Monthly Archives: January 2008

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 57 Fading Light

Eben Trail to Ice Caves, Photo 157 Fading Light, Copyright Kim Nixon

Tuesday Twelve–Unexpected Blessings in an Upper Peninsula Winter

Surviving Blue Monday and flourishing in this Upper Peninsula winter have me counting blessings:Eben Ice Caves, Photo 72, Copyright KimNixon

  • The new song and video of Alison Krause and Robert Plant, “Gone, Gone, Gone”
  • Finding something to love outdoors in the month of  January, Eben Ice Caves
  • Being assigned a local freelance article on Organics
  • Meeting my new personal trainer, Evan, at Ringside Fitness
  • Restarting my yoga practice with Kim, at Ringside Fitness
  • Taking  a weekday off of  “my job” and focusing on my artistic side
  • Blossoming African Violets
  • Having my father be a benefactor for one of my previously written pieces
  • Dinner at Beth and Mike’s with earthy potato soup and melt-in-your-mouth roast
  • The book, Write it Down and Make it Happen by Henriette Klauser
  • The book, Women & Money by Suze Orman
  • Finding the perfect frames for the photo, Mist Woods

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Ways to Create Abundance–Actions Taken in Janaury, 2008

I have finished reading, Write it Down and Make it Happen by Henriette Klauser. It was the best read of a nonfiction book I have had in a good long while. By the time I completed the book was full of dog-eared pages, post-it notes of various color and sizes and the margins are written all over, a true sign of a valuable book. It will remain in my daily possession as I cart it around town and finish working on little assignments in the back of each chapter.

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 125, copyright Kim NixonThe first action I took out of this book was to clear my Mondays for the rest of 2008 and dedicate them to furthering my creative pursuits in writing and photography. Today I also added that Mondays include a dedication to abundance. 

Yesterday, I hiked to the Eben Ice caves and as I traversed the path I took note of different emotions and thoughts. Would I stay committed and turn down work if schools called at 6 a.m. in the morning? I thought of poems partially written in margins of books and the desire to write my Tuesday Twelve and organize office to facilitate new projects.

I stood strong and turned down work at 4  different schools for this Monday.

Abundance was created today as I committed to doing my taxes, researching my FICO score, completed a credit report correction, funded the Suze Orman, Save Yourself Fund at Ameritrade and completed a freelance writing assignment.

The second book having impact on me this month is, Women & Money by Suze Orman. The book is a five-month plan to help get a woman on strong ground with her financial independence. I have completed the Action Planfor the first month and second month. Some of tasks included talking to credit card companies about lowering my APR due to my FICO score. Orman has useful scripting for talking to your credit card companies. One of my cards was at the appropriate rate for my FICO–the other needed a call. I was refused unless I opened an additional account/card moving a minumum of 500.00 as a transfer balance. I turned down this offer and informed them in 14-days I would pay off my balance in full and close the account. Having completed my taxes and checking my FICO score in advance let me know where I could best lower my debt.

This might not all sound magical! It is not. This was solid factual based work. I believe in the power of creation, and trust the universe to provide for my needs, but I also believe in the universe helps those who help themselves.

Coming up in February of 2008: Freewrite Fling-30 days of solid writing, paying down debt, Month 3 of my Action Plan and more.

I have chosen the theme word for 2008: Abundance!

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 144

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 144, copyright Kim Nixon

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 114

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 114, copyright Kim Nixon

Directions to the Eben Ice Caves from Marquette can be found here.

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 146

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 146, copyright Kim Nixon

Baby Plants

Shock came strong yesterday as I Baby Plants One Year Ago, copyright Kim Nixonrealized the passage of time–the plants from a year ago are now full and lush. My book is still not written. As part of my goals for 2008 I am reading the book, Write it Down and Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser who talks about the power of intention. So, I wrote it down, and I’ve committed every Monday for the rest of the year to writing, photography  and forwarding my creative side.

It is great to be working two jobs and creating abundance but I must also trust in my skills as artist and that one day I will be supporting myself in pursuits of a different manner.

I have added a movie to my list as well, The Bucket List by director/produce Rob Reiner. I have only seen the previews but I like the concept of a list of grand accomplishments to complete before I kick the bucket. If you Facebook, you can add an application from the Movie site, your own Bucket List to share with friends. In Henriette’s book she talks about making a list no matter how grand the idea and uses the example of a coach at Notre Dame University who did the same, remarkably he has completed many of the itmes he thought outlandish and impossible as a young man. It is amazing what providence brings to those writing with intention.

