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BS: Continuing in Guam

GUEST 25 Oct 14 - 06:22 AM
maeve 25 Oct 14 - 06:40 AM
Naemanson 25 Oct 14 - 07:16 AM
Roger the Skiffler 25 Oct 14 - 07:39 AM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Oct 14 - 09:26 AM
Ebbie 25 Oct 14 - 12:17 PM
ChanteyLass 25 Oct 14 - 09:15 PM
Naemanson 26 Oct 14 - 07:31 AM
Charley Noble 26 Oct 14 - 12:10 PM
Leadfingers 27 Oct 14 - 04:53 AM
Ebbie 27 Oct 14 - 11:14 AM
Naemanson 30 Oct 14 - 07:51 AM
ChanteyLass 30 Oct 14 - 09:22 PM
Roger the Skiffler 31 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM
Ebbie 31 Oct 14 - 01:38 PM
GUEST, mmm1a 04 Nov 14 - 09:50 AM
mmm1a 04 Nov 14 - 09:52 AM
Charley Noble 04 Nov 14 - 12:25 PM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Nov 14 - 05:15 PM
Naemanson 08 Nov 14 - 02:47 AM
maeve 08 Nov 14 - 05:42 AM
Charley Noble 08 Nov 14 - 11:45 AM
ChanteyLass 08 Nov 14 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Nov 14 - 09:35 PM
Mrrzy 08 Nov 14 - 09:57 PM
Naemanson 09 Nov 14 - 02:01 AM
Naemanson 21 Nov 14 - 07:56 AM
ChanteyLass 21 Nov 14 - 10:26 PM
Naemanson 29 Nov 14 - 10:50 PM
ChanteyLass 30 Nov 14 - 08:07 PM
Ebbie 30 Nov 14 - 09:40 PM
maeve 01 Dec 14 - 07:21 AM
Naemanson 01 Dec 14 - 07:59 AM
Naemanson 22 Dec 14 - 08:50 AM
Sandra in Sydney 22 Dec 14 - 09:27 AM
maeve 22 Dec 14 - 10:57 AM
ChanteyLass 22 Dec 14 - 08:20 PM
GUEST 09 May 15 - 10:21 AM
Sandra in Sydney 09 May 15 - 11:13 AM
GUEST 24 May 15 - 12:58 AM
Charley Noble 24 May 15 - 10:45 AM
Sandra in Sydney 24 May 15 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 25 May 15 - 06:34 AM
Sandra in Sydney 25 May 15 - 10:50 AM
ChanteyLass 25 May 15 - 07:49 PM
Naemanson 01 Jun 15 - 06:52 AM
Naemanson 01 Jun 15 - 06:58 AM
ranger1 01 Jun 15 - 07:13 AM
maeve 01 Jun 15 - 08:05 AM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Jun 15 - 09:27 AM
ChanteyLass 01 Jun 15 - 06:44 PM
Ebbie 01 Jun 15 - 11:45 PM
JennieG 02 Jun 15 - 02:10 AM
Naemanson 03 Jun 15 - 05:31 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 15 - 07:22 PM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 15 - 07:29 PM
Naemanson 11 Jun 15 - 08:09 AM
ChanteyLass 16 Jun 15 - 09:17 PM
maeve 17 Jun 15 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Jun 15 - 10:57 AM
GUEST 23 Jul 15 - 01:07 AM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Jul 15 - 03:51 PM
Sandra in Sydney 23 Jul 15 - 07:25 PM
ChanteyLass 23 Jul 15 - 08:27 PM
Naemanson 31 Jan 17 - 06:19 AM

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Subject: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 06:22 AM

I have let this lapse and that is just plain wrong. We continue in the face of grief and exhaustion. I will reinstate this thread once more. I hope to make this the entry and to avoid the pull of Facebook on my time and energy.

I wrapped up the last thread with a long entry about the death of Neko and my new job. The last thread is Getting well in Guam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: maeve
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 06:40 AM

Welcome home, Brett. Many will be glad to see your writing here again.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 07:16 AM

Hi, I'm glad you are sharp enough to know me even when I end up anonymous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 07:39 AM

Welcome back, Brett, I've missed your stories.
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 09:26 AM

me, too


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 12:17 PM

Me too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 09:15 PM

I'm sorry about Neko.

It sounds like you face more challenges at your new school.I look forward to reading more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:31 AM

Today I printed my Pets in Guam and gave it to Wakana. I had earlier found her weeping in the kitchen and figured it couldn't hurt. She read through it with comments like, "I remember that," and "Oh, yeah!"

Much has happened this year. For those who remember my trip to the Philippines the operation may have helped somewhat but I still have difficulties. Now I have an additional problem with my left arm. A few months ago it suddenly began to feel as if I had just hit my funny bone. The little finger on that side lost most of its feeling. The feeling never went away. The doctor has decided the nerve is compressed.

I was scheduled for surgery but then developed a head cold which would have interfered with the anesthetic. So it was delayed. Now I am still waiting for a new appointment.

It has been so long since I played my guitar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 12:10 PM

Brett-

Welcome back on board!

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 04:53 AM

Wishing you well Brett - One of my better memories is meeting you and Wakana at Sinsull's in 2005 on one of my rare USA trips


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 11:14 AM

Terry, you also met him at Camp Ramblewood, ddn't you? Wakana sang a song in Japanese as I recall.

Incidentally, it seems to me that your name should be Nimblefingers. :) Or at least SILVERfingers- that would be right, on so many levels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 30 Oct 14 - 07:51 AM

Tomorrow (Halloween) at 9:00 AM I am finally supposed to get my surgery. It had been scheduled for today but they postponed at the last minute. I drove over to Father Duenas to tell Wakana in person so she could express her frustration in person. I think my boss is a little frustrated too. I hope they weren't delayed while they sobered up the operating crew.

I am planning to have a picture taken of me lying on the gurney waiting for the surgery. I will email it to my co-workers and label it as my Halloween costume. I wonder if I can get someone to take a picture of me on the operating table?

I will tell the co-workers it is my costume and that I wanted to wear it to work but that I would have to bring half the hospital with me if I did.

I was driving to work a couple of weeks ago and saw a sunrise that just knocked my socks off. I was ready there and then to buy a large format camera and wait for a repeat.

I never saw the sun. It was a cloudy day. What I saw was the effect of the sun on those clouds. There was a bright spot on the horizon with waves of orange and pick reflected off several layers of cloud. As I drove along the colors spread out from the horizon to the clouds over my head. It was as if there was a fire burning way off below the horizon and the light was slowly illuminating the world.

Last night Wakana came to me to say there was a brown tree snake on the carport. We went out to deal with it. She'd placed a little bucket on it to keep it from escaping. It was about 3 feet long but very skinny with a wide flat head. I used the charcoal tongs to capture it and we tied it into a series of plastic grocery bags. The bag went into the freezer. No muss, no fuss. This afternoon while taking out the trash we added the frozen snake to the mix.

Must be bedtime. Gotta rise up for the cutter early in the morning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 30 Oct 14 - 09:22 PM

I hope to see a post from you soon saying that your surgery went well and was a success.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 31 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM

Best wishes today, Brett.
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Oct 14 - 01:38 PM

TALU!


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST, mmm1a
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 09:50 AM

Just wondering how your surgery went . Hope all is well.
I don't usually post on here but I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading about your life in Guam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: mmm1a
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 09:52 AM

and I have remembered to reset my cookie lol


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 12:25 PM

Still wondering as well.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 05:15 PM

another enquiring mind wanting to know!


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 02:47 AM

Survived the surgery. Still waiting for recovery. I am typing one handed, kinda. My left is there in spirit. It hurts to put my arm on the table but hurts to hang it by my side too.

My little finger on that side was numb for most of the week but is now waking up. You know the pins and needles bit? Got it big time. Saw the surgeon today for a followup. He at least is excited about it.

They had me in a splint from elbow to hand after the surgery, mostly to protect the incisions (elbow and wrist). Today I got a smaller one to protect the elbow. The splint is aa water activated cushion. He wets it, wrings it out, puts it in place, and holds it there. It warms up and hardens in about 30 seconds!

More later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: maeve
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 05:42 AM

It's good to hear of your progress, Brett.
Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 11:45 AM

How soon before you can begin guitar therapy?

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 12:01 PM

Keep healing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 09:35 PM

Strange that you would kill...and then Not Eat the creature you captured.

