~ and the race is on!

haiku for today:

eye of hurricane

swirls to and fro, spirals up

out-down-in! Huzzah!

~ ~ ~

The madhouse and mayhem of EVOs (Electronic Village Online) five-week free workshops has begun — it is officially Jan. 9th in some parts of the world!

What are these workshops, you might ask?

For five weeks in January-February, participants and ESOL experts can engage in collaborative, online discussion or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by the land-based convention and will allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.
 Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. Bring your colleagues!

Sessions I’m involved in:

EVO_Drama_2012   Co-moderator

BAW  Participant, primarily a lurker, repeating the session because each year there is such energy, AND new things to learn!

Tutoring With Web 2.0 Tools   Hopeful participant, but also ‘newbie mentor’ for this group — thankfully the moderators of this group are wonderfully efficient, professional, prepared! (This means, I hope, that I will have very little ‘work’ to do, and much to glean and enjoy learning!)

~ ~ ~

The first days are always a bit insane, but incredibly fun (at least to / for me)!

As an example of some of the ‘fun’ for me: I’m reading through Week 1 introductions where folks are sharing tools they use, and although I am familiar with many that are being shared, I learned about this one:

http://www.futureme.org/  which looks like fun!

I usually try to keep my Yahoo Group settings to receive individual emails, but I think I may have to resort to daily digest this year… 50+ messages per hour is a bit too many!

I’ll close with a happy thought:  The weather here has been positively balmy, with spring jasmine blooming, daffodils thrusting their way up, birds chirping madly, and more!



daily haiku:

recipes, workshops,

ingredients, handshakes, smiles

sunshine splashes through

~ ~ ~

Collaboration is a word that came to  mind quite often today.

What does the word ‘collaborate’ mean to you?

This weekend I watched and listened as my husband collaborated with a neighbor to frame in a new gabled roof  over our porch.  The tips and tricks to framing, to most carpentry/construction projects are beyond my current knowledge zone, but the maneuvers of collaboration were familiar.

At the JMRL booksale today, evidence of collaboration was evident. I’ve attended this sale for years (hope to be one of the volunteer collaborators one day) and part of the fun each year is noticing improvements to the overall operation.  The volunteers work all year, intense organization is involved, and streamlining the schedules, steps, tasks, procedures while adhering to library policies, attending to neighborhood parking challenges, increasing profits — is a massive undertaking! Kudos to the team.

Today I attended an interesting two-hour workshop about cooking with microwaves. The presenter shared several new-to-we-attendees ideas, many of which prompted questions as we prepared various recipes. It occurred to me as we nearly simultaneously asked the same questions (several times over), that this type of workshop would be an ideal way to prepare for writing a cookbook. Collaborating and revising the recipes themselves, but more importantly the details to include in the published collection — details more likely to ‘answer in advance’ the questions a majority of consumers might have.

As a co-moderator for EVO_Drama_2012  [“Electronic Village Online” (EVO) an online five-week workshop focusing on the use of drama in language learning], a spirit of collaboration is a must!  The co-moderators live and work in Argentina, Taiwan, Arizona, Vietnam, Virginia, New Hampshire, Delaware. It is exciting and rewarding, but not always easy.  Technology (tools such as wikis, Skype, YahooGroups and more) help immeasurably.

Reflecting on collaboration, family comes to mind, too. Planning weekend visits, holiday meals and travels, especially as my folks grow older, requires an increasing amount of collaborative effort.

Synonyms for collaboration include:


joint effort



working together


Today was a day full of collaboration — participating, witnessing, benefiting from, and more.

Was it the same for you?

~ ~ ~

And this afternoon I baked an apple pie (photo above) and prepared a new recipe from a cookbook I purchased at the library sale!

The result was a combination of two recipes and additional doctoring by moi — a sausage slumgullion of sorts:

sausage, onions, garlic, cumin, savory, black pepper, corn, garbanzo beans, peas, butternut squash, a few raisins, a smattering of date bits, served over small portions of angel hair pasta with Romano cheese!







Post #3, seeking a higher degree of clarity…

…and finding my groove (or trying to).

I like the idea of my blog evolving into a daily haiku+ by which I mean that I hope to make the time to compose and post at least one haiku each day, and (+) add more reflective posts.

My plan of the moment is to add the haiku to each day’s post and to copy it to the haiku page I’ve added here to my blog.  This plan may change as/if I do continue and discover that this idea no longer feels right.

Today’s haiku (composed whilst still in bed this morning)

birdsong fills the eye

morning’s visual caffeine

unbidden alarm

~ ~ ~

For today’s post, I’ve been reflecting on how excited I am to have begun learning WordPress (finally!) and to be working (again) toward refining, defining what I want my blog presence here to be.

Having worked for over three years now on EnglishCafe.com, and having posted 419 blog posts there [http://www.englishcafe.com/blog/Smiling7], blogging is not exactly new.

When I taught abroad (Korea, 2004-2005), I created my first blogs, inspired by an EVO (Electronic Village Online) workshop, and used Tabulas to experiment with.  On a whim, I just googled and found that some of those links still exist (I stopped paying for my Tabulas account several years ago, and didn’t think the links would stay active:




What fun to revisit them! 🙂

But the dedication to blogging consistently (as in daily) has escaped me.

I have a personal goal of maintaining this newly-revived WordPress blog for at least one year, and am more enthused than many of you might ever understand about the idea of actually composing 365+ daily haiku! (I believe haiku to be a noncount noun, but haiku or haikus seem to be accepted as a correct spelling by many).

An eclectic with tangential tendencies” is a phrase I often use to describe myself.  Compassionate, passionate, in many directions!

A challenge I will definitely have, a challenge I hope to conquer, is how to effectively house all of my tangential tendencies in one WordPress blog.  I hope that as I make gains on meeting this challenge I will acquire a following of readers (both lurkers for the mystery they contribute, and frequent commenters for the motivation and food for thought they provide).

RSS feeds are something I still have only basic familiarity with.  I have created a PageFlakes page, have added many feeds there and have some others that come through GoogleReader.  However, I’ve not yet mastered the daily drill of looking at the feeds!

I’ve been following and reading several listservs (ed.gov) Chris Brogan, Larry Ferlazzo, and ASCD SmartBriefsby email posts — for some time now.  As a fan of Twitter, I try to find time (but do not always succeed) to visit, scan, explore links shared there. A select few Twitter folks are set to have their tweets texted to my cell phone (one of my favorites = CarlaArena).

Keeping up with EnglishCafe.com, email, blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and more on a daily basis is daunting!  And pushes me to the brink of needing ‘digital detoxification‘ more often!  And yet I love it!

But I do not love how ‘it’ keeps me from enjoying the outdoors more than I used to.  These are common laments, certainly not unique to me. I find it somewhat laughable that one way to find balance might be to maintain this blog!

In an earlier post, I mentioned Shelly Terrell’s 30 Day Challenge.  As I reread my posts and revisited links, I realize that I am beginning with her 2010 list


and sort of combining it with her 2011 list


Motivational nudges abound from awe-inspiring educators around the world!

There are many, many others who inspire me whom I hope to mention in future posts.

Now I need to return to my fulfill some duties as co-moderator of the EVO_Drama_2012

*link to info about this year’s upcoming EVOs: