The National Council on Teacher Quality has a brochure that outlines what makes an effective teacher. What I like about this publication is that it looks at the research before it makes a general claim about what makes an effective teacher. I was also interested in their finding that teacher literacy was the most effective indicator of student acheivement. So, keep reading and writing and keep those kids reading and writing. It may feel like you are not making any gains in the education of your children but research shows that you are! And it doesn’t hurt to brush up on those ‘soft’ issues that make a great teacher such as the ones outlined on page 12 of the brochure.
Teach a Gifted Kid Posts
I have just finished reading a biography of Leta Stetter Hollingworth, (“A Forgotten Voice” by Ann G. Kelin, Ed.D.) One of my favorite things to do is read or watch shows about influential people throughout history. The Biography Channel and the History Channel feed this hobby for me and many other people in our world.
What was so significant about Leta? First, you wouldn’t be drinking the same amount of caffeine in your Coke without her research back in 1911. Second, women may still be in the “stone ages” without her research and writings. Third, identification and education of the gifted child may not have the solid foundation that it has with her findings. Fourth, the field of Psychology may not be recognized as a professional field of study. She was the founder of the American Assoc. of Clinical Psychologists.
As a newly married woman in the early 1900’s, Leta couldn’t continue teaching after her and her husband moved to New York City from Valentine, Nebraska. Teachers could not be married and still teach, “because it was viewed women teachers as interchangeable and replaceable like pieces of machinery.” She had a graduate degree and several years experience before her move; after her move the public viewed her experience and knowledge as nonexistant. More important was her skills in birthing and raising children. Then her husband was awarded a research project from Coca Cola to find out if the levels of caffeine were harmful to human behavior. As a man who respected the individual’s achievement, he gave the study to his wife to conduct. She was meticulous and thorough, finding that there was no significant difference in human behavior. Caffeine was only a mild stimulate. From this success, she gained the respect of others and continued researching in several fields including differences in the sexes and intelligence through her 53 years of life.
At the time, there were several myths about sex differences between men and women like male brains weighed more than female brains,. Her research refuted many common myths of the day and forwarded the women’s movement by research rather than banter. She believed that you should not claim something unless you had the research to back you up.
She oversaw one of the first large-scale studies regarding the education of the gifted child. She looked at each child as an individual rather than a number or label as she conducted her studies. Her findings mirror most of the concepts we used today to teach the gifted. Namely, IQ was the most accurate and valid measure of intelligence but use of multiple methods were most effective, IQ’s of 130-180 occur in the top 1% of the population, schools should be obligated to make provisions for educating the gifted, funds should be made available for those students of profound giftedness to further their academics regardless of their family’s income level.
Despite all the progress made today in the field of educating the gifted, though, many states choose to educate their gifted populate through the use of programs that are enrichment based and meet only once or twice a week with a trained gifted teacher. Leta understood the social and emotional value of gifted students meeting frequently with their intellectual peers and would frown upon this practice if she were alive today.
Leta was a gifted, influential woman of the early 1900’s when it wasn’t acceptable to be one. She worked tirelessly to use her giftedness to better our world. She struggled without a mother (died in childbirth), a father who abandoned his family, an alcoholic step mother and the ideals of the day. She did have strong grandparents and a caring set of friends and teachers. Would she have been as effective without this background? That was a basis of a discussion my friends and I had on a recent trip. How many gifted individuals are ‘discarded’ because we as a society ignore them? Leta was one individual who rose above the circumstances. My opinion is that society loses about 75% of its gifted individuals because it ignores their existance. What about the child rummaging through the garbage heap for his/her existance because there was no adult to care for them? What about the child who must labor in the fields to help his/her family survive? What about the child who much suffer at the expense of an unstable parent?
We have much to do as a society to educate each child to their full potential. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ mantra needs to be adjusted to fit the capabilities of the individual. Under the No Child Left Behind program put forward by the Bush Administration, the education of the gifted child is ignored, and the education of the special needs child is misdiagnosed. Responsible law makers need to look at educating the child the way Leta Hollingworth did throughout her studies. A child is an individual with propensities, interests, capabilities and feelings. And law makers need to provide the means for the teacher to meet the needs of the individual child by providing resources, training, and support.
