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I took my grandkids to the Seacoast Science Center the other day to enjoy the beauty of where I live and give them a day to discover and basically play. It was a great day that ended up at the playground that was more of a ‘Ninja Obstacle Course’ then a playground.

My granddaughter is extremely athletic, so she ran up to the zip line in order to fly between two platforms. While she was waiting her turn, a young boy literally pushed her aside in order to get on the line first. My granddaughter just stepped aside and decided to leave the line, feeling a bit hurt.

I looked over at the mother of the young boy who was watching him play. She looked back at me and simply shrugged. I decided not to say anything for two reasons. One was because my granddaughter now became part of my right leg. The other was why would I promote a controversy that I couldn’t possibly win for, after all, we were at a fun place. Continue Reading →

Lives can be defined in many ways. A photo book, newspaper clippings, home movies, and even the history of our social systems online can display all of our histories. The other day I was emptying the dishwasher for my wife and noticed there were few dinner dishes and a whole lot of wine and beer glasses.

I smiled when I observed this because I knew the last few days had been filled with many friends and thus empty cans and bottles. The one symbol of our lives past that has been ignored because most do not believe it exists is the contents of our dishwashers. All of our dishwashers, the mechanical type and not the human type, can summarize our actions, week in and week out.

For example, if your dishwasher is filled with normal dishes and glasses, chances are you had a boring week. Chances are also good that you gained a bit of weight. If you look close you could also see what meals were memorable for good reasons and meals that were memorable for the worst possible reasons. Those usually include the ones I attempted to cook. Continue Reading →

How can one not love the wonderful world of spring. We just survived another New England winter and we are all looking forward to the beginnings of our gardens, outside barbeques, and just getting the hell out of our homes. This wonderful time also represents the beginning of attempting to fix all that was destroyed during our long winter months.

Since a small piece of my siding fell off my home during the last winter wind storm I thought it best to get away from the little jobs I had put off for the past decade or so and tackle a man-like one. The piece that fell off was part of the roof rafter.

Clearly understand I have no idea as to what a rafter is. It was only a 4 x 4 inch piece that was more for appearance then for protection. In fact, my wife never noticed it and I wouldn’t have either had it not been for it falling in front of me when I was outside.

I borrowed a large aluminum ladder from my neighbor who tried to talk me out of even thinking of using a ladder. After he saw I was determined to do so he told me he would keep watch in case I needed a trip to the hospital. I laughed and told him he was looking at the new me who was able to fix anything, or at least somethings.

I placed the ladder on the side of my house angling it so it would be secure. I did notice there was a bit of a breeze that afternoon but not enough to stop me from completing my task. Looking up at the corner of my house and seeing where to attach the piece of siding I thought this would be an easy task. All it needed was a single nail to hold it in place but because I wanted to do the job right I grabbed a couple of nails in order to make the siding immovable. Continue Reading →

 

Teachers across the country can no longer survive on the salaries they are offered to do the most important job of all. This is teaching our children the tools and honing their talents in order to have them do well in what is a very complicated world. Teachers are paid on a yearly contract that runs around 185 days.

There are many professions that do contracted work. If the contract is for 365 days or 100 days it makes no difference. The important thing is to get the job done and done well. Some believe in the concept of those who do, do and those who can’t teach. I do get a kick out of this statement because those who can do because they were taught how too.

Teaching has always been equated with the success of its students. The profession has never been defined by money even though the ability to live and teach at the same time has always been difficult. I can define teaching because I am a retired teacher. I wrote the following 25 years ago about one of my days teaching.

I had a great day…… Yesterday. But, even the greatest of days doesn’t make it any easier to get up at 5:00 in the morning. If only I could get to bed before 11:00 PM on school nights. That would make my life so much easier. With mountains of correcting being precipitated every day that possibility is basically impossible. So here I am, shocking myself awake with a cold shower so I can stay alert for the approaching new day. Continue Reading →

A rather famous statement made by people who hope to explain that something is not difficult because it is not rocket science has been around for my entire life. If something is too difficult people go on to explain it is rocket science.  Stephen Hawking showed the world that rocket science is simply looking into our sky in order to wonder where we all came from, when it all began, and where we are going.

