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Post you articles here, starting with your name, Title of article and issue date. ( and any public response?)

-- Anonymous, October 22, 1998


Masters Cohort Daily Journal Articles

v Articles are due by the 15th of the month. Submit to Tom Kline at the Journal. Afternoon is preferred as they are working on deadlines before noon. v Have your picture taken at the Journal to accompany your article or submit a recent photo. v Write your typed article (400 to 600 words) at a level that could be easily understood by an average high school student. v Make your paragraphing shorter than "normal" to visually encourage your readers to complete reading your article. Sentences 25-30 words long should be split into two sentences. v Have a brief and informative title for your column that will serve as a hook. For example, "Backpack Junction's Function". The Journal suggests using local examples in your writing. v Do not use educator's jargon, such as prep time, without explaining the meaning. The same applies to acronyms. v Please obtain feedback about your article concerning clarity, flow, and quality before submitting it to the Daily Journal. I, Karen Rigdon, will be available to assist you or you may ask someone else. v Be sure to thank the Journal employees for their support. v Post your article at our web site as directed.

-- Anonymous, October 25, 1998

Daily Journal Article Monthly Sign Up

November 1998 - Karen Rigdon

December 1998 - Jill Katrin

January 1999 - Lisa West

February 1999 - Beth Cramer

March 1999 - Dawn Schindeldecker

April 1999 - Jill Herzig

May 1999 - Karen Swenson

June 1999 - Pat Holte

July 1999 - Bruce Trask

August 1999 - Timm Ringhofer

September 1999 - Ladd Kocinski

October 1999 - Paul Brownlow

November 1999 - Kevin Erickson

December 1999 - Tim Mellstrom

January 2000 - Keith Sutherland

February 2000 - Donna Frederickson

March 2000 - Kim McDonald

-- Anonymous, October 25, 1998

Choose to "Sharpen Your Saw" By Karen S. Rigdon November 1998

Welcome to a new monthly column that is intended to serve as an educational sharing link with our community. The authors are a group of 22 local educators enrolled in the University of Minnesota-Duluth's Masters of Education program. Many thanks to the Daily Journal for allowing us a voice as we "sharpen our saws" to benefit the learners in our area.

The phrase, "sharpen your saw", refers to a principal of continuous improvement. Renowned author Stephen R. Covey says that highly effective people have seven habits. Habit number seven is the practice of sharpening one's saw. This is accomplished by learning, growing, and developing new capacities and expanding the old. Covey states bluntly, "Grow or die. Stretch or stagnate". Without continual improvement, there is no increased effectiveness. The bottom line is that you cannot expect schools and businesses to improve if teachers and employees do not improve.

A friend of mine recently E-mailed me a humorous list of actual quotes from Federal employee performance evaluations. Included in the list was, "Donated his brain to science before he was finished using it". It is doubtful that this employee took night classes at the local college, volunteered his time to serve on the hospital board, or read inspiring classics. Perhaps, instead of drinking deeply from the fountain of knowledge, he merely gargled! His saw blade was dull and someone noticed.

Fortunately, the whole world is a classroom, if you are alert and pay attention to what is happening around you. Experience educates, nature educates, and relationships educate. The possibilities are endless. There are times when someone may grow weary of doing something for you. This is a perfect opportunity to stretch yourself to learn the task, if you desire it to be done.

When I first moved here ten years ago, I had never touched a worm, not to mention a minnow or a leech. I did, however, hunger for the taste of walleye. My husband patiently baited my hook for two full years. Then, one fateful day, his patience wore out. I had to stretch or starve! I had to learn how to touch a minnow (barehanded), without freaking, and impale his slimy little body with my hook. Impossible, I thought.

A sympathetic, local woman came to my rescue and developed a step by step program for my education in the School of the North. The hook-baiting lessons began with sticking my hand, ever so slowly, into the minnow bucket and letting the minnows swim around my hand. The snowmobiling lessons began with a 20-mile per hour ride to the Junction. The hunting lessons began with holding an unloaded .410 correctly in her backyard. Slowly but surely, I expanded my new skills and found myself loving the Falls more and more. Perhaps even one day, I will be demonstrating to a newcomer that cleaning a grouse is as easy as peeling a banana!

