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Friday, July 13, 2018

Wrapping Up.. So, today I delivered a presentation on Learning Analytics with my partner Cristina. It was a great presentation, but very nerve wracking. My partner and I are very different in our backgrounds; she is a math and numbers person and I love to write. I was very nervous about holding up my end of the presentation as Learning Analytics/predictability is data intensive. Cristina was in her element and offered much to the discussion. She was able to draw off of her teaching experiences and make many connections. Surprisingly, I was able to do the same. I enjoyed the learning experience and truly enjoyed hearing all of the other presentations. I'm heading out now... off to Annapolis to see my dog and husband, who I miss terribly. Nancy
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ed.D. Intensive; Day 2... I woke up exhausted this morning. Yesterday, my day began at 6 a.m. and did not end until I fell asleep, holding my laptop opened to a JSTOR search engine. Today, the pace continued with me feeling like a squirrel. There were many activities, lessons, and tutorials being presented in rapid succession. What was good about today? I learned how to work Neopod, an online version of PowerPoint; or something along those lines. This tool is easy and useful. I've learned how to work One Note, an online notebook that shares information with my colleagues. I was introduced to Padlet and Adobe Spark. What was stressful? I felt it was stressful not being able to concentrate on on activity for a significant amount of time. While working on our big project for Friday, we were introduced to Padlet, and worked on a Neopod activity. My focus kept being redirected and I felt as if I could not get a good grasp of any one thing. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel... Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. :)
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Friday, June 29, 2018

Technology

Next week I start an Intensive at Liberty University; a prerequisite for my Ed.D.. Throughout this intensive I will be keeping a blog post that centers on technology. My first assignment is to give my thoughts about technology in general so here they are... In general, I appreciate technology and how it helps to make our everyday lives easier. As an educator, I see the use of technology as a tool. In a high school there are many cons that go with the pros of electronic devices. Students who have never mastered the basics of addition and subtraction are given calculators. Those who have not learned how to read, let alone spell, are told to "google" the spelling of words rather than use a dictionary; a skill in and of it self I assure you. In my role as a special educator, I see students given the quick route to solve a problem, rather than use their critical thinking skills to work through them. I see students use their phones and laptops to preoccupy their minds rather than engage with the lessons in front of them. I see electronic devices as a dis-tractor rather than the educational tool it could be. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to go back to manual typewriters and white out. The invention of the word processor saved me on many levels. I have taught students who have benefited from Kurzweil, taking pictures of notes on the board, or recording lectures. I do see the benefits. I also see the drawbacks. This is an era where children are left to have free reign over the internet, and electronic devices are used to appease the restless rather than adults taking the time to interact with them. I am skeptical as to where this all leads. Yes, there is a time and place for technology, but I'm not sure that "time" is before children have learned the basics, and that includes how to interact with people who are standing in front of them. People are loosing their "soft skills;" their communication skills. They are loosing empathy because they can say what ever is on their mind at any given time and an electronic device will stand between them and the hurtful look in someones eyes as those nasty words pierce the heart. People are loosing their jobs to robots and kiosks that can perform tasks quicker and cheaper. People are loosing their freedoms. Is anyone old enough to remember a road trip without a cell phone...? Now that is freedom. Can you remember what is was like not to be tracked or have your phone listen in on your conversation and suggest restaurant options for dinner? Can you remember privacy? Yes, technology can be a good thing, but it is a love/hate relationship for those who don't use it wisely. Nancy
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Self Discovery

Self Discovery

I sat in a meeting once; a school improvement meeting, as my children were in elementary school at the time. The principal asked the members what we dreamed of becoming when we were children growing up. Answers ran the gambit from doctor, lawyer, accountant, to ballerina, athlete, and rock star. When it was my turn to answer, I took no hesitation and replied...a mom! At first people were aghast, taken aback. How could a child not dream past the captivity of parent hood? This is not a career, a calling. Then there was embarrassment, as all of these people were parents themselves.

Yes, I replied. I have always wanted to be a mom! I loved my mother, my childhood growing up, the idea of loving and being loved in return; unconditional love, I believed, that existed only between a parent and child. I devoted %110 of my time, patience, and self to the nurturing of my two children. Night after sleepless night of feedings, fevers, and night terrors. The reading of books, rocking to sleep, and eventually sending off to school; where the influence of the outside world could undo the morals we, as mothers, so meticulously instill.

Fatherhood is a different beast. Men define themselves by what they do; I'm a doctor, a lawyer, a government stiff. When their career is defined, and financial status secured, then, they look to accessorizing with wife and children. All the while, however, that part of who they are, the career, never waivers. They go to work every day secure in the knowledge that the doctors appointments will be scheduled, school lunches packed, homework completed, and wife will be happy to greet him at the door, as long as the paycheck is in hand.

Then, the day comes when the children don't need round the clock care. It is enough that they know your physical presence is located in the kitchen or living room where they can easily access you if need be; god forbid you be in the bathroom, bedroom, or laying on a beach somewhere, their world falls apart. Now you are asked the question, “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” People now want to know how you are going to make a living, pay for college, support the house hold. All the while you thought you had a career, and your home was it.