Like most people who lived through a time when science fiction became science reality I’ve always been interested in the physical sciences of chemistry and physics. In fact, for the past four decades I’ve taught both these subjects. Dr. Hawking made this task easy because he described his theories of physics and time in understandable terms. He did not bury it in calculus but rather described his ideas in terms of wonderment and possible explanation of subjects that have been studied since people’s history began.

On March 14, 2018, Dr. Hawking died of a disease that should have killed him 50 years ago. That alone should make him remarkable. He never let his disorder get in the way of his mind. His brilliance never let his mind confuse what he was trying to describe. His genius was never allowed to elevate his legacy above those of us who look into the sky in order to attempt to understand why we are here.

Continue Reading →

Education is once again changing. I am a retired teacher and have suffered through many education systems that were all said to save our public education system.

Some of these include the open classroom (at which time I taught the entire school chemistry), differentiated learning (as if we weren’t doing that before), no child left behind (when would any teacher leave any student behind), and now the beginning and end of common core.

Yes, you guessed it; I am old. When I began teaching the Carnegie System had subject over process. This had been in place since the beginning of public education. I clearly understand this is no longer viable in our technological global society.

I taught for close to 40 years and retired a few years ago. I still keep my mind in this important profession by substituting at the local schools. I still see teachers who are compassionate and dedicated to what they do. In fact, I’ve never met a teacher whose primary task was not the success of their kids. Yes, I did say “their kids” because that is exactly what they are. Continue Reading →

Oh countryside! So changed are thee,
where once we walked forever free.
Long motorways stretch out their greedy hands
to gather more of our fair lands.
From noisy airports thunder planes at pace
to choke the air from human race.

Give back to me the trickling brook and bank,
where many a carefree foot we sank.
A picnic tea, such utter bliss!,
with sun and peacefulness exist.

Take back no more of our fair land!
Please keep a place apart,
for some to find the peace of mind
that comes just from the heart.

England by Wendy R. Chapman.

Contact her at: thetalewagger@hotmail.com

Copyright reserved. No part(s) of these publications may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in any form by any means without the written permission of the author.

Ggarry took the new monkey-face gloves he had had for his birthday and put them on. Garry ran downstairs. A bunch of balloons bobbed invitingly in the hall. Yesterday all his friends had come to tea.

One of them had given him the two monkey gloves as a present. The monkeys pulled the string down and chased the balloons in all directions.

“What about picking them up and tidying after the party” called his mum.

Continue Reading →

For the past four decades I’ve lived on the southern coast of Maine. Some sort of pest defined every one of those years. This year, the formidable foe is defined as some of the smallest creatures I’ve ever seen.
Most of the time I can’t see them but having a wife who keeps an immaculate home, gives me the capacity to know when every one of them dares to attack her kitchen.
I am not talking about an infestation even though, if left alone, this could happen. I am talking about a dozen of the little ant-holes that appear every day.
In the past I’ve battled multiple pests. I clearly remember the year of the voles. These appeared as multiple runways that connected tiny openings in my lawn.

Continue Reading →

I never thought I would have this specific problem. My grand-kids are getting older, and I am doing the same. They no longer need the crib and all its extras, the car seat of which they both grew out of, and the various accessories and toys that we had in order to make their visits more enjoyable.

Since my wife keeps everything we have as if we just bought it, we talked about giving all of this stuff away to a needy family in our community. We were actually excited about this option because we realize how difficult it is to survive financially with a family.

The first thing I did was contact our local Catholic Church. The person I talked to stated she knew of a new family that was bringing a brand-new child into this World and would love to have the stuff we offered to give.

I was told this will help them appreciably and she would set up a system at which time they could pick it all up. That afternoon my wife organized all of the baby stuff we had so it would be easy to pick up. Continue Reading →