This post is to address Nancy’s blog recent blog entry (see Nancy’s link below). I wish I could share this book that I purchased at the recent TGAT conference with you, “Differentiation: Simplified, Realistic, and Effective – How to Challenge Advanced Potentials in Mixed-Ability Classrooms” by Bertie Kingore, PhD. I needed a clear and precise definition of what it means to have different things going on for the different learners in the classroom. Everyone talks “differentiation’ but no one tells you what it is. This book does it very clearly.
A determined teacher could use any number of Bertie’s suggestions for any age level with appropriate modifications. Not only did she outline and define 12 different methods of differentiation, she points out their strengths and lays out strategies to implement each in a simple way that is mostly handled/managed by the student. She gives you clear and concise forms and suggestions to manage your differentiated classroom. In addition to this book, I attended several other workshops about differentiation, one by Susan Winebrenner, another by a professor from UT Texas. All of them stressed that differentiation enables the learner and frees the instructor to truly assess the learner’s depth of understanding (not the topical learning.)
I’m eager to try some of what I see in this book. It was reassuring to find out that I had already tried some things during the four years that I taught. I did have some success and could immediately tell when something did not work. Now, I can go back and try the failures again using the information I’ve learned. Start small, work up.
I have this vision of a classroom with students taking full responsibility for their learning. They determine the level and quality of their work. Not many children know just how this can be done, however, a much older student already has a concept of their strengths, skills and interests. They need coaches, encouragers, resources and demonstration.
Think about it – are you always in the mood to paint with watercolors? or read a technically challenging book? or write an essay? or sew clothes? We should, as teachers, respect the fact that our students aren’t always in the mood for creating the product that we want. In some cases, we can allow them choice and still attain the goal of assessing their learning.
I’ll write more on this as I think it through for my particular situations. In the meantime, visit Bertie’s site at http://www.bertiekingore.com.
I had a really good time and learned a lot from the gifted conference that I went to, however, I’m a little discouraged with how Texas approaches teaching their gifted. It’s like the “one size fits all” concept. We had such a sweet deal in St. Tammany Parish. I asked my professor at SLU that taught all the gifted class how the Parish was able to individualize so much and she said that it was because of the tax base provided by the residents that allowed for such a great program. It’s not like that throughout LA. Now, I truly understand how lucky Adam and Amber were to be educated there.
My choices for a future job in the gifted field (as I see it so far) include:
pull out gifted teacher (barely respected by the rest of the teachers),
cluster grouping teacher (where I would have 6 or more gifted in a regular ed class),
gifted coordinator (administration),
working at a private school with emphasis on gifted (subject to their interpretation of gifted), or
teaching in a private school entirely dedicated to the gifted,
tutoring, or offering services to homeschoolers,
The situation that I had at PineView does not exist in the big state of Texas unless I take a position at the school entirely for the gifted that is about 45 minutes from here. At least it is minutes away from the place where Dave used to work in West Houston. After a couple of years, he may end up back there. I am amazed that there are not more schools in the Houston area dedicated to meeting the needs of the gifted. As far as I can tell, the programs available to the parent of a gifted child are the public school situation (which is not all that differentiated), private school situation (expensive), homeschooling (a good answer especially with distance learning connected to esteemed universities) or moving to Nevada to the Davidson Institute (or other similar programs.)
Everyone who is associated with the gifted field knows that No Child Left Behind is leaving behind our nation’s brightest minds. Barely 7% of the entire money spent on Special Education is spent on gifted programs (according to CNN’s reent program http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/genius/ ). The rest is spent on the lower end of special education. I agree that much work is needed there but it should not be at such an expense to those students who just might carry the economy of our nation into the future. The thinkers, the doers, the high acheivers. Those parents and administrators in St. Tammany Parish are on the right track and should be proud of their efforts. I’m sure there are other ‘pockets’ of support in other areas of the nation. I’d like to know about them!
