Saturday, June 23, 2012

Meeting Up With Friends

It was another hot day in Houston and Elkhart, IN, and all over....So what else is new? I went for a bike ride before it got really really hot....You can ride outside the park a little bit and see a little bit of Texas that you don't normally see inside the city limits...Is this a Texas Longhorn? Sure looks like one to me! But what do I know, I'm a city girl!

Another part of the day was spent with the most adorable grandson ever, can't post any more photos publicly in the blog, darn it! -- to respect Kerry's need for privacy and the baby's too. I spent some time helping Kerry with some schoolwork questions, which is right up my alley and snuck a couple of photos in for a special digital scrapbook I am making about the baby. Where there's a will, there's a way, when it comes to Grandma taking photos.

Not having thought about instructional methods for awhile, it was fun to get back into the thought processes at least initially, and give Kerry some spin on educational jargonese in answering essay questions. The questions that she was having to deal with were frustrating to say the least! It reminded me of endless test questions when I was in college, where the questions were ambiguous, and the right answers even more so. What I remember doing to pass some of my classes, was stating the obvious then repeating it in a variety of different ways. I used to be pretty good at writing. I could write a couple of pages and not say a whole lot! (And that's a good thing? wonders E.) Well, it was at the time! I felt badly for her today at having to go through some pretty ridiculous assignments that seem to be missing the point. The questions were poorly stated and not clear at all as to what they were asking! I honestly think that's part of what's wrong with teacher training today, it's not focused and to the point and what young people really need to be successful in today's classroom. I did my best to throw out some educational terms graders love to hear, and hoped it helped.

"What do you think they are asking, Mom?" she'd ask. I gave her my best answer, and she'd decide,
"M-m-m-m-, I don't think that's it," and struggle on to the next one. It made me so glad that I am not having to go through all that rigamarole again and just starting out trying to find a teaching job! That will be the hard part. No school budget is exempt from cuts and more cuts, and it's getting more difficult to stay at one school for any length of time, it seems. I just hope that she will be able to find a job when the time comes, to help support her family.

Tonight we got to meet up with one of my old schoolmates from grade school, Dana Beebe. We used to sit together through the grades because our last names were alphabetically close together, Baughman and Beebe. He follows our blog and lives in the Houston area. He and his significant other, Stania, met us at our RV park and we went out for a delightful dinner although we unfortunately picked a noisy spot at the Woodlands to eat...Bar Louie's. We had eaten there before, and at a much earlier hour when it was quiet. The place gets transformed at night! The yuppie crowd (do they still use that word?) was there along with VERY loud, live entertainment so we had a hard time hearing each other. But it was great to see them again. Dana does a lot with the Boy Scouts every year, taking groups of boys on Boundary Waters canoe trips out of Ely, MN. Ely is where Sparky learned a whole lot of wonderful skills at Camp Northland, the year she was 13--how to sail a small boat, how to canoe, portage, do crafts, etc. and that experience along with Girl Scouts was one of Sparky's most favorite, positive memories of her childhood. Scouts was where Sparky learned to build a campfire, got to know nature and where she developed a lifelong love of the outdoors. It was also a wonderful antidote for a difficult childhood.

Sparky forgot to get a photo of us at dinner so the photo here is Dana's. Thanks for joining us, Dana and Stania! It was wonderful to see you again. Next time we will pick some place that is more quiet!

Tomorrow, it's the DREADED DENTIST for Sparky......


  1. NOT HOT HERE IN SEATTLE....rain, rain, rain.

    YEP...that be a long horn for sure!

  2. In Texas + longish horns = Yup. It's a Longhorn.

    Just being Mr. Obvious here.
    I've recently been in touch with a long time school (class mate) who has been a teacher for most of her working life. She's itinerant between FOUR schools. Getting too old for that blarney. Looking forward to retiring next year.
    My hat's off to teachers. Period. I did just enough supply work to know I didn't want to do it.
    Good luck to your daughter. She'll prevail I'm sure.

  3. So sorry she's so worried about public pictures of that darling baby. Sorry us, sorry for Gramma. Guess I'll have to break down and look on facebook. What fun getting together with a friend from so long ago. Grade school wow. Bet he looks a lot different now. :-)))