases, and advocating for social justice. At the Lawyers’ Committee, she was part of a broad coalition that filed the groundbreaking anti-discrimination suit against race and gender discrimination by the San Francisco Fire Department. That lawsuit successfully desegregated the department, winning new opportunities for women and minority firefighters.” http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/about/evapaterson/
Paterson, though part of an historic movement in the United States, the Civil Rights Movement, keeps on producing results. On Saturday, March 9, at the CCSS conference in Burlingame, CA, “Ms. Paterson will be joined in a panel discussion by two Dream Act student leaders, Sofia Campos and Catherine Eusebio, courageous immigrant youth who are building a new civil rights movement, risking arrest and deportation to fight for the rights of immigrant youth and their families.” CCSS Conference Brochure
Martin Luther King Junior had a dream. Some people living in the United States are inhibited from following their dreams because of their immigrant status as children. “The ‘The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation ‒ pioneered by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] andSen. Richard Durbin [D-IL] ‒ that can solve this hemorrhaging injustice in our society. Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.” http://dreamact.info/ Two of these students will share their stories during the panel discussion on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Burlingame, CA.
Eva has come full circle. As a student she came to the spotlight during a panel discussion addressing then President Spiro Agnew, and next Saturday she will participate on a panel discussion with students who share the their own struggle for civil rights nearly 50 years later.
No matter what your politics, you will enjoy this inspiring speaker at the conference. You will be amazed.
As many of you know, the job of designing a brochure somehow dropped on my unartistic shoulders. I created something using the Creative Cloud for our Board Meeting on Saturday, and received immediate feedback about what to change. This was my first time ever to use Adobe Illustrator, and it represented about 8 or more hours of intensive effort. I just LOOKS so easy a first grader could do it! I would not call Illustrator an intuitive, user-friendly program.
Today I spent the entire day creating a new brochure with an artsy look rather than a blocky photography look. My husband helped me on this one by brainstorming with me, then finding me a nice artsy print to get my creative dry mouth (there were not juices) started. He also agreed with Cotton that the California Bear Flag was the primary symbol to use to anchor this brochure.
I couldn’t find the same picture he did, and I thought I would be so clever and Photoshop of our own meetings. It didn’t transfer well into Illustrator, so he emailed me the picture he found. I made major changes on it before I used it.
The hardest part after he found the anchor artwork for the meeting was to create a seamless look between the artwork and the background. I’m not sure I could do any of it again at this point. I found that it was easier to merge the pictures and the background in Photoshop than in Illustrator. I couldn’t even get the paintbrush tool to activate on the layer I wanted in Illustrator, and I couldn’t flatten the layers. So back to what I knew. I got a little paint on the photos, but I’m hoping it gives that artsy-dreamy look. I need to brush up my coloring skills.
I tried using the select tools, but forgot how to use them correctly, and so I just colored around the map – that took forever!!! I also had to do it more than once. The first time I thought I coud just place it into Illustrator. Place is how you get your photographs to stick on the background in both Illustrator and Photoshop. That is in the file drop down menu.
I found out that Photoshop CS6 is different enough from Elements 10 that I had a bit of a learning curve, but I was able to McIver my way through the project.
After I was as pleased as I could be in the amount of time that I wanted to devote to my 4th makeover, I saved the project as a jpeg and then placed it over the first page white blank sheet in Adobe Illustrator. Then I just added the words. V helped me with the words, too. He used to be in advertising, and he focused me on what was really the reason for the brochure – to GET PEOPLE TO JOIN THE ORGANIZATION! So that went in the top right hand corner. DUH!
I got it all done, and sent out to our Exec. Board, and realized I had misspelled California. Believe it or not I had to start back in Photoshop and get my three pictures together again on the background.
I finally got the words back on using Illustrator because the words are sharper if you use Illustrator rather than Photoshop.
I had a few changes to do to the inside, but those were simple. So this is the journey I’ve been on for the last few days since our start long ago with the simple cover you all voted on.
