Where's the pillow? That might be the only element missing in creating a relaxing atmosphere...Half of the tenth graders visited the media center for a presentation, scavenger challenge and book selection for independent reading today. Their presence is always invigorating, fascinating, full of smiles...and tiring at the end of the day! This young lady found a corner chair and made herself at home. Though some may find it offensive, I'm glad she felt welcomed enough to create comfort - and more importantly, that she is enjoying her 'read'! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Sunday, August 29, 2010
These sea grape leaves almost show the yin and yang of light effects - I have no idea how I was able to capture this, as it didn't look like this in 'real' life!!! Oh, the mistakes of an amateur! :)
It is true, isn't it - 'beginner's luck'...How is it that the beginner can sometimes equal or even 'outshine' the expert? Is it truly luck or are there other latent factors? Wouldn't it be interesting if the phenomenon could be captured and shared with beginners who needed a bit of encouragement to continue...a boost to learn...positive feedback upon which to grow? 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Linear and yet winding; repetitive, patterned and yet uniquely staged; monochromatic and yet evident color pops...simple and yet complicated! There is so much in life that encompasses both sides of the continuum and so difficult to accurately describe! It makes almost any argument valid and only highlights the varying perspectives evident in our diverse perceptions. Norris Center, Cambier Park, Naples, FL
Friday, August 27, 2010
Typical Florida palm tree landscape is reflected from the grill of a car in the neighborhood. The recent overcast skies have broken to reveal puffy white clouds and blue patches.
Reflections from this first week of school seem appropriate as we get ready to welcome the weekend! One expects certain adjustments to be made as the new school year begins - some tweaking and sometimes major modifications. This week definitely revealed such needs...and more! Once again, I was reminded that no matter how much and how well things are planned, you have to expect and be prepared for the 'unexpected'. And, it seems, 'when it rains, it pours'! TGIF! Naples, FL
Thursday, August 26, 2010
A couple of frangipani (plumeria) continue to bloom well beyond their usual season. Unlike many of the humans around here, they appear to be thriving in the tropical heat and humidity. Their beauty compliments the broad, distinguished green leaves, though I can imagine the finality of that one withered blossom.
Transitioning to another phase in life's cycle is often challenging. (For some reason, I always think of Gail Sheehy's book, Passages, when thinking of changes and marker events...) Though not life-changing, 9th graders' enrollment into high school is certainly transitional. Having spent the majority of today with them (on the schedule for tomorrow, too!), I'm reminded of the various reactions to a new environment - from 'awed' to 'overwhelm' to (false?) 'bravado' and everything in between. I suppose those reactions are similar in most situations, but more concentrated in intensity with teenagers in their first year of high school... Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
“There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself”
~ Johann Sebastian Bach
Easy, right? Well, maybe not so easy...Still, the right keys at the right time can certainly help provide the 'keys for success'. Naples, FL
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Our recent rains (misty moisture as I shoot) continue to 'green-up' our trees, lawns and flowers...and weeds! It is expected in our tropical climate, but it always amazes me how fast things grow at this time of the year (especially the weeds).
Growth spurts are evident in student development and learning, as well. There is no direct slope of consistent increase ... nor is the path straight and direct. In fact, it is often so sporadic that it resembles the 'two steps forward and one step back' approach! Inconsistent growth is evidenced in our student's state test results on a fairly regular basis...and still those scores are "the" measurements of learning gains. Wondering how we can incorporate the natural growth spurts into our concept of success? Can we accept that sometimes our attempt to mold or manipulate nature just isn't natural? Mother Nature has her own way of being recognized...and she isn't always predictable! Naples, FL
Monday, August 23, 2010
First day of school and the Media Center had visitors from our Learning Partners and Early Childhood programs (both toddlers and high school seniors). Even better, they found a book to read... of course, I don't think the little ones sat still long enough to complete the story, but it's a start!
The book is still the recognizable foundation of literacy, but the term has grown to encompass much more than traditional print reading (and writing). Visual literacy, media literacy, digital literacy, numeracy....and it goes on. The complexity of our world likely influences the need for increased literacies and they primarily focus on skills (at least broadly) and yet, much of our contemporary high school curriculum highlight knowledge of content. Though there is some overlap, the emphasis seems somewhat mis-matched. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Though I didn't find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I thought it a lucky sign! This rainbow was interesting as it just fell from that dark cloud and showed no visible arc - just a intense colorful line from the sky to the ground. Magical and mystifying, rainbows continue to intrigue - and keep the curiosity flowing. Naples, FL
Saturday, August 21, 2010
These purplish magenta bougainvillea bracts were too colorful to ignore today, especially with the sunshine's highlights and the shadowed areas. Such a contrast between the light and delicate from strength of the stem and the prick of the thorn - all highlighted by the dark and the light!
