the table where rich people sit.

on Saturday, June 12, 2010
I love Byrd Baylor. I have read her books throughout the year and I never met a kid that didn't like them. However, I think I enjoy reading them more than the kids like listening to them. The Table Where Rich People Sit is one of my favorites. Read it. It will change your life.

I chose to read this book on the last day of my last teaching week. After all, what more do I want students to understand than the fact that life is MORE than the things they acquire? After I read the story, I asked my students: What means more to you than money? What in your life is priceless? Kids, even in 5th grade, get so wrapped up in STUFF, without realizing it. One of the most surprising things that children discover here is that it IS possible to go 4 days without a Wii or a cell phone or an ipod. What a beautiful thing to offer children the gift of appreciation for LIFE.

Last DAY

My last day of teaching! Incorporating every single Thursday theme we had throughout the year, we looked like fools as we walked to the friendship circle for the very last time (we didn't care).

My plan for the day was to do the 2 activities that I love to do the most.

After the final 2 hours in the field with the kids, we sang "See ya later IslandWood" for the last time at the closing friendship circle.

Said goodbye to our LAST school as they headed off on the buses

And had our last celebration of their departure.

Debrief lunch was amazing! Check out that spread!

After we chatted with our mentors and wrapped up the debrief for the week, Ray shared the community agreements that we made as a group from the beginning of the quarter.

What an ending!


on Thursday, June 10, 2010
This week was my last week of teaching SOP at IslandWood, and today was my very last full teaching day. Unbelievable!

It was my last time to write a flow on the board.

It was our last time singing "My Barnacle".

It was my last time forcing my students to lug around peanut butter, turkey, and bottles of mayo and jelly, and my last time eating crate lunches!

The last time exploring the harbor!

And of course, when we needed to go through the gate for the last time, the lock wouldn't budge. Lucky for bushwacking and the end of the fence!

It was my last time to hang out in the prep room after a long field day, sharing stories and laughing at each other's crazy children.

And, (luckily) it was my last time having to eat Wednesday night cheese pizza! Despite the never-changing menu, I will miss eating and hanging out in the dining hall.

It was my last chance to drum the djembe at campfire, the last time singing Rattlin' Bog, doing the fireworks clap, and the kids slideshow.

A FIRST (and a last) for us tonight was our very own instructor slideshow with pictures of us that had been taken throughout the year - courtesy of Ilya and Minna, this week's liaisons. It was followed by a 'campfire' of our own.

Does it really have to end??

Inspired by salmonberry

on Sunday, June 6, 2010
As I was walking from campus today, I slowed down and even stopped occasionally to admire the salmonberries (admiration by observation or ingestion). The salmonberry is the first to flower in the year, and the first to berry as well. As I was thinking about what colors to incorporate into my wedding, I was inspired by the salmonberry flower.

As the brilliant pink petals fell to the ground one by one, they were gradually replaced by small greenish berries that grew larger and transformed into hues of pinks and oranges. Perhaps I was drawn to them by the inability to eat them - due to their unripe status at the time. But now, they're ready. I realized today as I was on the trail and admiring the salmonberries - that the color of their fruits were the same colors that I picked for my wedding. I would like to believe that I've spent so much time in the forest this year that the flora and I have begun to think alike.

Once I was looking at the spectrum of colors around me, I began to notice more and more the dazzling signs of new growth: the salal berry, the maple tree helicopters.

Even decay can be brilliant.

Come to think about it, I guess I could compare my own dress (yes! I have a dress) to the blackberry and miner's lettuce flowers - although I wouldn't have known it at the time!

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand – rejoice! For your soul is alive."

-Elanora Dosa

Alaska 2

on Saturday, June 5, 2010
Pictures continued

Kama and Mega, our dining room stewards

Ben and Dylan entered the ship-building contest

Alaska 1

We had been waiting over 9 months to go to Alaska on a cruise! Our family has expanded by 2 since our last family cruise, and the number was brought up to 17, a record high! Our boat, the Oosterdam, left from Pier 91, just a mile or two from the Bainbridge ferry. I didn't have to go far! Because it would be a lot to narrate, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Day 1 we left Seattle, and Day 2 was also a day at sea as we sailed North to our first destination, Glacier Bay. It is conidered a 'port', although we don't leave the ship. We sailed into the Bay for the day, came to the end of our little inlet with an amazingly deep blue glacier. I was so surprised to see ICE in the water! Mini icebergs. As we stood on the hull of the ship, we probably stood outside for about 4 hours admiring the scenery and watching the glaciers calf (ice breaking off) One of my favorite parts of the trip!

Our 2nd port was Juneau. I really wanted to go on at least one run on Alaskan soil, so my sister and I went off the ship and went for an hour run. After lunch we took an excursion to see the Mendehall Glacier, which was about 20 minutes away from the city ( by bus.

We stopped at three other ports: Ketchikan, Sitka, and Victoria. I don't have much to say about Ketchikan because I wasn't that impressed. Too touristy. I went into town, bought two postcards, then went back on the ship. Victoria was even less interesting. I've heard great things about Victoria and I know that it's beautiful, but the dock where the cruise ships come in is in a really strange place and is nowhere near anything! Not only did we not dock till about 7pm, but you had to take a taxi or a tour to get to town. And to top it all off, there were two other gigantic cruise ships docked there at the same time. Because of all of the above and due to the fact that it was our last night on the ship, I did end up going off the ship but only briefly.

I'm obviously not going in chronological order because I haven't yet spoken about Sitka. I wanted to save the best port for last. It was our only port we had to tender at, and Dad, Dave, Darcy, Dylan, Hannah, Ben, and I went on a sea kayaking excursion. It was fabulous! We spotted a humpback whale on the boat ride out to the boathouse that housed the kayaks. We kayaked around the bay, admiring the sea weed and sitka spruce. We had hot cider and clam chowder back at the boat house (as if we hadn't had enough to eat already). On the boat ride back, we spotted two brown bears - also known as grizzly! A momma and her cub - what a treat! (I didn't bring my camera on this trip so unfortunately I don't have any pictures!