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Love was in the air this month and lots of people wrote lots of posts about Valentine’s Day. And chocolate-covered love. And wine-coma love. And 13 things they love most about their lovers. And love is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. These posts are slightly less lovey-dovey.
I find the situation in the Middle East very confusing. Piper Bayard’s partner Holmes has been writing a multi-part piece on Iran that is a must read. There are several parts. Start at the beginning and don’t stop.
It was my 44th birthday yesterday. If you were paying attention, you learned about Scorpios.
I have to say, I don’t feel a day over 20. Seriously. If I lived in the land of anti-reflective surfaces, I am pretty sure that I could believe that I was the same spring chicken I was decades ago. (Stupid mirrors.)
In honor of all Scorpios everywhere, I’m playing head-banging heavy metal from the Scorpions. Guaranteed to wake you up before you go-go. And check out these bloggers because, like the Scorpions, they’ll rock you like a hurricane.
(But not like a real life hurricane because that is no kind of fun. Just a metaphorical hurricane.)
From the English Department
Susie Lindau’s Anger, Fear or Joy? might make writers think about how we treat our loved ones when we are on a writing spree.
Jami Gold asks How Do You Celebrate? when you have finished writing the first draft of a book. Right now, I can only dare to dream that moment, but the idea of this post carries over into other areas. How do you celebrate when you have reached a goal. Do you allow yourself to experience joy? Or do you jump right into the next project?
From the Math Department
From Wild About Math I have Happy 11/11/11 Day! Seriously, I have no idea what this man is talking about. When I listen to him talk, I feel so English Teacher-ishy. And I totally meant to have my class look at the clock at 11:11 on 11/11. Except I forgot. Oh well, there’s always next year on 12/12 at 12:12.
Jenny Hansen interviews Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb about their 2012 Worldwide Blog Tour Kickoff and their run for President and Vice President in a campaign where everyone — even Canadians and pets — can vote!
We are always searching for the next big thing: the good stuff. Back in the 1970s when early talk-show host, Mike Douglas, was around, he really had an eye for the next big thing. He knew how to give us a piece of the action. Just look at Thor here. He’s positively thrilling. I mean, he can blow up a hot water bottle until it explodes! Is that hot, or what?
In an effort to try to bring you a piece of the action, I thought I’d bring you some yummy morsels of goodness that I’ve read this month. Feel free to check out something that tickles your fancy.
Julie from go Guilty Pleasures is having a Vlog contest. If you want to enter you have until midnight. She’ll tell you all about it HERE. You can try, but I’m telling you I have it locked and loaded. Just sayin’.
From the Products Department
Kathy Owen shows us what we can purchase to embrace our inner nerd in Get Your Geek On!
From the Just Plain Funny Parenting Moments Department
Chrystal from The Spirit Within had the highest percentage of votes in my “What the Heck Does Castanurgle Mean?” poll. Part of her cyber-swag package involves this beautiful new car. And by new car I mean, I’m giving you a link to her blog, which is lovely. I’m also decorating her invisible mantle (you know, the one where she keeps all her invisible blogging awards) with an autumnal theme. Isn’t it pretty? Congratulations Chrystal!
Before you head off to get “a piece of the action,” here’s a picture of me when I last performed Muscle Rock with Thor at Aladdin’s Hotel in 2005. I guess I was looking for a little satisfaction. Or my hot water bottle.
I’m Thor’s sister. Can you tell me where to find a piece of the action?
What are your Halloween plans? Anybody going like Thor?
And there was a lot of sweet writing out there in el Blogospherio.
(Did you see how I brought that around?)
On the Light Side:
Julie from Go Guilty Pleasures is running a fun contest where people have 30 seconds to Vlog about a guilty pleasure.
As you know, I am very introverted so I am uncomfortable sharing mine. I’m pretty sure that 97.4% of my regular readers can guess what my guilty pleasure is before you even click.
The contest runs until October 22nd, and Julie says there is a prize. I plan to win, but you can enter if you want to. 😉
Tamara Lunardo‘s little piece of snark Please Stop Just Sayin’ is worth reading because it is fabulous — but to fully enjoy the piece, you actually have to keep going and read all the comments because they are positively divine. Like totes. El oh el. Just Sayin’. 😉
The ever-scintillating Piper Bayard wrote a hilarious but simultaneously poignant piece called “Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll run for President.” I am totally ready to vote for her. I believe in her platform. As long as she eventually tells me if she is for or against platform shoes. This could be a deal-breaker.
Chrissy wrote a piece called “Grateful” that should be anthologized. If you have traveled a long distance only to land in a really bad motel — especially when you expected something entirely different , this is the piece for you. It will split your heart open. This essay was a guest post hosted by Deb Bryan — who has a fabulous Friday Series called For This I am Grateful. You can usually find Chrissy at silverfinofhope.