Especially, with your Phillipines connections.
Consider, the wonderful recipes for "Snake Adobe."

Or, the Chinese "Sweet and Sour" snake.

Both go well with rice.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

recipes abound. Don't be so cultural insensitive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Nov 14 - 09:57 PM

I saw a get-well card that said on the outside, something about what being sick means, and inside something about it means all the attention and hot chocolate and people waiting on you. It ended get well - eventually.

I second the emotion!


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Nov 14 - 02:01 AM

Thanks for the good thoughts. Appreciating all of them.

As to eating brown tree snakes, they are all bones. They are the skinniest snakes I've ever seen. The one we caught must have been three feet long and was no more than 3/4 if an inch at it's thickest part. Need a lot of them to make a meal. Haven't heard any reports on taste.

Last night we had a hermit crab on the carport. It must have been 4 inches along the length of the shell. And it was fast! I finally cornered it and used the same charcoal tongs to move it out into the grass. The nippers on that sucker would have taken a chunk out of my finger and I only have one fully operational hand at this time.

I got the inside pictures of what they did to me but you'll have to go to Facebook to see them. I expect some disagreement with my posting the yucky pictures.

Back home they build possible snow days into the annual school schedule. Here they include "flex" days. If you have a day when the school has to be closed you use the next scheduled flex day. We were closed for Typhoon Vongfong (which just brushed by us) and now we have to come to school on the Friday after Thanksgiving. George Washington High School will also have to come in then plus they have to use their first day of Christmas vacation because they had to close due to a break-in and vandalism. Hoping we have no more closures.

Charley, I think it will still be a while until I can accurately move my fingers and before I will have any strength in them. Plus I have a similar but less advanced problem on my right side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 07:56 AM

Keeping on...

12 days since my last post in here. It's funny but when I was working for the Feds I had n problem finding time to update the thread. Now that I'm teaching I go for days and days without finding time. Someone needs to explain to the GOP that teachers work 8 to 12 hour days almost non-stop until summer time. Every summer since I started this gig I have needed the first month just to relax from being always on call. By the time the school year starts up again I finally feel ready for it. A week after the start I am exhausted all over again.

I am painfully aware of how good I have it. Many of my co-workers are working mothers. They have to work as hard as I do then go home and start their home job. I get to go home and take a nap. Truth be told they are better at the teaching job when you look at what we are SUPPOSED to be doing. I have it easy with the repeaters because I can move more slowly and nobody has great expectations about my efficiency and success rate. I get the feeling they are happy to have someone who keeps the kids distracted and out of the way.

Today my 10th graders finished reading Josephina Niggli's The Street of the Cañon. They were dissatisfied because the story wraps up with so many questions unanswered. Thanks to movies and TV they expect every story to finish with all the questions answered. They don't like to have to figure out the "rest of the story" for themselves. "Do they marry?" "Why did he go to San Juan Iglesias?" "Does Sabrita know who he is?" All I can offer is, "What do you think?"

Wednesday I went to see the doctor as follow up to my surgery. He asked me how it felt and I vented about the ongoing pain. His answer? "That's very good!" He was serious. He is very happy with my progress. That makes one of us. As he explained it there will be a time when the nerves and their associated muscles finally get back to work. And when those nerves begin to receive messages for the first time in a long time they will hurt. He's right. He did tell me to start trying to work with my guitar. I do not expect to be able to play very well for a long time but he said it is time to start training the fingers in the necessary movements. It's going to take a long time to teach my finger tips to get used to the strings again.

Thursday was Wakana's birthday. She's 54. Another year and she qualifies as a senior citizen and gets head of the line privileges and free tuition at the university. I made a collage of pictures of Neko, a gift certificate to Ross (a local store), and the movie Titanic in Japanese. Then I took her to dinner at Table 35 for slab-o-meat (our euphemism for steak). She had steak grilled with a paste of miso and almonds and I had coffee rubbed flank steak. Because we are an Asian household (more or less) we do not eat large quantities of meat and what we do eat is in small pieces mixed into stews and curry so it is a treat to get slab-o-meat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 10:26 PM

I'm glad you are healing but sorry it is painful. Belated happy birthday to Wakana.