The good thing is that I am setting myself up to experience all the situations (except the coordinator) so that I can experience each to decide what will best suit me. I’m all set to substitute in four school districts, a private Baptist school with a gifted program and a school entirely dedicated to the gifted. I’m batting around the idea of tutoring in the spring and contacting the homeschoolers association in the area. We’ll see what happens!
ps. I did forget one thing. At the conference, I was made aware of several science summer camps geared for the gifted. One meets at an elementary school nearby. I would be paid $550 for the week to teach and a bit more to coordinate. Always a possibility that would allow for lots of flexibility. For that matter, I could probably go to work for a curriculum company or a product company (except that sales doesn’t excite me right now….but I could work it from my beautiful home….) Thoughts to ponder
The very last breakout session that I attended at the TGAT (http://www.txgifted.org/) was one entitled “Pascal’s Triangle”. I like to go to as many Math related presentations as I can because, frankly, Math is my weakness when it comes to understanding what I teach. I had already attended the presenter’s previous session on “NIM Games” which was very good. Saturday was “Family Day” so there were children and parents moving in and out of the session, including one very tall gentlemen with mussy hair and an approximately three year old with identical hair. They both sat down at the closest table to the front while the presenter kindly said, “This may be too difficult for your son.” The father looked at his son, then the presenter and said, “We shall see.”
The session began, the presenter had a depth of knowledge of his material and a great way of eliciting responses from the students that “elevated their learning”. He had posed a particular question, and I watched the three year old raise his hand in a fairly confident manner. The presenter called on him and this tiny flute-like voice carefully spoke his answer. It was to the point and ‘right on the money’. Our presenter was not taken aback, because, you see, he was used to the surprises of the gifted child. He had taught thousands of them in summer programs or during the school year. He complimented the child as if he were a middle schooler and moved on with the lesson. Three or four times, this tyke spoke, while the others in the room were absolutely glued to what he had to say. Meanwhile, the father was smiling down at his prodigy.
There were five year olds, seven year olds and older children who participated in the discussion. Even a 12 year old (probably) who seemed to have an edge to his answers that sounded like, “I’m always the smartest” respected the tyke.
This may have been the first time that I have sat near a child prodigy, a profoundly gifted individual, an individual who’s body of a three year old contained a mind at least nine grade levels above in mathematical ability. This is scary to me. Not in the way that most people think, but for the child and his father. Students like this must have a different setting for their learning. Parents of a prodigy must be acutely aware of the social and emotional issues their baby will endure – I’m not sure this parent knew. From his proud smile, I don’t think he did. Perhaps, I’m wrong. Did he bring his child to show him off, or did he bring himself and his child to learn more about this unique thing called ‘being gifted’?
What a great title for my next novel (don’t expect it anytime soon.) My husband thinks this should be an entry about how things sometimes need to be said even though they are extremely obvious. I think it should be a metaphor for something but I haven’t had enough time to think of something clever. I do like, however, how these little statements get said in the middle of ‘goofing’ around. My husband and his friends were playing pool here this past weekend. How many times has this happened in the course of your get-togethers? It takes a pretty sharp wit to remember this kinds of statements and write about them later in a blog or something. My son can do this, I normally can’t. I’m just not quick enough, nor is my memory span long enough to remember it the next day or the next time I have a chance to write.
I am a slow-processor. I have figured this out after going through all the education courses towards my Masters so don’t expect some clever come-back to the title of the entry anytime soon. That’s why it is in the “random munchings” section of my webpage. It could happen, or it could happen that it sparks something interesting in your brain and you feel compelled to write that novel before I do. Go for it and send me the results!
I went to my first sub job since moving to Texas. It felt good, even though it was short-lived. I actually enjoyed it so much that I told the director not to pay me for the two hours that I spent there. I was responsible for a class of 8 gifted students who had just spent the past week on a field trip. Attendance was optional and only one student came to class. He showed me around the classroom, talked about the field trip and mapped out his day academically.
This job was not at your normal, everyday public school but at a private school specifically for the gifted (http://www.rainard.org). The studies for this class included an indepth look at South Africa in all its glory, and shortcomings. Lots of student work hung around the classroom, evidence of deep understanding of the issues of apartheid, economy and everyday life. I was in awe at what this teacher was able to ‘pull’ from his students. I worked so hard with my 4th-6th graders to get detailed work like this in the public school setting. It is amazing what difference ‘attitude’ makes in a learning environment.
I hope to return soon to the campus and work in other classrooms. The strength of this school is the ability to focus on where the student is and to develop substantial relationship with the student and his/her family.
From what I can determine from the other school districts in the area, gifted teachers are more like coordinators than teachers. Students attend a gifted class once a week, that is really more enrichment than academic. Quite a shock for someone who was able to spend the last three years working with these delightful students everyday for nearly every subject. I haven’t yet gone into the public school setting so I can’t be sure of the environment. My goal is to sub in as many different settings as I can so when it comes time to select my full-time employment, I will choose the one that best suits my goals as an educator.
