Monday, June 14, 2010

Kids having kids

One of my "kids" is having a kid. I often refer to my students as my kids, even though sometimes I censor myself because I think that what to me is a term of endearment may sound somehow less than that to others who know I teach young adults--high school students. And one of my kids, a darling of mine (even though I try NOT to have favorites), is having a baby...really soon.

Some may say she is not school-smart, but I say she is life-smart, coupled with common sense (something in rather short supply of late). I am proud of her that she plans to deliver this baby naturally, and delighted that she intends to breast feed. I am pleased (and even somewhat amazed!) she has read and even quoted to me from the book I gave her--What to Expect When You Are Expecting; she will be a good mother. She is an amazing cook--the "best Sous- Chef" our Culinary Arts teacher has ever had. She is leader. She is passionate. She is tenacious. And she is a good human being. So here is baby Cheyenne's blanket, a token of my abiding affection and belief in her Mama and a symbol of comfort and hope for this little girl's future.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Two moments in time

...that took my breath away: last night, seeing Matthew march (oh so proudly) into Penn State's Medlar Stadium with all the other Special Olympians from across Pennsylvania; and then again today, when an unexpected bouquet of garden flowers arrived in my classroom, sent by a student and her family. Purity, Joy and Beauty always push the "pause" button on life for me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I define myself as a knitter, a honed skill which I loosely claim as my craft. Occasionally, I also crochet, and I must confess it pleases me to honestly say I taught myself how to do it.

Last week, I happened upon a crochet dishcloth pattern that looked sort of easy and kind of fun, so over the holiday weekend, I tried it. It amazes me how quickly crocheting works up a dishcloth compared to knitting one. I can't quite say which technique creates the superior cloth, but it was gratifying to whip up a few. Ironically, Ted Kooser's Sunday column featured a poem about crocheting. I can knit without looking, even stitching in the dark; however, my hands cannot integrate the feel of yarn and hook to crochet with the same blind intuition the poet so beautifully describes...


Even after darkness closed her eyes
my mother could crochet.
Her hands would walk the rows of wool
turning, bending, to a woolen music.
The dye lots were registered in memory:
appleskin, chocolate, porcelain pan,
the stitches remembered like faded rhymes:
pineapple, sunflower, window pane, shell.
Tied to our lives those past years
by merely a soft colored yarn,
she’d sit for hours, her dark lips
moving as if reciting prayers,
coaching the sighted hands.

by Jan Mordenski