Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Flow from Susan Cain's Book Quiet-the Power of the Introvert in a World that Can't Stop Talking

Flow...oh how did I seriously get flow in the chapter entitled Why did Warren Buffet Prosper?  Susan Cain defines flow as: is an optimal state in which you feel totally engaged in an activity--whether long distance swimming or songwriting, sumo the state of flow you are neither bored nor anxious and you do not question your own adequacy. Hours pass without you knowing. It is activity for its own sake.  You could be absorbed for days.  This happens to me.  I don't ever want to get out of the flow because it feels so good to be locked in.  This happens when I am blogging or writing poetry. I went to see Alma Flor Ada, the Spanish poet extraordinaire. She gave a workshop on Spanish poetry and then we wrote some of our own poem in Spanish.  She started us off and then I was hooked. I was literally engulfed in what I was doing.  For the next 5 hours, I didn't pay much attention to anything else but crafting the poem about my daughter.  There was lunch, but I don't remember much about it. I kept thinking I had to get back or lose the words and idea.  I didn't want to break the flow.  Then I had to attend a workshop in the afternoon.  I attended and sat in the chair while a nice woman talked about teaching poetry and ideas to help.  She was more like the teacher in the Charlie Brown classroom. I didn't hear her, because I was in the flow.  I kept on writing and thinking and writing.  When I arrived home, I got on my desktop computer and went to my blog Just Write Baby! and then kept going amid the tears.  I wrote and recrafted and wrote and recrafted until I got it just write.  Then I posted and shared with my daughter what I had wrote about her.  Of course I sent it out and my native Spanish speaking friends helped me with a few things and I edited it over and over and then revised a bit more.  Was I ever proud of it!  It just came to me and flowed.  Did I write it for a reward?  Hardly, I wrote it because it needed to be done.  It had to come out.  When the spirit moves, you have to move with it or never have that idea be realized.  So that brings me back to my introvertedness.  It is easy to post online.  You don't know who is reading, but there are people who do read.  I have no problem posting my work.  It is a joy, especially when I get in the flow.  The problem I have is with people I don't trust or feel truly know me. I cannot, without reservation, express what I think and feel around them.  I trust the small group and the people that I have spent time getting to know.  The people where I feel safe.  When I am around those that I do not have a strong rapport in a bigger setting, forget about the flow.  I get uncomfortable and need to find a place to feel safe and me.  In those instances, during meeting and what not, I tend to search out a 1 on 1 situation or small group, to survive and maybe thrive.  I might just cocoon into my notebook.  As of late my doodles look like art and if I were a tatoo artist, I would be in high demand and filthy rich.  You should see them.  Being an introvert is a gift!  Can't wait to get into more flow and now I am searching out the opportunity!

The Quiet...Observations

I am almost finished with my book called Quiet by Susan Cain.  I lament the fact that I am almost done because I don't want my journey to end.  It is as if, by reading this book, I have ventured into new territory.  Reading this book and pondering the many possibilities has made reexamine my life and my gift of being an introvert. Yes, I some it may be considered a curse.  To me, now that I know what I am and why I am the way that I am, it is freeing.  I am on page 200 now and I love the way Susan Cain has compared and contrasted the different cultures that extol the introvert and those that unfortunately diminish the gift of the introvert or soft power. "In the long run," said Ni (person being interviewed for the book), "if the idea is good people shift. If the cause is just and you put your heart into it, it's almost a universal law: you will attract people that want to share your universal cause. Soft power is quiet persistence. The people I am thinking of are very persistent in their day-to-day and person-to-person interactions. Eventually they build up a team." Soft power, said Ni,was wielded by people we've admired throughout history: Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Buddha. Cain sighted Gandhi as an introvert. Gandhi's passive resistance was categorized or repackaged by Gandhi himself as "firmness in the pursuit of truth." I like that so much better.
Gandhi thought things out and picked his battles.  He won over his enemies without lifting a finger and being aggressive.  Calmness and questioning were his tactics. Firmness in the pursuit of truth indeed!
I sometimes feel that I am being taken advantage of if I don't speak up and stand my ground in some instances.  It doesn't feel right to me many times and I don't want to appear to be a complete idiot protesting so much.  My question is this:  How do you get people to notice your ideas and creativity when they are being drowned out by the extroverts that are so much louder and obnoxious? I have so many ideas, but do not always get them out there because I am waiting for a moment to speak and that moment never seems to come my way. I need to read on to find out how I can be heard and my ideas be appreciated for what they are.  I may not know an answer right now, but give me time to think and ponder, think and ponder and then watch out...but if they are never heard because it is so difficult to find away to be listened to in a world that won't stop talking.  Love the book Quiet...The Power of Introverts In a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