And yes, teaching is harder than most people realize. It starts before the first bell rings, continues after the last bell rings, and no matter how many hours you put in you can always think of more things to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 29 Nov 14 - 10:50 PM

I learned new term this week. I went to the doctor to get better pain meds and his prescription described the reason as "breakthrough pain." Apparently there is pain associated with some kind of breakthrough, I'm guessing the pain of reawakening nerves.

In the meantime I am getting very tired of the mistakes my left hand keeps making on the keyboard plus the pain of keeping my arm on the table (my "desk" is a 6 foot folding table with the keyboard about a foot away from the edge. I work with my arms supported by the table and the keyboard relatively flat. That gives me space to work from materials right under my nose literally. Unfortunately that puts pressure on my elbow where the nerve is sensitive and the incision is still healing. I use a pillow but that is not a really good solution.

All that is an introduction to my question. Has anyone had experience with any of the voice recognition programs out there? I'm thinking of getting something but it has to work better than Microsoft's ease of access program that comes packaged with Windows. That one really sucks.

My brother went home to the farm for Thanksgiving and found that someone had broken in and stolen a bunch of the guns and some of the tools in the shed. My mother had not noticed the theft so it could have happened any time. For those who don't know my father was something of a gunsmith and collector though he was too cheap to buy anything really valuable. There weren't many pistols, his personal .38, a replica .44 Remington New Model Army, and a couple of .22s. But they took the long guns including a valuable .45-70 saddle ring carbine from the second half of the 19th Century and my grandfather's hunting rifle, a sporterized 8mm German WWII Mauser with a scope. They picked up the Civil War .44 Remington New Model Army but apparently decided against taking it (maybe their arms were full) because they put it down again; right under a leak from the roof which made it rusty. That pistol was in perfect shape AND easily the most valuable piece there. We have documentation that it belonged to Commodore Peary's (The man who opened Japan to the outside world) personal physician though not at the time of that trip. They also took my replica Thompson Center Hawken caplock.

For some reason they took my father's anvil of all things!

On the plus side they were not interested in the flintlocks nor did they get Rachel, the .58 caliber Springfield rifled musket carried by our ancestor during the Civil War. They also missed the WWII katana leaning in the corner of the gun cabinet. And my brother found an inventory of the guns made up by my father at some point in the past. He has turned all of this over to the police. I do not expect a happy outcome.

The real heartbreak of this is that the evil of modern society has touched The Farm. The Farm (note the caps) is a magical place divorced from the outside world. It is a place of grandparents and summer days, of bullfr4ogs down at the pond and explorations in the old woodshed, and the old shop in the garage. It is walks in the autumn woods and cold weather outside by the fire in a farm kitchen. It is my father (Papa to the next generation) working in his shop making another wonder.

It is NOT drug crazed idiots looting anything they can carry off so they can shoot up for another day.

Sigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 30 Nov 14 - 08:07 PM

I am glad to read that you are healing but sorry it comes with pain. I am also sorry about the break-in at The Farm. If the police ever find out what happened to the guns, please let us know. I hope the information in the inventory helps them find the guns.

I've never used voice recognition software, but I know some people have used and liked Dragon. Do a websearch for Dragon Voice Recognition Software Reviews. Maybe some of those reviews will tell you it's strengths and weaknesses and compare it with other similar software. In the meantime, someone with experience will probably recommend something here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Nov 14 - 09:40 PM

I remember katlaughing had a voice recognition program she liked. If Spaw were here he could tell you all about it.

It astonishes me that we lost both of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: maeve
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 07:21 AM

Our katlaughing used Dragon. It took a while to get it acclimated, but she found it very helpful. It's what I'd get if I had the option.

And Ebbie...yes. It hurts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 07:59 AM

I look back and realize I have been followed by death my whole life. It is a sad fact that our grandparents die in our lifetimes but it is a part of life. I used to wonder why my favorite musicians died young. For example, I discovered Stan Rogers' music the year AFTER he died, I loved Jim Croce's stuff, Kate Wolf and U. Utah Philips are gone, Steve Goodman and Phil Ochs were amazing, and there are so many others.

