Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Think Out Loud - the link

I have to admit, it was very cool to be in the radio studio this morning. The sound booth is a very small room with very large microphones that hang right in front of your face. Emily Harris, the interviewer and host of the show, was welcoming and put me at ease. Then she moved that show along. I think she was harder on Tony Alpert, the guy from the Oregon Department of Education, than she was on me. And she was very nice to Lindsey Lopez the student I brought with me. Lindsey did a great job on the air.

Back at the high school, my substitute linked on to the show, and my students had to take notes. Makes me smile...one of the boys even got brave and went online and posted a comment on the show. I was proud of him to do that, because he's struggled a lot with writing. (And then another commenter critiqued my student's post - gimme a break!)

You can listen to the interview here.

At least, I think you can. I tried to play it this evening, but it cut out after a while. I didn't have time to try again...too many writing papers to grade...

This is a photo of Emily Harris, the host of Think Out Loud.

And this is a photo of the sign where I got to park at the OPB studio parking lot. Ha! My own reserved space. 

I wanted to take a photo inside the sound booth, but they were very strict: all phones completely off. Since my camera broke last week, my cell phone is the only camera I have at the moment...why does this sound like my teenage students?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Think Out Loud

Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon branch of NPR, has a daily morning call-ing show called Think Out Loud. I listen to it occasionally, when I'm driving to another school for my literacy coaching work. The format of the show is for the moderator to interview two or three "experts" about an issue, and then the  experts field call-in questions from the audience.

I found out this morning that OPB wants me to be an "expert" on their show next Tuesday, May 31!

Oh, my.

They are running a program about Oregon's statewide writing assessment for students in grades 4-11. One of the experts will be the Oregon Department of Education's testing guru, and ODE gave them my name as a knowledgeable classroom teacher and state test rater. So...I've put in to use my last 4 hours of personal leave Tuesday morning to pay for my sub, and I'll head to Portland to the OPB studio for the morning.

Statewide testing is an issue right now because some of Oregon's legislators are asking ODE to do away with the state writing test, as a way to save money in tight times. The test costs $3 million, a sizable sum to be sure, but I believe it would be incredibly shortsighted to eliminate this valuable and authentic assessment of student writing.

I'll take an OCHS junior with me, a bright and articulate girl, to be the third "expert" on the panel for the show. I'll post a link to the show when OPB puts it on their website. Or if you want to listen in on Tuesday morning, you can go here for live audio streaming. The program begins just after 9:00 A.M., Oregon time.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Poem that Got Published / Reading at Powell's

So I went to Powell's on Sunday to read my poem. I had a great time! Since it was a student anthology, there were a few high school and college-age authors, but most of the other readers were from grades 2-8. It was fun to hear their pieces and cheer them on, and it made for a really safe audience for my (first, I hope) Powell's reading.

My dandy brand-new camera broke.   :(

Two of my students were also there to read, and as I was taking photos of Jimi, the camera locked up and we can't get it to work now. There are photos of me reading my poem stuck on the camera. Someday... In the meantime, Jimi got a photo of all of us on his cell phone at the end.

Miranda Ball, Jimi Hays, me
(We're holding our copies of the anthology)

Here's my poem:

First Fish: Salmon Ceremony

Along that great blue expanse of Columbia,
I drive I-84 west into the sun past Celilo village
Stealing glances south across the freeway
To the narrow strip below basalt cliffs
Where the longhouse rests, stately,
Attended by courtiers of old cars, small trailer houses, a few boats
And two trees.

What if you could put the river on rewind
Like an old movie
Watch the water rolling back, down
Let it eat the dam
Whose turbines sing the death chant
Of Celilo.

I saw you there at Celilo
You wore your blue fringed dress
Bright shawl around your shoulders
Your arm encircled
A daughter, carrying bundles
Both of you headed to the longhouse.
There was another, a man
Wearing a ribbon shirt
Standing next to his truck.

Above, the basalt cliffs
Were filled with eyes:

The man moved toward the longhouse.

At seventy miles per hour,
My cheeks wet with tears,
I cannot move.

References in the poem:

The poem makes reference to the ancient fishing site at Celilo Falls, which used to span the great Columbia River. Celilo Falls was drowned in 1957 with the building of The Dalles Dam, and the fishing site was lost, not only to the Native Americans, but to all people. There is still an Indian village at the site of Celilo, with homes and a longhouse for gatherings and ceremonies.

Ever since Coyote helped people learn now to make their way in the world, the People have celebrated the First Fish of every salmon run. Some traditions had the First Fish shared with everyone in the tribe, and other traditions had the First Fish released to the river to go back and tell the other fish to come up the river. 

Tsaglal, or "She Who Watches," is an important petroglyph near the site of Celilo Falls. She warns people of the danger of the falls ahead. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Opening Night

A few photos from backstage on opening night of The Hobbit. I feel like a teenager - snapped these on my cell phone and sent them to myself. :)

 The wood elves
I am in the front on the left.
Karlyn Love, the drama teacher & Elven Queen, is center front.

 The 12 dwarves in a silly moment.

 The brave men of Laketown.

Gollum and The Hobbit chatting backstage.

The Hobbit and Gandalf

We had a good opening night!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dress Rehearsal

Normally, as a snarky little wood elf, I wouldn't be fraternizing with one of those cheesy-blonde Elrond elves, but I make an exception in this guy's case.

