Finding “X”

As a business teacher for 32 years, I heard from many high school graduates about how much their learned skills in our classes helped to prepare them for the work place. One told me that he found much more use from his typing class “finding x” than he ever did trying to “find the value of x” in his algebra classes. Of course, we business teachers knew this all along! After all, the graduation rate of students who enter college is below 20 percent. That’s one in five — and yet, the secondary curriculum focuses on preparation of students “for college” — rather than for the “work place.” Why? Even the students who attend and graduate from college will enter the work place at some point — many need to “be in the work place” as they attend classes in college to pay their way.

As a retiree, I now can sit back without knots in my stomach as the school administrators change their focus or the direction of monies away from career-based instruction. It is my hope that before our grandchildren get to the secondary level, the school system will allow them opportunities to take classes that not only prepare them for college (if they choose that route), but also to enroll in classes that give them saleable skills.

I will make this positive remark regarding “finding x” in math classes. As a beginning quilter, I am finding more and more use for math skills — just yesterday I used a compass to create an equilateral triangle.

Oh, and one more thing completely off the subject — unless you consider “x” as a chromosone — hooray for the passing of Proposition 2 in Texas!

Dust Bunnies

After being gone for almost two weeks, it was no surprise to see some dust bunnies in my house upon arrival. Of course, for those of you who know me well, these are not anything new! Unlike my dear mother, house cleaning is low on my list of priorities. How can I think about dusting or mopping when other things await such as quilting or blogging or genealogy research or Samtiques or Paula’s Home Cooking on the Food Channel to watch? (Rhetorical question!) One of the wonderful benefits of living far enough out of the city is that visitors usually call first to be sure we are home. That gives us a little time to sweep and swipe at the dust bunnies — just in case anyone really cares!

I’m thinking that dust bunnies are not all that bad. Consider that they:

    don’t make any noise
    don’t require any daily substance
    keep out of direct sight (and sometimes our reach)
    collect dust out of the atmosphere that we breathe
    listen to our rage about them without responding
    are not discrimating in where they live
    have a habit of moving to the far back of “things”
    are prolific — no abortions here — may be conservative critters
    are light and airy — could possibly be liberal
    do not resist attack — must be an independent group
    patiently wait to be recognized, even though
    collectively, they could over-run any household in a matter of weeks, but don’t.

So, why the big worry about “DB’s”? Instead, let’s learn to get along and maybe even consider naming them. Some good names might include:

    Dusty (come on, give me a break!)

Afterall, if we just leave them alone, they’ll just get bigger and bigger — isn’t that what we want . . . bigger. Maybe we could even start something like the Spam-o-rama’s that are held in various cities for Spam lovers or a new bowl game named after them — the Dust Bunny Bowl! This is only the beginning!

So, leave your DB’s alone, compliment your friends on their DB’s and go do something really important — like washing behind your ears.

“Fall” Is A Season!

We Texans have a lot to brag about and to be proud of, but whenI see all of the colors of fall foliage in other states, I’m thinking we need to keep quiet. Our travels didn’t take us as far east as many go each year to see breath-taking sites, but there are certainly many photo stops along the Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa highways. Fall is definitely a season that I wish we could “see” a bit more of each year from our front porch!

I invite you to share your fall foliage photos with me! Let’s begin:
Fall Foliage in Iowa

Our visit with family and friends in Iowa was wonderful. We enjoyed good food at home and out — especially good was a family style breakfast at a German restaurant in the Amana’s Colony nearby. Their pancakes are more like crepes. Jackie took some vacation time to be with us and she ventured out to some “junk” antique shops with us. She was with us when we met Jeff and John at one shop in Cascade, IA. They sell their treasures to dealers in the area and invited us to their barn to shop the next day — so we did. We look forward to more shopping at their place.
Jeff and John near Anamosa, IA

Mom and Terry enjoyed some hugs, but not nearly enough time together!
Terry and Mom October 2005

We are back home now — arrived in time to see our grandkids in their Halloween costumes. McKenna was “Jasmine”, Brielle was a darling kitty cat, and Keegan was a GI Joe.

And it’s now November 1 — “count-down time to Thanksgiving and Christmas” as my friend, Betty, says.