Monday, September 9, 2013

Baja St. Martin

The spillway water level has dropped to the point where I can walk on the “beach” now, which is much more fun and certainly more scenic than on the levee. I walk back away from the water where the ground is more solid but the dog is in the water most of the time. It always amazes me how boaters can pass just a few yards offshore where this big black dog is cavorting out in the water and a woman in a big sun hat is plainly visible but they never see her or me. Of course, maybe they don’t want to see me or wave back!

I am in the process of cutting two large branches off a hackberry tree that are shading my garden boxes to the point where they receive no sun at all. When I made my first cut I realized that the tree is infested with aphids and they were flying about in my hair, eyes, nose and mouth. I should have expected that because what few vegetables remained in the most shaded box were covered with sooty mold. 

At the school board meeting Wednesday night, the director of schools (I guess that’s her title) went over some changes to the Assumption Parish Pupil Progression Plan, pointing out among other things that the middle schools in the parish will not have nine-week exams this year. The big issue which caused one board member to become quite incensed (and I’m not sure exactly why) was changing the grading system for 1st graders from the traditional A, B, C, D and F to O for Outstanding, S for Satisfactory and N for Needs Improvement. I think most of the man’s upset was the result of not knowing this change was going to take place until just hours before the meeting. 

Anyway, the director sped through other changes and other no changes until it was sort of a blur. My colleague from another paper who is also a retired teacher like me, looked at me and mouthed, “I’m so glad I’m retired.” I felt the same way. 

I truly do believe that education needs to be stirred up now and then to avoid complacency, but all these new rules, etc., take young teachers with agile minds. I will be tutoring an 8th grader soon in English language arts and reading and his teacher, bless her heart, sent me via e-mail detailed notes on what they were studying, what they would be studying, and directed me to her web site where she had posted all sorts of stuff including extra practice. I was so impressed and at the same time wondered where on earth she had the time and energy to do all this. 

I just learned that Comet Ison will pass by in the month of November. It is said to be as bright as the moon. I’m hoping to get together with friends to see this comet. A few of us are planning to hold a ‘Comet Watching Party’ when the time comes. Finding a venue that is dark enough is the hard part.

I did see Comet Halley as it passed overhead a few years ago but will not live to see it again. A friend and I lay on our backs on the top of the levee for that one. Halley looked just like the book descriptions – a fuzzy round object with a long, long fuzzy tail. 

Last evening the sky turned that wicked blue-grey, thunder rumbled, lightning flashed a bit and a few drops of rain fell. That was all!

Did you see the front page of the Advocate last week where it showed two possible alternate Hwy 70 routes to Pierre Part past the sinkhole area? Not a pretty prospect! And just where would we get our power and water? What a mess!

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