I am going on a PD hunt, I am not scared. I can't avoid it, I am going to go through it. #Observeme.

I read Jennifer Gonzalez' 2013 article, " A Mild Case of Fisheye," over on her blog, The Cult of Pedagogy. It rang true for me so I shot a letter out to my assistant principal, told her I just read this article and that I was ready for some help with my College Readiness Class. I told her I was going to have a chat with a particular group of tuned out students, that were having an impact on the classroom culture and would she please come by and observe.

My AP stayed for about one hour (we have 95 minute blocks). We set up an appointment, and she came to my room during lunch two days later. I was agitated that I was doing something wrong, that surely in my 30th year I should be the beloved teacher and provide students with the best education has to offer and what if I was losing my effectiveness? Well, I do mentor beginning teachers, I am still here, I love education, students, teachers, curriculum, professional development, learning, and teaching, so I must do somethings wells. And I do have both passion and compassion. So what is up?

I learned that I had a group that was feeding each other in the worst way. Three of the four were saying things to each other like, "I am so dumb," " I need help," and "I am so lost." The fourth was the only one who had her binder, had her homework,  and was actually getting frustrate with the others at her table. My AP wrote her saying in exasperation, "You ALREADY have your slope!" In a group of seniors, I don't make seating charts. I thought this group were working together, but really they were sitting next to a person who was confident and were feigning ignorance to get someone else to do the brunt of their work. I learned something I need to pay attention to more carefully. Gasp, I may even need to make a purposeful, "random" seating chart to spread out the "lost" students among their more capable (organized? dedicated? invested?) peers.

The other nugget that was most enlightening, was how I give feedback. At a much more productive table group,  one girl was recorded as saying, "She said you were fine." Although my affect is positive and encouraging, it requires "interpreting." I need to be more direct and ask what it is the student is needing feedback on. I don't like just saying, "yes you are right." I prefer to ask a question that leads the student to his or her own conclusion,  but maybe if I am judicious, a "you are on the right track," would make the students feel less anxious and continue independently.

I got to the #ObserveMe part backwards on this occasion and actually looked at the folder last. I was so pleased to know that my questions for observers DID reflect my concerns and even though the AP used her own response form (purpose: email invitation). I got the feedback I was seeking:

Welcome! Please come inside and observe me for 5 minutes or 90. I would love feedback on:

      Students are talking about math.
     Teacher gives useful feedback.
     Teacher fairly calls on all students.

I am going on a PD hunt, I am not scared. I can't avoid it, I am going to go through it. #Observeme.

It takes a village to raise a teacher.

Oh My! Happy holidays folks.

I do go to an improv class, it is the scariest thing I do. I do it to be reminded of what it is like to be a student. I do it to be as far away from my comfort zone as possible. I do it to remember to be playful.

What I have learned, is that there are a lot of profound life lessons in the simple lessons of improv"

🔼Commit to "yes, and." This is the mantra. Go with what you are given and expand that.

🔼Give your partner a gift. Listen.

🔼Acknowlege that everyone brings something to the table.

🔼Take risks.

🔼Learn from failure.

One game I risked doing in class involves many Nerf balls. All at once. With teenage boys. Whoo.
I am convinced this is a brain activating game. I am convinced it helps with listening and paying attention. It is also silly fun.

Start with 10-12 students in a circle. You need 3 different colored Nerf balls.
The non-participants give a category. We started
with dogs.

Round 1) Toss the ball to a person, and say your dog breed: Beagle, go all around tossing the ball to each person once. The catcher says a different dog breed: German Shepard (you can stop and have everyone who has gone put their hand on their head so everyone goes through once and knows who hasn't spoken yet).

Round 2) In the exact same order, the first person calls and throws to the person they threw to first, German Shepard. The ball gets tossed around with only the tosser saying the name of the next receiver.

Round 3, 4, 5 same as round 2. The pattern should be strongly known now.

