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Prairie Notes: Clearer vision


Fri, Dec 27th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Coming of age during the 70ís when we stopped using outdoor lights and started driving 55 in order to save energy makes me hesitant to applaud the proliferation of Christmas lights, but I am awed by the extent to which we will go to celebrate the season.

Drive through our small towns after dark and youíll see what I mean. Most of the homes look as though theyíve simply burst with strings and swags of starshine white, poinsettia red, pine green or true blue. This feast of color adorns houses, garages, trees, anything that can host an extension cord. The lights invite us to share the joy, and I know we do; but some of us may enjoy those lights more than others.

To experience the lights from a totally different perspective, you need poor vision. Thatís right. For once, it pays to have vision like mine: 20/400 without correction. Poor as it is, I rarely take my vision for granted. I may even appreciate sight more than others with perfect vision; after all, my livelihood consists of reading, reading, and more reading as well as seeking out every face in the classroom for signs of puzzlement, frustration, or that amazing "aha!" look when a student finally understands a concept.

But at Christmas I revel in my poor eyesight, and you can, too: if you have poor vision, get someone to drive you through town to see the lights. Then, take off your glasses or take out your contacts. Now look. While others see distinct individual lights, you now see explosions of color expanding into space or stretching so pointedly to merge with other colors that the very lights themselves pulsate. Entire lots turn into impressionist paintings stretching yard upon yard upon yard. Try it. You can learn to love your nearsightedness.

I can do other tricks with my vision as well, but they require more thought and much more strenuous effort. My career/ stress vision shows me that to succeed I need to earn a masterís degree, create phenomenal lesson plans for every class every day, keep track of each childís individual writing goals and reading comprehension growth as well as grades and social interactions and general mental health which should be communicated to the parents as well as appropriately certified colleagues on a daily basis. As a teacher, I should lead the way in welcoming new technology by integrating web resources, creating a frequently-updated web page, keeping communications with parents .....
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Dec 20th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

I'm thinking of   our Christmas tree  of many years ago,  a lovely pine, tall, freshly cut,  with candles all aglow.

Went drivin ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Eric Leitzen

Fri, Dec 20th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Ah yes, the time is here again. Christmas. Just the mere mention of that word brings thoughts of warmth and love, doesnít it? For me, I see my family at the table for Christmas dinner, all ten of us now. However, there are many people outside my fami ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Are you done shopping? I remember years ago it was almost Christmas and I hadn't done any shopping for my kids, so my husband baby-sat and I ran uptown late afternoon and shopped. I got the kids a little gift, my mother some cotton stocking, and my d ..... 
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Another One From Flaherty: Things are different in the country

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

One of the many things that I have learned since moving to the country is that things donít get done in a day and sometimes things donít get done at all. There is an advantage to that in that there is always something to do, even if it doesnít get do ..... 
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Journal Writing Project-By Andy Wolter

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

What mineral used in soap, building materials, glass and fertilizer was mined in Death Valley in the late 1880s?

Two motorcycles simultaneously leave an intersection traveling in opposite directions. They are 360 miles apart in ..... 
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Township Roads: Christmas giftware

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

It is that time of year again. Crowds of people working at their Christmas shopping choke the roads into and out of shopping centers and malls. Our township road has been clogged, too. Iíll bet eight cars went past this last Sunday. Most of the occup ..... 
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At Home in the Woods-What Kind of Truth?

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

My recently published book "At Home in the Big Woods," has taught me the importance of advertising--media coverage, press releases, fliers, book signings and books placed in windows of stores. I enthusiastically joined in the promotion of my book, bu ..... 
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Of People, Places & Things-ďWho is that guy?Ē

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Like many of you, I have never enjoyed going to the dentist. It probably has something to do with letting another person put metal objects in my mouth.  When I was a kid growing up in Austin, my mom used to have to drag me by ..... 
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