Blog News

Two things…

First, a name change. After today, please visit pamelagwynkripke.wordpress.com to read my blog. Same content, same tone, everything you’ve come to expect. Except the flowers across the top.

And second…and this is nifty…I’ve been invited to blog about education for The Huffington Post. If you don’t read it already, go to huffingtonpost.com, click on Education, and you’ll find me. Soon. I’ll let you know when I’m up and flying.

Meantime, thanks for reading, and writing.

 

 

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Catching the Crooks, One Cupcake at a Time

I just love doing this….Click here

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Oh, Hi

I have been away, I know. Not far, by any means, just away, from here. But back I am. Hello. How have you been.

I have been busy, having taken on an additional task. When I am not tending to kids or writing, I now teach English at a city school here in Dallas. The experience, in a few short weeks, has given me many ideas. I am taking notes. What I am writing down speaks mostly to the failures of a large urban public school system. There are a lot of failures. Students lose out, continually. These, impoverished middle schoolers, have been losing out for years.

More later. Here and elsewhere. For now, a roomful of 15 year olds are asleep on my daughter’s floor (Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday) and Grandma’s in the back house. From New York. More later, yes. Did you know that they put sequins on sweatshirts? Anyway, hello again. 


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Tempting the Clock

It has not been a productive day. I say that as the productivity part, well the productivity part related to work, earning an income, putting food on the proverbial table, that part, comes to a close. It ends at 2:21 these days. And sixteen seconds. That is not to say that I am without things to produce. I have several. And more important, they are to be produced within a certain window of time. It is a small window. Single pane. This is when I sometimes feel spunky, brazen, you know, dangerous. I am not like this when I have a bay window-sized window, or a sliding door-width window. It is only when I am crunched. Ha ha, I scoff, at the things to be produced.

Why do I do this, I wonder. I should say that I don’t always do it, but when I do, it is consciously. It is decided upon. I will tempt the window. I will laugh at the tightening deadline. I will hope that I don’t trip tomorrow and require stitches in an elbow, or toe, which will monopolize the actual minutes that remain. Usually, I tell myself that something in me, something in my artistic soul needs the extra breathing room. The brilliance that will make the particular assignment that much more magnificent needs to germinate this exact amount of time. Then, it will be ready to sprout. Then, it will emerge, glorious, at 9:12 tomorrow morning. It is germinating, now, all by itself. I can feel it. So, in essence, I am working, yes, I am.

This is the kind of thing I tell myself when I just need a day off.  Why can’t I just take a day off, polish the toes, eat a normal lunch? People with regular jobs get regular days off, and they don’t tell themselves their ideas are whirring around in their brains right then, when they are doing relaxing things, so that they don’t feel guilty. They just eat the normal lunch, happily, and paint the toes, angst-free. 

It is now 2:09, which is pretty darn close to 2:21. I don’t have much time left, though I probably have more to say. I could have done more with my day off, I am thinking. More day-off things. But I guess you have to know it is that kind of day before it just becomes one. Aaarggghhhhhhh.

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Driving Me Crazy

If you stay up late watching tennis, you will be tired the next day and not want to get out of bed or do any work or write anything clever. Fortunately, your 14 year old realizes this and lets out the dog, Charlie, a frisky guy who likes to go out early, even if I have stayed up late watching tennis. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t like tennis, at least not the way he did at first. But, your 14 year old, and even your 13 year old, though they can do assorted wondrous things for themselves, cannot drive the car. It sits out there, beckoning. Take me somewhere. Put them in it and take us all somewhere. C’mon, do it now. Put the key in. 

I’m sick of driving. We don’t have school buses in our little community. Instead, moms drive their own school buses, with nine seats and wheels that surpass my head height, even when standing. Even when we know the deal with the oil and the Mideast and the global warming. Anyway, that is something else. Today, we are talking about the quantity of driving, rather than the quality. My quantity is too big.

So, when I don’t have to drive to the tennis courts or the lake (for rowing, not to jump into), or the schools, or the supermarket, or to cover a story, I just sit at my desk and look at the car, out the window in our driveway. Not yet, I say, through the glass. Simmer down. 

Not too long ago, though, she got to go far….(Click here)




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No More Grilled Cheese

In the summer, you have to make lunch. At the table. You have to make lunch, just like you make dinner. It is a good time to eat, better than later, the experts say. But it is a bad time to be in the kitchen. It just interrupts everything. Kids have to eat lunch, though, so when it is summer, and they are home, you have to make it.

Yesterday, school began. It is now 12:22 pm. I have just experienced my second day of not making lunch in the kitchen. It feels like a vacation, not that I don’t enjoy feeding my children. I do, I just don’t like the plates, and the dishwasher. I’d rather keep bees than empty the dishwasher.

Anyway, here is a story about that weed lady I told you about months ago…(Click here)


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Taking a Seat

The only chair left was in the Reference section. It is hard to be creative in the Reference section. Test preparation manuals don’t inspire the flow of compelling ideas. And that is what I am after, after all, the flow. The Flow.

When the house gets stale, I leave, in search of a place that might do the mental trick. Often, I will go to the bookstore nearby. At the bookstore, you don’t have to feel guilty about not buying coffee. Coffee turns into another substance when it is not made in my kitchen. So I go to the bookstore, where there are big upholstered chairs set amongst the stacks. 

“Try that book,” they seem to say. “Here, sit here and read it, or some of it. C’mon.”

But I do not go to read. The literature section has three chairs, and they were all occupied today. That made me pretty mad, since the occupiers were not writing anything. One was talking…talking!…to another person who sat on the floor. The second was reading. Imagine, reading in the literature section. The third was sleeping. I felt like a pregnant woman on a bus, hanging onto the strap. Look at me, will you? I’m a writer. I’m dying here. Get up, will ya?

I walked around the store until I found the chair that ultimately became mine. I was not motivated, tucked in between guides to Asian walking trips and dictionaries of generic drug names. I debated whether to go back to the shelves where the real books were, and to haul the non-writing people up to standing. But I realized that might be a neurotic choice. Instead, I picked up a “Fast Fact Review for Algebraic Equations” and settled in. 

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