Thanks so much for all your input. I appreciate when YOU offer suggestions. Thanks also to V for all the help you gave me this morning, and the patience to see me through my tears without trying to SOLVE all my problems. I knew I could do this if I just put my mind to it. I was not going to be overcome by a computer program!!!! :)
I saw Enice’s photography on this website http://fineartamerica.com/, so I thought I’d give it a try as well. So far I only have 10 pictures posted, but they are also advertised on my Facebook page. I’m excited, because I finally got myself started. This business is mostly a hobby, but I would like it to be a successful hobby just because I like to be successful.
The way I will measure success is that 1) the pictures are of technically of good quality ( clear, the right brightness, etc.) 2) the pictures are well composed (interesting subjects, good balance, framing, etc.) 3) The pictures have appeal (people just enjoy looking at them), and 4) The pictures have salability (usable for decorating, cups, t-shirts, cards, advertising, calendars, etc.) Who knows where this will lead, but this is my next experiment.
I started out with pictures of cats because they seem to have so much personality. I realize that most of you are photographers as well, so you are not too likely to purchase pictures from me, but I would love your opinions. You have been so helpful in the past about giving me such good ideas. How would you rate these?
V’s favorite is Boulder Monitoring. That’s what I felt like doing yesterday afternoon instead of driving to Ontario. But I drove 5 hours instead. I hope that you will come and like my Facebook Page, and join me on this adventure. I’ll be sharing how it is going or not going as we go along.
The next thing I started this week, I did out of necessity. Earlier this week I asked you to vote on the front of a brochure that I designed in Photoshop.
Although I really had no desire or inclination to design a whole brochure, no one else volunteered to do it. To create this masterpiece, I tried out a new product, Adobe Illustrator. You can see that the basic design that you voted on is on the right, which is the cover. I changed the picture, and used too big of a font for the words at the bottom. I also included more pictures on the inside flap and back to represent the various branches of social studies. Wikipedia quotes our own National Council for the Social Studies to define social studies.
Ralph, you’ll notice no smelly sock unless you consider the bear smelly!!! Cotton, I found the Bear Flag on the map, and I thought that was too cool.
I also finished as much as I could with the tri-fold brochure. Paula made some suggestions for technical revisions, but our board made some other substantive comments that may WILL change it as well. Here were some of the comments/questions I heard around the room as soon as I passed the out the brochure.
Would it be more effective to have a brochure with artwork rather than photographs? (I don’t have the ability to do artwork!!!)
If photographs are suitable, what photographs really illustrate these divisions of social studies?
Even more basic than those questions, do we just illustrate the definition of social studies, or do we move past that to illustrate what the council does?
1) the advocates for keeping social studies as a core subject to continue to be taught in American public schools?
2) provides professional development for teachers grades k-16,
3) identifies quality instructional resources and
4) assists in developing and implementing state policies including standards, frameworks and assessments.
There is so much to designing a brochure. The designer and the organization have to identify what is really important and somehow represent that graphically! How do REAL graphic designers ever do it????
Thanks for coming along with me in my busy-ness this week. I’ve been so wrapped in meetings this week month that I hardly knew know if I’m coming or going. You all have helped by my anchors and my boulders. Thanks for being there. I’m monitoring you!
Have a nice rest of the week-end. What are you all doing?? I have a meeting tomorrow for Tulare County Historical Society. Anyone want to come?? Don’t forget to write to,likelove tell me what you think while I’m busy going to meetings. 🙂 Lots of Love, Marsha🙂
I decided instead of not posting while I’m working, I would bring you into my workspace. Although I am not a graphic artist, I am designing covers for a new brochure for California Council for the Social Studies. So I’d like you to help me judge attractiveness. You should probably know what the organization is all about.