So I started on a journey; one of self discovery. Who was I? What interests and passions did I possess past those of the immediate needs of my family? They should never have asked, because I found I did have them; and the universe fell apart. I revealed abilities within myself I did not know existed.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SMILE FOR ME

Smile for me

Show my reflection
through scintillating eyes
Radiate your warmth
from dimpled cheeks

Share one thousand thoughts
coaxing concupiscent dreams
with a mere visage

Melt away my vulnerability
using only the soft fullness
of your wanting lips...
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

HALLOWEEN

HALLOWEEN

Sky lines filled with rich aromas of hearty green tea
no longer wet my palate; instead golden pound cake
dipped into robust flavored coffees give one last burst
before winter's slumber


succulent fruits turn to pumpkin pie and the
elephant's eyes search the mazes for children
dressed as goblins and ghosts.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Life's Breath

You two
are life sustaining
My world
umbilically tied
to one
rhythmic beat

And I grasp for air
waiting
for time to allow me
to once again
breathe easy.

My lungs
fail me
Pain sears
my chest wall
My heart aches

And I grasp for air
waiting
for time to allow me
to once again
breathe easy


Life's Breath
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Du'a Khalil Aswad

Recoil into your resistance
into your self
into fetal dreams
that once nourished you...

For man, in his dominance
is dehumanizing;
shrouding your dignity
under the feigning of salvation...

Let go the remnant
of this mortal life.
Induce reverie's delivery
to a celestial sphere filled with love...

Resile your fear and subjugation
allowing your supernal soul to flourish
with all the purpose you were born...

The Stoning...




When winter winds
fellate through naked limbs
clinging to their trunks
howling and moaning

When the sun submeres
into a cold dark sea
not allowing the sky to blush

When thick fog
breaths heavy on the ground
indifferent to the beads of rain
slipping from the lashes of
the meadow's wild flowers

Then Mother Nature did not prepare
her daughters well...

For the forces known as man.


As Nature Would Have It...



Why don't women invest their assets
At whose cost do children end their futures
What is the price tag on human worth

The reason all beings continue or stop...

Give me the going rate for a smile
Is there a fee for a word of encouragement
How much is the outlay for a headstone

One that reads "Much Beloved"...

Real Power isn't in an external portfolio
It is in an internal stockpile of consumer confidence
Owned and operated to share the wealth

People live to be valued...


Personal Fortune...




This set of poems is dedicated to Du'a Khalil Aswad.
All children should be allowed to pursue their dreams.
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Tilghman's Island

Tilghman's Island


The air felt like summer's friend; maybe a sibling, older and wiser. It had an autumn calm that threaded her tires as she crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Sails, each filled with the season's last breath puffing toward the horizon, caught the corner of her eye. And her thoughts turned whimsical.

Memories, like candid snap shots of a playful summer's afternoon, filled her head: Dark hair, dimpled cheeks, and eyes that spoke to her when he smiled. Golden tan, early August heat, and a cool wind that skirted through her sundress as she emerged from her car. These were the flashes that gave texture to her dreams.

She met him at a road side stand while picking fresh produce: A pint of strawberries so ripe one could not tell where the berry ended and the edge of her lips began. Then there were the peaches; succulent and soft, with chin dripping juices that seep from the corners of your mouth, and he, with his roguish good looks. He helped her to her car. Placing the basket of fruits in her trunk, their fingers grazed one another, and emotions stirred.

Today it was the smell of Old Bay permeating the air that drove her toward Tilgman's Island. Trucks clawing the curb-sides posted signs tolling Steamed Crabs and her heart fluttered at the thought of seeing him again. But the fruit carts now hosted squash and zucchini. Fields once green with watermelon, grew pumpkins for suburban front porches.

Down shifting, the engine slowed as her Audi TT convertible crunched pebbles, rumbling into that same snapshot in time. Engaging in conversation over the fall flowers and Indian corn displays, she casually inquired of the young man who had helped her only a few months back. “College”, was the reply. She nodded with an ironic acceptance; “mine too”, she acknowledged, smiling, and continued on her way to Tilghman's Island.
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Voices In The Sand

The sand, soaked in mid-day sun, scorched her feet. “I wish I had worn my flip flops.” entered her mind while she played hopscotch to relieve the burn as she made her way to the water's edge. Tranquil surf greeted her. Gentle waves lapped against the shore accepting imprints of passerby's.

Careful to check the tides, she placed her chair just out of reach of encroaching waves and into the direction of the sun. The breeze shook yesterday's sand from her blue and white stripped towel as she lay on her stomach, having wriggled an impression in the sand.

With arms raised above a make shift pillow, warm granules rolled across her fingertips creating a sound like coffee scooped from its canister. Soon, feet crunching between sun bathers melded with voices in the distance; voices reverberated through the sand. Children laughed, women talked, and people interacted with one another. “People Listening” rather than “People Watching” coined itself in her mind as she lay there with her eyes closed and senses open to all that was going on around her.

She focused in on a conversation similar to tuning in to a radio program. Bits and pieces of superfluous talk: A mother handed her child a juice box and carrot sticks, two boys discussed the depth of the hole they were about to dig, and a little girl who had to pee.

“Just go in the ocean.” Her mother directed. “Sit down in the waves, no one will know.”

Then came the laughter, genuine laughter born of familiarity, comfort and reminiscent emotions. One could differentiate this joy because it was deep and meaningful as apposed to shallow and insincere. And it intrigued her. Having begun the season on her own, she missed the camaraderie of her girlfriends and listened in.

Voices In The Sand...