But then my friends became those who died young. And then friends of my daughters. When my kids were in their pre-teens and early teens we started a D&D game that ran on for 7 years. Then the young ones went off to college. Since I came to Guam my friend who ran the game as D.M. committed suicide and my older daughter's friend who played with us died of cancer.

And with Mudcat my circle of friends expanded as did the number of friends I lost. We all remember friends who are no longer with us.

But in this thanksgiving season I am grateful for what they have given to me. I will never forget the dear friends I have loved and the artists I have enjoyed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Dec 14 - 08:50 AM

I am, finally, officially, on my Christmas Break. To celebrate Wakana and I ran over to Agate to have dinner at Lemon Grass, our favorite Thai restaurant. We had fried spring rolls, beef penang, and Thai fried chicken. Yummy.

I feel as if I have been released from some form of durance vile. Working with the kids I teach is very emotionally difficult. These kids have, as I've come to see, no imagination. They cannot understand the difference between fact and fiction. If you tell them a joke they absorb your words then express concern for the characters in the joke.

I have spent the last two school days showing A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version) to my students. They were fascinated and concerned for the people in the story. One student could not wrap his head around the idea of the Ghost of Christmas Present and how that entity only has a life span of 1 day, Christmas Day. He kept asking about it trying to see how something could have such a short life span.

But now it is Christmas for real. I do not have to get up early tomorrow. I can turn off all my alarms, I can stay up late, and I can do stuff during the day, I can take a nap during the day, and generally relax. It's over on January 5 but I will make the best of it till then.

Merry Christmas to all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 22 Dec 14 - 09:27 AM

alarms??

Merry Christmas Happy New year etc. to you & Wakana

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: maeve
Date: 22 Dec 14 - 10:57 AM

" These kids have, as I've come to see, no imagination. They cannot understand the difference between fact and fiction. If you tell them a joke they absorb your words then express concern for the characters in the joke... They were fascinated and concerned for the people in the story. One student could not wrap his head around the idea of the Ghost of Christmas Present and how that entity only has a life span of 1 day, Christmas Day. He kept asking about it trying to see how something could have such a short life span."

Besides obvious factors of a very different culture and the interwoven differences in perceptions, I'll just note that where there is compassion and concern for others- whether characters in a story or joke, or real living people- there must be imagination. Perhaps give yourself and your students some freedom regarding what they and you might learn from your carefully prepared lessons. I've taught such children, and it's easy to forget that what they learn may not match our expectations of what we think they should learn. I'd be grateful to have such compassionate students in my classroom, even as I might share your exhaustion and dismay at what I thought they would understand but didn't.

I hope you and Wakana enjoy a joyful, peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 22 Dec 14 - 08:20 PM

Have a wonderful, restful vacation!

Have you asked your students what kinds of things make them laugh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 15 - 10:21 AM

Can it really have been since before Christmas that I added to this run? My goodness but time flies.

I can understand the feelings of those who say I should have more sympathy for the kids. Trust me. I am all about those kids. The problem is literally a lack of interest in education. They have no role models that support them and encourage them in their studies.

We have a new program where we are expected to have a positive influence on their behavior. We have little to no expectations for it to work. Consider, there are 168 hours in the week. We see them in groups of 15 to 30 kids for 4 hours a week. No matter what we do they will leave the classroom and return to the life that made them what they are. Our 4 hours have little chance against the other 168.

Recently I posed a very interesting question of my kids. I challenged them to write down their favorite poem or the words of their favorite song. I intended on using the words as an illustration of the use of figurative language in poetry. You guys would only have a problem with choosing a particular song. These kids spend all their time plugged into their phones so I figured it would be easy. I was very surprised to find out they do not actually listen to their music. None of them knew any of their own songs! The assignment was homework but nobody brought anything in. So I gave them fifteen minutes to write things down. Once more I got nothing.

I pursued it and found that they could name artists but could not do anything about words. They were lost. Some asked if they could look up the words online. That way I got some of them to pass in the assignment.

The 7th grade curriculum includes Katy Perry's song Fireworks so I used that as the illustration for the lesson on figurative language.

I am asking my coworkers and any other teacher who will listen to me to ask their kids the same question. I wonder how far this reaches both geographically and socially.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 May 15 - 11:13 AM

I wonder if the listening-but-not-listening a a trend elsewhere. I'll pass your observations to a teacher friend, & get back to you.

