Oh, these kids! November Days of Gratitude

November Days of Gratitude: My kids, because where would a teacher be without a classroom full of children? I have to admit, this year I have particularly charming classes and, as every teacher can tell you, that isn’t always the case. Classes of children take on personalities and this year, I have an incredibly sweet…

We all need a village: November Days of Gratitude

November Days of Gratitude: My colleagues. In education, that is a combination of scores of teachers, supportive administration, and indispensable support staff. Without all of them, I don’t know where I’d be. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the teacher I am. From my first year teaching in 1990, when I would unabashedly arrive in the…

Respite: November Days of Gratitude

I have to make this quick. We are pressed for time as we’re trying to leave early so as maybe to avoid traffic.  Who am I kidding? We’re leaving Southern California and I don’t know if there is ever a good time to avoid traffic here.  It’s getting that way in the Bay Area, too,…

Our Heroes: November Days of Gratitude*

We drove a very long 9 hours yesterday from the Bay Area to Newport Beach, via SLO to pick up our daughter, and had to travel through Ventura County and Thousand Oaks which have just suffered not one, but two devastating events: a gun massacre killing 12 people and then a fire the next day,…

Finding those tiny beams of light: November Days of Gratitude

I’ve always been fascinated that in the darkest of dark, our eyes can adjust to first see shadows and grays and then to eke out enough light to find our way.  As I’ve dabbled in photography over the years, I’ve found myself trying to understand light most of all. It’s always the light, working with…

Your VOICE is your VOTE: November Days of Gratitude

I was up at 4:00 AM — partly because of Daylight Savings Time (I’m still an hour off), but partly because I’m anxious to vote early.  My polling place opens at 7:00 AM and it’s how I start every election day.  I get there early, I cast my ballot, and I feel like I’ve started…

Falling Back on the Ballot: November Days of Gratitude

Counting down the days, in gratitude, gets more difficult if you’re tired — and this morning I’m tired. It was a fitful night’s sleep. Maybe you tossed and turned, too. Setting back our digital and analog clocks can throw off our biological ones. Each year we ricochet between falling back and springing forward.  I doubt…

Dad and Broadway: November Days of Gratitude

I’m so grateful for my dad and musical theater. As long ago as I can remember, my dad would put an album on the stereo and play “Name That Tune” with us — long before “Name that Tune” was a tv show. “What show is this from?” he would ask and we’d have to guess…

A love like no other: November Days of Gratitude

The moment my daughter was born, I remember being shocked — not by her miraculous birth (because it had been a ridiculously long and difficult labor and delivery — kind of a miracle I made it through) but because I knew in that very second that I would walk in front of a moving train…

Our Good Dog: In Memoriam and With Gratitude

Each year, as we count down the days to Thanksgiving, I count down my blessings.  Usually, starting on the First of the Month, I offer up a gratitude each morning.  It’s not difficult to find things I’m grateful for — and it’s proven to be a way to center my days, even as the light…