This A/C business vehicle's advertising caught my eye with its "Go With the Flow" quote. The a/c flow is much appreciated these days in FL structures, so no argument there!
The flow - the path of least resistance - is certainly less stressful and often more productive in our day-to-day interactions. But I wonder how change can occur if the only way we go is with the flow! Don't we need some purposeful 'resistance to the flow' or disruption to innovate? move forward? change? US 41 East & Goodlette-Frank Rd, Naples, FL
Monday, August 31, 2009
This A/C business vehicle's advertising caught my eye with its "Go With the Flow" quote. The a/c flow is much appreciated these days in FL structures, so no argument there!
Tried a little geocaching while visiting Melbourne...once again, I know I was right there, but didn't find the cache. I did find this dragonfly though! Although I will keep trying to discover those hidden caches, I will definitely be taking my camera along - seems I have a better chance of success there! :) Viera, FL
The many delays of Discovery liftoff worked to my advantage as I was in Melbourne for the weekend and could see the event (albeit about 30 miles away) from the screened lanai. It was pretty impressive, lighting up the sky, in high contrast with the midnight blackness. The visits to space are so phenomenal - I remember watching the landing on the moon and various other orbital travels on television as a child - such a feat! Wonder if there is a realistic opportunity for a first-hand space adventure in my lifetime....hmmm! Viera, FL
On the road to Melbourne for the weekend and drove through the middle of the state - much more interesting....This caboose caught my eye in Okeechobee, a small agricultural-oriented town just north of Lake Okeechobee. Looks like it is retired from its railroad work, but it is in 'reuse' a the local flea market as a 'trading post'! Love that it is not in a junkyard somewhere. Okeechobee, FL
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Neat textures on the trunk of this sea grape tree...From gray to tannish brown, the bark peels off to reveal new growth. There are some interesting shapes and designs on this sample...and It looks to be a fairly porous tree with all of the small pits - something, frankly, that I'd not noticed before.
Is the concept of porosity one that could translate to learning? If it is a measure of 'void spaces,' then certainly the blank stares I sometimes view in a sea of student faces would qualify. But I prefer to think of the 'give and take,' (the flow) that is often associated with the volume capacity of a porous material. It reminds me of the multi-tasking that occurs in the 'wired' teens of today - some things stay connected, but not everything, despite the focus on multiple objects. Isn't that okay in today's world where content is accessible nearly instantaneously? Shouldn't our learners focus more on the skills to evaluate that easily accessible content and to prioritize the need for various content rather than worry about cramming the brain full of material that will flow out after (or perhaps even before) the last test? Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The pen may be 'mightier than the sword' but these keys have the potential for so much more power - just think about the strength and expanse in connections to others! We are sitting on a 'gold mine' and yet we often expect 'powering down'...maybe this will be the year we will see the transformation in action! Naples, FL
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Despite my intentions to get around campus with the camera today, it came down to the 'friendly skeleton' in the high school nursing classroom after classes were over....Note the dedicated, "at the front of the class" teacher working overtime (or at least pretending to be - grins!). Technology and various 'hands-on' manipulatives are important for both our curriculum content and our students' learning preferences, but it is often tough to catch up to all of the changes. Attitude can play an important role and this smiling bone structure will never let you forget it! :) Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Monday, August 24, 2009
Despite the rigid and uninviting metal framework, the curved lines of this bench welcome a rest for the weary...if even for a short distraction! Today's busy schedule offered neither, but it did rank a photograph - perhaps an opportunity for some 'wishful thinking'! With the start of the school year, these kind of days will be on the increase....3rd St N & Broad, Naples, FL
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This clump of red and pink sea plant/weed resembles a complex network - blood vessels pumping basic nutrients to living organisms. Appreciated for their connections and basic infrastructure, our networks (be they physical or emotional, formal or informal) have amazing power to do so much more! The vessels, filled with nurturing elements, can exponentially develop and influence actions for innovation. 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Lots of texture here between the berries, the leaves, the mulch and the rotting bark - just another example of the great diversity in our environment! This American beautyberry is aptly named and adds a nice splash of color amidst the typical green landscape this time of year! The sunshine's warmth radiates through the image...and the high temperatures have all of the critters (humans, too!) seeking shade. 3rd St S & 5th Ave N, Naples, FL
Friday, August 21, 2009
Reading the FL Teens Read collection for 2009-10 has been a priority for the last couple of months and I'm slowly accomplishing that goal! There is diversity in genre and level and so far, I've enjoyed them for various reasons. I do believe that The Hunger Games (especially due to the *hot* endorsement from Twilight author, Stephenie Meyer) will be a major hit, but I also enjoyed Unwind and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and look forward to finishing Little Brother (reading that one through BookGlutton, since it is Creative Commons licensed - will try the online discussion with Book Club members, too!) Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Thursday, August 20, 2009
After a day of complex thinking and problem solving, the mind seeks relaxation and simple stimuli. Though the design of this chair back is relatively linear, it is softened with the wood grain and slight curves at the top. Additionally, the varying shades of the teak wood enhance the overall visual experience. Furthermore there is a harsh, but somehow appealing contrast from the plastered wall in the background - textured and colored quite differently from the chair.