I just did a search on 'favourite songs teenagers' which got 12million hits, & found this Teens - Top 10 favourite songs?

the only young people I know are musicians & singers

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 15 - 12:58 AM

I will present that list to my students to see if they recognize any of the songs. I'm sure some must.

Last weekend we sat in the house, storm shutters closed, listening to the wind shriek outside. We lost our power on Friday night so we had candles, lanterns, and flashlights going. We did NOT have air conditioning. And that powerlessness went on until Wednesday night. The wind had stripped the wires from the poles.

In school out latest unit is drama. I've been drilling them on drama vocabulary and showing them Into The Woods (the 1987 play featuring Bernadette Peters & Joanna Gleason) and many of them seem to enjoy it. Next they'll see excerpts from the BBC production of Hamlet featuring Derek Jacobi & Patrick Stewart and then excerpts of Our Town (the one with Paul Newman as the Stage Manager). We'll finish with Sweeney Todd.

Our friend from Japan is here for her biennial visit and athletic competition. This morning she took part in the Kokos Island Swim. Out of over 200 competitors she came in 28th. Pretty cool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 May 15 - 10:45 AM

Thanks for the updates, Brett.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 24 May 15 - 07:36 PM

very cool!

& do your students watch dramas/movies/plays or just let them run past?

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 15 - 06:34 AM

In some of my classes the majority of the kids do pay attention but in some most fail to understand it as anything but an opportunity to sleep or talk.

We have only 2 weeks to go, 4 Green classes (even numbered) and 5 Gold. We will use the time to see the rest of the plays and pack up the contents of the room.

I will allow the students to finish up their missing work. Those who choose not to do their work will be assigned to packing details.

Today I took my ACB team to lunch. We made it to 4th place which means we defeated all the other public schools and all but three of the private schools. This is actually a huge deal. My team defeated a couple of the private school teams that took 2nd and 3rd for the year. They can do it again and end up at the top of the heap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 May 15 - 10:50 AM

a success!


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 25 May 15 - 07:49 PM

Congratulations to your team and to you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 06:52 AM

Last week, on Wednesday morning, My mother passed away. She survived six months with three kinds of cancer. She was a tough old bird. As of last summer, at 83, she was still mowing her own lawn and it was a big one.

Last Christmas she drove to the airport in Bangor, Boarded a plane, Stayed with my middle sister for two weeks, boarded an airplane, flew back to Bangor, drove home to New Limerick, reopened the house, stoked the woodstove, and settled in to enjoy the rest of the winter. A few weeks later she was diagnosed. She was a survivor of breast cancer but that experience taught her she did not like chemo.

She will be missed. Here is her obit:

Dorothy Marion Darnstaedt Burnham died May 26 in Houlton. She was born January 16, 1931 in Middletown, CT to Helois A. Gilbert and Clemens G. Darnstaedt. Her husband Bruce died in 2011.

Dot loved music and her dogs, her red farm house, history, archaeology, literature, and her family. She played the harp and piano and had a beautiful singing voice. As a young woman, she considered a career as a nightclub singer. She loved discussing books and religion, endlessly fascinated by the hows and whys of the human condition. Dot was a staunch atheist – a progressive and liberal person who believed that every person deserves a chance. She could crack a crossword puzzle in minutes and was perfectly content curled into her chair, Paco in her lap, while winter storms raged outside. She enjoyed mah-jongg, her book group, and volunteering at Cary Library after working there for many years. Dot also worked in Houlton as a Nurse's Aid, sang in Houlton Community Chorus, supported theHumane Society, took part in a writing group and studied medieval history through the UM Extension Office. She founded Pony Club and 4-H groups and cheerfully ferried kids and horses from Dover Foxcroft to Nova Scotia in an old truck and a homemade horse trailer.

She raised her children in a series of tiny trailers in the desert, in an unheated farmhouse in Vermont, and in the relative luxury of the Bahamas; though her favorite place on Earth was her farm house in New Limerick. Dot was delighted with the varied paths chosen by her offspring, their accomplishments and adventures. She was proud of their individuality and achievements. A posting in Italy? Medical school? Teaching in Guam? To Dot it was all great fun. She found happiness in nonconformity. She taught us this: do what seems fun.