Yup, now put ball one away. Ask for another category, in our case it was ice cream flavors.

Go through round 1 and 2 again. You can NOT throw to the person you threw to before. It has to be someone new!

Play round 3, 4, 5 with ball 2.

The rest of the rounds: Re-introduce ball 1 and at the next moment, toss ball 2! Keep going! Zing, Bozang! Fun! Think Fast!

If you dare, stop and try starting with rounds 1-5 with a ball three. Get all three balls going eventually. I have done it! It is crazy good and what a sense of accomplishment!

I see it useful in ESL classes. I will play with types of angles pairs, with new Geometry vocab, types of functions, whatev we can all think of.

I challenged the baseball coach next door to try it with his kids this spring.

I can't wait to do it as a "My Favorite" in Atlanta, if the stars are aligned for me in 2017.

If you play, or think of twist, comment below?

...it would be brussel sprouts because they are gross

...bananas because they are long and boring

...strawberries because some are sweet and some are tart

...sushi because you really like it or you don't

...broccoli because it takes on the flavor of what it is cooked in

...artichokes because they are work to get but so good once you do

...spaghetti because there is a never-ending mound of it

...milk because I hate milk

...abalone because it is difficult to get but so good once you do

...salt because it is in everything (that was the DH)

...broccoli because it is an acquired taste

My exit ticket and High 5 today

Added November 8, 2016 by my Geometry Students:

...Creme Brulee because it is complex

...Stale bread because it is hard

...Cactus because it is hard to choke down

...Candy because it is sweet

...Any vegetable because it's rewards are in the future

...Lime because it adds flavor to everything

No one would vote for me for best lesson close, which is my true #1TMCthing to work on.

That being said, I do make a conscientious effort to check in with every student I teach every single day.

My go to close is a mash up among  a true close, a Restorative Practices close, and Glenn Waddell's inspiration on High 5's.

Anyone of the following can happen:

I ask the students a mathy question from the day's lesson, they think for a minute and then file out with a response and then I give them a High 5: T: "If the point I give you on your way out is rotated 180 degrees about the origin, what is the image coordinate?" Student gives me correct answer, out the door they go, with a High 5!

T: "What is i to the power I give you?" out the door with correct answer and High 5!

T: (Image on board): "Which one doesn't belong and why." High 5!

T: "I am going to give you set, you will tell me, whether it is Categorical or Quantitative? High 5!

But sometimes, I got nothing mathy at all, so out the door they go with these questions, always with eye contact, a huge smile and a High 5! (some students prefer a fist bump btw)

T:"If you could snap your fingers and end up anywhere you want, where would that be?"

T:"What is your spirit animal?"

T: "What is making you happy today?"

T: "What food can you not live without?"

Today's took the cake, thanks to listening to City Arts and Lectures the previous night on KQED fm, with an interview of Jonathan Safran Foer.

T: "If Secretary of the Future was a cabinet position in the US government, like Sectary of the Interior, Secretary of Education or Sectary of Defense, what would he or she be in charge of doing?"

Will report back on after Monday's classes...Friday I didn't do a good enough job explaining what I meant, and got a few, "make America great agains," and a "Clean up the environment."

At least I apologized.

I am totally in love with this "distance" calculator that uses the Pythagorean Theorem to make its point.
(From PBS Learning)

We started the morning in Geometry with a warm-up of "I notice, I wonder" on the the animations from the above distance calculator. I love that it starts with two points and when you release the left click, it makes a right triangle whose leg lengths are given. It is good to warm up, gets your mind going. Yes we have a test today, and believe me, it won't take 95 minutes to complete.

Part of the test is on the distance between two points and the midpoint of the segment between them. This graphic is just lovely for that. I pull up the screen and pretend I have I Smartboard (LOL), and ask, " what else can the lengths of the sides tell us?" Two things come up. How far the midpoint is from either of the x-coordinates  and same from either y-coordinate (especially if we know the coordinates of point C.
The second most popular idea is slope. How cool, right? So...