Contrast (often seen in extremes - the black v. white) is a recognizable attribute in design. The differences add variety and can create a visual path to guide the eye toward unity. Contrast is also seen in human characteristics - not only between people, but also within one's perspective. Though contrast is usually seen as a positive factor, its limitation in not being able to 'see the gray areas' can be a detriment. 4th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL
Friday, August 20, 2010
It is fairly unusual to find drying flower pods in the height of summer, but apparently these were impacted by some environmental factor...unlike the reflection of their counterparts across the lake.
Interesting to note both the height of blossoming and the decline of life in one view, but that is also reflective of our typical 'snapshot' in schools where some students are intensely engaged in the learning activity while others attention is fading. It is so difficult for teachers to address 25-30 unique student needs at one time in the classroom. Individualizing is a desired goal, but likely better described as a lofty aspiration - how can teachers really personalize learning? ...and yet, that is often a stated expectation for their profession. If students became more accountable for their learning, would they be better equipped to personalize their own learning? Just thinking outloud...Garden of Hope and Courage, Naples, FL
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Though I'm not a big meat eater, much less a red meat eater, fish is another story... this smoked king salmon jerky from the 'World Famous' Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, WA was well worth traveling more than 2,500 miles to bring home ... and savor! Admittedly, an indulgence - and one that will be shared and revered. Purchasing quality seafood from this fish market is just part of the 'experience' - they are hyped for their fun workplace environment, customer relations and employee motivation....all of which were personally evidenced at our visit. (BTW - I write this as I indulge in a little sample - though it is truly tough to 'just' sample!)
Our fishmonger, Ryan Rector, was friendly, knowledgeable, (young and with other ambitions) and confident. It was obvious that he was proud of the product he was peddling and enjoying his time with potential customers. So, time to think about those qualities in our own working roles - do we measure up? For educators, do we provide conducive environment for our students to react in the same manner in both the classroom and future employment? Certainly worth pondering....Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The days are shorter and they often fly by...Looking back, the events are a blur as one thing after another blend into one. Even knowing that each day is distinctively separate and individually unique, the image and the 'feel' reflect more of a collective mix. 4th Ave N & 5th St, Naples, FL
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Ever have one of those days where you feel like everything you do requires a "U-Turn"...need more revision, maybe start over again, or otherwise counterproductive?? This signage suggests that it should be prohibited and some days we do just need to go forward with what we've got! Davis Rd & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Monday, August 16, 2010
Back to SW Florida 'blues' via the Sunshine Skyway...Re-entry back to the routine can range from comforting to stressful, just as driving on this imposing bridge can bring both the nervous jitters and the exclamations of awe. As we transition back to the routine of a new academic year, I'm reminded of the need to anticipate, recognize, honor, and cope with those various emotions. Additionally, to some degree, we can choose to create the effective routine for personal needs. Sunshine Skyway, Tampa Bay, FL
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Artist at work in the Pikes Place Market - a relatively rare reflection of serious concentration and solitude... The market was rather quiet in the early morning, but it didn't take long to rush to a roaring crescendo - I hope he put his earplugs in (or applied the zen!). There really is quite a hodge-podge of characters, goods, and onlookers at the market - just another look at the world we all call home. Pikes Place Market, Seattle, WA
Though this deer would not venture out of the shadows as a great photographic model would, it did take a moment to pause between wildflower munching to be sure we weren't venturing too close. What a picturesque scene in this meadow - a true example of nature intersecting nicely with 'man'. Mt Ranier National Park, WA
Back behind Evergreen State College is a delightful path to the beach - pretty dense with a rain forest 'feel' to it. The scenery was another breath-taking one - kind of surreal, as well. Catching up with a high school buddy from many years ago in a totally different environment added to the magic - some days are just that way! Olympia, WA
Friday, August 13, 2010
There were many favorites in my photographs for today and I had difficulty choosing one - there was simply so much beauty and growth in today's venture to the Skagit Valley (and beyond). How fertile and green were the fields; how blue the hills and skies, capped with the white of snow and occasional clouds; and how rustic and charming the pastoral structures.
I thoroughly enjoyed my excursion to the heavenly valley - though it would have been so much better if Flickr buddy Roswellsgirl had been able to accompany me! Sometimes things don't always fall into place as desired, but fortunately today, there were many photo opportunities and a fantastic visit to new territory to offset the disappointment of not meeting up with a Flickr friend. On the way to La Connor, WA
Thursday, August 12, 2010
What a gorgeous sunrise - this time above the clouds! Even in the skies where time seems surreal, its essence lingers. Photography can play a vital role in capturing such moments - moments that can evoke emotions and senses in future years.
Someone recently asked me what's next after this (third) year's 365 project ends. At this point, I can only wonder - another year? It remains a satisfying habit (despite all the pressures of daily creating and posting) and yet I wonder if there is something more, something else that will 'call'. Only time will tell. Skies over Tampa Bay area, FL
This lime green butterfly net was unsuccessful in catching an elusive monarch, but there's another chance tomorrow...and the lanai screening will keep the butterfly safe in the meantime. Persistence can pay off in a worthwhile reward. But when does persistence outweigh the frustration of failure? How long do you wait before you 'give up' on a project or a goal...or at least modify it? This can be such a dilemma and yet, do we spend time considering the options with much thought? Tampa, FL
Monday, August 9, 2010
Headed back to the playground today to capture my multiple triangles...though the background is pretty busy (as only a stimulating play area should be!), my eye still gravitates towards the 'monkey bar' triangular handles. The successively smaller shapes, the worn plastic covers (or what remains of them) and the pattern itself all draw my attention around and inward, distracted only by the rusty chain at the top.
With the nearing of another academic year, I'm wondering how to transfer some of photography's attention getting devices to the high school classroom. Certainly, there is potential for those visual cues. Hopefully, they can add more interest and depth to not only teacher-produced content, but more importantly that which is created by learners. Cambier Park playground, Naples, FL
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Layers upon layers of clouds leading to infinity...each offering a different depth, a different story. We all have our own stories to tell, to research, and to craft. Stories can be captured through images, words, audio, video, and a combination of elements. They can be analog or digital, but their premise is key to culture, entertainment and education. Looking forward to seeing more incorporation of storytelling creations in the institutions of learning this year...hope tends to be more prevalent at the onset! ;) 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Fittingly titled "Homage to the Sun," this simple but imposing sculpture stands outside our local municipal government office building. With outstretched arms, the figure seems to not only be giving respectful thanks, but soliciting more warmth and sunlight as the shine plays with the metal's manipulated surface.
Historical reference to spiritual deities have been unapologetic in their importance. Whether earthly or celestial, of animal or human form, they provided an order of power and of value. Considering the contemporary world, the emphasis on divine beings offers a different tact. Though religious icons remain vital to some, their overall popularity appears to be decreasing. Instead, many pay homage to sports stars and entertainment actors. Hmmm - wonder what that says about our current culture? 7th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL
Friday, August 6, 2010
Splattered with colored lichen and scarred by peeling bark, this tree looks to be 'worse for wear'...and yet, it shows so much character and offers so many crevices to explore. In addition, it still serves as a home for a number of epiphytes. Thus, its value remains high in my mind! Like many 'old' things in the cycle of life, it continues to play an important role and to significantly contribute to its environs.
And, so with our own - have you noticed how beautiful wrinkles really are? have you considered how age spots really add character? Think about the experience and support that older people bring to our world, be it financial, innovative, or otherwise - they provide a historical perspective from a personal point of view that cannot be replaced. A treasure to behold. Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Of all the fabrics (from the luxury of silk to the crispness of linen to the roughness of burlap), my absolute favorite is still denim. It represents the 'worker bees' with a soft ruggedness and a diversity of indigo hues. Yet, it holds its own spotlight when paired with more delicate fabrics, such as lace, or when coupled with the slick, shiny leather. As for comfort, there's likely no match! As such, denim is definitely a 'go to' fabric.
There are other 'go to's' in life that seem to rise to the top - we have our comfort foods, our favorite mode of transportation, preferred stress relievers. There are people in our world that we know we can depend on to lift our spirits, to provide honest feedback, or to get the job done. Can you identify your 'go to's'? Hope so - just thinking about them brings a smile! Naples, FL
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Changing skies - morning, midday, afternoon - all offer a different view of similar clouds. However predictable, the weather always brings change. Just as life does...even if we don't always want to acknowledge it! Naples, FL
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Marigolds were always a favorite - they were pretty, hardy, and had a long flowering season. Unfortunately, they are less so in the unrelenting heat, humidity, and rain of our summers...though these look awfully healthy! An interesting facet about this scented plant is its apparent ability to repel certain insects and thus, is planted along side vegetables such as tomatoes (I know technically a fruit), cucumbers, and squash.
Companion planting is a great example of building on the strengths of differences to blend together for mutually productive benefit. That type of team work can play a positive role in not only the end result, but also the process of getting there. Including the social aspect of learning in this synergistic experience offers preparation for our students' futures - sure beats rote memorization! Home Depot Garden Dept, Pine Ridge Rd, Naples, FL
Monday, August 2, 2010
This is a BIG staghorn fern! I can't even imagine how much it weighs. Once they get established in an appropriate living environment, these plants do amazingly well (as this photo attests!) with very little help from human green thumbs.
There is a social component to learning, but one of my primary goals as an educator is to help students re-create their own inherent curiosity for learning...and, to do so naturally, without outside urgings! Making that 'magic' happen is like finding the flourishing environment for this staghorn fern - but once it happens, true learning increases exponentially! 3rd Ave N & 3rd St, Naples, FL
Sunday, August 1, 2010
These chairs don't really look too comfortable, but inviting nonetheless with their bright colors and the early morning sunlight passing through them. Plus they are sitting right outside the frozen custard shop on the popular downtown street, so your eyes, ears and taste buds would all get a 'treat', even if your backside preferred additional padding! :)
Life offers many trade-offs and the extra padding, in addition to the foundational needs, is often difficult to achieve. Sometimes it is worth going after...but other times it is worth settling for what is available and easily achievable. Decisions, decisions! ;) 5th Ave S & 5th St, Naples, FL