Its true! It was a dark and stormy night last night. We enjoyed a cloud to cloud lightening show for at least 30 minutes. At first, we sat outside under our small back porch, but when a loud crack sounded to the right of us, we scampered inside. Our bedroom has three large windows facing near direct South. We opened the blinds and continued to watch the storm march across to the left of our natural television. The last flashes were still quite bright but well off in the distance. There wasnt much rumble in this storm because all the action took place high in the sky.
(Click the picture to see it better)
Now, its early morning. Bright, bright sunshine, muddy patches of grass and glistening sparkles of water in the small pond at the end of our property. Exactly opposite of the night. One can easily relate to the purifying sense that the morning and sun brings to a difficult night that many authors uses so dramatically in their writing after this. I have to remember that I live on the Texas plains now, and not in the Louisiana swamp. There are lots of similiarity with the trees, grass and water yet it is so very different. The wind blows here nearly everyday. Some days, its light and breezy; today, its blowing with much more force as if the rid the land of the nasty storm of the night. I am sure the only good use of the wind is to power a sailboat! Otherwise, it causes me to chase a stray box or lost trash can lid, forget any sense of styling hair, and sidetrack the suns rays.
Too bad the dark and stormy night was last night. Tonight is the date we celebrate Halloween which really is a non-holiday that everyone treats as a holiday. Maybe this is Gods way of letting us know that the weather is not going to help set the mood. Fall is definitely here.
It seems funny to take a vacation when you are on vacation. Ya’ll know that I am not working this year. We’ve moved into a gorgeous house NW of Houston and keep a really cool apartment downtown Houston. We just returned from a sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands. We spent 95% of the time on a sailboat cruising between islands and parties. The temperature never wavered more than a degree or two from 82 degrees. There were several small squalls of rain and two pretty good rains as a result of a tropical wave or depression. It was interesting to be in the place where those things begin to form instead of on the receiving end in LA or TX. It was literally ‘paradise’ and it was very hard to leave. I shall spend the rest of my life trying to match the temperature and atmosphere of the trip. I’m such a wimp when it comes to cold. I just stepped outside my house to put some trash away. It’s 69 degrees here right now.
I’ve sat down several times to write (longhand) about our experiences. I still plan to do that along with putting together a memory book of this trip. We had long conversations with the other couple that we sailed with and enjoyed some really good jokes and experiences. Sailing, after I got my ‘sea legs’ was extremely enjoyable. I never thought I would like the wind until this trip. After living in SE Colorado and experiencing dust storms, I swore that wind was my enemy. My opinion has changed, officially, at least for the Caribbean winds.
I’ve unpacked some of my souveniers and completed three loads of laundry, and downloaded what pictures I took before my camera battery ran out. I can’t wait to see the pictures we took on our friend’s camera! You will want to check out my Flickr site soon. I’ll be posting most of the pictures there. If you ever get the chance to sail in the BVI’s – TAKE IT!
There is a huge but subtle undercurrent bias or leaning among educators and staff when it comes to teaching the gifted. I’ll give you a prime example. I attended the substitute orientation for a district near Houston today. All was going along just fine, the Human Resources guy had a nice sense of humor coupled with the seriousness of the job of a substitute in teaching and role modeling for children.
He had an easy going and flexible style and probably didn’t even know that he had said something that ‘set off fireworks’ in my head. His quote was “some people don’t want to teach gifted” as part of his speech on making sure you know the assignment before you sign up for it. He also mentioned other special positions as well. Maybe he said it thinking that there wouldn’t be a gifted teacher in the midst; maybe he was thinking that he had a nice crosscutting of the type of positions, who knows. But couldn’t he have said, “maybe you want to teach only gifted students”. The positive swing of the comment sounds so much better, don’t you think?
I guess you can call this ‘subtle discrimination’. It’s not anything like what women in Afgahnistan or Iran are dealing with. I’m currently in the middle of the novel, “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” What is the parallel here? That type of discrimination got its start very subtly and became a full blown way of life over time. The author of the book talks about how she plays a game with herself “imagining that she is invisible”. She sees the bones of her body holding up the black covering not the academic professor and loving mother she really is.