Learners of all ages need mentors and teachers to inspire them with passion for the things they love. Too often, learners are motivated through fear of failure rather than the love of knowledge. Johann Goethe, the German literary giant, said, "People cannot learn what they do not love". We always manage to find time, one way or another, for what we undeniably love.

As you "sharpen your saw" and stretch yourself in new and exciting ways, encourage curiosity and questions from all those around you. To witness the enthusiasm, joy, and excitement of a student or your child as they develop new skills is an honored privilege. Your inspiration could forever change their life.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 1998

*******Please note that this article has been edited by the author and may be edited further by the Daily Journal staff. For the final rendition, see the published November article in the newspaper.

-- Anonymous, November 03, 1998

Beth Cramer - February Newspaper Article -Dust Bunnies

Dust Bunnies

Dust Bunny?- an inspirational artistic idea, or in this case, a poem, that grabs hold of you during an inconvenient moment. Barbara Kingsolver, author of Another America/Otra America (her latest book of poetry), compares poems to dust bunnies. She claims you usually will feel the inspiration to write a poem in the middle of chopping onions, as tears flow down your face, while listening to the news about homeless people, with your children in the next room battling on the living room floor. According to Barbara Kingsolver, the idea hits you and then rolls under the bed with the dust bunnies to lie there forgotten and lost for all time. Recently, I read a magazine article written by Barbara Kingsolver. In this article, she states that most great poets are bound by ordinary life. You do not have to be famous to be a poet. One of her latest poems was inspired by a news report concerning the Arizonas state board decision about removing poetry as a curriculum requirement Although the moment was inconvenient, Barbara Kingsolver did not let this poem play with the dust bunnies, instead she said, "I threw down the dish towel, swept the baby off her podium and stalked off to find a pencil." Her dust bunny wanna-be is called "Beating Time":

Beating Time

The Governor interdicted: poetry is evicted from our curricula, for metaphor and rhyme take time from science. Our childrens self-reliance rests upon the things we count on. The laws of engineering. Poeteering squanders time, and time is money. He said: let the chips fall where they may.

The Governors voice fell down through quicksilver microchip song hummed along and the law was delivered to its hearing. The students of engineering bent to their numbers in silent classrooms, where the fans overhead whispered, "I am I am" in iambic pentameter, Unruly and fractious numbers were discarded at the bell. In the crumpled, cast-off equations, small black figures shaped like tadpoles formed a nation unobserved, in the wastepaper basket.

Outside, a storm is about to crack the sky. Lightening will score dry riverbeds, peeling back the mud like a plow, bellowing, taking out bridges, completely unexpectedly. The children too young to have heard of poetrys demise turn their eyes to the windows, to see what they can count on. They will rise and dance to the iamb of the fans, whispering illicit rhymes, watching the sky for a sign while the rain beats time. From Another America/Otra America by Barbara Kingsolver. Copyright 1998

Poems are everywhere but easy to miss. We can find poetry in ordinary, common objects found in our homes and classrooms everyday. Last year, I experienced a poetic moment. I had assigned group work in 7th grade English. The students were bouncing ideas off each other. I felt incredible pride because they spent their time productively, and their voices and ideas sounded like music to my ears. I stopped grading papers, pulled out a piece of scratch paper and swiftly began writing the thoughts that came to mind. Amazingly, and I stress amazingly because I have never considered myself capable of writing good poetry, the poem flowed beautifully, expressing that moment which had not passed me by. The poet David McCord, once wrote, "Poetry, like rain, should fall with elemental music poetry for children should keep reminding them that the English language is a most marvelous and availing instrument." Poetry gives us the opportunity to take a closer, more in-depth look at our world around us. It allows us to laugh and cry. It makes us nostalgic and often times a little wiser. So keep a look out for unexpected creative works of art or potential dust bunnies, for poetry is everywhere. Octavio Paz, Mexican poet and winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature, stated this even more clearly when he said: " Between what I see and what I say, between what I say and what I keep silent, between what I keep silent and what I dream, between what I dream and what I forget, poetry."

-- Anonymous, February 23, 1999

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