Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Adult coloring books

I have always enjoyed coloring and way back, way back I purchased a set of professional markers and colored and drew for a short time. I also purchase professional grade colored pencils and colored in coloring books.
In the winter and or spring, not sure which, I discovered a new wave of adult coloring and is my usual way, I became obsessed and purchased a few of the new adult coloring books and spent a tidy sum on colored pencils and markers, still purchasing all three.
The new wave of coloring books speak of reducing stress. And for me they do that as well as pushing me into a more focused realm. I have purchased far too many coloring books, but my current favorite was a gift from my co teacher's wife, Dr. Who, my oh my. I have four coloring books created by Johanna Brasford, wonderful drawings to color. I also two books by Daria Song which depict a little girl discovering the inner workings of a clock guarded by a fairy. Many have a seek and find piece to them, but that is secondary to the drawings. What I love about Dr. Who, besides it is Dr. Who, is that the images are each on separate page so that I can color using my pencils or markers. The others print on both sides of the page so that I have to first color with a pencil on the other side of the page that I want to use my markers. I like how the markers are more vibrant than pencils.
The coloring books help those of us who are not artists, or at least don't think we are, manifest into artists for a time. The act of creating and giving life to the black and white drawings is what refreshes my brain and body. The act of coloring pulls me in, much like books do, but in the case of coloring I am creating.
When I read I usually, if it is fiction, create the characters in my mind. I choose actors to give a face to the characters in the book, some books pop out as animation Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is one that came to fruition in animation, I'm not sure why. Now I am going to have to get back to the book, the characters are in my head now and pounding for me to get back to reading.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hermiston Community Livability Asset Committee

At least I think that is what the committee is called. I applied for membership in this committee and even got an interview. But alas, they did not want my opinion. It was a long shot and that I even got an interview sort of impressed me. I have always felt the Hermiston hierarchy was an enclosed system unwilling to listen to outside voices.
I cannot attend City Council meetings, during the school year, so what I know is from what I read in the paper. I think I will have to pledge to myself that I will do my best to attend City Council meetings on days when I don't have night school.
What I read in the paper tells me that on many occasions the Council listens to Community input and then does what they want to, seemingly ignoring Community members who have differing opinions. Don't get me wrong, I have found many of the people here to be very welcoming and friendly to this vagina carrying liberal feminist. That isn't to say that I don't cringe every time I see a Confederate Battle flag flying in front of a house or speeding down 395 accompanied by the Gadsden Flag in the bed of a noisy lifted diesel pickup.
The area is so beautiful and I have found a way to calm my nerves and Feng shua my brain. I have taken up photography, a former loved hobby. I go out on evenings and take sunset photographs, which is a bit challenging once school starts and the days get shorter. My weekends are free and sometimes I even wake up early enough to catch a sunset, which will change when we fall back in November.
I have to drive about five miles to get a sunrise photo like this, but its worth it don't you think? The beauty is why I wanted to be on the Committee, to try and drive Hermiston into becoming a destination rather than a drive through to Pendleton or TriCities. I hope the Committe can do some good things, but I fear the whole process will become unfocused and more about branding and signage than becoming a real destination.

Monday, October 5, 2015

School and Life

I have been neglectful, again, of this blog. My teaching duties and the associated work has kept me from updating about anything.

I had a very good conversation with a former student about gun control yesterday. While it initially started out on his part attempting an attack on what I had said. I think we had a very good back and forth about gun control, mental illness, and responsibilities.

The tragedy that hit a Community College to the west and south of where I am now, has fueled so much vitriol, shaming, and anger that that is all I am going to say about it right now. My heart goes out to Roseburg and Umpqua Community College.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dachau?? Hungary stopping the refugees.

