Google!!

I am getting excited about the opportunities for this baby boomer in the world of education and technology, Google Drive to be exact.

When I became a teacher, life revolved around the intoxicating smell of a freshly printed purple ditto, chalk dust (perfecting my not slanting upward writing technique … baby boomer teacher friends will relate) and hiding behind a podium (in high heels AND hose, yes, pantyhose!!!)  If I was lucky, an overhead projector was included. When I joined my current district there was even more… how can I describe the thrill of having a white board where I could use ANY color of Expo Marker (purchased on my own…and would have micro-chipped each one if I could, somehow they disappeared frequently), well, I wasn’t sure there was anything better!

Until online grade books. ‘Nuff said.

Here is what is coming our way this fall – sign me up!

It hasn’t been released yet, the reason I think it will work for me is that it is so simple – as bells and whistles (and other tech-y stuff I don’t know the name of) are added, I will be able to infuse it at my pace. Isn’t it cool?

I’m almost able to walk by the neon markers in the back to school aisle now.

As I share with my students at the end of every week…make good choices!

 

 

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Here Come a Couple New Ideas for Teaching FACS!

I have been out of town for the last several days at the annual Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) conference. Well, not real far out of town…the conference was in St. Louis this year! I always enjoy my time with other FCS (Family and Consumer Sciences) professionals and come home with a revived passion and pride in what I do as an educator and member of this organization.

For several of us, our day started at 6 a.m. for a 3 mile walk downtown. I live in suburban St. Louis, 30 miles west of the city – so being in charge of leading the walks was a challenge and wonderful way for me to learn more about this historic city. This map was an important tool in preparation:

Walking at AAFCS

The program was full of several workshops and programs, it was frustrating to not be in two places at once. I always come back with lots of new ideas and things I can do to be a better teacher. Ideas for sustainability in the fashions/apparel classroom, using social media in and out of the classroom, standards based grading, common core/literacy in the FACS classroom, and opportunities for my students after high school.

Many school districts are moving (or have already moved) toward the use of Standards Based Grading. I’m not going to try to explain how it works and the impact it has on assessment of students (if you want to learn more, you can check it out here and here), let me just say it is a challenge to rethink how I assess my students. Adlai E. Stevenson High School FCS department teachers to the rescue (I just checked the link this evening, they have not uploaded the PowerPoint from their presentation last week – keep checking!) I am excited to implement lots of their ideas for both my Foods and Fashion Construction courses.

LiveBinders

A second idea I can’t wait to try are LiveBinders. LiveBinders are a way to organize and control all of the websites/online videos/pdfs and other resources we use in our classrooms each and every day. Cindy Miller, FCSE, Texas Tech University captivated dozens of FCS teachers during her presentation about this wonderful tool. Here is a link to her Family and Consumer Sciences LiveBinder – check out the plethora of ideas and links!

No rest for the weary – tomorrow I will be spending the day learning more about Google Drive…maybe THIS time it will stick! Or maybe I’ll spend some time doodling…

Doodling

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How Procrastinating Can Help You Sew More…

Yes, it’s been a while. How many times have I said that in this little blog? Um, let’s leave it at several.

Frustration

I have struggled with a focus for what I should write about – there are lots of bloggers out there who are VERY good at what they do and seem to make it look effortless – no effort of mine would even begin to compare (perfectionism -> procrastination). I kind of like the “that was then, this is now” thing I had going, but that topic can only last so long, and really, who (other than me) is really interested in what I was doing 40 years ago?

In case you ARE interested, on June 22, 1974 I had recently graduated from high school and attended the wedding where I had been “hired” to make all of the bridesmaids dresses – my first REAL, PAID, sewing job! After that, made a futile attempt at getting tan, which doesn’t happen easily in the Pacific Northwest) and tried to play tennis. I still can’t do 2 of those things very well.}

Something else I over-thought was how cute, young, and creative these bloggers were! How could I, practically a senior citizen with no thigh gap, find a place in blog land? Nothing I had to say could be anywhere as compelling as the stuff they were writing about (hmmm…perfectionism ->procrastination again??)

http://www.merricksart.com/

Merricks Art – this girl is DARLING, talented, skilled and a creative inspiration.

But, I have found some really wonderful women who are close to my generation, who sew, and who probably have no idea how they are motivating me to kindle the passion I had for sewing 40 years ago. When I read those diaries, I realize how much of my clothing I made for myself then. And really want to do again. 

So, while I still follow some of these darling young things, and am inspired by them, I have made an effort to find some “kids my own age” to play with. My current favorites are Talk of the House (she’s a mom, teacher and loves to share her love of homes – hers and others she finds on the web and in “real life”), Goodbye Valentino (a Mood Fabrics Sewing network blogger, inspiring seamstress – I live vicariously through her and her sewing!), Outfit Posts (granted, she is young enough to be my daughter, but I’ve learned to shop my closet and create some wonderful outfits from her), Tea Time With Trina (just found her this week – I think I want to be her friend!), to name a few.

