Monday, March 29, 2021

I Heart Kid Art

As I'm sure you know, the Mackinac Island Public School is small. Our entire K-12 school is about 60 kids, half of which are in the "upper end" (7th - 12th grades.) Amusingly, my two kids are the only two taking high school art this semester. I love walking by the teacher's hallway displays and trying to decide which one of my children created each piece. 

This week is was block prints; my youngest made the character in black while my son carved and printed the rose in blue. The art teacher knows me well enough that she had each of them print a second one for me to hang on my art wall at home.

Friday, March 26, 2021

It's Happening Again

Back in the beginning of the Covid lockdown, I started seeing seeing faces and it's happening again. Every time I walk past the windowsill in my classroom, I swear this cactus wants me to stop for a quick chat. And then I start to wonder - just what is she smiling about? And then I remember - today is the last day of school before spring break! No wonder she's smiling.

Monday, March 22, 2021

In Transit

Last week a letter arrived for me. A letter that left New York on January 14th. As you can see, it arrived at the Mackinac Island Post Office on March 17th.  It took this lovely little thank you note 62 days to travel 612 miles. Really, 62 days? According to the USPS website, first class mail should arrived within five days. Our car insurance company has actually instructed customers not to send payments through the USPS due to issues like this. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Dress Like "A Million Bucks"

For March is Reading Month, this year the Mackinac Island Public School is celebrating March is Math Month by reading a different math book every day.  Earlier this week we read David M Schwartz's If You Made a Million.

The kids had a great time interpreting "Dress Like a Million Bucks" day. I thought about my Grandma, who I remembered always looked like a million bucks. I paid homage to her by wearing one of her beaded jackets and her charm necklace*. Oh yes, and I gave all the kids $100 bills with my face on them. Too fun.

My grandma had a huge charm bracelet, full of charms my grandfather had given her over their years together. At some point her collection became too big for a bracelet and was redone as a necklace. (She had so many charms, some of them still wouldn't fit.) Each charm has a story behind it; where it came from or what was commemorated by it. Before she died, I asked my grandma to write down the "story" of each charm - and I'm so glad I did. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Labor of Love

I packed this beauty up a few weeks ago and sent it back to its rightful owner. Years ago I my friend's husband snuck this unfinished quilt out of storage and secretly sent it to me. My plan was to finish the quilting for my friend, who as a busy Anglican pastor, just didn't have time to hand quilt it. Apparently, neither did I...

So it sat. And sat. And sat. For ten years every time I looked on the shelf in my swing room and saw the box,  I felt pangs of guilt.  Well, during lockdown I realized I did, in fact, have the time to quilt it, so I got to work. I worked all through the spring, summer and fall of 2020 - finally finishing the binding right after New Year's.

Saying good-bye as I packed it into a box bound for Tuxedo, New York, was harder than I thought it would be. I hope Rick enjoys having it finished as much as I  enjoyed quilting it.  

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Blue Ice

Last night lots of ice blew up on the shore across the street from the school.  We know it was blowing at least 55 mph (about 88 kph) because the bridge was closed to high-profile traffic for about an hour last night.

It may have been right across the street, but we had to take a "field trip" to check out the blue ice the kids had heard about on the news.

I did some research, because you know,  I'm nerdy; I wondered why the ice is blue some years but not others. Apparently the  ice isn't really blue - it just appears blue. It's all about how much light can penetrate the ice. On years like this one, when the ice freezes slowly there are fewer air bubbles and larger ice crystals. That combination allows light to penetrate deeper into the ice. Six times more red light is absorbed by the ice than blue light (remember, white light is made up of all the colors of the visible spectrum.) Since that red light isn't reflected back to our eyes, the ice looks blue.

Monday, March 1, 2021

I Don't Get It

What is it about poop these days? It's everywhere. And I don't mean all over the road on Mackinac Island, I mean all over the toy isle. Wal-Mart, Meijer and Dollar Tree all carry poop-themed toys.

Every time I turn around in the store, I see another poop themed toy.  I've even had students bring poop shaped stuffed pillows to school. Did I miss something? When did poop become the new "in" thing?