Amanda Williams‘ piece “Everyone You Meet” explores the story of how Amanda was the recipient of some hateful glares when her children started behaving badly at a restaurant. The piece made me think about how many times I have watched that same scene that Amanda described and how different people react. Amanda reminds us gently that we could all do with being a little more patient with each other. You can find Amanda at Life. Edited.
If you are unfamiliar with The Annoying Orange series, all I can say is where have you been? Seriously, they are extremely addictive. And with all the apple activity that I had this week… well, just enjoy it. If you can make it through the advertisement, it’s worth a good giggle.
Monkey is fencing this weekend. So we will be en garde.
I am fortunate to have Piper Bayard as a guest blogger today. I met Piper when I was learning how to tweet. She was the first person to actually recognize my flailing say hello to me in a civilized manner, and kind of introduce me to her friends in the Twitterverse. I so appreciated that. Since then, I have read Piper’s words voraciously. She is a real researcher and she knows how to weave some great fiction in with some real-life facts. I guess that means I’m trying to tell you that Piper is a fabulous writer. So enjoy and comment on Piper’s tale today and, and then head over to her place “The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse” HERE. You can also Twitter stalk her at @PiperBayard.
• • •
The Power of a Swift Kick
I took my daughter to school one morning last spring. Like most middle school girls, she’s convinced my mission in life is to embarrass her, and I take my work seriously. It’s not enough that I walked through the school doors pronouncing that Miley Cyrus looks like a two-bit hooker on Discount Day in one of her videos. No. I even talked to my daughter’s classmates. . . .
“Jordan,* stand up straight. You’re far too pretty to have poor posture. . . . Kyle, do not spit in the presence of ladies. That is most ungentlemanly behavior, and you’re better than that. . . . Young lady, you seem like a nice girl, but are those shorts legal? How do you expect the boys to learn anything in math with you looking like that? . . .”
Now, you’d think these kids would have told me to %*!# off, but, for whatever reason, they didn’t. Jordan grinned and stood up straighter, Kyle blushed and muttered a shy, “Yes, Ma’am,” and the young lady in short shorts laughed and rolled the legs back down to where they were when she left the house that morning. That’s when I realized that it had happened. I had grown up to be my mother.
I don’t mean my biological mother, Big It rest her soul. I mean the woman who saved me from being the queen of a double-wide trailer with five kids and four baby-daddies going to court every week for child support. That would be my middle school music teacher/mentor/friend/other mother, Elmarine.
Elmarine knew all about surviving life’s apocalyptic events. Born in 1917, she had polio as a child. She spent a third of her childhood away from her family at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, Louisiana, undergoing nine operations to help her walk. Let’s face it, those guys may wear funny hats, but they do amazing things for kids. . . . Without tv’s or computers, Elmarine entertained herself and the other kids by riding around in her wheelchair, playing her ukulele. . . . I threw that in to let you know there really are ukulele players out there. Who’d have thought?
She married an engineer who developed the welding process used on ships during WWII. He died suddenly, leaving her in poverty with two daughters to support. Lucky for me, she went back to school and got her teaching degree in music. At that point, she wore a brace and sometimes used crutches, and back in that day and time, employers actually said outright that they wouldn’t hire her because she was ”crippled.” She kept at it anyway. . . . What else could she do? . . . And finally she found a school district two states away to give her a chance.
During her many years at my school, she was anything but crippled. She taught us stray cats proper posture, proper social interaction, and, more importantly, self-respect and perseverance. There wasn’t a sob story we could tell her that she couldn’t relate to, and she always had the same answer. “That’s tough, Kid. Now, what are you going to do about it?”
Over the years, I’ve found her singular reply to be the answer to all apocalypse in a nutshell. “That’s tough.” Acknowledge the problem. “Now what are you going to do about it?” Meet it with action. Sometimes, the action is to face myself and/or others. Sometimes, it’s to change my ways. Sometimes, the only action possible is to endure one more day. But she did all of that and tolerated nothing less from me.
Elmarine dished out loving ass-kickings. I think those kids at my daughter’s school can tell that’s what they are getting from me, and that’s why they always smile and say hello when they see me. I’ll bet you Jordan stands a little straighter next time, too, and Kyle will at least only spit behind my back.
I dedicate this blog to all of the teachers whose loving ass-kickings keep stray cats from having four baby-daddies.
Who gave you your “loving ass-kicking”? What were the tools they gave you?
If you have writing chops and are interested in submitting a piece of writing for #TWITS: Teachers Who IThink Scored / Teachers Who IThink Sucked, write a specific memory about one teacher you had and explain how that person helped you (or really screwed things up for you), as well as the life lesson you took away from the interaction.