California Council for the Social Studies
advocates for and promotes social studies education as an essential foundation in developing citizens for a democratic society in the 21st Century.
provides professional development for social studies teachers through state and regional and local conferences.
identifies and produces quality instructional resources and programs to improve classroom instruction of social studies
assists in the development and implementation of state and local policies, legislation, framework, standards, testing and other instructional components.
So here are a few brochure covers I have played with. I won’t be at all insulted if you have some constructive feedback for me because these are ideas. Paula may redo them all, but I wanted to give her something to work with to start. One of these designs has an image that may be copyrighted that I have altered a bit, but if we use it I’ll get permission or purchase the image. Since we might not choose it, I’ll leave it for now.
So what advice do you have for me? Do any of these look like a possible brochure cover?
Like all of us, I actually do have a life. And often it gets in the way of my blogging. I started blogging in April, and by August I had to quit my day job so I could blog full-time. Such a sad excuse to retire, but V says I go after blogging like I did my job, and according to V – not my boss – I was a workaholic.
As you may know, I am still heavily invested in the social studies teaching community through California Council for the Social Studies, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies and National Council for the Social Studies as well as the Tulare County Historical Society, and I am just about to join our local Kiwanis Club thanks to Running P Ranch Co-Captain, Sally Pace. This week three of them have had meetings. The funny thing about meetings is that there is always work attached. On top of that V’s son is having a birthday soon, and we are celebrating with him. Paula’s son just had a birthday, and we will celebrate with them on Sunday.
How old is this handsome “grandson” of mine?
I say all this to apologize if my posts for the rest of this month may be sketchy or nil. I’m not sure if I can stop blogging altogether. I am super addicted, as you can tell. But if I do neglect to get up a post or two, please feel free to rummage around in my past posts. I have tons. I can’t stop myself. Some of them are better than others, but my WordPress friends are probably glad to let you know in the sidebars which are the most popular. They are all pretty random. They are streaming thoughts, after all.
This also means that I have been and will continue to neglect my visiting of your blogs somewhat. Again, I don’t mean to. I am reading my reader as I travel – if I’m not driving!!! unfortunately it sends me tons of blogs I hardly even know, and who never write me back. I am prejudiced and I really prefer to visit people who actually visit me, and write back to me when I scribble out a few comments on their blogs as well. My reader tries to expand my repertoire, but it often misses my valued closest friends.
My email notifier is good, but I find when I click from there many of your blogs make me sign in three or four times before I can even like what you said. I have to admit that when I am on my iPhone, I have no patience with those sign ins. I hit the wrong keys, and end up having to enter firstname.lastname@example.org at least 6 or 7 times before I get it right! I’m bouncing around in a car, so I get mad and go back to playing Farkle. I’m sorry – did I just tell you that? So mindless of me.
All that to say, if you don’t hear much from me this week, it’s not because I don’t love and think about you. 🙂 ML
So that you can keep me in line, here’s my list. Feel free to comment. Marsha, did you call… or did you … And if you think of anything else I missed, be sure to comment that, too. Except you, Ralph. You’ll have a complete additional to do list for me that I’ll never be able to finish!!! JK haha
Marsha’s REAL TO DO LIST
Call Scott with model number 3712
Call John and arrange for him to drive the trailer to Scotts. (Yes, we’re selling our Layton 39 foot trailer – anyone interested. You can see it on Ebay or on my FB page.) We’ll deliver if you live in Spain or England!! JK :) We can’t tow it – it’s LONG, but spotless and comfy. We store it mostly.
input hilton honors information
Proofread the conference program
Look over the BOD packet (haha that’s Board of Directors, Ralph!! Don’t get all worked up!!!)
Avi needs to have someone write up the motion for the board packet.
I need to write a motion to accept the changes in the bylaws.
