Tag Archives: a word a week photography challenge

The Strength of Violet

Violet always seems so gentle, so calm…like flowers budding in the spring.

The color of these mussels surprised me.  Sometimes they can look almost black…other times a deep indigo or rich blue.  But on this day, in the warm winter sun they looked violet, understating their strength and resilience.

I admire these creatures who survive in the intertidal zone.  They live part of the time under the sea, covered completely by briny ocean water.  And they live part of the time exposed to the sun and wind and birds and people, holding tightly to the rock.  They have an otherworldly look…like they belong to a time before people walked the earth…and perhaps they did.


Sometimes we miss the beauty of strength, the ability to adapt, to hold tightly and conserve resources.  Mussels, like some of our students, are stoic.  They don’t complain or call for our attention.  They aren’t showy or dramatic…they’re almost common, easy to overlook.

Who are you overlooking in the classroom?  Which of your students takes care of business without attracting your attention?  And what would happen if you were to notice?  What would you see and learn?

While We Wait

We do a lot of waiting.  In line at the coffee shop, in the lobby at the doctor’s office, to get through the TSA screening at the airport, for meetings to start, movies to start, for our kids to get home…

Sometimes I welcome the opportunity to wait.  It gives me a chance to catch my breath, check in on my email and social media, read a few pages of my book, text my sons, daydream, or just take the time to reflect on my day.  These trees remind me of that good waiting…patiently waiting in line, enjoying the sunshine and the view…


The worst kind of waiting is when you have to stay alert and attentive.  When you’re waiting in traffic, about to board your flight, trying to be on time to that afternoon meeting and behind the person with 50 coupons in the grocery store…  At those times you can’t turn your attention to something else and take advantage of waiting as down time.

My students do a lot of waiting too.  They wait in line after recess for us to pick them up and walk back to class, they wait for directions, they wait for their classmates to take their turns ahead of them…

So I find myself thinking about good waiting and frustrating waiting…and wanting to make sure my students have time for reflection and to catch their breath.  But not spend precious time spinning their wheels when they could be doing something more productive.

Today my students were amazing.  They were about to embark on a sewing project (I’ll expand on that in another post) and needed to wait for supplies and wait for help with needle threading, knot tying…  And yet, they were not frustrated.  Instead I saw them watching carefully as they waited, making plans as they waited, and studying every move of someone nearby who started before them.

Attitude is everything.  They were ready to wait today.  They knew waiting was inevitable given the complexity and newness of the task ahead of us…and they waited with joy and anticipation.  This is going to be a great project…my students demonstrated that today!

Yellow, then and now

If you asked me what my favorite color was when I was a kid, I would never answer with one color…my favorite color was orange, yellow, and green: the brilliant nearly neon tones of the 70’s.  My bedroom sported lime green walls and the most amazing orange, yellow, and green polka-dotted vinyl wallpaper.  My bedspread and curtains continued the theme with orange, yellow, and green stripes.  And the final highlight were the nearly glow-in-the-dark posters that every adolescent of the time dreamed of.

But somewhere along the line I decided that orange and yellow were colors that didn’t suit me.  I veered far from them when choosing clothes and wouldn’t consider them as decorating accents as an adult.

But when I saw that the Word a Week Photography Challenge was yellow this week, I realized that yellow (and orange) have reappeared in my life in new and different ways.

I’m particularly fond of this shot of the lagoon that features the yellow salty susan looking out to sea from the mouth of lagoon.

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I enjoyed the reminiscing that this prompt allowed this week…and I wish I could put my hands on a photo that features that orange, yellow, and green polka-dot vinyl wallpaper of my 70’s childhood bedroom.  And I’m enjoying my new relationship with yellow…a color that brightens the day and focuses energy.

What is your relationship with yellow?  Do you have a color relationship that has changed over time?