This one boy raises his hand and says, "Ms Zimmer, if we have a test why are you teaching us new stuff?"

Well, I unproudly lost my cool. AND, I did explain my reasoning, (that's the better part, cause I read Make it Stick, and well, because I am the teacher, that's why).


"If you have enduring understanding, like I have been coaching and preparing you to have, you won't lose what you know, you will enrich what you know. And if you don't have that kind of understanding of the material, I would have hoped to see you today at lunch (before the class), yesterday, the day before or the day before, and ..."

Then I lost it.

"Um, AND this is actually review from Algebra, right, or 8th grade, right?"

I did apologize to all the tables for losing my cool, except for that one kid. At that moment, I was channeling Fawn. Maybe I will have a one on one chat with him next time.

Happy Fall ya'all!
Why I need access to Facebook and Twitter at School

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

My PLC's live on Twitter and Facebook. I travel once per year to meet my MATH and EDUCATION colleagues , at mostly my expense to meet with some of the top people in my field. WE connect regularly through social media (that is why we are the Math Twitter Blog O Sphere).

You can't get something to what you want on Desmos. 2 team answers and 5 colleague answers in two minutes via Twitter. You need a lesson tweak for stats, 4 responses in under 5 minutes, you want to get another Geometry Class' opinion, send word on FB. You need to know if you are on the right track? Tweet. You want to share the BEST thing you've ever done so that 500 other teachers can try it, Tweet it. 

Who's on? Well, there is Jo Boaler, Dan Meyers, Eli Lubevich (founder of Desmos), Sara Vanderwerf, Jose Vilson, Hedge, Ilana Horn, Christopher Danielson, Rafranz, Mathy Meg, Fawn, Sam, Glenn, Jim, Alex, and...If you don't know who Tracy Johnston Zager is, get on it, and 300-400 of the smartest, kindest, wisest, most supportive K-12 +++ teachers you have ever, ever known. 

That is why I need access to Twitter and Facebook, NOW.

With warm regards, 

Amy Zimmer
Closing the Lesson
Tracy Zager emphasized, "Close the lesson," at TMC 2016. Although my
#1TMCthing is to be a math evangelist, I am focused on CLOSING every lesson because, well, I got the message.

My goals for the first week are twofold. We do mathy things in here from day ONE and our classroom culture supports everyone's success. Fast forward to Friday, the end of the first week of school. I was introducing the idea of precision when generating definitions in Geometry. Fondly called, the "unbreakable" definition. Can one draw what you write, meet the criteria, AND not draw what you meant? Time to revise your definition then. We started with Widgets and a lesson Lisa Bajerano wrote about two years ago:

I had the students make a list of the characteristics of a Widget and then write a definition. I told them we would put all of thoughts together to build the most precise definition. My brain did a silent little leap and went to, "like when we used to play Monster with the girls." Monster went like this:

Everyone (usually four) of us started with a blank piece of paper folded from portrait direction in quarters. 

Hiding their drawing from everyone else, we each drew a head, neck and shoulders on the first quarter of our paper. We each drew the connecting lines about a quarter of an inch onto the next quarter, and then folded the first quarter back, so the next illustrator could not see what we had drawn. 

The next person adds on (again without seeing what the first person drew) the arms and torso in the second quarter and the connecting lines 1/4" into the third. 
Arms and Torso
The paper gets folded back again, so that the next illustrator cannot see what drawer 1 and 2 have drawn. The third drawer makes the waist and the legs to the knee and the 1/4' connector lines into the fourth quarter and again folds the paper back so the next person cannot see anything but the connector lines that have been drawn so far. 
Waist and To Knees (ignore yellow for now)
The fourth person finishes the drawing with by adding the rest of the leg and the feet. The paper is then handed back to the original person to admire, laugh
Okay, so waist to knee was open to interpretation. 
at, and give the creature a name. SO. MUCH. FUN!