January – Thirty years ago student teachers HAD to be a member of a professional organization as part of their graduation requirements. Although it is no longer mandatory, social studies teachers who join California Council for the Social Studies become the leaders in their field as they meet colleagues from across the state, and make friendships that last a lifetime. In January the CCSS Executive Board asked to serve as the First Vice-President, replacing a member who had moved to Colorado. In May CCSS members voted me in as President-Elect, and in June, 2013 I will serve as the President of this organization.
February – In 2011 I become officially involved with the Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS) as their recording secretary. This year TCHS decided to adopt a broken-down caboose, remains of the old Visalia Electric Railroad, as its project of the year. To kick it off the Society held an event at the museum so that people could take a look at the caboose, and see how much work it needed. It had definitely seen better days, but its good bones, charm and appeal made it the best project ever.
March – At the 2012 California Council for the Social Studies Conference I enjoyed some amenities as the new First Vice President. Although I shared the room with the Conference Chair, it WAS a HUGE suite. With size came responsibility. Several parties important meetings took place in this room.
April – I started blogging April 17th just as this busy month got into full swing. Our San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies Banquet honored our County Superintendent, Mr. Vidak, my boss. Most teachers, and in our case social studies teachers, seldom receive recognition for the hard work they do, so this banquet is the highlight of our year. Instead of being serious and boring, this year everyone played the part of stand-up comedian.
May – National History Day California or State History Day. Set in historic Riverside, CA at the Mission Inn and Convention Center, this was a photographer’s dream. Now that I was officially a blogger, I appointed myself the official photographer of this huge event with nearly 1,000 students aged 4th-12th grades attending. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to focus my camera at this point, and with lasik vision – one eye distance and one eye close, nothing ever looked in focus, and often wasn’t. One of the participating students taught me how to focus my camera. Students from all over the state display their year-long theme-based projects: exhibits, documentaries, performances, papers or websites for 6-12th grades, and posters for 4-5th grades. They present to a team of 3 judges who have the difficult decision of determining which of these amazing projects will advance to the National Competition in Washington D.C.
June As the school and fiscal year ended, we came to the last year of a three-year cohort of teachers who participated in the Tulare County Teaching American History Grant. Each year we had a one week institute during which time teachers went on a short field trip, worked with primary source materials, received scholarly lectures each day, and translated all of this learning into a lesson plan. This was our last week together with this group of teachers. For their final project teachers presented their lesson plans to the new cohort of teachers. We toured the Railroad Museum, Old Town Sacramento, and the Bicycle Museum in Davis.
July History Ladies go to Shell Beach May was our last official meeting as County History Consultants, and three of the four friends moved on to different responsibilities. We decided that instead of loosing touch, we would travel somewhere in CA once a quarter. Our week-end at Shell Beach cemented the already strong friendship with crazy dancing in the kitchen of the rented house, cinnamon rolls, pictures of a walk in San Francisco where clothes are optional, feeding baby animals at Avila Barn, roasting marshmallows over the stove after the barbecue ran out of charcoal, and sun bathing on the beach.
August – Retirement Once I made the decision to retire, that’s all I could think about. My last day was funny because I fought with my poor secretary about why I dressed casually that day. She knew I was having a party, and I didn’t. Paula took me in hand, and took me get a new dress for the party I didn’t know I was having. Ivette was already dressed for the party, so we posed when I got back from my spree.
September -V and I decided to start taking advantage of retirement right away with a trip to the beach. Lots of walks with Kalev until one day it started raining, and it didn’t stop. We scurried back home.
October – We arranged a week-long trip to our timeshare in Hawaii to Ka’anapali Beach Club. It was almost like coming home. We preferred October to December which was cold and rainy last year. We had a great time rolling around in the surf, horseback riding, and eating.