Somehow, the 'simplicity' has moved through a cycle of depth and complexity...only to return to a peaceful view for the tired brain! :) Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This week is planning and inservice week for faculty - students start on Monday! I've been offering optional BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) sessions in the afternoons, but had to promise chocolate and other 'distractors,' in addition to inservice points! :) The focus, though, is on learning new web-based tools and using them appropriately to engage students in their classrooms. Though the numbers have been small, the motivation has been high ... and we've included opportunities for play, as well! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Men at work (well at least two of them - I think the third one is just 'supervising!) in the hot and humid temperatures looks unsatisfying, to say the least! Finding one's 'match' in the working world, though, is very individualized and fortunately, many may indeed find satisfaction in the work shown here. Working 40-50+ years of our lives, it is helpful to recognize one's own attributes and needs, as well as the job's requisites, when looking for a 'match' - and I'm guessing most of us don't ever consciously do that...instead, we sort of float into work that seems attractive to our own personal situations at the time and stick with it unless it is terribly uncomfortable. Sometimes we get lucky and find that 'match' early on in life, but even then we may have found new 'matches' with the changing environment. No matter how you found your 'match', it plays an important role in your life - if only by the amount of time you put into it! Estey Ave and Airport Rd, Naples, FL
Monday, August 17, 2009
A safe place, a place for reflection and peace, a place free from negativity, and for some, a place that connotes specific religious beliefs and customs. This well-labeled sanctuary is part of a church and thus more likely to link the religious connotations. Sanctuaries can come in many 'flavors' - not just physical buildings, like churches, homes and schools...there are beaches, parks, and other areas sans man-made structures - and there's not even the need for physical places...as many create their own sanctuaries within their minds and spirits with yoga and meditation. All of us need a sanctuary of some type - I hope yours is always available and serves its purpose.
On a different note, our school district provided an opening faculty meeting (required) with Ted McCain at the First Baptist Church of Naples due to its availability and size. Some faculty have challenged that as a breach of church/state separation. Though there were no religious messages conveyed, there were certainly symbols and references to religion. Personally, I wasn't impacted by the location, but I do think the choice and the justification of the choice didn't demonstrate sensitivity to the diversity of people's religious beliefs. Sanctuaries are in the minds of the beholders.... 6th St & 3rd Ave S, Naples, FL
Sunday, August 16, 2009
There's a lot of power running through these lines and with hurricane season in its peak, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to flow uninterrupted by tropical storms. This time of year always reminds me as to how susceptible we are to nature's wrath, as well as how dependent we are for basic survival. With Ana, Bill, and Claudette in today's weather radar, I'm double-checking emergency preparations!
