Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23rd: Can I NOT Think About School Today?

Apparently not. Apparently it's all I think about...well, almost all. I was so sure that today's Thought Post would be about something other than school. And for most of the day it was. I had a massage client in Danville today which assured me that I would at least get out of the apartment and enjoy our first no rain day in a week. Before I left, I made sure to grab my camera. I was determined to get pictures from someplace, any place, other than school.

On my way back to Pleasant Hill, I decided to take the scenic route, rather than stay on the freeway for the entire drive. What a great decision! One of the benefits of all this rain has been the greening of our California foothills. It made for a beautiful drive. I've taken this route home many times since moving to Pleasant Hill more than ten years ago, but I have never stopped at the overlook at a place called Dinosaur Hill Park.

I had this idea in my head of a picture I wanted to get for today's 365 Photo Challenge, and something told me to stop at Dinosaur Point. And I managed to find exactly the picture I was looking for:

Of course, I couldn't stop there! I wandered around the foothills for awhile, taking pictures and lots of deep breaths. The air was so clean after the recent rains; it just felt good to be out in it. And to be doing something I have such a passion for - photography.

By the way, does anyone still need mistletoe:

So, back to why I was thinking about school again...or is it "still"? My seventh graders are currently using Google Docs to write scripts together for an upcoming social studies project. I've given them a tremendous amount of latitude on this project. They were allowed to choose their own groups for the first time with me, and so far it's been pretty awesome. The only real assignment I gave them was that they had to summarize the chapter about the Abassid and Umayyad Empires. We brainstormed a number of possible ideas, but this is a group that really likes to do skits! So I have one group that is creating models of Abassid and Umayyad markets (which sounds oh so cool!), and the rest of the class will be doing a combination of skits and videos.

The one requirement for the skits and/or videos is that they have to write an actual script using Google Docs. It's been a lot of fun for me, as their teacher, to pop in on their documents and see what they've been creating (can't wait to see Abassids vs. Umayyads - The Musical).

I should probably stop and give you, my reader, a bit of background on me. I say things weird. Make that "weirdLY" (silly grammar teacher). Take this word, for example: apricot. How do you pronounce it? Do you say APP-ricot? Or APE-ricot? I say APP-ricot. Don't ask me why. I just always have. Well, for some reason, I said APP-ricot in class the other day and I got that look from some of the kids; that "Miss McMillan is so weird" look. So, I grabbed my ActivBoard pen and wrote on the board:


while saying, "It's spelled APricot...not:


Well, they just thought that was hilarious. I didn't know how hilarious until this evening. I was checking in on my students' Google Docs scripts and I discovered this:

Seventh graders! They just think they are soooooo hilarious! But, can I tell you...I absolutely LOVE it! It made me feel special, somehow, that they would include me in their skit like this. And I know that the rest of the class will get quite a kick out of it.

Not a bad "non-school" day, eh?


  1. I love having inside jokes like that with students, makes the school day fun for everyone! I am so jealous that you are surrounded by GREEN!! We are gray and brown and depressing in CO, I'm wishing for some white snow just to make it look clean again. Looking forward to spring and green.

  2. Well, keep in mind that all this lovely green is a result of cold, gray, rainy days...WEEKS of cold, gray, rainy days.

    I need to see a little sun!