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

Friday, July 29, 2016


I went to one of my blogs today. I found a poem that I wrote about three year ago. I wanted to post it today. For more information on migraines, go to Migraine Aura-Mayo Clinic . I suffer from migraines occasionally. I get the aura where I see blotches and lights. These occur right before my migraine will reveal itself.  They can be horrible.


by Maureen Ucles

I feel a headache
coming on

I feel a headache
very strong--
going to sit

Light sensitivity
Lights through a prism
l blotching
covering parts of
 people's faces
no one can see
but only me
the aura
I know

I feel a migraine
creeping in
close my eyes
head down
leave me
don't worry
It's something
I have to suffer

Monstrous migraine
blaring its ugly 
mind numbing

I feel a migraine
taking hold
stomach hurts
minds wailing
when will it end?
rest needed

This migraine
won't subside
turn down the shades
Tylenol by the handful
eyes closed
damp cloth on
laying supine
on my bed
in the house
behind the eyes


Previous Post from Let Me Write! In November

I am moving some of my post from Let Me Write and my other blogs over.  This one was written about 2-3 years ago. Since it is sauna weather in Houston, I long for November. I cannot wait until it is November. It can't come quick enough.

I love Cynthia Rylant's book In November.  I love it because it is well written and November happens to be one of my favorite months of the year. It reminds me of why I love November  Every year, especially in July-September, I yearn for November. I adore November.

Finally this weekend felt like November and Autumn.  After months and months of horrible, suffocating humidity, I awoke to sweater and turtle neck weather and yearned for cups of warm tea and coffee.  I drank in the cool, crisp weather. The morning took me by the hand and invited me to slow down and savor  life. The cool sunny mornings are the best. The best.

November. It is my "just right" month.  The weather changes and leaves descend to the cold unforgiving ground. Trees brace for the blusterous winter weather, feeling rather naked and exposed. In November,  the temperatures are nice and cozy.  The mornings are quite chilly and the afternoons require a light sweater or long sleeved shirts. The evenings are enveloped by darkness and the air temperature decreases by the hour.  Hot tea, coffee and hot chocolate are my preferred drinks. Soup is perfect in November. Chicken soup. Tomato soup. Potato soup. Vegetable beef soup. Any soup will do.

November is the perfect weather for taking long walks. I love to walk near my house and breathe in November. In the Summer months, you won't catch me outside. The heat gets to me and my poor, poor lungs. November's weather, however,  is great for my asthma and getting in some more steps. It is not too cold or too hot, but rather perfect.

November is the month of great football. Every year, I love to watch my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes play football.  The football season heats up in November. I lounge on my couch, flip the channel to see my Buckeyes play against that team from up North.  I am forbidden to write their name, but to help those of you who maybe oblivious to this rivalry, I will mention their name this one time. The greatest rivalry in all of college football (sorry UT and  Texas A&M) is between Ohio State and Michigan (that team from up North). This game always takes place the latter part of November. I remember waiting the whole year to watch the game as a youngster. My family and I marked the date on the calendar and settled in for a real barn burner. We lived and died by the results. It is serious stuff, as bragging rights are on the line for one whole year. When I think of football, I think of The Ohio State Buckeyes and the rivalry game. Go Bucks!

I can't have November without Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving means family. Thanksgiving means lots of comfort foods and pumpkin pie. It is really the only day that I will get up super early to prepare a feast that will occur around 2 pm. I love to get up and get the bird in the oven, make real lumpy mash potatoes and use my mom's coveted recipes for stuffing, cranberry salad, and brocolli casserole. I enjoy making all of these delicacies for my family. It brings back so many great memories of Thanksgivings past spent with my family in Ohio. My mom would always have me help her grind out the cranberries and oranges with the peel in her iron hand grinder. I loved helping her prep the night before Thanksgiving. I still have memories of seeing the humongous turkey being placed in water in the kitchen sink. My brother Tim would take the wet bird out and chase me around the house with it. It was quite funny!

Ah. November. There's really no other month that I love more. The weather, drinks, food, family traditions, along with football make it very special for me. I wish it could be extended to sixty days!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Onwards and Upwards!

Today I accepted a position in Spring ISD as a Core Director of English Language Arts in grades K-5. I will be working alongside my cherished long time friend and colleague, Alana Morris. I am so excited about the work that we will do to serve the students, teachers, principals, staff, and community of Spring. This will be a big task for me as I have worked in Spring Branch ISD for 18 wonderful years.  I have so many people to meet, new roads to traverse, and schools to frequent. I know SBISD very well. (In particular the North side.) I know the short cuts and best Mexican restaurants to frequent. I know the principals, teachers, and many students. Because of this, it is hard to say goodbye. In particular, it is difficult to say goodbye to my fourth grade students and team. Some of my students said,"This is not goodbye because I will come visit you when I am in 5th grade." Still others said, "We are not leaving this room! We don't want to go!" How I wish that I could somehow still see them. Maybe we could Skype?  Who knows? What I do know is that they made last year a very memorable year. They were unforgettable. Each one has a special place in my heart. The memories will never fade. (If you are one of my students then remember to keep writing, reading, and dreaming big! You are wild readers and writers!)

When  I came to Spring Branch, I already had around 8 years of teaching experience. I thought that I knew a lot. However, after 18 years, I realize that there was so much to learn and experience. I have gained so much from being a part of SBISD> The people and students in Spring Branch will always be special to me. It is great place to work and learn. My daughter graduated from a Spring Branch school. She loved it!

 On one hand, I feel excited about the new job and on the other, I feel sad. I feel sad because of the people that I will be leaving behind. They are quality people. Some of these wonderful people also moved on within the last few years too and they are thriving. I can only hope to do the same.

I look forward to the work that lay ahead of me. I have met many wonderful people in the interview process thus far. I have a wonderful feeling about this job!  I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. There is much to do, see, learn and experience in Spring ISD. I can't wait to get started!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dead Giveways

I attended the Gretchen Bernabei Training of Trainers workshop in New Braunfels this past week. I recorded Gretchen demonstrating how certain revision questions show patterns. She labeled them Dead Giveways. I created this video for those who may want to know more about this part of the revision test.

Jerk Talk and QA I, 2, 3, 4, 5

Gretchen Bernabei models how to use Jerk Talk and QA 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 with students.  I recorded this during her Training of Trainers workshop this week in New Braunfels.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day Four

The last day of training was yesterday. It was another great day of training. We worked with Info Shot, Cubing, experienced a few more kernels, and ended with truisms stations. Here are some photos of the day. I will post more, as time permits. I will also be making more videos.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trail of Breadcrumbs Youtube Channel

It would behoove you to go to the Trail of Breadcrumbs new YouTube Channel. I was shown the newest video made by Stephen Briseno. It is an explanation of pitchforks or enumeratio. It is away to add more detail and specificity to your writing.  I will be posting more about it in the next few days.

Click on the link to go to his awesome video.  There is also link to go to the channel. It is one of my channels that I will frequent quite often. I cannot wait to try to make a video like Stephen did. He told me that he used the app called Explain Everything. That will be my next project!  Yay!


Trail of Breadcrumbs Channel

Truisms-Day Three

Today we went over the use of truisms or aphorisms. We were taken on a journey using photos on a Prezi. We then were guided into truism land. When we finished, we created our own truisms. Then we went back to our writing to add a truism to one of our narrative kernels that we worked on yesterday. With truisms, you can find many applications to reading and writing. The study of theme can begin with the study of truisms. I loved doing this today. I leave you with lots of video and photos. It was a great day!