Summer Sunday and the Popsicle Stick

Here are a few of my random thoughts today people.  I am trying to avoid the ABSOLUTELY STUPIDEST THING I DID EVER YESTERDAY!!!!!!

I signed up for a Half Marathon.  In Fresno, in November.  What the hell was I thinking?  I get exhausted running 3 miles.  I cannot do it.  So, for now, I will avoid any mention of it.  (Yeah, I printed my schedule of training.)  Their long run is 12 miles.  That’s like to a whole other city.  No way.  No way.  What was I thinking?


1) It’s all about the music for me.  If it’s bad, I am not having fun.  Gotta fix my playlist.  Added some new ones yesterday, which will be taken off today.  It wasn’t a bad start, but my run was pretty bad.  It was hot and sunny.  I can’t complain though, after reading Arkansas Running Girl’s post about humidity!  I had gotten up late because I can’t sleep lately.  I mean 2:30am can’t sleep.  It’s not good.

Today’s Magic 3

Mamma Mia, ABBA

Hunk of Burning Love, Elvis

Lemon Tree, Trini Lopez (great fun)

2)  I have been teaching since 1981.  I have never had to teach Summer School.  Until now.  Times are tough man.  Tomorrow, I teach a Summer School stint of Sophomore English.  We are reading To Kill A Mockingbird, and are writing Where I’m From poems.  These kids didn’t do their whole year, so I have to cram it in five weeks.  Yeah, we’re writing an essay everyday.  Tomorrow, we are talking about our family origins.  I remember CTG doing this with his kids, or perhaps another English teacher.   We’ll do Father’s Day letters and listen to music (Father & Son from Cat Stevens).  Should be fun.  I’m dragging out my own work to display for you.

Here’s my poem that I wrote with my 8th graders last year:

Where I’m From

By Ms. Vermeulen

I am from dishrags and hand towels

From Ajax and brown shutters

I am from the orange tree that blossoms white

Every spring

I am from the tadpoles caught and

Cared for in the back yard;

Both smells go together.

I am from the gorgeous blood red rosebushes,

The ones that receive my father’s diligence.


I am from Santa on the roof

Jingling the bells for all the children to hear.

I am from the brown eyed girls,

From Don & Dee Dee, Grace & Gladys.

I am from eating tacos on Friday night,

With oiled corn tortillas and raking leaves

On Saturday morning.

From clean your plate and don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

I am from In My Father’s House there are many rooms

Getting saved over and over again.


I am from Burbank

And from William White on the Mayflower

Fluffy pancakes and strong coffee

From the Bon Bon machine that Grandpa


The BB Gun that my father accidentally shot,

Lodging a pellet in the wall,

I am from the small square photographs

That has the date written in ink on the back.

Photo albums that my mother puts together

Her handwriting identifying all of us.

From those moments snapped in time

Their value lodged in my heart.

3)  Yeah, we have the patent for the Popsicle Stick.  Here it is, for proof.

Popsicle Stick Patent

4)  Please stop ending your sentences with the word, *at*.  You have a perfectly fine sentence until you say that word.  It’s a preposition.  Do you not remember this from High School?  Where’r you at?  It’s fine, until the at.  ‘nuf said.


5)  It’s summer.  One of my favorite Book Group girls always always always picks a *classic* to read in the Summer.  We’re not reading any new, fun beach books.  Nooooooooo, it’s Catcher In The Rye for her.  Thank God last summer she picked To Kill a Mockingbird though…since I am teaching it tomorrow.  Good thing I read it. 


Not too deep, but there is my Sunday thought process.  Now, if the guy behind me would only set his sprinklers for another time of day, and not midnight, I might get a good night’s sleep.








found poems

This goes out to CTG for the found poems lesson.  WOW.

This poem is from Epitaph for a Peach, by David Mas Masumoto (page 120)

edit:  David Mas Masumoto commented on this post!

Our class made this poem: 


A cloud of peach perfume


Second Helping:  patient, selective

Searching overripe ones

I’m eyeing





peaches:  fully exposed

ground is different underneath

more sandy; sides exposed

Summer Heat

Family Gathers

I reach and pick a gushy


(2nd period)



(3rd period)


juice dribbling

suck out meat

primeval grin

childish behavior



from my teeth

continue stuffing

leaks down my shirt

candylike pulp



Beginning of Harvest

thank you Happy Chick!!!

Oh Happy Chick

(By the way, I don’t know how to make the word a link, so some kind blogger please tell me?)

Wonderful.  Yes, Taylor Mali’s *Totally Like Whatever* totally fired up my kids.  I only have one class left in Camp Vermeulen.  Everyone else bought in to the fact that they need to learn how to think.

We had our poems that CTG helped inspire, called Teenagers Can’t.  They wrote them in pairs, and then volunteers opted to share them in a mini-slam.  I gave them Taylor Mali’s Baker’s Dozen Secrets of Slam, and they were off to the races.  We even pulled the drapes and lit candles.   They snapped their fingers instead of clapping. 

I had five honest judges.  I threw out the highest and lowest scores. 

It was a beautiful thing.  🙂