Germany is now using Dachau to house refugees and Hungarian police are demanding "papers" from anyone who looks vaguely middle eastern. 1000 refugees an hour are crossing the Serbian Croatian border. There's rumors of dissolving Schengen. This is WW2

The story from Amnesty has a great image of before Hungary put up the fence and after.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

More on budding young engineer Ahmed

A share from Ericka that is depressing

The link has a great article but they make you answer a a question before you can see it. If I can post here I will so you don't have to be bothered.

 An Afghan refugee woman holding her daughter in a camp in southern Hungary
 Migrants stand in front of a barrier at the border with Hungary near the village of Horgos, Serbia Credit: Marko Djurica (REUTERS)
Hungary takes refugee children away from parents as it declares state of emergency
Plans to extend 175 km razor wire border fence with Serbia eastwards towards Romania
David Kearns
PUBLISHED15/09/2015 | 15:42
Hungary is to split up families found illegally crossing its borders following state of emergency declarations in two of its southern counties.
Any minor found without the correct documents will be taken from their parents and placed in "children's institutions".
Meanwhile the parents will be put in one of two holding areas called "transit zones" while they await trial for illegally crossing the border – a crime now punishable with a prison sentence.
The new law came into effect at midnight on Monday as authorities sealed a railway crossing point that had been used by tens of thousands of migrants.
Hundreds of migrants are thought to be stranded at the Serbia-Hungary border after the Hungarian government closed the frontier with a new razor-wire fence.
On Monday night, Hungarian military trucks cleared the makeshift refugee camp near the village of Roszke, as part of the government’s effort to tighten up border controls.
Figures showed that a record 7,437 people entered Hungary from Serbia on Monday.
Hungary's government has also started work on extending its 175 km border fence with Serbia eastwards towards Romania, in case migrants start taking other routes into its territory, its foreign minister said on Tuesday.
"We have made the decision to start preparatory works for the construction of a fence starting from the Hungarian-Serbian-Romanian border at a reasonable length should migration pressure shift in the direction of Romania," said Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
The Government announced the plans as it said its two southern counties bordering Serbia were now officially in a state of emergency due to the sheer number of refugees entering the country.
The state of emergency gives police extra powers and would allow troop to be deployed if the country’s parliament approves.
The declarations give police the power to search homes without a warrant if they suspect migrants may be hiding there.
Also, courts will now be forced to prioritise cases involving people caught entering Hungary illegally as border crossing
Police said they had arrested 60 people accused of trying to breach a razor-wire fence on the border with Serbia
Prime Minister Viktor Orban said this morning his Government had been forced to officially declare a state of emergency in the face of his “nation being engulfed”.
A government spokesman said: "It's the fundamental interest of everyone to put an end to the illegal immigration process.
"It is possible migrants will accumulate on the Serbian side of the border.
"Every single country where the migrants are crossing should take its part in the joint European efforts, including Serbia."
Starting Tuesday, Hungary will start implementing tougher border measures that may see those who cross Hungary’s border illegally arrested.
On Monday night, Hungarian military trucks cleared the makeshift refugee camp near the village of Roszke, as part of the government’s effort to tighten up border controls.
Figures showed that a record 7,437 people entered Hungary from Serbia on Monday.
Many of the refugees, who have been fleeing war zones including Syria, have been heading west to Germany, which said it expected a million migrants to enter the country this year - 200,000 more than previous estimates.
Over the weekend, Germany tightened controls along its border with Austria creating traffic jams at major crossings.
The European Commission confirmed on Tuesday it had received a notification from Austrian authorities of their intention to temporarily reintroduce border controls with Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The commission said Austria’s move, like that of Germany, was in keeping with the provisions of the Schengen agreement.
"The temporary reintroduction of border controls between Member States is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation.
"The current situation in Austria, prima facie, appears to be a situation covered by the rules," the Commission said.
The White House said Tuesday evening that it is up to European nations to determine the best way to deal with the flood of refugees fleeing violence in Syria, and said the United States remains committed to taking more refugees to help.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest did not directly comment on whether the United States supports mandatory quotas for refugees in Europe, saying it was up to countries to work together to find solutions.
Online Editors

