Posts Tagged ‘Daily Iberian’

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Ring of Fire Sunflowers, photo by Margaret Simon

My daughters packed their cars, their dogs, a toddler and returned to New Orleans on Saturday. The house was cavernous and quiet. I needed to do something for myself or I knew I would sink into the sofa and sulk.

Petite Anse Farm advertised a cut-your-own-bucket-of-flowers weekend. On Sunday morning, I grabbed my coffee and smoothie and hit the road. The farm of beautiful Jennifer and handsome Andrew Graycheck is about 8 miles south of town. I was greeted by Georgia, their Australian Shepherd and Lorelei, their 5 year old.

Lorelei helps me choose the best zinnias. Their stems need to be strong and not springy.

In the warming breeze, I set out with a bucket of water and clippers. I stopped to take photos. I took Lorelei’s picture, and she took mine. She also helped me choose the best stems to fill my bucket.

Photo by Jennifer Graycheck with my phone. She’s a fine art photographer and gave me some great pointers for using “portrait mode.”

When I checked out with Jennifer, I asked, “What am I going to do with all these flowers?”

“Give them to the people you love!”

At home I gathered jars and vases and cut the stems again to place in arrangements. After lunch, I set out to deliver flowers.

My friend (and my husband’s cousin) Annie has been called as a priest for our church. She is the first female priest in charge for the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in its 165 year history. I wrote an article for our local newspaper about her. You can read it here. I stopped by to thank her for all the little things she is doing at our church to make it a stronger community of caring people.

Madre Annie Etheredge flashes her smile.

I made 4 more stops. It took me 2.5 hours because everyone was home and ready to visit. I caught up with friends and delivered a bit of joy in the process. Literally and figuratively filled up my bucket.

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

What is a change maker and who are the change makers in our own community? I asked my students. I made a list on the board of people I know from our area who are making a difference.  Each student chose one to interview based on his/her own interest.

I called Vicky Branton, a feature writer for The Daily Iberian, our local newspaper.  She agreed to come visit with my students about interviewing for and writing a feature article.  She had good advice:

  1. Begin with the 5 W’s: Who, what, when, where, why?
  2. During the interview, listen.
  3. Record the interview in order to be completely present and to go back for direct quotes.
  4. Elaborate: Find the interesting thing.

For the first three days of last week, I scheduled interviews.  In all, we had 5 interviews.  Students then began writing.  We had to juggle the computer around for them to listen to their recorded interviews.  Eventually, they had a draft of a feature article.

This was a motivating project for my students.  They were elevated by their interviewer status.  They learned a great deal about the good things happening in our city.  They learned how to take a quote and turn it into narrative.  They learned about themselves in the process, too, and have renewed aspirations for what they may want to do to be a change maker.

Faith is interested in an anti-bullying program that is in the early stages in our community:

Mrs. Dawn and Mrs. Sharon say they really feel like Chez Hope is impacting the community. Russo expressing,”…What we do is not easy, it’s not easy work at all, it’s hard.” Over time they are helping the community. These crises are a big problem in our community. And many people are afraid that they aren’t going away any time soon. To add on to that, I would like to say that I feel like Chez Hope has impacted our school. When Mrs. Sharon and Mrs. Dawn came to our school, they left an impact on me and others as well. Once I walked out of that room, I knew I had to do something to help stop bullying. I also took away that I should never bully anyone. Also, if some one bullies me, then I need to tell an adult. I don’t need to be put down and be bullied. So stand up for yourself and tell an adult. (Faith, 6th grade)

Bully Free Kids T-shirt from Chez Hope


Jennie Lallande, Acadiana Lifestyles “Women Making a Difference 2016”

Andrew wanted to know more about how Jennie Lallande became involved in the community garden and school garden programs.

Jennie Lallande is a massive change maker. She helps in the community garden, but the garden is made in a place where people don’t have much access to fresh food like lettuce or carrots. She was recruited because she has a experience in sustainable agriculture.

Erin is doing a fundraiser to make care packages for foster children, so she wanted to know more about the system from someone who had adopted a foster child.

When I interviewed her I got a lot of information about her and the foster system, which will help me with my research because I want to learn more about the foster system. A lot of new information was revealed to me.  I thought the social workers were supposed to help the parents. But according to Mrs. Schlicher they don’t really help.  She said they provided her with false information so that she would take children in.

From interests to interviews to writing, my students are discovering who is making a difference as well as planting seeds for their own future as change makers. 


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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

This morning instead of going to exercise, I am icing my ankle. Yes, I overdid it. My body is screaming at me. But I think it was worth it.

This was a great weekend for lovers of Cajun and Zydeco music. In nearby Lafayette, Festival Acadiens was held in Girard Park. The festival is full of traditional Louisiana music and all free!

Jeff and I danced Friday night to our favorite band, Geno Delafose and the French Rockin Boogie. Again, on Saturday afternoon, we headed out to the Festival Acadiens. Cory Ledet was jammin’ his accordian. We took a few rounds on the dance floor, a patch of sprayed down dirt in Girard Park. I have been a longtime fan of Michael Doucet and Beau Soliel, so we could not resist waltzing and jitterbugging when he came on stage. Michael is a master on the fiddle. He plays fast. My feet couldn’t help but move.

Downtown New Iberia skyline with Gumbo Cook-off tents.

Downtown New Iberia skyline with Gumbo Cook-off tents.

Sunday morning was the annual Gumbo Cook-off in New Iberia. Downtown filled with the scent of roux. Geno gets around and here he was in our own town playing at 9 AM. We skipped church to go zydeco dancing. I think God was smiling. A local photographer caught us and made us famous in the Daily Iberian.

A picture of our picture in the Daily Iberian.

A picture of our picture in the Daily Iberian.

My daughter said we looked like a young couple in the picture. My husband said, “That’s the point.” Of course, tell that to my ankle. The irony was apparent when I received the Poem-a-Day email featuring Jane Hirshfield’s poem:

by Jane Hirshfield

My skeleton,
you who once ached
with your own growing larger

are now,
each year
imperceptibly smaller,
absorbed by your own

When I danced,
you danced.
When you broke,
See more here.

I am excited that Ruth Ayres is starting a new blog round-up for Saturdays on her blog Discover. Play. Build. Follow the button below and link up your Celebration post this Saturday.

Discover. Play. Build.

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Image from Creative Commons

Image from Creative Commons

F is for Found Poetry. I love doing found poetry. It’s just a matter of finding the right words and putting them together with line breaks. Word play, play with words. In the Daily Iberian, a huge photograph caught my eye: A swarm of bees happening down on Main Street right in front of my church, The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. Do you know about bee swarms? For the full article, click here.

Robin shares a found poem using song lyrics on her blog, Teaching Tomorrow’s Leaders.

Swarms of bees
buzz in city streets,
prime time for roving.

Scouts looking,
a ball of bee-bodies
flock to the queen.

Killing is a detriment
To the dwindling population,
not to mention, a sticky situation.

In a suit of helmet and veil,
cool pine smoke flushes,
will calm and numb pheromones.

More bees are moving
to the concrete city,
Don’t eradicate,

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