We have dress rehearsal today and tomorrow, and the show opens on Wednesday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Hobbit

I tried to think up a clever title for the post, but...I'm tired!

Mark and I are in the cast of The Hobbit at Oregon City High School, and rehearsals are a little long.

Not complaining - it's fun! But I don't have much energy for blog posts this week.

Be sure to click here to see a video with shots from a rehearsal. You can see Mark a couple of times in the video.

Yesterday we learned to grow elf ears. Mark is a "good elf" (hangs out with Elrond, who helps the Dwarves and Bilbo Baggins), and I am a "bad elf" (servant to the Elf Queen, who captures the Dwarves and throws them in the dungeon...until Bilbo figures out how to rescue them!

 I'll post a photo with my full costume next week.

Mark's ears are grown...he's assisting another elf.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Many Mothers in My Life

Happy Mother's Day! I confess that some years I haven't enjoyed this holiday so much. I think I sometimes look at the ideal, and compare myself to that...and that's pretty frustrating! But when I stop to count my blessings as a mother, daughter, sister, my cup runs over with gratitude for being a mother, and for being mothered.

Warning: Long post! Lotsa pictures! They're in alphabetical order...

 Angela and Audrey

 Angela, Sam, Tim

 Angela with Ethan

Ashley and Nate 

Ashley with Nate 

 Ashley with Blake

Hillary with Josh at their wedding 

 Hillary with Ethan

 Hillary and LaVerne

 Holly and David

 Holly, Arora, David

 Holly and Ender

 Julia with me - Cub Scout leaders

 Julia with Maddy and Josh

 Katie and Olivia

 Katie and Olivia

 Katie and Bryan with Olivia

 Kendra with Abbi and Becca

 Kendra and Chris

 Kendra and Lilly

 LaVerne and Maleena

 LaVerne with Bill

 LaVerne and me at Morro Bay

 Maleena with Mark and me at her adoption

 Maleena with Dad

 Maleena with Nana and Granddad

 My Mom (Nana / Nancy) and me

 My mom teaching Sarah "I Am a Funny Little Dutch Girl"

 My mom and me in our Camp Natoma sweatshirts

 Polly with me and Katie

 Polly and me working on Maleena's quilt

Polly with Becca and Ender

Happy Mother's Day! Even though Mother's Day sometimes brings an ache...life isn't perfect, and days like this remind of us our hopes and expectations and what is ideal...which we are NOT! But life is good and love is deep, and I am so grateful to be a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and friend.

Sending hugs to YOU on this beautiful Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It Never Rains on a Haynie Field Trip

I love getting my students out of the classroom and into the real world. One of my favorite field trips is to the site of our Oregon Literature novel, Ricochet River. The book is set in Estacada, a small town about 30 miles up the Clackamas River from here. My students always think it's weird to go to Estacada on a field trip...What's in Estacada? they ask...and I tell them, "Just wait and see."

Tuesday we went up the river, and the weather held. Given the fact that we're stuck in a record-breaking cycle of big spongy clouds that blow in from the ocean and squeeze all kinds of moisture down on us, that was a minor miracle. But then, it never rains on a Haynie field trip. I should let the weather forecasters know when I schedule the busses...it would make their lives so much easier for those dates!

 60 kids - ready to walk from the busses down to the fish trap at the base of the Cazadero Dam, just upstream from Faraday Power Station.

 Keith Eicher, the PGE "Dam Guy" was our tour guide. He's great with the kids.

 The PGE biologist, Garth, down in the fish trap with the salmon. They sort every single fish before allowing them to go on upstream via the fish ladder. Only the native (wild) stock are allowed to go upstream. The hatchery stock are trucked back to the lake for the fishermen.

 Can you see the fish down in the fish trap? Those are BIG salmon!

 The start of the fish ladder to North Fork dam - it's the longest fish ladder in the world, almost 2 miles long.

Up on the top of North Fork Dam. It's a long way down! Some of the kids get a little spooked by the heights. But I think it's really important for them to get a better understanding of this important element of our Pacific Northwest energy infrastructure. The rivers are an integral part of the novel, Ricochet River, and they are an integral part of our lives here, but I think a lot of the teens (probably adults, too) take all that for granted. Getting them out on the river helps make it all more real for them.

Next we were off to Rivermill Dam, the oldest dam on the Clackamas River (1911!). We will actually be going inside this one. But first we had to walk the catwalks along the fish ladder to get to the entrance.

 Past the turbines...

 ...and into the dam!

 It's spooky in here! And dark! How far down below the water are we???

Agghh!! Now the kids understand how the main character feels during the scene in the book that takes place inside the dam!

 Ahh...after being inside the dam, a picnic lunch next to the lake feels just about right. Even if it is the setting for the climax scene in the book, which is pretty sad.

 We drove by the pond that is the setting for the "mill pond" in the book, and we were delighted to discover that it has been transformed into a lovely park.

 With play equipment! Who says that high school seniors are too old to play. (Little kids in the front, waiting for the BIG little kids to get back on the bus.)

We toured a few more spots in Estacada that are the settings for different scenes in the book, and then we went back to school. It threatened to rain all day, but the rain held off, except for a few drips just as we were leaving North Fork Dam (which was great timing - it made the kids hurry back to the bus - heehee).

What a life...I get paid to take kids out to the river!