Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now!

Thanks to my new lime green reading glasses, Lenscrafter and Vogue. Okay, so it set me back almost $300! I finally broke down and did it. I went for my eye exam and decided that the little $1 readers from the Dollar Tree were no longer going to carry the reading load I have before me. I have just begun the daunting task of undoing the cart before the horse, and am rearranging the steed and putting it in front of the cart, which is what I should have done many a year ago. You see, I am enrolled in the Reading Endorsement program at UWStout, that is the University of Wisconsin Stout, a distant learning program.

The Cart before the horse scenario is simply this; I have been teaching literacy, that is reading and writing for many years now. I did not set out to, actually I am highly qualified in History, but there is a shortage of teachers, or a glut in the history, actually social studies teacher market. So in 2001 I was assigned the task of teaching literacy through the America's Choice program funded and developed by the NCEE, National Council on Economic Education. Why would they care about literacy? Well, they are concerned as there is an even greater shortage of people who can manifest a document worth producing to an executive team. So, if you want literate executives, you better educate the next generation, right?

After a four years of training and the attaining of a MAE in curriculum and instruction, I went on to work in the area of literacy integration for a non-traditional education program at a museum in Chicago. Now, I am again teaching literacy remediation and without an "endorsement." The lovely and limiting No Child Left Behind, has left many a veteran, trained educator behind. So now I am back in school paying yet another University a large sum of money to obtain an endorsement in an area that I have presented, and authored in and taught! Go figure, only in America!

Oh, the green glasses...I have many books to read and unfortunately, I have discovered that my eyesight is failing at a much greater rate than our reading scores! Eeeewww, not good, hey, maybe my glasses will help me read, and my "endorsement" will raise a few scores.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Dawn of a New President

This picture was taken on the 20th of January at 7:10 in the morning, by SRC. The glow of the sunrise signals a new day, the morning after, the cold is present,but yet on the horizon is a warm glow and a promise of a power far greater than any of us. Beyond the wires, the brick, the cement, the mortar, off in the distant is what graces the roof tops of every community in the United States,... a church steeple. Good Morning America, and God Bless!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If Stories Come to You, ...

“If stories come to you, care for them and learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” Barry Lopez, in Crow and Weasel
Our stories are not supposed to be horded and kept in the recesses of our brains, but rather, they should be thrown to the four corners of the world. Just like love, we cannot worry ourselves with the constant concern that it is returned. We know that when we give we receive if not immediately, then ultimately.
Sharing our stories are gentle caresses to the listener’s ears. They are colorful masterpieces to the reader’s eyes. We may truly never fully, completely understand the impact that our experiences have on others. I will share this story, as that is what I do:
I had a student some years back. Q.O.D., is what I use every day to encourage my students to think, share, write, ponder. Most of my stories have some degree of moral, ethical lesson embedded within it. Daily I share my own experiences. Most of the time, I choose a quote that represents something that has happened to me over the 24 hours prior to my coming into class. You see, I never choose the quote until the beginning of my school day. It is in the spontaneity of the moment that guarantees the experience to be real, and “in the moment.” Typically, my students realize this within the first 2 weeks of teaching them.
One student in particular was a bit of an outcast. She gained from my sharing of personal experiences that she can be somebody. She shared in an essay that now she believes that she can go on to college, and she can achieve because if Ms. LaLuna can with all that has happened to her, than she can too.
I never would have imagined as I looked out over my class of students that 1) I was even being heard, and 2) that it would have been her to have “gotten it.”
So my dear friends, if you have taken the time to read this little Q.O.D, then I pray you will see the value in sharing your story. It is the one thing that you have that no one else has, and it is only when you decide to give it away can you give it, and keep it all at the same time. It is in giving away your story that it becomes real.

Friday, January 16, 2009


"The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost than by the stories it loves and believes in." - H. Goddard

I cannot help but connect this to the profound "change" that is about to happen, or, has already happened. B.H. Obama has been elected. That is the "change" his breaking through the glass ceiling. I think it would be unfair to say that he broke through it alone. My assumption is that he would be the first to say that he was merely the man of the hour and it was actually all of the stories that preceded him that enabled the "change" to occur.
M.L. King stated that "we are not makers of history, but rather we are made by history"
Barack Obama, was made by history, the history of his father and mother. A mother willing to break through her own glass ceiling.
Yes, there were many battles lost. But the stories, the dreams, the hopes, passed on and shared, over and over again, triggered a love in the many that held onto the dream.
Stories told over and over again of a promised land. The Lord told Moses, write it down, this is what I want you to tell generations to come.
I have seen the promise land, and it is rich with milk and honey, and yes, glass ceilings are meant to be broken, so the story goes...