Can there be a connection between a full-blown discrimination in Tehran and the subtle discrimination of the gifted children or a teacher of the gifted? To a gifted child, who has little experience to draw from, I believe there is. Adults have the maturity and experiences to realize that the world just isn’t a perfect place. To a gifted child, what is is what is. There isn’t a need to change because, frankly, they aren’t aware that there is a problem. The gifted child deals with his or her disappointments in much the same way as this woman in Tehran – imagining that they aren’t really there anyway.
Will anything come of this? Probably not. But it did in Tehran. It is most real for the author of my novel and it didn’t start out that way. It is so important for teachers and speakers to be aware of the value each individual can bring to a program or project. Never, never discount the value of an individual, celebrate it! Always be positive in your remarks. You never know when you could be part of a total, cultural discrimination in the future.Even the Pope can make mistakes and must be careful when speaking. His quote during his latest speech was taken from a 1400 Byzatine ruler which had something to do with religion and fighting with a sword has caused bad feelings in the Muslim world. I hope that the apology from the Pope can extinguish any cause for this to be laid in the ‘pile’ of discrimination against a culture but likely it will.
I’m in the mood for tiny steps when it comes to finding my next teaching assignment. Yesterday, I filled out the paperwork to attend the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented’s yearly conference in November. I was surprised to see that the attendance at this conference is somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 individuals. It includes teachers, administrators, and parents. I’m very excited to see what the breakout sessions are. Jim Delisle is one of the main speakers. In all my gifted courses, we talked about his writings and studies on the gifted individual.
Seeing a person’s name in print associated with an article or study tends to put them on some type of ‘shelf’. Demi-gods, of a sort. It’s amazing because first you realize that they are, in fact, still alive. They are focusing their life’s work on the topic that you just have passing interest in. Ok, my interest is a bit more than ‘passing’ but you do begin to realize how little you really know.
Learning more is the reason for going to this conference. That’s the reason that educators of the gifted in Texas need additional hours of instruction in the gifted field every year. Perhaps I will feel more ready to take the Gifted Supplemental test here after the conference. I just completed the same type of a test at Southeastern to complete Louisiana’s requirements. Every state will have its slight differences. I’m hoping this conference will enlighten me on the differences, the actual focus here. Austin, here I come!!
The other day, I sent off for a membership in the Texas Assoc. for Gifted and Talented. I figure that, if anything, I can begin to understand how Texas works by reading their material. Only one of the districts (Tomball or Klein) asked what I would like to seek a position in or even had Gifted on the list. My guess is that Gifted and Talented takes a back seat to everything just like in Louisiana.
What do I mean by a back seat? If you have taught in gifted, you may have experienced the lack of communication between the school as a whole and you. All through my children’s education and my teaching years, I had to claw for information about events and opportunities for my children. Most of the time, I would overhear something or even find out about it the day of the event. Why? These are the brightest and able minds in the country and we impede them and their teachers most of the time. I’m sure there are a myriad of reasons that can be explored at length.
This struggle is not all negative. Gifted individuals and their teachers have become very independent and self-sufficient. Gifted and talented individuals tend to forge their own way (fortitude) and do it over and over again (resilience) both major characteristics of gifted individuals. They can work at solving a problem using unconventional thinking and focus.
There are companies/universities out there who are reaching out to the gifted individual. I applaud them but at the same time, do they really know their ‘stuff’ about how a gifted individual functions, what he/she needs to ‘shine’? I noticed in the Rice Continuing Studies program there was a course entitled, “Creativity in the Office, (It’s not an Oxymoron)”. They may have it right. The activities in the course description sounded much like the Creative Thinking course I took for my gifted certification at SLU. At a large company like Shell Oil, I can tell that they haven’t totally grasped the unique characteristics of their gifted employees. If they did, they would offer more social skill training, allow more time for thinking, create more opportunities for collaboration and brainstorming. Out of all the companies that I experience with (which is limited), Shell comes about as close as anybody in utilizing the abilities of their diverse thinkers and it still falls short.
Someday, maybe, these individuals will be utilized for their potential contribution to society with placing stupid little obstacles in their way. However, gifted individuals must also realize that, even though they don’t mean it, sometimes their behaviors can be misinterpreted as ‘snubbing’. We all have a lot to learn. And with my experience with the gifted individuals that I know, they will find a way!
