I Write Like

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I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Dan, I am available for consultation. Fee negotiable.


If I Were a Book…..

I suppose I have been reading them (books) rather than keeping up with my Google Reader, so just found these quizzes today. My result from the original Book Quiz:

You’re Catch-22!

by Joseph Heller

Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you
see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense
of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an
ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You
could coin a phrase that replaces the word “paradox” for millions of

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

There’s also a Book Quiz II you can take, but I’ll spare you reading more about me. Instead,tell me, what book are YOU?

Those Were the Days: A Meme

I’ve been tagged for a meme by my good friend Cathy Nelson.  One of my favorite bloggers, Shannon Wham, started the meme and I will do my best to keep it going!

My meme assignment?  Share childhood memories of bygone pastimes (that our students don’t have the opportunity to experience).

File:Kürbis Fratze.jpg

1.  Halloween Trick-or-Treating

  Yes, I know that this tradition still exists, but because of the world-gone-crazy, my daughters didn’t get to experience the full-blown trick-or-treating that my brothers, friends, and I did.  Halloween costumes were much simpler then; I often came home from school and pulled together a “hobo” outfit:  flannel shirt, a bandana on the end of a long stick, and charcoal smudges on my face.  My friends and I would meet just before dark and revel in the absence of adults as we went door-to-door in our neighborhood for hours.  We knew the houses that had the “best” treats – for me it was chocolate bars.  If time were running out on us (we did have curfews), we would only hit those good houses as we tried to load up on the goodies.  On cold Halloween nights, we made sure to visit the house several streets over from mine where you were invited inside and given a cup of hot chocolate.

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2.   “The Wizard of Oz”

  Long before the days of VCRs and even remote controls, I looked forward to one night a year when my absolute favorite movie would be aired.  We couldn’t own it, or record it, or even pause it as we were watching – we watched when the television station decided to air the movie.  As a young child, my bedtime was 8:00, so getting to stay up past that hour to watch television made the whole experience even more delicious.  On the one night a year that “The Wizard of Oz” was on, my brothers and I would bathe early and sit in front of the tv in our pj’s, transfixed by Dorothy and Toto’s magical journey from Kansas to Oz.  Unfortunately this experience cannot be replicated in today’s “gotta have it NOW” society.  Even if a show is only aired once a year (think “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”), we can own it on DVD or record it to watch at our leisure, which robs us of the anticipation that kids of yesteryear experienced.


3.  Dragging Main Street

    On Friday and Saturday nights (and sometimes Sunday afternoons), my teenaged friends and I would pile in one car and head to THE teenage destination:  Main Street in downtown Greenville.   Dragging Main Street was an inexpensive way to pass the time (you could ride forever on $5.00 worth of gas), see friends, and make new friends of the opposite sex. The normal circuit began at the Daniel Building on one end of downtown and ended at the street right past Belk department store. Rather than drive the route, some people would park on the side of the street and watch the cars make the circuit.  For hours on end, teens rode up and down the street.  When you and your friends saw some guys you wanted to meet in another car, you would look for that car each time around the circuit, hoping to talk with them and set up a place off of the main drag to meet. 

    My daughters have told me that teens still drag certain areas on the weekends, but no longer is Main Street in Greenville their destination; dragging was “outlawed” due to the traffic congestion and rowdy nature of some of those dragging.  There was something magical about that street; there were enough red lights to insure that you had to stop often and plenty of off streets to meet up.

    I actually met my husband of 31 years there for the first time since we attended rival high schools; when we met up with him and his friends, I ended up dating one of his friends.  It wasn’t until a couple of years later that we began dating; but if it weren’t for dragging Main Street, who knows if we would have ever met? 

Okay, now that I have had great fun reminiscing, I tag Susan Myers, Buffy Hamilton, and John Woodring.



My friend Cathy Nelson recently wrote a post entitled “If An Assignment Can Be Plagairized.” We attended the same pre-conference session at the recent South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference in Greenville, South Carolina. Doug Johnson‘s session was entitled “Designing Research Projects that Kids (and Teachers) Love!”

Doug shared how to try to plagiarize-proof assignments:

     One way to prevent plagiarism is to require students to use primary sources such as interviews, surveys, and experiments.

     Another way to prevent plagiarism is to allow students choice and creativity. The use of technology allows creativity.  Even      if the teacher has assigned a PowerPoint project and specified the number and content of the slides, the students still gets to choose the color, font, clip art, etc.