Talk of the House

So the result of my blog-posting procrastination? I really have been sewing a lot more in the last year than I had in years. I will be sharing some of the results of my time with my Pfaff and challenging myself to do more. Two projects I am particularly proud of were making my daughter’s wedding rehearsal dress and my MOB (mother of the bride) dress for her May, 2013 wedding. Here are some pictures…

I refashioned my wedding dress for Kate to wear at her rehearsal.

I refashioned my wedding dress for Kate to wear at her rehearsal.

My mother-of-the-bride dress.

My mother-of-the-bride dress.

{I am struggling with formatting so pictures are side by side…help!!}

So, here I go again – am going to try to keep this updated, share what I’m up to in FACS land and weave in (hah, pun NOT intended…) the projects I take on. There are some things I really do want to do – and just need a push – or two.

Susie

Posted in Blogs, Perfectionism, Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Fashions!

No, I don’t think I could possibly even begin to jump into the fashion blog world. There are so many really wonderful fashion bloggers out there, I love to see what ideas I can find to use my own wardrobe in new ways. One of the first blogs I found was Outfit Posts, she searches for inspiration online for outfits and creates a similar look with things in her closet. I have found some new ways to use my own clothes from her blog, I think you will, too. One of my favorites is below – jeans tucked into boots has become a “uniform” of sorts for me.

Cute and comfy.

Merricks Art is another fashion blog I love, she is so cute! Although a generation or two separate us (not to mention a few pounds…), I love her approach to mixing and matching texture, color and print. I found a darling long-sleeved casual tee at Target thanks to Merrick, I wear it so often and wonder how I ever got along without it! She also is a sewer and does some amazing re-fashions with things she finds. Check her site out – her two little boys are darling and dressed for success themselves.

Love this combo!

Love this combo!

The third blog I want to share with you is one I just found today. The blogger is a little bit closer to my age…and I have had some fun this afternoon searching through her archives…since she lives in the south seeing the green in the background of her pictures gives me hope that the cold weather in St. Louis will go away soon! s e e r c u c k e r + s a d d l e s is where you want to go. Her clothes have an easy style, ideas I can incorporate using the stuff in my own closet and some inspiration for adding pieces to mix and match without breaking the budget. This is the outfit where she had me (maybe not the heels for school…)

Stripes + stripes!

Stripes + stripes!

All of this brings me back to the title of my blog – Life in the FACS Lane…For those who may not know, FACS is an acronym for Family and Consumer Sciences (old school Home Economics). One of the motivations for me to move from teaching at the middle school to the high school was the opportunity to teach the Fashion Construction classes. This year I have been blessed to have Fashions 1 and 2 both semesters – and am hoping to add Fashions 3 next year. Working with these kids (yes, I do have BOTH sexes in Fashions!) has inspired me to rediscover my sewing machine and the joy it gives me to create and sew AND pass my love of all things fashion/sewing to a new generation…here is what we did Friday:

Burn Test

In Fashions 2 there is a unit on textiles and fibers to be covered;  the content is essential for anyone who is interested in clothing (and who isn’t?) and sewing. To give the students a context to remember the boring notes they had taken, I had them do a burn test with various samples of natural and manufactured fabrics and they LOVED it! Here is a link to one lesson plan in this area you may want to try from the Utah Education Network. It takes a bit of pre-planning to get everything ready and do remember, safety first!!

Can’t wait to get them started on their projects…follow me this semester and see what they are up to!

Posted in FACS, Home Economics, Sewing, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

When I Started This Blog…

forEVER ago – I was inspired by cleaning out boxes. Yep, digging through that stuff of mine that has followed me all over the country. We all have them, those childhood memories I need to part with (if I listened more carefully to Peter Walsh) but have decided to leave that task to my children. When I am gone. In a really, really, really long time from now, I hope.

 

Bellevue WA logo

Back to the boxes and what I found in them. I was a fairly decent journal keeper in my youth, at least for the summers and also during junior high school. My parents gave me a Peanuts Calendar for Christmas every year, and I would dutifully write down what I had done that day, which, when I look back on some of the “entries,” I actually remember the experience. 44+ years later.

peanuts calendar

On January 12, 1969 I was a 7th grader at Chinook Junior High in Bellevue, WA. It was also a Sunday. I didn’t do much on that day, but did walk to Brown’s Rexall Drug store, a distance of just over a mile, for who knows what! Brown’s was the best place to get candy, and was the site of my first (and only) criminal activity. Yes, a couple friends and I stole a small rabbit’s foot chain, which at the time was a very important accessory to our favorite activity – hop scotch. Long story short, someone spilled the beans and we had to return them, and our parents even made us APOLOGIZE to Mr. Brown. Can you imagine? (Imagine kids playing hop scotch first…) My favorite candy at the time was  is anything sour – and Jolly Rancher bars, whole HUGE slabs of sour goodness for 5¢. And, being not quite 13-years-old, I probably walked off the entire calorie count with the 1+ mile walk.