Life was a great adventure for Dorothy. She had the gifts of contentment and forgiveness and a child-like enthusiasm, which she never lost.

She leaves five children, their spouses, 9 grandchildren (another on the way) and 4 great-grandchildren. To honor Dot, donations to Cary Library and the Houlton Humane Society would be appreciated. A celebration of her life will be held June 27, the details of which will be announced later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 06:58 AM

Of course this means I will be in Maine for a while this summer. I may need to beg a couch and definitely need to beg a listing of folk music events in Maine.

Charlie, is Roll & Go performing anywhere around the end of June? I definitely need to get to the Fisherman's Coop for lobster at some point.

Latest information is that Mom's memorial will be on June 27. I will probably fly in a few days in advance of that date and stay until a little after the 4th. I'd like to see the Bath waterfront 4th celebrations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ranger1
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 07:13 AM

Brett, that was a beautifully-written tribute to your mother. Made me wish I had known her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: maeve
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 08:05 AM

I'm sorry for your loss, Brett. She sounds lovely.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 09:27 AM

what a lovely memory of her life.

condolences to family & friends

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 06:44 PM

I am very sorry to hear about your mother. She sounds like a wonderful, loving, and much-loved person.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 11:45 PM

What a wonderful woman! Sorry you had to lose her, Bret, but she gave you a lot to go on with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Jun 15 - 02:10 AM

Sorry to hear that, Brett - what a wonderful woman your mother was! From your lovely tribute I wish I had known her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 05:31 AM

I wish I could say I had some input on the obit but my sisters did most of that. Then, after they got it into the Bangor Daily they realized they left someone out. Such is life.

I have always (at least in the last 10 years or so) referred to my mother as a "tough old bird" and she was. She loved living at the farm even in winter. When my father died she realized that she was alone for the first time in her life. Until she married she was in her parents' house then with my father for the 60-odd years of their marriage. She was always with him and/or kids for all that time.

Some time after Dad was gone she pointed this out and commented that she loved being on her own. She was never lonely. She had friends. Her kids were always calling her. Help was a quick call away.

And she was always an innocent. She didn't understand the ugly side of people and she didn't want to. She was one of the beautiful people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 07:22 PM

Brett-

So sorry to hear this.

I'm glad I got a chance to meet both your mother and father.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 07:29 PM

Brett-

Check your PMs with regard to a Roll & Go update.

We look forward to seeing you again the end of June.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 11 Jun 15 - 08:09 AM

I am finally on summer vacation. I feel like someone shoveled a mountain of field fertilizer off my back. The school is buried in a bureaucracy that jams up everything. It is definitely NOT user friendly. It took days to check out.

But now I am done. I will head for Maine again around the end of June for my mother's memorial. I have two high priority needs on this trip. 1) I want to hear some music and B) I need to eat some lobster and (III I want to visit Bath at some point during the July 4th celebrations.

My flight leaves Guam on June 25 at 6:30 AM and arrives in Portland on June 25 at 3:59 PM. I head back to Guam on July 5 at 6::38 AM.

I will be in Houlton for Mom's memorial on June 27.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 09:17 PM

Welcome to vacation! It sounds like it will be a busy one. I wish your trip to ME was for a happier reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: maeve
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 05:54 AM

I hope things go well for you Brett, both in your mother's memorial and in the friends and activities you're hoping to see and do.
Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 10:57 AM

Hi, Naemanson. I've been thinking about your students, who you said don't listen to the words in their music. I don't think this means there is anything wrong with the students.

1. When have you heard rock music where you can understand the words? Not often, I bet. (I'm assuming that the kids listen to rock, since rock has such a stranglehold on our culture.)

If the kids are listening to some other kind of music, the same questions apply.   

2   When somebody writes the words down so we see what they are, do they make sense? Not often. Therefore, they are hard to remember and they are not interesting.

In contemporary music, the lyrics just don't matter much. The vocal line is there to give the elaborate electronic instruments and excuse to be played.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 01:07 AM

Two weeks in Maine. The memorial was a success both in the people who came out to The Farm and the fact that there was no obvious strife between us sibs. Mother would have been proud.