The activity takes a full ten minutes.

Here's me, @druin and @mathymeg07 and a few others were discussing stress relief and I think it was Meg Craig who said she recommends picking your clothes for the week the weekend before(!). I can't even pick a menu for the week. But I did do as we thought we might and take a first day photo.
Nothing new in the picture. But Meg would be happy that I have tomorrow's clothes laid out and my lunch is in the fridge.

I had Geometry today. SO freakin' yummy. The kids were so engaged and smart, and happy and I saw only one phone out the entire day! (I felt it was my fault b/c the S had some down time--I immediately asked her, what else?)

We did Lines and Blogs (thanks Jennifer Gonzales) Lots and lots of WODB and an exit ticket, Complete the sentence, "The classroom culture that best helps me to be successful is..." (I will compile these and they will become the class norms)
Homework is to create your own WODB and have a SEPARATE justification for every quadrant. Here's mine, can you find WODB in every quadrant?

We were trained in Restorative Practice Cirles (Talking Circles) this summer. Our entire school is embracing this method of approaching community and resolving conflict. The other day, our trainer said, "When a student feels a part of community, then he or she will want to take responsibility for harming that relationship." I like that harm becomes a mistake that is repairable.

My classroom is small, so instead of cirlces the first day, I thought I would try this approach. Below are two emails I sent to a colleague trained in the method. He said, "I don't know what you mean by concentric circles, but go with your gut." Encouraging, AND, maybe I can get a little more feedback from my MTBoS pals and YOU all can take away a possible ice breaker.

Email 1)
Hi Gene and Jessica,

I want to run concentric circles facing each other on first day, 

Why: Room not large enough for all, outside voices get lost in big groups
Pedagogy: Instead of students meeting his/her "group" meet all as fluidity of first two weeks makes seating charts difficult. Also, everyone will work with everyone, might as well start!

Question: after two or three fun ones, I like Gene's, "what's annoying about social media?" I want to ask, "what does community mean to you? Have them write as few words as possible on a notecard. Read to each other. Then do what Todd did, and ask them to write what that looks like to them. 

This will be the center, like the ones we created. And sets up the norms for keeping the community whole and safe.

What do you think?

Cheers, Amy

Email 2)
Thanks Gene. Concentric circles would be dividing class in half. Half students in inner circle facing out, outer circle of students facing in . Outtsides are "A" inner "B" . A's share, B silent, then switch.  The inner students move  counter clockwise one, then repeat for a few rounds, change questions. 

Hey MTBoSers,

What do you think?

We have friends visiting from Washington D. C. They are beginning their 3 week holiday, just as we are leaving our 9 week holiday behind. Peter, who works long hours, riding his bike to work EVERY day, (takes about 20-30 minutes, weather and exhaustion level dependent), was contemplating how he could be on vacation EVERY day, seeing retirement on the horizon (well, 8-10 years away). I started talking to him about the routines in our lives to keep "holiday" time alive. This is really the work/life balance. 

Here are some of my balancing acts:

--I dance first thing in the morning, before coffee, before email. Michael Franti's, "Say Hey I Love You," B-52's, "Love Shack," Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk," The Dip, "Stateline." 3-5 minutes. You can't help smiling.

--Get to the beach. We are fortunate that we can drive to the beach, walk 45 minutes, drive home in 90 minutes. All we have to do is, DO it!

--Play ball with the dog...no explanation necessary.

--Get on the bike. Go outside, ride 45 minutes, ride 2 hours, whatever, feel the wind in your hair.

--Go to the movies, see a play, or go to a concert mid-week. Feels like you are doing something sneaky!

--Swim! Yup, go to the public pool, jump in for lap swimming. So you do 20 lengths, swim one, rest one. Whatever! It is 45 degrees out, the pool is 82 degrees, enjoy.

