"" Writer's Wanderings: August 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

An Apple for the Teacher--2

Cassie seemed to draw deeper into herself as the day progressed. Jill sensed a real challenge to her teaching abilities as she observed her new student.

When she wasn't wandering around the room as if in her own little world, Cassie sat and chewed her fingernails. She didn't even attempt her schoolwork unless Jill stood next to her and coaxed. During the week, Jill found the extra attention Cassie needed quite taxing. Cassie needed to straighten out--soon.

The class sensed Jill's tension and took advantage of it. With a sigh of relief that Friday had arrived, Jill opened the door for the students to run out to the waiting school buses. Maybe with a fresh start on Monday. . . , Jill thought. She eased into her chair.

"Hello." Mr. Bridges, the principal, appeared in the doorway. Jill stood and realized that he was not alone. "This is Mrs. Marquette, Cassie's mother. She'd like to talk with you about Cassie."

(continued. . .)

Monday, August 28, 2006

An Apple for the Teacher

Every so often I get ambitious and begin going through old files to see if there is something I wrote a while back that is worth resurrecting, rewriting and submitting. Here is a story that I thought my blog readers might enjoy. It's timely since school is starting all over the USA now. It was originally written in 1987--on a typewriter!

An Apple for the Teacher

It was ceramic. Without pencils sticking out of the top, it might be mistaken for a real apple. Jill set it on her desk afraid should she drop it, it would shatter against the hard schoolroom floor. The apple represented a long hard road traveled and held the prospect of better things to come. She wasn't superstitious, but she didn't want anything to happen to this honored trophy bearing the words "Jill Passep, 1987 Educator of the Year."

Jill's morning routine was interrupted by the school secretary at the door. "Mrs. Passep, this is Cassie." The secretary smiled as she nudged a very shy six year old girl into the room. "She was just enrolled and Mr. Bridges felt you would be the best choice for her teacher."

"Hello, Cassie." Jill crossed the room greet her. "Let me show you around the room before everyone else gets here."

Cassie barely glanced at Jill. Her eyes seemed focused on the ceramic apple on the desk. Jill directed her toward the bulletin boards, the collection of leaves and bugs on the table along the window, and finally to the supply cabinet where she found Cassie the books and worksheets she needed.

Silently Cassie accepted the school supplies from Jill. She shuffled to the desk Jill assigned, stored her things, and sat quietly with her hands folded awaiting her classmates.....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Poor Pluto!

What are they doing to the solar system?

If you haven't heard, Pluto is no longer a full-fledged planet under new guidelines that redefine the qualities of a planet. There are now 8 planets and 4 dwarf planets, including Pluto.

Pluto has been classified a planet since its discovery in 1930--long enough for most of the population to have had to memorize it along with the other 8. My favorite way to remember them and their order is: Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Stay Up Nights Period.

Now, I ask you, how can you have a sentence with out a period? Perhaps the way they name the other dwarfs will lend itself to more punctuation...Exclamation Point

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cruise-ing on his own.

What is happening in Hollywood? Lindsay Lohan gets a reprimand from a director and now Tom Cruise is set free from Paramount!

"It's nothing to do with his acting ability. He's a terrific actor," Viacom chair Sumner Redstone is reported saying. "But we don't think that someone who effects creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot."

Of course Cruise's publishing partner's response is that he quit first.

I have to say, Redstone is right. Cruise's behavior does affect the way he's perceived on screen. It took me more than half of the recent Mission Impossible to separate the character from the personality. I kept thinking, "What a jerk."

I'd like to think this is the beginning of Hollywood cleaning up its act but I'm not that naive. It's a start though.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hell Has a Zip Code

You read the title correctly. Hell now has a zip code. It’s KY1-1400. The hot little burg in the middle of Grand Cayman island along with the rest of the Cayman islands now has a zip code. It seems the citizens of Cayman were having difficulty receiving packages from online orders because the country did not have any zip codes so the government applied zip codes to all the little towns and areas of the islands.

Ivan Farrington runs the little establishment in Hell and sells postcards for you to mail to friends and family. He dresses in a devil costume and tells devilish jokes upon request. His new postal stamp will sport the new zip.

Yes, Hell now has a zip code…but it’s still closed on Sundays. Hmmmm.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Worry-Free Parrot Fish

Diving in Cayman the other day, I couldn’t help but be amused once again by the colorful parrot fish of the Caribbean. They are brightly multicolored mostly on a turquoise blue background with a mouth that looks like a beak—thus the name parrot fish. They go along crunching on rocks and then excreting them. Know those sandy beaches you love? The parrot fish helps make them.

While this may seem like a mundane job, the parrot fish seems to be quite happy in his lot in life. With all that roughage, he’s probably not constipated which certainly helps his mood. When you see the parrot fish from the side, his eye looks bright and clear and his “beak” is shaped like a smile. Rather than swimming along, he seems to skip through the water making him appear carefree and happy-go-lucky. You can almost hear him singing, “Don’t worry. Be Happy.”

Ah, yes. The Caribbean. Even the fish are happy!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How Hot Is It?

I knew it was hot when the A/C started running almost continually.

I knew it was hot when I couldn't walk barefoot across our wood deck.

I knew it was hot when the kitchen windows were fogged up on the outside because it was cooler and drier inside.

I knew it was REALLY hot when the Canadian geese started cooling off in the mist of the neighbor's sprinkler.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mona Lisa Speaks?

She's always been a mystery but now a Japanese acoustics expert is claiming he knows what she sounds like. Dr. Matsumi Suzuki measured the face and hands of the famous Mona Lisa. and created a model of her skull. Somehow with all those calculations, he figured out her tone of voice.

He claims the voice he has created is 90% accurate. Because the lower part of her face is quite wide she would have a lower voice but the pointy chin would add mid-pitch tones. The voice he has created says, "I am the Mona Lisa. My true identity is shrouded in mystery."

All of this leads me to wonder if the voice of Mona really is that low, perhaps it is something of a self-portrait of DaVinci. Or is it just an early version of Marlena Dietrich?

(Apparently at one time there was a link to the voice but I was not able to connect to put the link here. If anyone finds a working link, please leave a comment with the link. I for one would like to hear the old girl talk.)
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