November – The National Council for the Social Studies Conference took me to Seattle. We really did go to meetings, sessions, and had a chance to socialize. I finally went to the dance they have on Friday nights. I walked all the way back to the hotel to change into a dress. Walked back. Got to the dance. Where were all my friends? Felt really hot – had my dress on backwards. Went to the rest room to change. Got back to the dance. No friends. Cajoled poor Joel into letting me teach him the West Coast Swing. One dance. Left. My friends got to the dance just after I left. Leslie and I went to see Twilight Part 52 or something like that. Then I walked home after midnight. Got lost, helped a lost soul find HIS way in Seattle (that’s a switch), and finally made it back to the hotel safe and sound. Had a $65 dinner at the Space Needle for two rotations of the restaurant. Had a great time!!
December– Home At Last For the first time all year I hardly traveled during December. Oh whatever would I find to occupy my retired time? Hmmmm How about an online birthday party for Renee? Christmas with PT and the kids, started going to Kiwanis Club, read some great books, blogged, blogged, blogged, and ……
…..poof the month was gone!!! Woah!!!! What happened??? Did anyone else have that problem???
Definition: A circle is the locus of all points equidistant from a central point.
Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack, dreamed up a theme that made my mind go in circles trying to think of when I have ever photographed circles. But sure enough, when I looked through my pictures, I found circles had snuck into my collection unwittingly.
Members of the California Council for Social Studies checked out the hotel in Burlingame where we will hold our annual conference in March, 2013. Circles abounded in this travel site. Most obviously the tables are round, the best kind for facilitating conversation between a group of five or six people. You probably noticed the floor before I did. The carpet designer loved circles.
In this picture we are not distracted by the roundness of the tables, so our eyes can focus on the circles in the carpet. In this case we might almost overlook the round lights in the ceiling. As a teacher I notice that the large circles, and some of the small circles form Venn Diagrams. I loved using Venn Diagrams to compare concepts. Venns are used in many occupational circles, but briefly this is how teachers use them in reading a text, for example. Characteristics of item A are listed in Circle A on the left, and characteristics of Item B are listed in Circle B on the right. The characteristics that the items have in common are listed in the intersection. This makes it very easy to then write a comparison paragraph or essay. (I veered off the straight path. Sorry I had to include an instructional strategy.)
This shot gives a different perspective of the pattern in the second picture. Ailsa must have been along when the designer chose the carpet for this hotel. The carpet theme was definitely circles throughout the hotel, but there were slight variations in the patterns from room to room. I wonder what the psychological effect circles have on conference goers, and vacationers.
The carpet in the final conference room we examined has a different circular pattern. This room is dominated by rectangular tables, podium, walls and lights. The carpet mirrors that business-like rectangular flavor with definite horizontal lines crossing the length of the room which were softened with some bolder, thicker circles than we found in the larger, more social foyer.
As this circular subject develops, I gravitated to the social aspect of circles:
circles of friends
round table discussions
circular conversations (which are VERY frustrating to me!)
circles for concept mapping capturing the ideas in our brains.
I wondered if there were specific psychological effects of circles that designers know about and employ to try and motivate us subconsciously.
Oh I do love the internet. In the process of my search I came across a WordPress site devoted just to circles, Psychology of Circles. Unfortunately the author only posted 9 articles during two months in 2009, and the one I wanted to read was only promised. “Power Circles in Advertising” was never written. Maybe his or her mind was just going in circles like mine, and couldn’t focus. There are definitely disadvantages to circles!
Not satisfied, I entered the word circles, and found a company called Circles with this description, “Circles is the leading global provider of concierge, events and customized rewards. … Our mission is to make life better and that pays dividends all around.” There must be something to the use of circles in the hotel business!!! I found another article describing how agitated certain animals became when they encountered crop circles. No wonder most hotels with circular themed carpets don’t allow animals!
The human eye is drawn to a circle, which is perfectly proportional. People are drawn to other people whose faces are proportional and symmetrical. Cartoonists draw rounder, bigger eyes to make their characters mor appealing. Are we more trusting of the circular shape?
It seems that very little has been written about the psychological effect of circles on humans. I thought I’d hit the jackpot when CSU Stanislaus, but this list was the extent of their article:
From this downtown Seattle Warwick Hotel handicapped room, I was not hampered from taking a few pictures from the window from my 9th floor room.
