Archive for May, 2015

I took a risk, threw caution to the wind and ….. I sat in one of the comfy chairs. I never do. For some unexplainable reason I think they are more germy then rather chairs but by golly gee I am sitting in the comfy chairs… it could have something to do that they are in another location and of course I have made the leap to believe they cleaned them when they moved them. Last night. Before anyone sat in them. So I am the first one who is sitting here, of course.

Meh. It isn’t too bad. It is almost seeing Starbucks from another viewpoint. This is a regular Starbucks for me as it is across the street from my son’s school. I never noticed this picture of wonderfully beautiful dark women with yellow buckets on their head, in their arms walking in a rural area. Their faces are telling me a stories. I could have missed them if I didnt look at this Starbucks differently.

Maybe when it comes to collaborating teachers who are struggling with the change and redefinition of teaching and learning. Could it be that we need to help them step out of their comfort zone with the parameters they set to help them feel “ok” with sitting comfy chairs. What could help a teacher be “ok” with leveraging Google or mixed aged classrooms or mastery learning or a student centered classroom? If a struggling teacher could say “I would do X, if L,M,N occurred” Have I ever asked a teacher that? Maybe in some round about way but not giving appropriate time for them to really think on it.

And I have to say… this chair is really great.

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Honestly, I feel like I am always talking about Starbucks lately. Could it be my obsession with peach green tea lemonades that are only available in the summer? Or the new Ham and Cheese fold-overs (which are so good by the way)? Anyway one of the numerous Starbucks I have been visiting (also I refuse to tabulate how much money I have spent at Starbucks… jut fyi), there is this greeter, Jen. Each morning she greets me with “Hi the Jen what can we get for you” and then she calls me hun and her voice sings, chipper, happy, joyful.

I am not going to lie, first day I heard it, it was nails on the chalkboard, I groaned in my head and muttered – are you kidding me? But again I came back the next day and there I was listening to Jen and I told her my order and prayed she didn’t want to talk to me at the pickup window.

Then today, there Jen was again:

“Hi this is Jen, what can we get you?”
“Trenta Peach Green Tea Lemonade and a Ham and Cheese Fold Over”
“Sure thing, hun we will see you at the window”

This time she made me smile, really smile and thinking how great it was that she was there, then it got better. So as I started to pull forward, I heard the person behind me:

“Hi this is Jen, what can we get you?”
“Hi Jen this is Sue, how are you?”
“Oh Sue, struggling but what will you do? Hanging in there! Will you have the regular?”
“Yes Jen, see you at the window”

The regular? She knew Sue’s order… just like that. Even more Jen was just ‘hanging in there?’…would have never guessed.

Tomorrow I will tell her I appreciate her attitude.

Can we realize that some of our happiest kids are ‘hanging in there’ but still are expected to collaborate, create, innovate, communicate, grow…. and if they do come through… do we appreciate their attitude?

She Said: You ever wonder if your true soul mate is on the other side of the world. I mean we fall in love with people mostly cause of proximity.
He Said: well thats why people argue against the idea of soul mates
He Said: I agree that logically they could be anywhere in the world
She Said: But it is crazy to think we miss the chance to be with the one true person we could be most happy with because of geography.
He Said: yeah thats true, and then think of the population of the world and the likelihood of meeting your soulmate.. That would be like winning the lottery in which the world participates. What are the chances?
She Said: Unlikely.
He Said: So people work within the area they can reach
She Said: And are ultimately disappointed.
He Said: imagine your soulmate could be an african warlord based in the Congo
She Said: Could be. But if I could look at him every day and feel the same as I did when we first met.. I would be happy to watch him slaughter the lions and patch up our thatch roof.

As I again sit in the Starbucks in a more affluent neighborhood, a small gaggle of high school kids walk in and they are sitting behind me talking about hows and whens of the details of their weekend and Jax walked in.. the girls are happy to see him, he has on a v-neck sweater and boat shoes.

Digression strikes again.

Do they realize how many more opportunities will be afforded to them because of where they happened to be born and in the same regard…do kids in Englewood feel slighted because of their place of birth. What will we need to do in Education to close not just the skills gap but the location discrepancy.

Starbucks

Posted: May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

I forgot to post yesterday and I feel a sense of guilt. Is that supposed to happen Brenda Ueland (my new best writer friend). If you forget are you supposed to feel bad? What if I honestly forgot. Digressing.

I am planted in Starbucks my second unique Starbucks in 2 days and I know why people love them even without the purchase of a overpriced drink. I love the way some people are “regulars” to the staff, I love how some employees – or whatever fancy name they are called – compliment the people ordering, I love the way Benji here today beats on his chest or the way another is singing -everything- (and he has a fun tone no less!)

What I love most is that you can come here and just be whoever you want. I could be a college student (yes I will be pretending I look that young), I could be writing a love letter to a lover across the world I will never meet, I would be finishing the next great piece of smut, it doesnt matter and no one cares but in the same breathe they all care.

I wonder what the lady kitty corner from me is doing…I wonder if she curious about me.

OK – she just caught me looking at her.

Just in the same way no one cares if I order a drink, yet everyone here cares that my table is clean, my laptop is plugged in and I feel comfortable being here.

It is some blind trust and care that happens with the hidden culture of Starbucks. How can we transfer that to our classrooms?

Cheers Theme Song

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you are old enough in your mind you are already saying “Norm” or humming “Where everybody knows your name… do do dododo…”. However when Cheers was on in the background as I worked I heard this lyric “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Do we ever stop and think about how our students feel about taking a break from all their worries…maybe school is it for all of them. A place where in fact they can forget all their worries and just focus on being a better them. A better Carla, A better Sam, A better Rebecca, A better Noooorm.

Could we make school an environment where kiddos come to follow their own learning path, to learn as they find most successful? Is it possible to make school … Cheers?