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…

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What a fun idea a group of college students from the University of Iowa had!

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)

Is it so hard to say “good morning”?

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I like to say “good morning” to people as a greeting. I think it sets the right tone by 1) acknowledging someone’s presence, 2) greeting them in a positive manner and 3) getting them to interact with you by responding back. It is dialogue communication 101 at its finest.

Most people, however, do not feel the way I do. So, I have worked hard over the last few months to greet people in another language. It sets people back when you say, “gunaydin” (Good morning in Turkish), and causes them to be drawn into your welcome. “What?” they say. Then I pepper them with German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Swedish, Hawaiian, Arabic, Australian, and even Sign Language.

I also try to use a different language than the one that the person is used to hearing. For example, I never say, “buenos dias” to someone I believe is of Latin descent. I try an Asian dialect to help them interact with another culture. There are so many languages out there, they are fun to share! And that is what happening. When I interact with people of different ethic backgrounds they share their “good morning” with me in their language. I keep adding to the cornucopia of morning salutations!

If you want to get in on this there is a list of greetings below. Try one a week. You’ll be glad you did.