--Write a long hand letter. Reminds me of sending postcards or writing letters home. 

--Make a delicious, ethnic meal. Does not have to take everything out of you. It can be simple. Need ideas? Falafel, Sesame Noodles, Fried Rice. DM for recipes.

--Discover something new where you live. China Camp State Park. Who knew? Less than an hour from home and worlds away. 
China Camp State Park
What do you do to keep the holiday feeling alive during your school year?
Next summer, I just may ask for 30-60 minute slot at TMC about math and podcasts. I am reminded by Meg Craig that I wanted to post about my favorite Podcasts. Thanks Meg! And the great news is they are different! Now you will have about 2 zillion times the awesomeness to listen to. 

Top Three, no order: 

Radiolab: Great Reporting about 45-60 minutes long. From Tree to Shining Tree about how cool our tree root system is, to the podcast on how easy is it to be tracked by your internet use, to a story that made me absolutely weep about a preemy babe. 

Freakonomics: 25-35 minutes. Meg, do you get hooked on your podcaster's voice? Oh man, it is my equivalent of crack. Okay, that is over the top, but, you know...The economics of everything, lots of great experiments, behavioral econ, why we do what we do.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 45- 60 minutes of 4 podcasters have chats about pop culture, from movies, to comics, to books, sometimes music. (Gotta keep up with the kiddos some how). Smart, political, and diverse view points, best part is at the end of every show, each caster talks about "what is making me happy this week." I learn about the BEST books, movies, original netflix series (currently savoring Stranger Things) etc...

Next Top Three, maybe some order:

Undisclosed: 45-65 minute long shows hosted by three lawyers about the wrongfully convicted. Excellent guests that tackle all kinds of social justice issues, can't get enough of listening to Rabia Chaudry, Collin Miller, and Susan Simpson. Straight forward, thoughtful. 

Snap Judgement:45-60 minutes of stories told to a beat and a theme.  Glynn Washington is a sharp guy. I love that this podcast is his vision and passion and he gave up thinking "inside the box," to make it happen. 

Sometimes Hidden Brain--how curious people understand the world, or The Moth--Story Slam winners, or Marketplace Weekend--what is driving are economy this week, or Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, hosted by Peter Sagal--that guy is funny, as are his crazy group of guests, a "game" show about the week's news. 

Shows my total nerd, I own it. Happy listening!

What are your favorite podcasts?

I am literally dripping in sweat (TMI?) from a hot August 1 run. I was listening to Undisclosed, a podcast dedicated to righting wrongful convictions. It is also a podcast about the criminal justice system, and social justice, or lack there of, especially in our immigrant and non-caucasian communities.

One of the themes of TMC16 was (and in many ways continues to be) Math and Social Justice. (My personal goal for TMC16 was finding out as much as possible about how my colleagues were engaging on this topic)

Now let me put the two together. Today, in the Addedum 3 episode, Marsha Chatelain, Professor of History at Georgetown, told us this, "Smart People use Twitter to have Smart conversations about Smart Things," and I believe her. She went to say that Pop Culture gives more people access to get closer to issues they normally wouldn't know about. And then I thought, "Hey, she is talking about us!" Dr. Chatelain felt like some of her colleagues at Georgetown poo-poo'd the ability of a platform like Twitter be effective in stimulating and conducting intellectual conversations, and WE (the MTBoS) give Dr. Chatelain proof of her claim!
Jose Vilson told us so: Math teachers, contrary to our own beliefs, already have parts about us that allow us to engage in difficult work. He encouraged to use our mad skills at looking for depth and using multiple pathways to look at social justice. (Follow #educolor)
Tracy Zager (@TracyZager) showed us the power of the intersection between content and pedagogy when we use our Twitter for PLC's: 

So I am even more inspired by your brilliance, MTBoS. You Rock!
Simply, here is the ice breaker I shared at TMC16.

