Archive for February, 2016

Mid-February sundogs!!!

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southern sundog with sunrise

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northern sundog with early morning sunrise

These sunrise photos were quite the hit with people on my Facebook hometown page. I just took it with my simple camera that does NOT have a wide angle lens which would have been helpful to catch BOTH sundogs at the same time.  I also showed the photos to my students and asked if they knew what sundogs were. A few did but many others didn’t. That particular morning was about 10 degrees BELOW Fahrenheit and that is when this phenomenon happens, when it is extremely cold.  I asked if they had ever seen moondogs, fewer had seen that.

Anyway, when there is nothing much else to report, mid-February sundogs seem appropriate.  I just went to a Professional Development workshop yesterday…all day.  It was somewhat helpful about doing “active teaching.”  Something that I already do with my composition students. I WANT them to be actively engaged in what they are learning.  We had a concurrent session in the afternoon, after a nice buffet lunch, that was about relieving stress, what to do about it.  We were asked to eat a chocolate covered potato chip. I have NEVER eaten one so slowly, usually those chippers go down very quickly.  They are hand made by our local candy store, one chip at a time. No factory or mechanization involved and they are very popular for those long winter nights.

I said that singing helps with stress even though I recognized that not everyone in the group is musical.  The moderators agreed that singing is a GOOD thing to promote in order to take the burdens off.  I led in worship on Sunday and that was not as stressful because I had other singers who supported me and we were able to pull it off.  It was a last minute request of me the night before. It would have been stressful for me but I chose songs that *I* liked and that I knew other people knew.  For Valentines day and my husband gave me three, beautiful red roses.  I gave him some bulky Smartwool socks.  I go for beauty, he goes for functionality.

Another good thing that happened already in February was that our fireproof vault has shelves.  They are ready to have the brown packaged newspapers put on them.  We have old newspapers from the 1880s and up to the 1980s.  Not just of our town but all the towns that had newspapers in our county.  That is a LOT of archival material that we already have on microfilm.  That will be for a project in March that I will work on moving things over to the vault from where they are stored right now.  In the meantime, I am doing this blog because I have almost 30 papers to grade for my composition classes and I don’t want to do them.  Blogging is a stress reliever!

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Monday, Monday, so good to me

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our sunset at 5:30 p.m.

I guess that is a song, or the start of one.  I’m glad it was a good Monday of classes and then meeting up with people at noon and then office hours.  I have much to be thankful for especially after a very warm weekend where my husband and I could get much work done with moving things around at the Carnegie.  We need the carpenters to start work on the fire proof vault to have the old newspapers stored there.  Archives with newspapers that are as old as 1880s and 1890s.  They have all been scanned on microfilm. I don’t think we have the money to get them digitized.

My husband and I also went to the movie theater across the street from the Carnegie to see the movie “13 Hours” which is about Benghazi and what happened to people trapped there.  Grueling two hours watching how the brave ones did all they could to hold their ground, it was like a little Alamo with the acreage they had to cover.  They were ready and one of the stars of the team did get hit and died.  The movie makers knew how to go back and forth with these fierce men battle ready but they also had families they had been talking to by Skype or whatever when the bullets were not flying.

All in all, I would recommend the movie to show the lead up of why Libya messed up as a nation and how it affected many people on the ground.  What we were doing over there is a bit baffling, there had been too many years of dictatorship for the warring factions to have any kind of decorum about them.  They were heavily armed and were willing to use it against Americans.  Most of them got out alive but the ambassador Christopher Stevens did not fare so well. He had been in country only a couple of days before 9/11 and things were sealed off in anticipation of something happening. There were people giving those who were trained to defend the “Stand down” order.  That is also very, very perplexing.

So, I told my students about it and maybe a few will go. I told them that I held my husband’s hand the whole time as we watched the movie. Especially difficult was the aftermath as they were picking up the pieces, dead bodies and trying to get their lives back together.  Yes, on a Monday evening, I have a LOT to be thankful for because of what others before us have sacrificed for our freedoms.  I do NOT take that for granted.

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