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Yearly Archives: 2023

The Toad’s Still Here

Sun, 24 Sep 2023, 10:51 AM (-06:00)

Every morning when we go outside, we check the birdbath that’s on the ground under the Lantana to see if the toad is there. Usually it isn’t. Today it was. I almost didn’t notice it. The water had nearly evaporated. There were soggy leaves and a couple stones in the bottom, and a very shallow […]

What They Were Up To

Thu, 21 Sep 2023, 11:55 AM (-06:00)

Class was over. It had been a weird day with the students mostly taking a standardized test on their laptops. Many finished early at which point it was free time. Now that the bell was about to ring, many of them were lined up at the door, something I don’t usually allow, but then today […]

A Problem The Teacher Couldn’t Solve

Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 11:05 AM (-06:00)

1. Meet the Teacher Night Parents started coming into the classroom at 5:30. I showed them around the room, although there’s not much to see. We talked about the curriculum, although the notes are underwhelming. They signed in. Most hung around for five or ten minutes and then went to the next teacher. One family […]

Dress Up

Sun, 17 Sep 2023, 10:12 AM (-06:00)

There was a different theme every day before the Homecoming game. One day was Dress Like Your Bestie. The next was Dress Like Barbie. On Friday, students were asked to dress like teachers and teachers like students. 1. Midriff The week before, after the announcements, I told 2nd period that I’d be wearing a midriff […]


Sun, 10 Sep 2023, 07:30 PM (-06:00)

1. It was the first full week of school. The seating chart was finally stabilizing. I was slowly beginning to associate names with faces. The students were beginning to get used to my sound effects. After one of the morning classes, Elizabeth came up to me as the others were leaving the room. “Mister,” she […]

Lizard, Fingers, Sticks and Stones

Sun, 10 Sep 2023, 10:50 AM (-06:00)

The morning sun rose gradually and the shadows crept along the ground as morning gave way to another hot summer day. Shadows of low hanging Fall Asters danced on the rocks. Dappled circles of sunshine fell on the ground. Lesser Goldfinches sang in the canopy of the Lacy Oak. I watched a Spiny Lizard walk across […]

The Frog in Back

Sat, 19 Aug 2023, 10:19 PM (-06:00)

From the margins of the pond in back, there comes this.

It Wasn’t Always This Way

Sat, 19 Aug 2023, 09:37 AM (-06:00)

It wasn’t always this way in Austin. Thirty-five years ago, if you planted a big tomato in a sunny spot, the bounty was great — many plump red tomatoes to slice and more to give away. But today, they don’t ripen before scorching summer sets in. And it’s not clear whether cherry tomatoes justify the […]

An Interplanetary Fact

Tue, 8 Aug 2023, 12:13 PM (-06:00)

Ingenuity, NASA’s helicopter on Mars is flying again after a recent emergency landing. In late July during flight #53, the LAND_NOW program in Ingenuity’s avionics directed the vehicle to land due to navigation discrepancies. It immediately landed. The latest news is that the helicopter seems to be ok with normal missions coming soon. (Ok, “more […]

A Change of Plans

Tue, 1 Aug 2023, 07:45 PM (-06:00)

Here is a snippet from the fifth day of my drive from Michigan to Austin. — Made ya look! There was no fifth day of travel. I had a reservation at Martin Creek Lake State Park in northeast Texas and planned to drive home from there on day five. But as I crossed from Arkansas into […]