Virtual Kids Part 3: This is a Pickle

“This is far enough,” said Dylan. He and Rocky had been making fake tracks for the uglies to follow when they showed up.

“Yeah, we won’t have much time before they arrive,” agreed Rocky.

They backtracked along their sloppy markings and began tiptoeing around the ferns, leaving no trace of their steps. Dylan scanned the woods for cover. The choices were the ferns, rocks and trees. The ferns were good cover if they had to suddenly duck and hide, but would risk leaving them in the big uglies’ path. The rock was smooth and swirling, cooled lava flow from past volcanic eruptions frozen in time. They decided their best cover would be a bit exposed, up in a tree. With any luck the big uglies would be too stupid to think to look up.

“This is a good spot,” said Dylan. Is there a pocket knife in there? I’ll keep a lookout while you check the gear bag.”

Dylan inspected the bag. They had been provided a pocket knife, food and water, a flashlight, pen and a paper map. No SID.

“Yeah, there’s a knife, but no SID.” said Rocky. He and Dylan had hoped it would have been retrieved for them, even if it was broken. SID had been dropped while they were climbing the volcano, which meant its location was somewhere near big uglies’ hideout.

“Hopefully we find it before they do,” said Rocky.

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” said Dylan, a smile forming on his face. He grabbed the knife and cut and bunch of ferns. “Don’t worry, we’ll get it back. Maybe we’ll find Dynamo the old fashioned way.”

“What way is that?” asked Rocky, afraid to hear the answer.

“Sneaking up on the bad guys!” said Dylan, beaming a wide eyed, full teeth grin at Rocky through the bunch of ferns.

“Shh! I think they may be sneaking up on us,” answered Rocky. Voices could be heard approaching them. Rocky and Dylan scrambled up a tree. Dylan had just enough time to place the ferns around them for cover.

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This Tree Is Me

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This Tree Is Me

A maturing tree develops alongside a popular path, roots exposed, bracing many feet from falling on the often slippery earth. Though she would be more at ease off the path, leaves soaring to beat out others to the sky, here her roots will grow strong, and she will endure as shelter and guide for years to come.

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Virtual Kids Part 2: Behind the Action

The programmers at the NSA knew kids could see things in a video game that adults couldn’t, and they needed kids who really knew their stuff to test them out. Rocky was a boy-genius programmer, and Dylan was the kind of kid who made everything look easy. Challenger was the government’s official term for the project. The object was to test virtual gaming systems that would challenge and train agents and prepare them for real-life scenarios. They discovered Rocky in the park playing chess, beating all the old guys who normally couldn’t be beat. Dylan was there too, waiting for Rocky. They witnessed him chase down a purse-snatcher. Dylan tied the guy to a street pole with his own belt and returned the purse to its owner as he waited for help to arrive. When she offered him a reward he politely said getting the guy off the streets was reward enough for him.

They both had special skills, for 10-year-olds, and now they got to put them to good use under Dr. Longley’s supervision. Their teachers enjoyed hearing the reports from the NSA, and even gave the boys extra credit. Sometimes they got to replace projects with their NSA activities. Dylan was hoping to earn some field trip time to NSA during the upcoming poetry week at school.

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Virtual Kids Part 1: Into the Action

“Let go! We’ve got to drop!” yelled Dylan. He was hanging onto his best friend Rocky, who was hanging onto the top edge of a volcano, staring into its fiery core. They had just climbed to its top, hoping to find some safety along its slippery, craggy edge. At the base of the volcano were two big uglies they had narrowly avoided. Dylan had thought the best way to get past them was to go up. Rocky had thought it was a good time for them to give up and go hide out in exile for a little while, until the big uglies weren’t so hot on their trail.

It was hot. At least if they had given up they could have gone into exile, which was the game developers name for recovery mode. They would have lived. Now, he wasn’t so sure. If they fell, they might lose everything they’d gained.

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“I’m too ired”

“I’m too ired” said the child,
using the day’s last bit of energy.
“I can barely crawl to my bed tho’ it’s in sight
and prop one eye open for my story.”

“I’m too ired for bathing and bubbles
I’d rather go to bed grubby.
Skip the scrubbing, go right to snuggling
I’m too ired to even say the T.”

Follow Your Dreams Or They’ll Beat You Down With A Stick

Success as a blogger is simple for me. It is to find and follow bloggers who inspire me emotionally and intellectually, so I was a success as soon as I began to find a little community. I’m inspired by the creativity I’ve witnessed, and that is saying a lot.  I am particularly thrilled that kids (teens old enough to blog!) have liked my stuff, it is reassuring to know I can still evolve my skills and have much to offer still after leaving teaching. This is my life’s work, and I can build on it rather than leave it behind. Thank-you blogging for offering me a medium to reach others.

Each like, I’ve noticed, is typically someone I share a common thread with (unless it’s a transparent internet marketer). Whether it’s another single mom, or another blogger with a similar upbringing or experiences, I keep delighting in that we are able to find one another. I also enjoy when people who I would typically never have the chance to connect with like my writing and when I’m exposed to new ideas. I had thought this is what teaching would offer, and it did, for a while. Education is a little beaten down now, and I need more than it had to offer, especially as a single parent. Monetary rewards just aren’t enough to make diminishing returns feels like a return .

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Differences

Malaina’s nice, Sophia sometimes is not.
Bryan’s tall, Alicia giggles a lot.
We all agree, each one is different.

Heaven talks with her hands, Keiran likes to clown
My hair is auburn, Jarron’s is brown.
We all agree, in little ways we’re different.

Evan’s super fast, he races his chair.
Li taught us how to celebrate Chinese New Year.
We all agree, it’s fun to be different.

We’ve come to learn inside we are the same
heart, lungs, blood, brain.
We all agree, we are no different.

Not Cool Rolling Stone: A Teacher’s Response

(Note: If I I had the opportunity to convey a message to the world, via the front cover of the NYT, it would be about social responsibility of the media, in the wake of countless shootings and violence.)

Rolling Stone Senior Editor Christian Hoard needs to go back to class, and get some class.

The picture used for the cover of the July 17, 2013 Rolling Stone Magazine was an unashamed bit of poor marketing. It showed the best side of a young man who terrorized Boston, and points well beyond. I’m not one for censorship, at all. The use of the alluring photo of the alleged bomber was a questionable choice, however.  I feel for everyone affected by the bombing, which is everyone, but particularly those still in rehabilitation and mourning, who have to endure Rolling Stone’s miscalculation. Sergeant Sean Murphy, a Massachusetts State Police tactical photographer, must have felt the same and released the not-so-glamorous photo of the alleged bomber we have now. It’s quite a contrast to the Rolling Stone cover.

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What is IT?

What is IT? It’s hard to know.
To know IT, you must listen close.

Like when someone says they’ve got IT,
does it mean they understand?

You may yell “I’ve got IT!” when you’re catching balls.
Or are you warning others you may have caught a cold?

So many meanings for one word,
it’s no wonder other languages think we’re mad.

They will surely lose IT trying to understand.
You’re wondering now if I will get to IT

Or if I’m very with IT,
to write a poem about IT.

Has someone already done IT?
What a silly concept, to write about IT.

Well IT is lots of things,
as luck would have IT.

Refers to anything,
that’s the size of IT.

This is lots of fun,
isn’t IT?