Tag Archives: time

SOLC Day 22: Taking Time

Taking Time

She breathes in

The daily brine

Ionic medicinal

Clearing the mind

Walks at a brisk clip


Relentless wrist taps

To close the fitness rings

Is there time to linger

To look closely

At the spiral of shell

Notice its glossy curves?

Slow down to watch

The dragon lifts

On the elevator of wind currents

Overseeing the shoreline

Pause, look, listen, watch

Don’t congregate

Breathe in, pay attention

Make ever moment and every ion count


Time Travel

I’ve really been feeling the pinch of time in my classroom this school year.  My new schedule has me on campus only three days a week, handing my classroom over to a partner teacher for the other two school days.  I feel super productive when I am away from school, with long stretches of time to focus on specific work, flexible hours to schedule meetings and phone calls, and the ability to arrange most of my work travel on days I am not on campus.

But…I feel like time is taunting me when I am with my students.  Each lesson and project seems to take longer than anticipated, forcing me to leave work hanging across weeks instead of days. I’ve found myself prioritizing and rethinking everything I ask students to do.

My past practice has been to use Fridays as a day of reflection and work completion, giving students long stretches of time to read and write and think.  Without new instruction, they could dig deep, revise, rethink, and get projects done.  Today, Monday became that kind of day (I no longer have Fridays with my students).  I did have to spend some time reviewing expectations, reminding students of the work we started, but then they dug in…and that beautiful thing happened.  Work began to hum, students were engaged, working at their own paces, allowing me to help individuals as needed.  Time both stopped and flowed–no one needed to use the bathroom, roll around on the floor or annoy a classmate.  I wasn’t feeling the need to rush students with my eyes glued to the clock, dolling out minutes like rationed resources (I’m thinking about the water restrictions we experience in Southern California).

The reality was that still everything didn’t get done.  I’m already reevaluating and reprioritizing my plans for tomorrow, pushing off launching that new math concept to make space for a bit more finishing time, figuring out ways to make space to confer with students over a piece of writing they’ve been working on and provide feedback on another project.  And I’m excited about some new reading and writing I have planned for tomorrow…something I’m already anticipating taking more of that precious time than I initially allotted.

Somehow I will figure out how to travel through time this year, carefully balancing new content with time to dig deep, think carefully and produce meaningful, high quality work products.  I know I’ll still find myself with unfinished student work, lessons that run short and those that run long, requiring that continual rethinking of lesson plans.

I’m hoping that this will be the year that I learn to make time jumps, those science fiction leaps of faith:  pushing time forward to see which lessons produce the best results and scrapping those that end up as a waste of time.  But…just in case that doesn’t happen, I’ll keep paying close attention to my students, adjusting to their needs and reworking my plans to make sure school is more about learning than about time.

kelp haiku and art



Time’s a Ticking: Day 26

On Poem in Your Pocket Day my students carried an original poem and a published poem they had studied in their pocket to share with friends and adults around school today.  Although I have heard many of my students’ poems, I heard some I hadn’t yet heard as they shared theirs with me today.  And as always, poems inspire poems…and Jameson’s clock poem inspired my writing today.  Here’s his:

The Clock

Tick tock

tick tock

moving every second,

every minute

and every hour.



tick tock


Looking at action,


and memories.




And my own:




ticks and tocks

a metronome

playing life’s rhythms

tapping the beat

insistent, urging

march, dance, move!



stands still

frozen in terror


or the monotony of boredom

clock hands

stubbornly standing in place




evaporating like morning fog

gathering clouds of seconds

raining down

in the urgency of time lost




nagging at the edges of consciousness

a stern taskmaster

demanding attention




like sweet kisses

or the taste of chocolate

reminders of precious memories



slips and slides

tomorrows become


creating a roadmap of the past

made up of everyday minutes

tick, tick, ticking




Douillard 2018

We’re in the waning days of our 30-day challenge.  What will inspire today’s poem?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Time: a precious commodity, one that there is never enough of…unless you are waiting for something, and then it slows to a crawl!

Time has been on my mind all week.  We started with the time change from daylights savings time to standard time.  It should feel like a treat as we have the opportunity to “fall back” and gain the hour that we gave up in the spring.  But with the time change comes early dark, with the setting sun before 5pm each day.


And along with early dark comes more opportunities to notice the wonders of the night sky…even while doing errands like running to Trader Joe’s for groceries.


Or walking out the door in the afternoon and noticing the sun dipping below the palms in the distance (and playing with some apps to magnify the effect).


This is also the time of year when time seems to get swallowed up…by assessments and report card writing and parent/student/teacher conference after conference.  And inevitably, I get sick.  Add to it the elections and the divisive politics–the outcome makes me feel voiceless.  Predictably, being sick at this time results in laryngitis.  I’m sure there is a message there from my body!


The weather is also confused and decided to take a turn back to summer. With coastal temps in the 80s and 90s,it sure doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are right around the corner!  There was this stray leaf on the sidewalk…reminding me of the time of the year in spite of the heat!


I’m glad I also took some time to play and headed to LA for the Veteran’s Day holiday to spend time with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. A trip to the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) was just what the doctor ordered!  I love these fluorescent lights as art…


And even though I haven’t seen a single one of Guillermo del Toro movies, I enjoyed the exhibit of his creative processes and monsters that were larger than life.  A great way to spend time away from work and politics.


So, consider the way(s) time is being played out in your life this week. How are you spending your time?  Is time flying or crawling?  How will you represent the elusiveness of time in a photo (or a series of photos)?

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 #time for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

How will you represent time this week?  Will you take a literal approach and photograph clocks (now I’m starting to want to create a collection of clock photos!) or show time in other ways?  Grab your camera…I can’t wait to see time through your lens!