That last line was a “light-bulb” moment for me.  Students are given (not allowed to choose) an assignment.  Their final product is the beat-to-a pulp-dead-horse PowerPoint slideshow.  Students are told they have to have X number of slides.  So, they come to the media center, head for the computers, and ….what….begin to research? Not quite. 

No…they open PowerPoint and start a slideshow before they have any research to put in it! They design the first slide with a title, their names, and the date due….and then play with design and look for pictures, and try different font. 

I tell them, “You need to research first.  Don’t worry what it will look like yet – that comes at the end.”

Do they listen? Uh…no.  And why?  Because this (the design, colors, font, pictures) is the ONLY thing they have control over.  It’s the only choice they are given in the whole assignment.

When they finally do get around to “reseaching,” they end up copying and pasting (and putting way too much text on a slide – but that’s another post).

Instead, we need to plagiarize-proof the assignments as Doug and others have suggested.

Now, my brain is fried after doing true research and working on a paper for a grad class today, so forgive the departure here from anything remotely relating to plagiarize-proofing assignments.

Instead, I offer for your viewing pleasure a video that was shared by Holly Foster, a fellow grad student in my Master’s of Library and Information Science program at the University of South Carolina. 



Image attribution:

Quality Garanteed    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124413076@N01/1680927

Book Meme

Confession time:  my Google Reader had 660 blog posts in it when I opened it tonight.  I haven’t had time to read others’ posts much less write new ones myself.  But reading Doug Johnson’s Dec. 2nd post intrigued me enough to take part in this little meme.

“He was replaced by Minuit, who arrived in May on the ship Sea-Mew and who will be responsible for the entire settlement.”

~ “Manhattan bought for $24 by Dutch.” Chronicle of America.  Mount Kisco, N.Y.: Chronicle Publications (no publication date given)

* Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write this sentence – either here or on your blog.
* Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
* Don’t look for your favorite book or your coolest but really the nearest.

Okay – try hard NOT to look at the 5th sentence on p. 56 of the nearest book right now!  Thanks for the fun, Doug.

Chronicle of America

Image attribution:


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Disco CPR

Okay. A bit off topic for me, but having danced to many a disco tune this bit of news caught my eye.

Doctors and students at the University of Illinois medical school have been in training using disco music. No, they are not dancing in the emergency room, but they have been wearing IPods to catch the rhythm of the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.”  Turns out that disco music can help save lives (which, of course, I love since I am one of those weird folks who loved disco).

Students in training have listened to the song while performing CPR on mannequins and then tried doing CPR without the IPods but using the tune in their heads.  Either way, the increased number of compressions per minute is what is needed to help save lives.

The article also mentioned that the song “Another One Bites the Dust” has the correct rhythm but didn’t seem quite appropriate.

Long live disco!

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You’ll wish that summer could always be here

Lyrics by Charles Tobias

 Nat King Cole was one of my mother’s favorite artists so we listened to his records often.  The lyrics to this song always come to mind when the last school bell rings for the year. 

As an adult, I often long for the lazy days of summer freedom I experienced as a child.  


These days included:

ice cream trucks

running through sprinklers

trips to the neighborhood swimming pool

catching lightning bugs in Duke’s mayonnaise jars 

Vacation Bible School

 Myrtle Beach

 weekly trips to the public library

 picnics with fried chicken and deviled eggs

July 4th fireworks


home-churned peach ice cream




Marco Polo

backyard cookouts

star gazing

skimming stones across a lake or pond

As a product of the 1950s, my childhood memories will vary greatly from those of my grandchildren.  Will they remember long summer afternoons of playing video games, surfing the internet, or watching television?  I hope not.

I am a self-professed technology junkie. I will spend many hours this summer learning more about technology tools to use in the classroom, but I don’t want my grandchildren’s lives to revolve around technology.  Summer was a magical season for me, and I want it to be so for my grandchildren.  So, I will break out the sprinkler, vacuum the pool, save the mayo jars, and gaze at stars.  I will grill out hamburgers, use the electric churn to make peach ice cream, and play games of tag until I fall down, exhausted.  I will create bubbles with wands, help little hands master the craft of skimming stones, and build sandcastles.

What memories will summer hold for your children and grandchildren?


image courtesy of adwriter, used through a Creative Commons license