It could always be worse.
With the arrival of the coronavirus, Peru is in lockdown. All schools are closed until Monday, March 30. All people in Peru are in quarantine until the same date. No one leaves home without official permission, or a very good reason. Police and the military are stopping people, asking questions, and detaining them if necessary.
If all goes well, schools will resume on that Monday with a flattened coronavirus curve. Because some people are not following the directive, an overnight curfew will be implemented beginning tonight. From 8:00 PM until 5:00 AM no one leaves home. No one. Starting tomorrow morning, no personal cars can be on the roads. None.
During this crisis, I am teaching middle school from home. Thankfully, my students have been wonderfully flexible as we figure out online learning. Kudos to them, their parents, and the team of adults from school that make this possible!
I remember three years ago when heavy rains caused landslides that filled the rivers and closed the water processing plant for Lima (los huaicos). At that time, the schools also closed. If I had to choose (and I don’t want to), I think I prefer being locked down with water to living in Lima with no water. Maybe a couple of weeks like this will change my mind. I will let you know.
For now, Zoom lets us keep classes going and allows for other gatherings, such as a St. Patrick’s Day Zoom with family in Minnesota. And I am at home, unlike my fellow Minnesotans who are stranded here, waiting for flights home. With patience and good humor, all will be well.
All will be well.
Yesterday’s low temperature in Minneapolis, twenty eight degrees below zero (-28 °F), is outside my comfort zone. I believe that most people would say the same. At the same time, many people braved the frigid temps to get to work or help a neighbor while others lowered the thermostat in their house so that there will be enough natural gas for all. Again, outside one’s comfort zone.
Today, a friend of mine continued the process of applying for his post secondary education as he set up an interview at an area college, rescheduled the interview because of the cold, and then attended the interview. While I have been supporting him in the process, he is the one moving it all forward, stepping outside his comfort zone.
So, be brave. Take a positive step outside your comfort zone. Try something new and see what happens. Begin that dream journey with a single step, even if, especially if, it’s outside your comfort zone.
Remember though, dress warmly if it is -28 °F.
A writer who wrote had a dream:
Tell stories to feel, think and scream.
“I’ll motivate reading,
Young minds I’ll be feeding,
With wonders that aren’t what they seem.”
I have known “writers” who don’t write and folks who say they are not writers but who, in fact, write. Me? I like to tell stories about kids who are similar to my students, typically 4th through 8th graders with dreams and worries, hopes and inhibitions. Soon I will join the legion of writers who take up an MFA program in writing. It is a low residency program at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota that focuses on writing for children- it is a perfect fit for me… and they accepted me.
In order to complete the program I will travel twice a year to Minnesota from my home in Lima to learn, write, reflect and revise. My previous studies in the last 20 years have been to find or keep work. I have enjoyed earning each of my teaching licenses and the learning that came with them. This one, though, is for me and my students… and I am really looking forward to it.
If you know of any sources to assist with funding please send them my way.
In the meantime it is almost November and that means NaNoWriMo. But who needs an excuse to write?
Africa brought my friend Abdisalam
Pangjua my pal is from Asia
Buddy was born on the East Side, Saint Paul
A quilt, a symphonic fantasia!
Frank is Lakota, a generous man
Angel an awesome amigo
Ela my doctor of Irish descent
Aunt Shirley? She comes from Otsego
The Nations United is more than New York
We world-weave through actions and talking
Together we journey, we wonder, we hope
The road that we make is by walking
This was my non-winning poetry submission for Impressions. The end result of Impressions would have more people reading poetry and viewing art on busses and at bus stops in the Twin Cities (Minnesota). Using easy to read, rhyming poetry I wanted to emphasize the global nature of St. Paul while alluding to Spanish poet Machado in that we create the world with who we are and what we do.
I look forward to reading all of the poems!
Now it is time for the first graders- How do you end an opinion paragraph? Here I offer three possibilities.
- Just Say It
Dogs are the best pet.
Vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever!
Minnesota will be the best state you ever visited!
- Simple Summary Statement
That’s why dogs are the best pet.
Clearly vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever.
For these reasons, Minnesota is finest of all the 50 states.
- Act! Do! Go! Try!
Go get a dog! You will see how great a pet they are!
So try vanilla ice cream and you will see that it is the best flavor you have ever tried!
Are you going to go to Minnesota? Yes! You will love the lakes and trees and snow.
Part 1: Introduction
What is the goal of the introduction? http://goo.gl/QJmVUU
How do I start?
1 more way to begin…
Let’s Get Started
1. Name of the place you will be writing about (e.g. Minnesota)
2. 1st introduction: You know/ You don’t know
Minnesota, located in the United States along its northern border with Canada, is known for cold, bone chilling cold and -40ºF wind chills. As a matter of fact, International Falls, Minnesota is called The Nation’s Icebox! Did you know, though, that Minnesota is also the land of 10,000 lakes for fishing, swimming and water skiing? (And water skiing was actually invented in Minnesota!) Here are some beautiful summer places to explore Minnesota.
3. 2nd introduction: In the middle of it all
As I ride my bike around Lake Harriet in the heart of Minneapolis I hear the sounds of Jazz coming from the bandshell and the ropes clanging against the sailboat masts. A group of runners pass me going in the opposite direction making way for the older couple out for an evening stroll. This is summer in Minneapolis and I have only begun to taste what summer in Minnesota has to offer.
WCCO TV published a report tonight about St. Paul Sidewalk Poetry. What fun! And even better, they showed my poem:
Said one young man to his young bride,
“I’m so sad my dad just died.”
“Let’s talk of it,” she softly cried.
“Um, I just did,” the man replied.
If you live in St. Paul, MN and would like to enter a poem in this year’s contest follow this link:
I love the Minnesota State Fair! I try to go at least twice a year when I am in Minnesota. While there is lots and lots of food, there is also much to learn, arts and crafts, animals, … If you go, be sure to check out the Education Building to learn about options for post-secondary education. Amazing possibilities!
Here is a view from the Space Tower at the Minnesota State Fair:
Playing tag with me
Between the West Side houses
Springtime rising up
Playing hide and seek
As I drive through shutter slats
Found, hidden, found, hid…
Olly oxen free
Winter’s snow gives way to life
No-sleeve freedom play