Explicit Goal: Students get to know each other, have some fun
Implicit Goal: Have students take a look at group dynamics, what works and feels good vs. not so good, and create some healthy group norms

The Deal: Not the first ice breaker of the year, but pretty close to the next one or next one after that.

Students in groups of 4, need to come up with a favorite book, movie, and game that they can all agree on.

What we make of the chaos: Stopping students a few minutes in to exam HOW the process is working. How are they coming to decisions? How are they figuring out the meaning of the task? What feels good and not so good about the process.

Watch the video, steal the slides, make comments to add to the list of "how we work as a group," Let me know how it goes!

The Presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ePSYmbQ_UvmjA3UKmBFzeVj9ujhq9-yH528cG9lfuoU

The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7BgI8jbPm8&feature=youtu.be

Thanks so much to Glenn Waddell, Jr for video taping and for being a good friend, deep thinker, and a writing inspiration.
Glenn Waddell (@gwaddellnvhs) has been writing lately about the intersection of "teaching to change the world or teaching to reinforce the world as it is." I feel this pushmepullyou all the time. I went into teaching as a subversive act. I know the rules, am a rule follower, and feel the most effective way to invoke change is through a systematic approach. My job is to help students get through the system, but also feel empowered to change the system, and my tool is information. 

I just completed a 2 day training learning the tenets of Restorative Justice and learning how to build community through Circles. (John Golden mentions a few resources, here chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2016/ and @cheesemonkeysf SF )

My take away is that a school that embraces the tenets is setting a tone of community, and responsibility. We want to follow the rules if they are fair and we feel that by abiding them we will be comfortable and safe. If we start with Circles (though I am scared about my ability to be effective at it) all over the school, then the practice of checking in, feeling empowered to speak in front others, being vulnerable, and learning to listen lends itself to a safe classroom environment that enables students to take academic risks in front of each other and a growth mindset that supports, "mistakes will be made,  that is human nature, growth happens when you choose to correct them."

Elizabeth at http://cheesemonkeysf.blogspot.com/, shared this gem, that I am making a huge poster of, from her teacher Fred Orr, "My learning to swim drowns no one." I mention this, because this is what I want for my students to honor more than anything else--for themselves and others. And if I am interfering with this process in anyway because my classroom isn't a safe space, then I have failed.  (Glenn said his only rule is, " Your behavior must contribute to the learning of every person in the room, including your own.”) And of course, we have to make it transparent, that we do have the authority to do whatever is necessary or whatever we can at that moment, to keep the classroom safe. Hopefully it doesn't involve removing a member of the community because then he or she loses power on all kinds of levels: they don't get the information to be powerful, they don't get to practice a corrective move after a mistake, and they may have to figure out an annoying way to "save face."

What I learned is that listening and speaking from the heart are skills that students (students of any age that lack these skills) need practice at and words for. This includes more than "I" messages, but non-combative language to ask for a preferred action. (Ex: I feel frustrated when you talk to me when I am trying to find out what the directions are. I would like you to wait until the teacher is finished.) Hopefully you have done enough circles so that the talking student doesn't think the listening student is a freak.)  So we start with fun and easy talking points, "if math were a genre of music, what kind would it be, What is the best thing about being a teenager, what word or words do you always say and what do they mean," (I say Groovy, and it means, "that is cool, I like it") and then go deeper, "What is something you don't like about being a teenager, if you were any age, what age would you be and why, what historical event has made the greatest impact on your life?" When students feel comfortable going deeper, and the teacher has shared as authentically as possible, maybe, hopefully, when you ask for an action from them, they will understand you are not trying to lord power OVER them, that rather, you are giving them the power to change a behavior that is having a negative affect on you or member of the class. 