I like this picture because it almost has a 1950s art look about it. It was chilly, but not raining the first day of the National Council for Social Studies Conference.
You can see the rain spatters on this picture, and I don’t know if they are new or used spatters, but I like what they contribute to the picture. Too bad I don’t know my buildings, or I had to throw away as much weight and paper that I could to fit everything in my suitcases. I mistakenly thought to myself, “Well, I won’t need this MAP anymore.” WRONG! If I could only convey to you how little good maps do me – even though I understand perfectly how to read them. The never seem to translate into taking the right turns.
I have to admit that this chair was a total turn-off, and obliterated my love of the views. Fortunately for me, the staff took pity on my, and moved me to the 15th floor the next night where I enjoyed the benefits of a luxurious bath tub, and the following views.
Doesn’t this look fake? But it came right out of my own Canon camera. There were actually little people, elves, I think building that building you see in the foreground. I should have recorded the sounds as well. The view was so beautiful at night that I kept my curtains open – not the windows! It was cold out there.
The helmeted elves started before it got light in the morning. I don’t know how long they continued at night, but they were done when I got home. Trust me I was careful how I dressed because the elves were pretty close – even in the dark.
Off to the left was this magnificent building. The flash reflecting off the window again gives the whole picture an adorable fake look to me.
Better than the views – relief from the cold, damp winter walks.
Today our San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies had their big planning meeting. One thing that came out of that was the need for a one page FAQ sheet for the Common Core Standards for Social Studies teachers in particular – to quell their fears of the unknown. This is all I got done this afternoon. See what you think of it, and tell me what else you thing should be on it.KNOWN ASSESSMENT FAQs
• Common Core Assessments for ELA and Mathematics begin field testing in spring 2014.
• Common Core Assessments for ELA and Mathematics begin testing in spring 2015.
• There will be History-Social Studies reading and writing tasks included in the test for language arts.
• These assessment tasks will NOT be aligned to the California History Standards, but the reading complexity, or lexile levels, will be appropriate for the grade level of the student.
• The CST for ELA, mathematics, history-social science, and science will be given until 2014 when it will sunset.
• There are sample test items on both the Smarter Balanced and the PARC websites.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
• We don’t know what will replace the CST tests for History-Social Science and Science
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HISTORY-SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS
• We know a consortium has been working on Common State Standards for History-Social Studies.
• We know the standards will be presented at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference, November 16-18 in Seattle, WA
• We know that the one of the primary developers will present these standards at the California Council for the Social Studies, March 6-8, 2013 in Burlingame, CACome and join us if your on the left coast this year. We are going to have a major Common Core Conference within our regular California Council for the Social Studies Conference – 8 hours of intensive training in the Common Core Standards and how they pertain to teams of History-Social Studies/English Language Arts teachers.
Social describes the social studies community of California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS). The first CCSS.History-Social Studies people can be controversial and argumentative, or they can cooperate, and accomplish a lot. Usually it’s a little of both.There’s a lot of persuading and synergy going on in California Council for the Social Studies these days.Committees do the work of the organization. They set goals, review the organization’s position statements, gain new information, and network. Their needs, and the needs of the social studies teachers they serve and represent drive changes, and keep the 51-year-old organization growing and thriving.Committee members concentrate, using the time to research on the internet.Others are planning, working out the details.Some committees are more social than others. The Membership Committee wants to attract new members while retaining current ones to keep the organization viable and healthy.Other committees are more pensive and academic as they determine what should go into future issues of the organizations scholarly journal, “Social Studies Review”.At the end of the day all six committees had written motions describing what they wanted to accomplish by the conference, “Social Studies on the March” in March, 2013. They knew who was responsible to carry out the tasks, and how much it would cost. Each gave a short report as they finished up the paperwork to document the decisions that had been made.And best of all, nobody killed anybody!