The boy with the alarm clock
The link is to an article on BBC.
Schools, and yes I know I am generalizing a lot, are getting so security crazy that observation and reason have disappeared and instant overreaction becomes the norm. Children and pets die in hot cars and we are told that if we break a window that is vandalism, sigh.
This photo has gone viral of Ahmed in handcuffs. He was arrested after a homemade alarm clock  was found in his backpack. The school overreacted, the police overreacted and now young Ahmed has been invited to the White House, Mark Zuckerberg has given him props, Google and NASA have invited him to their sites. Ahmed has not and will not be charged and he is still suspended. Ahmed and his family have decided to transfer him to a different school. A 9th grader brings a clock he has constructed himself to show off to his Science teacher and he is arrested. I do not and nor should Ahmed's family accept apologies, if offered, and as far as I can find right now there aren't any. The police and the school defend justify their positions.
Where I teach this year has become an interesting blend of wanting teachers to bond with students, along with security measures that are a slight overreaction to attendance issues. The security measures are all offered as being ways to reduce absenteeism. All doors, except the front the doors to the school are locked all day long. They aren't locked so you can't get out obviously, but so you can't get in without a key card which only staff have. Students on my end of the buildings have used rocks some large and some small, bark, and water bottles to block open the door to the Fine Arts hall. These side doors are locked before school, during lunch, and after school. I just don't understand, but I guess I don't need too. Our Campus Monitors are tasked with walking the halls to make sure students are where they are supposed to be. As a teacher, I like that, as a parent I would say thanks for keeping an eye my child while they are under your care. Let me qualify my like, I like that students are being redirected to their appropriate places. What annoys is that as a school we really aren't building a culture of responsibility. Halls are closed during lunches that house classrooms that are in session, signs tell students to not go in the halls, but students do and nothing happens. "I have to put my books in my locker because I am too lazy to do it during passing time and now I don't want my books as I go off campus to lunch." Argh
Ahmed could have been a shining light at this school in Texas, instead he is leaving for a different school. to scare a child away from learning is a terrible thing.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, waits in handcuffs as a police officer looks on

Monday, September 14, 2015

The pictures show what has happened on one street in Syria. I will not use the cliche` but they do don't they?

Gary Graham Albert Hughes with Skye Winters
Syria before and after.

Sept 14th con't

So they've brought in the military now in preparation of closing the Serbian border, potentially stranding 1000s on the Serbian side, splitting up families and criminalizing being unregistered with threats of 3to 5 years in jail. Jail means never moving inside the EU.
Now Germany and Austria are implementing border controls against the Schengen accord that they signed, why isn't the EU stepping up???

Ericka Sherman's photo.
ke   Commen
  • One of her friends mentioned the G word, Genocide, Hungary has experienced invasion, dissolution, etc. at the hands of foreign governments. It seems as if they don't want a revolution in their country started by foreigners. Overreaction, yes, understandable, no. But we all know how refugees and immigrants are treated.
  • Ericka Sherman well the country has been invaded many times and theyre really racist...i mean really racist

Sept. 14

Today's post from Ericka reveals what those of us who don't volunteer in conflict don't usually see, discouragement at not being able to do more.

This time I also posting the responses to Ericka's post, I have removed the names of the people that posted, but kept her mom's, my cousin's id intact.
"feeling really discouraged that I can't do more. does anyone know of a field medical training school?"
  • You are doing so much. Much more than the rest of us. Keep up the good work. There is always more that can be done. XO
    Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr
  • Hey, don't get discouraged because you are doing way more than you may realize now. One day you will look back and be able to see how many lives you have touched. smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr · Edited
  • Joanne Sherman It is understandable that you are discouraged. Working incredibly long hours and facing horrific suffering. Cut yourself some slack and know that you are doing great work. I am so very proud of you and miss you.