One of the early activities we did was to establish and agree to values. "Respect, patience, humility, yaddah, yaddah..." were written on the index cards we were given. We went around and spoke our word with a "just enough" reason why we chose the value. The powerful part occurred next--on the back, after the first go round, we were asked to write what action we take that shows the value. Then we went around again. Yup, we hear the words and nod affirmatively that they are valued, and how in the heck do we really know what it means to an individual unless we give them the opportunity to tell us!!! It was very powerful to see "respect," and learn what it means to someone you care about! (How nice it was to reflect on what Respect looks like to me, "Being fully present," btw)

In Circles there is a talking piece. so whomever has the talking piece is the only one speaking the rest are listening, and there is always a center piece, taken after the Native American tradition of imparting knowledge around a camp fire (as I understand the center piece idea). What is lovely about the center piece is the visual reminder of how to grow a community. Here is ours:

One last note, here is my favorite quote from the training, by James Baldwin,

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

How do you grow a community in your classroom?

The mission of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota includes "art experiences that spark discovery, critical thinking, and transformation."

Sounds like the shared mission of teachers.

I was lucky enough to visit this museum during my visit to Minneapolis to take part in Twitter Math Camp 2016.

I knew of Diego Rivera and the great WPA murals, but I had no idea that there was a federal arts program for individual painters until I visited this museum that houses several of these painters (not the pictures shown below--If you know more about this program and have resources to share, please, please leave a comment.)

I am in love of the work of Jacob Lawrence, an african american painter from Atlanta (1917-2000) whose work is in the exhibit. I am in awe of the story each angle, each color, every square inch that the painting tells. A narrative of joy and labor, of pride and struggle.


I am not sure what the connection is between math education and this exhibit but I know there is one. It is about the conversation to recognize publicly that there are still American Citizens that feel marginalized. That perhaps in some circles, like the mathy one, there are students that don't feel included as part of the complex math community. I am trying to invoke the voice of Jose Vilson, our first keynote speaker. I want to connect, I want to be an ally. I am following #educolor. Being available, educating myself, and advocating for my students is a good place to start. 

The building itself has a history tied to mine. It was designed by a living architect, Frank Gehry. It is mathy, and urban and exotic. I didn't recognize Gehry as a root name from any country or ethnicity. This is what I found out, " According to an interview with Gehry on the genealogy program Finding Your Roots, he changed his name in 1956 to Frank O. Gehry in part because of the anti-semitism he had experienced as a child and as an undergraduate at USC." How about that, he started out as Frank "F'in" Goldberg! How lucky I feel not to have to hide my identity, though I still have to deal with ignorant cultural portrayals and misconceptions. 

To finish up, here is another view of this amazing building and the glorious Minnesota clouds taken by new TMC friend, Norma, (@normabgordon). 
Norma and I being artsy
I really am going to share with you how I organized my thoughts on the many plane rides I had today—(can anyone beat 3—if you count boarding the middle one and having to deplane and find another flight to SF)

Who knows if there will ever be a part two, but I wanted to get this out ASAP for a couple of reasons. 1) To pay it forward—contributing to the generosity of “laying” work on the MTBoS that our community is so good about, 2) Committing myself to reflecting and remembering and
3) to keep the light of community glowing in my heart.

I am a kinesthetic learner, duh. Alice (@      ) says to me, “You must workout a lot.” Not really I say, I MOVE a lot. (We really do have a set of rings in our entryway that I play on EVERY day) I mention this because I love writing and love the physicality of composing my thoughts on paper. (three-quarters of a composition book filled for TMC16).

At the back of my comp book,              I made few title pages:


And then I filled them up. The longest one is Currriculum/Fall Prep,
Next Longest is To Look Up (to check out), then To Share. It was delightful
to  go back and read and reflect. I am re-energized and encouraged to share with 
my colleagues at home, even if I struggle with feeling reluctant to share with some of
them for the pain I feel from their lack of support of me. ( AND I have all of
you backing me up)  What are the titles of your pages?

PS I always have the support of my some of my colleagues and ALL of my adminstrators.