March was a busy month with a lot on its strange and springy mind.
March 1 – March 31
We started our new class calendar. We thought of six things (watermelon, shamrock, butterfly, fire hat, rainbow, and heart) and made simple repeating pattern for the month.
This is how it turned out. Along the way the children learned about symmetry by folding and cutting hearts, shamrocks and butterflies. They noticed the diagonal pattern that emerged as we got further into the month. I think they probably learned about writing numbers and sequence. We enjoyed watching it develop each day adding a new piece of our March.
The Railroad Man from Skagway
“Didja hear about the fire yesterday?” asked the tattered looking man waiting at the bus stop by my house. I was on my way to work. We talked little about the fire which I had not heard about. He said he was from “Skagway, you know, up there in Alaska.”
Skagway, Alaska in the spring.
“I work on the railroad, and I been comin’ down here for the winter. Everybody leaves. You can do some hiking, if it’s not too icy, and the library’s nice. It has internet.”
He reminds me of an Amish farmer except the thing about the internet.
“My families from Auburn, but they all migrated up to Alaska. So I jes’ followed.” He bounced from foot to foot and squinted into the sunlight glaring off of the mirrored surface of frozen puddles in the gutter across the street.
“I don’t mind the ice too much. It shines things up real nice. It does get treacherous walkin’ “
Soft and sticky feet to move a bench in an athletic obstacle course.
I have no idea what this means.
I started reading The Wizard of OZ to my class. They loved it and made me read it again when we finished a couple of weeks later.
I finished reading All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy to myself.
Mary and I went to see the Soweto Gospel Choir. They put on an incredible show, beautiful a cappella harmonies, great drumming and dancing, and just plain fun and inspiring music. And the staging, costumes and storytelling that accompanied added extra dimensions to make it totally encompassing. I had the music with me for days afterward and still after a year, I just have a feeling when I hear their music that I didn’t have before watching them perform.
My parents called to tell me that my Aunt Louise is dead. We talked about her. My father revealed that she was my grandmother’s illegitimate child. My grandfather did not find out about her until after they were married. Louise lived with other relatives until almost a year after my grandparents were married. My grandmother had a wild side and my Aunt Louise was definitely part of it.
Louise was a tough dame who thought my dad and uncle were sissies because they did not fight enough. I was afraid of her when I was little, but I always loved to visit her house in the summer because she had a pool. She had a living room that children where not allowed into. It had a bowl of wax fruit on the coffee table and a lot of white furniture. I remember that room more than any other room in her house.
Spider Dream I:
The room was filled with pale fine sand, scattered and piled with a path cleared around the edges. People, dressed in Victorian English fashion, milled about. I searched through the drawers in the walls and found a bright white glass bulb. I dropped the bulb. It shattered at the edge of the room where there was less sand on the floor. I found a broom and began to sweep, but found the broom useless. I went down a hallway, went left into a dark passageway which led to a brightly lit kitchen with a checkered tile floor. My grandmother was standing there lost in thought wearing an apron. I spotted a well-used straw broom leaning by the back door. I grabbed it and, without speaking, ran out. I returned to the mess and began to sweep. This broom worked well, but I encountered another obstacle. The room had holes in the floor that because of an optical illusion were not visible. As I was sweeping I had to be careful to feel the edges and step down into the hole. I was finally about to sweep the last little bit of glass up when the thin legs of a spider began to move slowly in the pile. I was in the middle of trying to figure out how to handle this new puzzle when I woke up.
Spider Dream II:
It was something that happened only once in a great while. The ritual of the spider. I pulled on the strand of web next to my face, and it grew thicker as I pulled it until it trailed away from me in the strong breeze, a thick cob web, with ragged dusty strands. The small spider sat about a foot from my face manipulating tiny webs in its mandibles. This happened many times. People kept reminding me how important the ceremony was, but finally I threw the spider away in disgust and left.
Carl’s Natural Cooking Experiment
Carl digs and breaks up clods of dirt in a plastic bowl with a stick, mixing in bits of dry noodles he has brought outside from the collage table.
“I need more tonguinni,” he says and goes back for more noodles.
I must just write, and write and not worry about what comes onto the paper. It will just come whatever, and I will write whatever I am. Huh?
I went to see Scrap Arts with my class. It was loud and fun and even the 2 to 4 year old crowd enjoyed it, though they often covered their ears. The older kids were intrigued by all the different instruments that the musicians made from junk. The music was pretty basic, but with an interesting presentation, very enthusiastic, athletic, and educational.
And we’ll go out singing!
Oh Lumpy Pie
sung to “America the Beautiful”
Oh, lumpy pie
Oh, eyes doom and dread,
in league with all the dead.
My own true love.
From the sky above
falling through the trees
into a vat of melted wax
from a hive of killer bees.