Adventures in Subbing #8

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It’s always a joy to see students succeed and to know I was a part of their past.  Even as a sub I’ve made connections and am excited to watch students grow and be successful. Here is one small example written Ceci Angel.   I wish RMS – the soon to be former RMS – tons of best wishes for next year!

Thanks to the Leaf for publishing this

How Do We Say Goodbye?

 

Other RMS links:

Thrones and Bones

RMS Theatre

Tradition

 

 

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Adventures in Subbing #2

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“There is always something left to be done and no heart left to do it,” – George MacDonald

As the school year draws to a close, I think most teachers can relate to this. I’m not just talking about end of the year festivities, getting the grades in and packing up the classroom for summer. Yes, those and a hundred other things sit on the plates of teachers everywhere. But, I’m thinking of that kid, the one who acts out all the time and touches every last nerve. The one who may have a long summer ahead filled with hours of sitting at home. The one who won’t take a family vacation or go camp. The one for whom school is a respite from something much harder.

Hang in there, my teacher friends. Hug them tight when you hug them goodbye and renew your hearts and minds this summer.

The Cadence of Scripture

“How many of us, the South’s writers-to-be of my generation, were blessed in one way or another, if not blessed alike, in not having gone deprived of the King James Version of the Bible. Its cadence entered into our ears and our memories for good. The evidence, or the ghost of it, lingers in all our books. ‘In the beginning was the Word’. “  ~ Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings

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While her understanding of John 1:1 is flawed, I find it interesting and sad that this cadence is no longer a part of the lives of children in our country. According to the Shelby Baptist Association, Shelby County is the most unchurched county in Alabama. David Olsen, in his book The American Church in Crisis , states that only 16.4 percent  of the population in Shelby County attends church on a regular basis.

Though I grew up in church and became a Christian at an early age, I am ashamed at how sorely lacking I am in having memorized scripture. Or in having memorized much of anything. I have snatches of verses in my heart and in my head, but I can’t tell you the reference for the majority of them. Growing up in public schools for the most part, I didn’t memorize scripture until seventh grade when, at a Christian school, we were required to recite chapters. Fortunately we were given numerous chances, reciting in chunks, until we got through the entire passage. Sadly, I was always one of the last to complete the requirement. Years later, after listening to the Guess Who’s song, Hang On To Your Life, numerous times throughout my teens,  I read Psalms 22:13-15  as an adult and made the connection between the words spoken in the song and the verse in the Bible:

 

They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

 

This is all just food for thought – I don’t really have a conclusion.

 

You can hear the song HERE.

Starting the Year With a Look Back

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I decided to give the look of this blog an uplift that features pictures I took this past year around town. It was really hard to pick out which ones to feature as Birmingham has so many picture-perfect spots.

I also thought about highlighting some blog posts, but they are all here to be found by clicking tags and such. Instead I thought I’d link up some articles I wrote for the Leaf that didn’t appear on the blog.

Four of the articles revolve around Riverchase Middle School since that is where I spend much of my time as a substitute teacher.

·         In September Dr. Tim Elmore visited RMS for a day, speaking to students, teachers, and parents.

·         Also in September, teacher Hannah Rodgers won the WAIT One Class at a Time Grant.

·         The fall brings football, and this year it brought a new tradition to Pelham High School. Players write appreciation letters to former teachers and the coach delivers a jersey to the teacher to be worn on game day.  

·         Students had a real treat when local author Lou Anders came to visit.

Also…

·         In August we traveled to Montana to see our daughter. Before we left, I made a thank-you package for a family that was giving us a place to stay while we were there. I had fun shopping for All Things B’ham.

·         I was able to see Big Fish in September, my first Red Mountain Theatre Company experience.

Looking forward to 2016, I hope to explore more of the Birmingham area, make more blog posts and continue to write for the Leaf.

A Busy Day at Oak Mountain

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We stumbled on quite a crowd today at Oak Mountain. We were headed to the parking lot atop the mountain to walk the trails to Peavine Falls, but were told we may not find a place to park – there was a big bike race going on. Since the crowd at the top would be gone in about an hour, we decided to start with the Treetop Trail . This one started out easy on a boardwalk past  some interesting caged birds.

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We followed the trail until we got to the Alabama Wildlife Center. There everything was ready to go for the Bird Baby Shower. I took  a quick look around, deciding to come back again soon to take it in slowly. We went back the way we came, then drove up the road to the falls parking lot.

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This time I was able to get to the bottom and see the beauty of the falls. My goal for my next trip here is to pull off the boots and step into the waters.

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On our way out the park was even fuller. Between the Bird Baby Shower, the Bump n Grind bike race, a Chili Cook Off and a birthday party, there was quite a diverse crowd at the park today.

Oak Mountain State Park

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School will be out soon and it will be a good time to hit the trail! This 9000+ acre park in Pelham, the largest state park in Alabama,  has so much to offer in addition to hiking. There is a beach and swimming area,  boat rentals, camping, biking, golf, nature programs, basketball courts, horseback riding –  and that’s just some of what you’ll find here – whew!

I went for the first time last week with my husband, son, and his family. We went for the hiking, so I have  lot more to check out! It was a great experience and I will definitely be going back.

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Once more, the backpack came in handy for the little one. There were some really steep spots, but we soldiered on and got to the more level areas. The trails are clearly marked – our five year old grandson was a great scout, keeping us on the white and yellow trails. Along the way there was a creek flowing through – a great spot for a break.

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I can’t wait to go again!

Tips:

  • Bug spray is helpful
  • Hiking shoes – it’s not about the looks, it’s about the ankle support
  • Buy a map at the park office and use it
  • Bring water
  • Don’t overdo it

April on 459

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That moment when you leave mid-morning
for a half day of work
grateful for the part-time job

The sun is shining
just a dusting of white clouds
and you see why they call that color sky blue

All signs of winter are vanished
as you pass the jade hills
on either side of the interstate
with Stevie Wonder singing his lovely Songs in the Key of Life

And now you are alive to
what Browning meant
when he wrote Pippa’s Song

A Visit to Vizzini’s

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A visit to Vizzini Farms Winery  will get you a nice meal, some excellent wine, and pleasant surroundings. Located in Calera, just south of Birmingham, the winery was started in 2005 by Tom and Deborah Vizzina. Tom was born and raised in the Birmingham area.

The Bistro at Vizzini’s is open Monday-Saturday and serves many dishes using vegetables fresh from their onsite garden. The Chicken Tetrazzini Salad is exceptional, but the menu also carries an assortment of pizzas, pastas, paninis and more.

Customers may take advantage of a wine tasting and tour, getting a little history of the winery along the way. As part of the tour we took  a peek at the lovely vegetable garden and grape vines.

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There is a wide selection of wine to choose from, including red and white. Some carry locally influenced labels, such as the Collegiate Collection for both Alabama and Auburn fans. My favorites were Miss Scarlet, a sweet red wine, and the Appling Riesling that has a hint of green apple. We had part of a bottle of the Viognier with our lunch, and had the remainder of the bottle corked to take home. We also took advantage of a Living Social Coupon and ended up taking away two souvenir glasses as well, so keep your eye out for those Living Social and Groupn deals!