What is on your Bucket List? What are you growing? What shall the universe help bring forward for you? Leave me a comment and let’s talk about how to support each other in our pursuits.

Tuesday 12–Classroom Misbehavior and the Substitute Teacher

 A good substitute teacher loves kids and has an easy-going nature. you can take a joke. Yo have the patience of a saint. But you still have to have your voice at the end of the day so here are some tips to keep the classroom orderly, don’t talk over the noise. Don’t let them walk all over you. Yo are still in the classroom to teach. I know often times it feels like you are simply “putting out fires” everywhere you turn. But the school district and teacher have invited you into the classroom for the day–it is a privilege you must honor. At the end of the day thank the kids, let them know what worked for you and perhaps what did not–you may be back.

1. Set Expectations at the beginning of class.

2. Allow students to ask 10 questions in an interview process. Only answer questions by students who raise their hands (give praise). How you handle the interview will let students know a bit about your teaching style without them thinking your laying out the law.

3. If you had time to meet with the teacher ask about classroom rules and consequences. You can also look for the class rules to be posted in the room. You can point to the rules and review them if necessary.

4. Classroom transitions are difficult especially in a K-7 classroom to regain classroom attention you can turn lights low, clap hands, ring a bell or wind-chimes, hold up the universal quiet sign a raised palm or peace symbol.

5. Write the days schedule on board with times (if you can) and erase as you go, or ask the student who cannot sit still to erase for you.

6. Offer a stretch break.

7. Circulate through the room to keep student attention on you. Touch desks as you go by. Point to the page or flip a student page if necessary. Never sit behind your teacher desk.

8. Most students respond to a count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. And will automatically self-correct and encourage the rest of the class.

9. Stay Positive! Use praise. I see “Johnny” is raising his hand. I notice “Sally” is on the right page. List the helpful students on the board so they know you reward good behaviour.

10. Reward=Recess or Reward=Snack. You can tell students they are working toward a goal. As students are helpful and responsive you put the letters to the following words up 1-by-1 on the board. Make sure it fits with the class plan for the day and is in line with school rules. Make sure the snack you offer has no peanut products due to kids with allergies.

11. If you are a long-term substitute consider arranging your classroom in a horseshoe or “U” set-up that allows for easy motion and maximum attention of students. Include a silent study area in a screened area of the room for the students who need extra quiet, change of scene, or to make-up tests.

12. Always identify those who cannot sit still, they may be trying so hard they are under their desks or twisted in knots. Find tasks for them to get them up and moving. They will become fast friends and allies to you. 

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Missing Spring

Spring Trip 2007, copyright Kim Nixon

It is of course nothing like this outside my window. It is snowy and cold. We are in the thick of winter now in the Upper Peninsula. Next week will be the Heikki Lunta Winter Carnival . Heikki Lunta is the Finnish god of snow.

In the winter I hibernate like a bear–but next weekend I will go out and watch fireworks in the cold. They are so brilliant against the night winter sky, looming slow in the frigid air. Perhaps I will even have some winter photos to share.

Tuesday Twelve–The Passage of Time

Passage of Time--Springs, copyright Kim Nixon

In 2007, I had many goals as a mother, grandmother and artist. Growth in my loving relationship with Mike. Career. I discovered many aspects of myself. The above photo was taken with a disposable camera, Fuji 400 film. I was beginning to fall in love with image, shadow, light, time, age. The photo was taken in the backyard at Ramblin’ Rose Art Center in Mohawk Michigan. It was a trip that would play more into the development of my life as Artist than I would first give the trip credit for. Thanks Carol! Below are the 12 reflections for this Tuesday.

  1. Making personal space for reflection let me know the pattern of my thoughts, tuned me into fears, and allowed me to see the world.
  2. I feel better when walking on trail, spongy ground, breathing outdoor air.
  3. I enjoy photography it allows me to say more than words.
  4. I am beginning to feel like an artsy arrangement of springs left to weather.
  5. Birth, maturity, growth, I am gifted through the eyes of all around me, daughter, grandson, mate…
  6. I crave community, still.
  7. Vines in the garden remind me of adventures and offshoots to the path, vignettes, poems.
  8. I miss my mother, the first creator I was in awe of.
  9. Crayons are still my favorite tool.
  10. Music breathes life into sullen dark days.
  11. Movement heals.
  12. Touch centers us all.

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