Tag Archives: school

Blackout Poetry: NPM20 Day 11

Thanks goodness for the National Writing Project…just when my inspiration was beginning to lag and a poem every day started to feel like a chore, this post arrived in my Twitter Feed. Blackout poetry–why hadn’t I thought of that?

So I grabbed the newspaper that arrives only on the weekend and was immediately drawn into an article about the only school in California that has not closed due to the coronavirus. I selected words that drew my attention, not really paying much attention to anything other than the fact that they called to me.

I started to arrange the words, grabbing one here, another there, combining others into phrases until I had a poem in front of me. And then I wondered…had I broken the rules of blackout poetry by rearranged the words rather than taking them in the order they appeared?

So I tried again–this time only using space as my poetic license. I haven’t taken the time to actually black out the rest of the text as I’ve seen done before…and I did doodle a laptop…a connection to the now of schooling with no schools.

So here’s the photo of the blackout process…and both versions of the poetry. Does one speak to you louder than the other? What meaning emerges from these selected words?

Holdout  (version 1)

Virus accelerates

U.S. now closed

 

10,520 schools

shuttered education

disinfected

sanitized

students stay home

 

Essential

social distancing

tangled clusters

walnut trees

 

generations

shelter-in-place

Civil War

 

None of us knows when

school will resume

®Douillard

 

10,520 Holdout (version 2)

accelerates

stay home

essential schools

students shuttered

 

Civil War

walnut trees

education

 

generations

shelter-in-place

 

virus

disinfected

sanitized

 

social distancing

tangled clusters

 

none of us knows when

U.S.

now closed

 

school will resume

®Douillard

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginnings and Endings

It turns out that the last days of August mark beginnings and endings for some of us.  This week was our first week of school with students, the beginning of the new school year…with sweltering heat (it seems to come only during our first weeks of school) and no air conditioning.  And our students were excited to be back…even taking the time to pick a beautiful rose of two from their home garden to set the back to school mood.

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And in spite of the heat, our learners dove right in, whether it was a first day team challenge to build the highest tower possible using only large index cards,

Preset Style = Bold Format = 6

or collecting data in small groups to display in graphs to help us get to know each other better (and what student doesn’t love a clipboard?)

Preset Style = Color Bloom Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Heavy Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Blurry Water Bleed = Average Brush = Fine Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Wide Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

And while this new beginning was underway, we were also feeling the full blast of the end of summer.  Who can resist the allure of the layers of color from beneath a pier, while dipping your feet in the cool salty water?

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And it seems that the fishermen are also squeezing in the last of the summer fishing season…off the piers, in the surf…during the heat of the day or in the cooler evening hours.

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And last night, to celebrate the ending of the first week of school and to escape the heat of indoors, we headed to the beach at sunset…which also happened to coincide with the moonrise…and a full moon!

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It’s been quite a week of beginnings and endings for me.  What is beginning and ending in your life this week?  You can represent it literally…by capturing a moment, or use a metaphoric approach and use an image that reflects your feelings of beginnings and/or endings.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #beginningsandendings for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

How will you capture beginnings and endings this week?  I’m looking forward to seeing beginnings and endings through your lens!

Playing with Perspective in the Garden

We’re lucky enough to have a school garden thanks to support from our school district, our local community, and a non-profit developed by a couple of teachers at my site called Scrumptious Schoolyards.  My students had time with the gardening teacher today observing how the garden has changed over the summer…before it is harvested and cleaned up for fall planting. While watching them and listening to their comments and looking at what they noticed, I also had time to snap a few iphone photos.

I’ve been playing around with perspective and point of view, trying a variety of angles–looking up, looking down, getting down low.  Here’s one looking up into the “face” of a sunflower.

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I purposely got close, wanting to capture the texture of the sunflower’s surface.  I love the bright yellow-orange of the petals around the top…and you can see just a hint of the chain link fence around the bottom.  This photo is unedited and not cropped…it’s just as I took it.

Another unedited and uncropped photo I took today is this one of squash blossoms.  I love the slight shadow on the blossom and the peek at the squash growing in the background.

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I also played around a bit with cropping and filters on this photo of the pile of watering cans. Only in a school garden would so many watering cans be sitting together just waiting to be used!

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We also have a small corn crop growing tall!  With this photo I cropped to focus the photo on the corn and not on the background…and wanted to move the viewer’s eye upward to emphasize the height (while including beautiful blue sky!).

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There is so much more that I noticed in the garden today–and saw through my students’ eyes that I wasn’t able to capture in photos.  I love their wonder and fascination with bugs and plants.  They uncovered caterpillars, carefully held ladybugs (both with and without spots–how I wish I had my macro lens handy!), avoided those big green beetle bugs, and noticed the dragonflies darting overhead.  They were astounded by the size of the tomatoes (heirlooms as one student pointed out) and the pumpkins.  And they can’t wait to literally dig in and get to the real work on gardening!

What did you see today through someone else’s eyes?  How does that change your perspective?