Though this image coincides with our need for electric power, it also conjures up the concept of empowerment...and that is another desired entity! Wikipedia defines empowerment as "increasing the spiritual, political, social or economic strength of individuals and communities." Imagine the impact on our students if we could empower them (ALL of them!) with the love for learning - bet our educational systems would look very different! Goodlette Frank & Rosemary, Naples, FL
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Mushrooms are suppose to grow in dark, cool, damp places, but ours seem to be popping up with bright, warm sunlight and less than normal rain amounts! This fungi spotlight, though unwelcome in a manicured lawn, is appreciated for its efforts to move into popularity with the culinary aficionados. There are so many edible species these days, but I would exclude this one as a sample! Apparently it takes years of study to correctly identify wild mushrooms for consumption - though only about 10% are poisonous. 5th St & 4th Ave N, Naples, FL
Friday, August 14, 2009
Just as I was leaving the beach this morning, I heard a familiar 'cock-a-doodle-doo' in the air. This beach rooster was in hiding from general visibility, but his wake-up call certainly gave up his hiding place! Nevertheless, his arrogant cockiness is evident in the general attitude of this shot! Million dollar beachfront mansion owners tell me that he is there like clock-work every morning demanding breakfast...and usually they feel powerless to this one and provide tidbits (which naturally brings him back...after all, he's just looking for sustenance).
Though this morning's encounter was in daylight (and we seem to start school so early, it is often still dark), it is a reminder of the early morning jolt many students and teachers will soon face as school schedules renew after summer break. It is also a reminder of the importance attitude can play in the learning process, especially with some teens who cover a desire to be acknowledged with an exaggerated sense of importance! :) 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Luckily this beautifully symmetrical butterfly did not flit away before the shutter clicked. Sometimes I'm amazed at how cooperative nature can be...especially since I had to hurriedly break off a conversation to walk quickly, but quietly, to capture this photo opportunity! Then again, maybe this butterfly knew its own 'star power' and was willing to share it! Perhaps it was aware that its natural talent of showing off its patterned beauty was delightful to the photographer! How often do we overlook the natural talents of others because we are looking for something else? In education, we often espouse individual differences, but observation points more towards standardization. How can we better recognize and facilitate the development of our students' own personalized gifts to the world? Garden of Hope and Courage, Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Not much to offer today - either driving (thus the drive-by shots) or sans camera....some days are like that! Not to worry, especially when there is such an interesting sky to behold. Fortunately, most of the drive was rain-free, but the threat of dark clouds helped to accelerate the trip! Bridge over the Caloosahatchee River, Ft Myers, FL
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Like patterns and imaginary shapes in cloud formations, the bark of trees can be quite fascinating! This heart-shaped opening is not only decorative but served as a nesting site for birds this past spring. The textures, depth, flaking and gnarls of the tree trunk are a bit unusual and even look somewhat destructive, but the tree continues to stand and is healthy! So here is another great example of form and function working cooperatively to effectively perform its job and to create a design that is pleasing to the eye. Who says creativity is lost in the machination of our world - they coexist in most of nature! Naples, FL
Monday, August 10, 2009
Looking into my neighbor's paved patio area always makes me feel better....relatively speaking, mine doesn't look so bad! :) Keeping up with outdoor maintenance in the summer is always more challenging, especially in FL where we try to avoid the heat and humidity! The broom is ever-ready, but it does require (wo)man power! Finding the elusive energy is difficult...It used to be we could find entrepreneurial preteens/teens who would willingly work for a price, but they, too, prefer to spend their time elsewhere. Ah, times do change! Naples, FL
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Oh, Sand Castle Days
Sweet memories enhance
The backwards glance
Long into childhood's way,
Hours by the sea
Where the sun brightly shone
Looking out o'er the waves
Soft, memory saves
A joy that forever stays
Held deep in that part
Of one's innermost heart..
Of so happy,
dear sand-castle days!
~ John McLeod
Every day we have the opportunity to create our own sand castles - try to do so in the nature of a child and not an adult...so enters the element of play! 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Patient, but questioning 'when can we walk?" and "is dinner soon?" This sweet bi-color-eyed canine continues to amaze me with the adaptation to her new home. Though she does keep us on a routine, she allows for some flexibility, especially on the weekends - must be that sixth sense! :) Kind of like that 'with-it-ness' that you observe with people in well-matched roles - always a great kudo! Naples, FL
Friday, August 7, 2009
Looks like the Naples beach is getting some nourishment in the form of additional sea oat plantings. Nature's give-and-take with the tides and storms can rearrange the sand pretty quickly, but dune vegetation seems to help stabilize it in a 'natural' way. These sea oats are treasured - protected by a barrier which prevents trample from the human foot. This is a nice compromise between the need of humans to enjoy the shoreline and the necessary requisite of honoring our earth. I wonder if we can do as well with the conflicts that seemingly abound... 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This building houses one of my favorite restaurants ... it also has some interesting architectural features. Naples homes and businesses often reflect the Bahamian architecture with brightly painted color combinations and decorative outdoor shutters. Here those components have been modified with the addition of black (not a commonly used color in the Bahamas), moldings, iron enclosures and even geometric cutouts - all of which add an 'elegance' that befits Old Naples, in particular.