I’m in Texas, actually, back in Texas. We lived here over 13 years ago. At that time, I had babies. Then we moved to Louisiana, just north of New Orleans. I educated my children in St. Tammany Parish and eventually, I became a teacher in the district. I studied over 8 years to earn my teaching degree and masters. I also worked on my gifted certification and taught gifted 4th-6th graders for three years. It was worth every bit of effort and time. Gifted children are mostly a joy to teach.
My children are off to college and working now. They were educated in the gifted program in St. Tammany Parish schools. Adam from 5th grade, Amber from 1st grade. In addition to raising two gifted children, I live with a gifted man. If there was a poster child for the creatively gifted in the 1960-70’s, he would have been on it. Actually, learning about the creatively gifted has helped me to understand how he functions. I would have to say that I have been exposed to every stage of a gifted individual’s life up to the mid 40’s.
Now, why did I tell you all this? To give you a background for where I am coming from and where I am now. I’m looking for a teaching job. I want a gifted position like the one I had at Pine View. I can be patient. I can figure out this new system. I plan for this weblog to be a journal of that process.
I will be blogging about teaching and living with gifted individuals as determined by the arbitrary rules and requirements set out by each state. I know this is a bit of a saterical comment so you will have to stick around for discussion on the matter. I’d love to hear about your experience with the gifted individuals you come in contact with and how you would determine if someone is ‘gifted’.
Even after my 30+ hours of training in the subject, I have found that there isn’t a concrete definition of giftedness, no expert out there can truly agree on a succinct, all encompassing definition of what makes an individual unique in their thinking and their problem solving abilities. What do you think?
You should see them now! They are sprawled on the couch; one with her head perfectly resting on the arm rest next to the end table and lamp shade, snoring like a demon, the other completely out. Yep, life was tough at the doggie paradise for 10 days. I guess all those other cellmates wouldn’t let Tille and Nemo sleep enough. And to make things worse, apparently Daddy made arrangements for them to be in a 1/2 inside, 1/2 outside cell. They actually had to put up with the sun. Darn, I forgot to send sunscreen (and sandals, and towel and beach umbrella and doggie soda and sunglasses….) You get the picture. It is quite funny exactly how “out” they are! Usually, Tillie is bugging me about food about now. She is only bugging me with that deep snore. Just wait, in about 12 weeks, they will have a large-fenced yard to roam in during the day. Then I wonder when they will sleep?
In two days in Texas, I’ve applied to three school districts now, and one private school since I’ve been here. I feel like a little fish in the big sea. One district has over 100 schools. How to choose the right one? Dave wants me to drop off a resume at every school in the areas that I like. It’s just not that easy. I’d be wasting a whole bunch of gas and a whole bunch of time. I filled out the online applications, which get sent to every principal who wants to take a moment to look through the choices for a candidate that fills their staffing needs. With over 300 schools to choose from, I think I’m likely to get called by one or two of them during the month of April or May. Time for bed – off to Austin area tomorrow
I enjoyed my front porch this morning. I’ve been eager to since Dave finished it back in December (it is now mid-March). The temparature was just right, a slight overcast of clouds kept the heat away. A tiny breeze, not enough to blow the newspaper but enough to feel its light movement. But first, to enjoy my porch, I had to sweep away the pine needles, leaves and pine dust. There’s sure to be more during the rest of the spring.
I made the perfect cup of coffee, grinding my own beans. Vanilla aroma filled the kitchen as it brewed. I threw a couple pieces of Texas toast in my new toaster and wrapped a couple of sausage links in a paper towel to warm them in the microwave. It took two trips out the front door to carry everything. I even treated myself to one of my fancy coffee cups and saucers. I’d already fetched both clear bags filled with the Sunday paper laying out at the end of my driveway. Now, I know why the rich had slaves! Wouldn’t it be cool to just walk out and sit down to your favorite breakfast and perfectly sweetened coffee.
Time passed at a slow pace while I munched my breakfast and shuffled about reading my favorite sections of the newspaper. Only a couple of cars passed by the the house for that whole hour. I was lucky that a pine needle didn’t take aim at my perfect cup of coffee to spoil it all.
It was the coffee that got me started thinking about writing today. As I pulled the white cup with the dark brown liquid up to drink it, I noticed its glassy surface reflecting the skyline behind me. There was the roof of my home, then the rise of the few trees that we have left standing after the storm, then the sky. No ripples, just a perfect reflection of what was behind and above me. I thought, “Life was about as good as it can get around here after all the changes that I and my home have gone through.”