“Seeing My Daughter Dare Was Wonderful”

I’m doing some work that involves a new teacher colleague in Costa Rica, and I took three years of high school German.  What little Spanish I know I’ve picked up from my wife and children’s conversations around the house. I’m a crummy listener.

Enter Google Translate.  For the last week or so, I’ve been dutifully copying and pasting my writing in English into the service to translate into Spanish.  And vice versa for the new colleague’s words. I expect this to become a habit, but it’s not one yet. Right now, it’s a chore. But sometimes it delivers prizes.

I don’t know if Google Translate is serving us well, but in our first exchange about our holiday breaks, my new colleague shared that his daughter has been horseback riding.  I shared that my daughters love riding, but it’s not my thing.  His response was the title to this post.

I don’t know if the translation is accurate, but that phrase is sure poetry:

… seeing my daughter dare was wonderful 

I hope you get the chance to see someone dare soon. I hope you notice how beautiful it can be.

And I hope that maybe some one gets to see you dare beautifully, too.

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It's National Poetry Month – Go Write (And Read) Some Poems

For the last several years, I’ve used this blog every April as .  It’s been fun, but I’m thinking it’s time to do something different and possibly combine efforts.  

Ben Rimes has a great site up at Poetry for People where he’s posting visual prompts and folks are sharing poems.  This month, let’s spend some time together there.  Poetry is better when we’re reading and writing together1.  

How are you working poetry into your life this month and all months?

  1. Bonus option – encourage your students to enter the NY Times Learning Network’s Found Poetry Contest. []
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#ISTE11: On #engchat & Pauses

So last night’s #engchat, I think, went well – a good opportunity to be in physical fellowship and conversation with some folks and some virtual fellowship and conversation with others.  Thanks to Meenoo for letting me play along and for my friends at the for arranging the live venue1.

I think the process of pausing to write longer thoughts and ideas made for a better conversation in the chat – although it might’ve fiddled with the flow of the Twitter chat experience in a way that changed that – it was different, and puzzling, and, ultimately, useful.

For me, useful is high praise, so I’m feeling okay about the experience.  I will probably say more about the logistics and my takeaways in a future post, and I know that others are working on some reflection, as well – I’d ask folks to share their posts on the original Google Doc so that we can aggregate the experience.

I could think of no better way to summarize last night’s conversation than to use the words of those who shared in the prompt document – there’s lots of interesting reflection there, and you might want to read it in its entirety.

But, if you can’t pause today2 to read the whole thing, perhaps you’ve time for a found poem I’ve attempted.  All the words are from the Google Doc – many of them signed, but many others unsigned.  You can see the original attributions on the Doc itself.3

Here’s the poem – I hope it’s useful, too.  How’re you finding time to pause today?

  1. Fergie’s in Philadelphia.  Great place to be. []
  2. Whenever today is for you when you read this post. []
  3. And I’m hoping that this will lure you over there – there’s lots of good stuff that didn’t make the poem. []
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When Isn’t Poetry Its Own Reward?

I turn down a lot of offers to sell things for other folks here on the blog.  Unless a product or service interests me, I pretty much keep my hands off.

But when I was asked to take a peek at a Lenovo ThinkCentre, I couldn’t resist.  I’ve young children who are coming into figuring out what computers are all about, and a giant touchscreen seemed like a promising interface for that exploration.1 And I dig, and have for some time, the way Lenovo builds their laptops.  I wondered about the desktops.  So I accepted their offer of a loan, and have had the machine in the kitchen where the family’s been exploring what it means to have a computer in the middle of, well, everything.2

And, hey, they’ve offered me one to give away to a blog reader.  That’s rather nice.

Since I’m not a big fan of contests, though, I wanted to be careful about how I did this giveaway.  So this one’s based on something you’ve already done and would’ve done anyway.

If you wrote a poem during the month of April3 and published it online, and you’re either a teacher, a student or any other employee of an educational organization, you’re eligible to win a Lenovo ThinkCentre here.  Here’s what you need to do:

Sometime before 11:59PM Mountain time on Thursday, May 12th, simply post a comment on this post telling me how you’re involved in education, share a link to your poem, and what you might do with a speedy touchscreen computer like the Lenovo ThinkCentre.  After entries close, I’ll randomly pick a winner.

And we’ll all be able to read your poems, so, in a way, we’ll all win.

Sound good?  Then start sharing those poems.  You’ve just got a few short days.  And operators are .  .  . no, wait. They’re not.

See you in the comments.4

UPDATE: Congratulations to Adam Mackie, winner of the ThinkCentre, and thanks to all of you who shared poems and wrote with students for National Poetry Month.  I wish I had more equipment to share.

  1. Oddly, even at six and almost four, they’ve become accustomed to the mouse and are unlearning its use.  Which is fascinating. []
  2. Turns out not much.  We compute when we’ve a purpose, and don’t when we don’t. More on that perhaps in another post. []
  3. Yes, *during* the month of April.  It’s too late to post it now – at least for this contest. But writing and sharing poems is still its own reward. []
  4. And if you’re interested in other folks who will or who’ve recently given away a ThinkCentre on their sites, Miguel’s got a roundup of others. []
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NPM 2011: Prompt +1

You still bloomed in songs
Creative Commons License photo credit: theCarol

Like flowers, poems can sneak up on us, can appear without us realizing they were coming.  I hope flowers and poems found their way into your April.  And into whatever comes next.

Thanks to all of you who wrote and shared your poems with others this last month.  Remember that you can write and share your writing without permission pretty much whenever you want to.  You needn’t wait for April to sneak up on us again.

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