We often start with the same ingredients and yet are able to create something totally unique and personal to ourselves. We may borrow some elements from previous experience (a conversation with another, a concept from a recently read book, or a walk on the beach), but we make it our own - this innovation has become popular and ubiquitous in the culture of 'remix'. So, how do we teach students to differentiate between that which needs attribution and that which they can call their own? Obviously reproducing another's work in its entirety and passing it off as your own is unethical and often illegal...but how much is too much (academic papers aside)? how can we (or do we?) emphasize giving credit when we are surrounded by the lack of such? Creative commons licensing is a worthwhile alternative, but we have much work to do in this area....3rd St and 12th Ave South, Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
A much needed afternoon rain 'drencher' left glorious puddles all over town! I found myself looking for the reflections in them (though it is not a good idea to do while driving!) and marveling at the mirror image or the distorted facsimile. Capturing some on camera was almost as fun as splashing through them as a child! Like those times, the existence of the puddles is fleeting ... It won't be long before the sun dries them up - another reminder for living in the moment! :) Naples, FL
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The last couple of days have been so full of light - how does the sun's brilliance dazzle us so easily? Shadow play is always such a neat capture when the bright index is so high...and curves are such an easy invitation to an interesting composition! It is nice when the all of the elements are aligned - wish it happened more in 'real life'! :) Naples, FL
Monday, August 3, 2009
Looking westward down the river, one can only imagine what lies beyond the clumps of mangroves in the distance. There is both an element of infinity (as one knows the river meanders ahead) and finiteness (when the eyes see the abrupt end of the water at the end of view). Sometimes the 'endlessness' of unmet goals can be frustrating - not having a boundary on space or a limit on time can leave one uncertain and anxious. The counteraction of developing smaller steps and intermediate timelines helps to focus on the action plan as well as increase confidence in attaining the final destiny of accomplishment! Of course, it isn't as easy as it seems, but the analogy helps make it more possible! Brookside Dr & Davis Blvd., Naples, FL
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Weathered wood is so intriguing to me - the patterns, the colors, the changes in longevity, the strength. This weathered wood piling is accentuated with the rusty bolt and touches of algae growth. In its younger years, it likely would not be as interesting - that characteristic is only due to its experience in the environmental elements. Just as in a youth culture, it is easy to overlook the contributions of the elders, here it is easy to pass this wooden post as simply as obstacle to the early morning beach walk. Instead of being revered for its function and form, it is ignored - we do that a lot in the modern American culture....and, while I embrace the new and futuristic, I try to balance it with respect for important traditions.
This image also makes me appreciate the importance of patterns ... in nature, in learning, in math and science and history and English, in the psychology of humanity. The zig-zag stripes of the hewed wood provide a structure, a repetitive and predictable foundation, upon which we depend. Interestingly, as solid as this wooden post is, its virtual opposite in the fluidity of rippled water lives side-by-side with it in a seemingly harmonious state. Thus, the need for continuous assessment of all traits for desired balance! 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Strolling down a side street of one of our shopping districts, I came across this fountain centerpiece (with koi and lily pads) in the heart of a little courtyard. Just watching the colors and movement was quite relaxing, despite the hot and humid temperature! Being in such a state allows amazing neuron connections - the mind is allowed to 'free flow' or focus without distractions. Both mesmerizing and energizing, the relaxed state is often the impetus for both reflection and the 'aha' effect. It's no wonder that efforts to create a comfortable and relaxing environment provide payoffs in thinking, creativity and learning! 3rd St South and 13th Ave, Naples, FL