TCTELA Spectacular

My brain has been exploding this weekend.  First it exploded from a migraine that I suffered at Friday's TCTELA's Conference.  It didn't leave me fully incapacitated until after my session though.  I think it was the excitement of it all and my presentation.  I tend to get pumped about presenting.  I was also very pleased to meet up with my good friend and colleague Alana Morris.  If you have never had the pleasure of meeting this dynamo, you really haven't lived.  I have worked with her in SBISD for 6 and a half years.  In January, she moved onto another district.  We have been keeping in touch, but it seemed like a zillion years since I had a prolonged chat with her.  Needless to say, it was heaven to laugh and catch up with her.  It was funny too because she was presenting at the exact same time I was and was just next door.  I had a techie gadget that she needed, so it felt like old times.
I wanted to post these photos of day two for you.  I will post more about the conference in the upcoming days.  My brain just needs to process all that I learned and experienced!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

TCTELA Friends

I am so glad to be here at TCTELA! Had some time to catch up with my good friend and colleague Alana Morris! Here is my poor-excuse-for-a-selfie photo with Alana.


Starting my day with a cup of McDonald's coffee and getting nudged to explore a Pechakucha! Fun!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Peach-Dedicated my dear friend Cathie Robinson

This is my first draft.  I am still trying to figure out some things here, but will return to revise.  I wish I could encapsulate all that you mean to me Cathie.  I hope that I have captured this for now.  You mean so much to me as a person and a professional.  I am truly indebted to you forever. The Good Lord put us together for a reason.  May the Good Lord bless you now and forever.  Thanks friend!


Meeting people
Along the way
On the journey
Never to forget
One person
Difference made
Life impacted
much to gain
never let go
here for a while
 a decade
or so
not long enough
for me

So hard
so hard
to let 

Doesn't seem real
Can't  take a hold
dream so foggy
story's cut short
not to be told
make sense
you leaving?
Hard to compute
Just gotta
let you

Let you go once
two years to the day
Here it comes my way
that day
when goodbyes
won't do
tears go through me
run down my cheeks
to the bone
am I

That person
holds so much
from the
a shoulder
to cry
someone to listen
 my coach

Who would have thought?
thirteen years
come and gone
this peach
help me grow
better person
I am 
it hurts
down deep
'cause I gotta
for the third time
let go

cannot find the words
to express
my gratitude
writing this poem
for this peach
of a person
with such divine
so special
to me
my mentor

Want you to know
the world
you mean to me
I will never forget
Let it slip my mind
your kinds words
so many words
full of charity
peace and serenity
some laughter
with some
the truth
pushing me
to goodness
never say never
ask a question
a time or two
just plain said
you believe in me
always have
always will
and this I treasure
above all

You will never know
how much
you mean
can't do it justice
you are a peach
so wonderful
Eternally grateful
I stand humbled
 to say
what a friend
you have been
in my life
will continue
to be
thirteen years
y pico
such a

TCTELA Conference January 23-25 in Houston

The Texas Council of the Teachers of English Language Arts is having their conference next weekend in Houston.  I cannot wait to attend.  There will be great workshops to attend.  People like  Jeff Anderson, Donalyn Miller and Alana Morris.  I will be conducting a session as well.There will be workshops with authors like Paul Janeczko and Christopher Paul Curtis. So much to see and learn!  Go to the link below to learn more.

TCTELA Conference Schedule

TCTELA Conference