We also managed to agree on the future for The Farm. We will keep it in the family for the foreseeable future. It stays as is for about a year as we try to decide what to do with all the "heirlooms" that pack the place. It is full of antiques that were either out of my grandmother's house or my grandfather's workshop. We need to move them out, make some needed repairs, and then we'll rent the place out to a farmer who needs a place to build his future.

I spent the remainder of my time staying with Charlie. It was an interesting experience. I moved into his little one bedroom apartment after my life fell apart and it was from that place that I moved to Guam. It was my safety cave at a very difficult time. I have strong positive emotions connected with that apartment and it was a privilege to be able to stay there. Thanks, Charlie.

While I was in Maine I touched base with a lot of my old stomping grounds. I have only a few regrets for things I missed. I never did get to the Houlton Farms Dairy ice cream drive-in for an Awful-Awful. Imagine a milkshake so thick it is almost pure ice cream and so cold you could inject CO2 into it to make blocks of dry ice. On a hot July or August day there is nothing better. I didn't get down to see where they are building a replica of the pinnace Virginia in Bath.

But I DID get to the 4th of July used book sale in Bath where I bought a bunch of books including Swallows and Amazons which I have wanted for years. I bought Charlie a copy of The Oxford Dictionary of Ships and the Sea. I value mine and thought he'd like to have a copy.

I wandered around Bath and drove out of town for a ways. I visited what's left of the Brunswick Naval Air Station to see what happened to all the places I used write contracts for. The base is undergoing some serious changes since it was closed a few years after I left.

I got home on the afternoon of the 6th and Wakana headed out to Japan on the 7th for a visit with her family and to get some minor medical stuff taken care of. She needed to see her dentist and getting the work done here would have cost as much as the airfare. Plus she needed a quality physical and to consult with a couple of specialists. To contradict the Republicans, socialized medicine is the best.

Wakana arrived home this morning and life will soon be back to normal. He bought a ton of books while she was there and mailed them home. She bought several through Amazon Japan. And there is a big and lovely difference in the systems. She ordered them online and they gave her a choice of paying with her card or paying cash at the local convenience store. She walked up the street, paid cash, and NEXT DAY she returned to the convenience store to pick up the books. In Japan when they call something a convenience store they really mean it. You can go there to pay for your mail order, arrange to ship something large across Japan, and pick up lunch. (We once used a convenience store to send our suitcases home from Hiroshima because home was our next stop and we didn't want to carry them any more. And it was cheap.)

As contrast I ordered a couple of books from the American Amazon a week ago and I do not expect to see them for another week or so. And I had to expose my card to the risk of ID Theft.

In the meantime, and the island chain we live in, Saipan and Tinian are suffering through the second week since their undersea cable broke. They do not have home internet and only the most basic phone connection. Here in Guam our basic north-south road suffered a slow sinkhole that severed that line. There are three ways to make that connection. Marine Corps Drive which has now been reduced from 6 lanes to 1. The run past the airport which is a two lane track. and the run through Barrigada and back to Marine Corps Drive via Hamburger Road which is as much fun a driving through a WWI No-Man's Land for all the potholes and trenches. I tried to go north yesterday and ran into miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic on all three routes.

While Wakana was away I finally pulled the TV out away from the wall and hooked up the stereo, the big speakers, and a computer so now we can clearly hear the TV and we can access Netflix, Hulu, and other sources. I also tried to replace the kitchen sink faucet but I couldn't get under the cabinet far enough to get a good grip on the joints to pull it apart. The only thing I managed to do was disconnect the hot water side and not put it back together again. D'oh!

I will not be going back to JFK. I have quit my job. I will spend this next semester taking biology and chemistry at the university so I can qualify to teach science in high school and, hopefully, get a job closer to home. The students at JFK have really put me off teaching, at least teaching English.

Wow! This has gotten long. Time to take a break.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 03:51 PM

Sounds like a good strategy, Brett,shame you have to change subjects but better to be able to enjoy your work.
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 07:25 PM

I look forward to the continuation of the story after your break, Brett.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 08:27 PM

You have been busy! It sounds like your time in Maine was well-spent. I hope the roads near your home are repaired soon. Congratulations on coming up with a plan for your future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Continuing in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 31 Jan 17 - 06:19 AM

The new thread is BS: Unemployed, uh, retired in Guam.


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