Olsens Thriftway Jolly Rancher Candy Sticks

Today? Spent some time on the internet (glad it wasn’t around back when I was 12…), catching up with a style challenge I stumbled on, while I am fairly happy with my fashion style, it is fun to try and tweak what’s in my closet to keep the winter wardrobe interesting. Then off to the gym to meet with a personal trainer, who showed me the most perfect little 30 minute “I think I can do this” strength training workout to compliment my other New Year efforts.

newyearstylechallengeprints

The day got even better – had a day date with the hubs to see Nebraska - you must see this movie with Bruce Dern and Will Forte – it is so good, a great story and a valuable lesson in being a good adult child with your very adult parents.

nebraska the movie

Now I am off to enjoy dinner at the home of some dear friends. The best part is that her daughter is preparing the entire meal – she graduated from the (Portland) Oregon Culinary Institute! My tummy couldn’t be happier. (that’s our chef, isn’t she cute? AND she can cook!)

Oregon culinary Institute

So, my life in a nutshell. I’m going to try and stick with this, again. IF you happen to make it to the end and want to encourage/motivate me..please feel free to “follow” me (outside of FB). I am trying to figure out my niche in blogland and I love to write…see you next week!

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Back to School…and this blog?

Wow, I knew I was really good at procrastination – but I think I have even impressed myself. The last time I posted it was snowing – today it reached 91 with what seems to be an equal amount of humidity here in the ‘Lou. But I never knew a thing…because I was INSIDE AT THE FIRST DAY FOR TEACHERS to be back at school.

Please don’t misunderstand, I am very grateful to have these days to get ready – it’s just kinda like pulling a band aid off really slooooowly. I’m good at that.

I’ve got lots of news to share – Kate got married (what fun, I suggest everyone have a wedding!), I’ve transferred from the middle to the high school (very excited for the new opportunities, and yes, it was my choice to pursue), and our son is back home (no more empty nest.)

This time around I will focus more on things I’m doing in the classroom – and hope to share some of the fun things my more “mature” high school students are up to and looking for input from all of you out there.  After all, this IS Life in the FACS Lane!

Here is a bit of an idea of where I will be spending my time this year – I’m happy to have landed in a great spot with wonderful teachers and new classes to teach. One of the best things is I get to see some of the kiddos I had in middle school finish and graduate! Here is a picture of the banners in the commons – I’m not the only one who thinks Marquette is great!

Banners Compressed

Posted in FACS, Home Economics, Teaching | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Snow Day(s!!!) 2013

I’m a teacher.

I like snow days.

I haven’t had a snow day in 2 years.

I was like a teenager with a crush on a boy, sitting by the phone (actually refreshing the district website every minute), waiting for the auto-alert call from our superintendent Thursday night hoping he would let us know that due to inclement weather (actually, pretty bad road conditions) there would be NO SCHOOL on Friday!! We had our first snow day on Thursday, after a 12 hour day of classes and parent-teacher conferences. Two days? Awesome.

After a celebratory glass of wine…ok, a 2nd celebratory glass of wine, I started my mental list. I’m not a good sleeper-inner, I knew I would be up early when the hubs left for work (poor guy, Wash U. never closes), so started thinking about everything I would do the next day.

I always create a long list of “things I am going to get accomplished” when  a snow day is announced. I am not a very good relaxer. And, I can say, I did get quite a few things accomplished – but not quite as many as my imaginary superwoman could do. Here, in pictures is how this teacher spent her 4 day weekend

Enjoy the forecast, a cup of coffee and one of my favorite blogs, Talk of the House.

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Then, off to work on Project 333. (Read more about it here – I am not making the total 33 plunge, but did make a huge purge.)

Pile from the closet – before.

closet unloaded 2

Closet during.

clean closet

Here is the transformation! (hah, in my dreams…)

FENG-SHUI-ARMARIO

Friday brought a dose of reality and a workout provided mother nature…shoveling.

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Saturday? I was sore (Thanks, Jillian Michaels and Mother Nature) so I had some real fun and ran errands…Sunday morning included these yummy Cinnamon Roll Pancakes  Sorry, these are “raw,” I ate mine before remembering to take a picture! Thanks for the inspiration (and calories…) Amanda!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Yet ANOTHER walk with the dogs in the woods – this would have been a perfect day to ski, if the hubs enjoyed skiing and we lived somewhere you could really ski.

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We saw a teepee on the trail.

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Outhouses covered in snow. I am not an outhouse fan, but feel compelled to take pictures of them for some odd reason.

Outhouses in snow

I’m telling you, it was a BEAUTIFUL day! Bright blue skies, no wind and 38 degrees. Perfect.

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Who can resist horses in coats?

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To cap off a wonderful 4 day weekend, I decided to organize one of the drawers in the bathroom. I’m a girl who knows how to have fun, but I’ll just leave you with a little tease for next time…

all the stuff under the sink ina pile

Snow is in the forecast for Tuesday night, but I don’t think snow lightening will strike twice. This is a picture from a 4 day snow day break when I was in high school…please ignore the date. I’m sure the 1 Hour Photo Mat place got it wrong…

Snow 1972

Posted in 1970s, Bellevue, Exercise/Walking | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments