Audubon, IA

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I came across this guy in Audubon (pronounced “Ah-duh-bin”) this last weekend. I had to pull over and take his picture. I didn’t know that Albert was such a celebrity. I later found out that he has been featured in a Super Bowl commercial from Cenex. I didn’t know he was so famous. Just one more reason to stop in a small town and enjoy the sites.

First Day of School

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We like to celebrate the first day of a school at the Barker house. There’s breakfast, pictures, rides provided, prepped clothing–you get it. It has become even more exciting with educators in the house.  Now kids AND parents anticipate what the first day of school will be like. Questions swirl through the mind:

  • Will they like me?
  • Will I have all the materials I need?
  • Is there a swirly in my future? (Wait! That’s what I used to wonder in Jr. High)
  • Can I accomplish what I set out to accomplish?

There is nothing quite like the first day of school, whether you are sending your student off, or going to your first class. It is a feeling that should be bottled and sold to people who go to work in the same cubicle day after day, year after year. The excitement/anxiety ratio (EAR) is almost audible. You can hear, taste, smell and feel the energy as new lockers are discovered, old friends are reconnected, new friends are made, and new rhythms of life are learned.

As schools across the state welcome new students there will be an understanding of a quote from Ernest Hemingway;

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

…but the fun is in the attempt.

Clive, IA

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I came across this hidden gem in Clive, IA. It is an old train depot right off the railroad on University Avenue and 86th Street. The historian on duty shared a lot of interesting facts about a Des Moines suburb that seemed to have no notoriety. Until now…

Sound Smarter

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This poster I just encountered recently reminds me that it doesn’t take much to make yourself look ignorant. No matter what, though, the key is trying. Too often, for fear of looking stupid, I refuse to attempt new things. What I liked about this poster is that it can be fun trying.

Haiku in Time

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I spent some time writing Haikus with some students recently. If you aren’t familiar with this poetry form, here are the key points:

  • Haikus originate in Japan
  • They are an unrhymed poem made up of 3 lines and 17 syllables
  • The first and third line has 5 syllables and the second line has 7 syllables.
  • These poems are to be brief but convey deep feelings

While I was working with the students I remembered a Haiku I wrote my mom when I was in elementary school (oh, so long ago). It just popped in my head as I was listening to their haikus.

The river will flow
Like a dream from the heavens
And people will dance

It’s amazing I can still remember it. It is also amazing that it still has meaning to me.

Here are some other poet’s renditions. Maybe they will remember 3 decades from now what they wrote.

The winter snow falls
The dead leaves covered in snow
Piling up everywhere
(Cadence)

Hot summer air
Having Family time in the sun
Enjoying the birds singing
(Melannie)

The inspiration
Flowers and stars in the air
It blows me away
(Mia)