Montrose, CO library
100th Anniversary of the Gunnison Tunnel
I wrote and designed the labels and poster, contributed to the layout, and assembled and installed the cases for this traveling exhibit, which features objects from East Portal, a now-defunct town that housed the workers who built the Gunnison Tunnel.
University of Oregon
Environmental Studies Program
✔ ACCEPTED (fully funded)
Partner, let me Upgrade U. Miles is yearning for a topper like this for his 1997 Toyota Corolla. Would come in pretty hand for a kid that moves from Alaska to Kentucky to Colorado to? in the short span of a year. Good luck, Miles, on finding a bargain on one of these things!
Okay, what do you do with a turned off, tuned out group of high school students?
Well, I give them birthday parties. Yep, that’s right. It isn’t in the curriculum guide, it probably won’t improve standardized test scores, it seems childish, and I don’t care. I throw them birthday parties.
I have a group of 27 students in an English III class, 10 of whom are NOT on grade level. 8 are in a sophomore homeroom and 2 are in a senior homeroom.
Their classroom average attendance is horrible. They drag in and out with somber faces, wearing the same clothes and shoes day in and day out, bemoaning life and living and teachers and grades and fate.
They are sad.
Most teachers dread seeing them come in the door. All that make up work. All those zeroes. All those down on their luck, sad kids.
Well, I have decided to love them. To look forward to them. To care about them. To take care of them the best I can for 86 minutes Monday-Friday.
So…here’s what I’ve done.
I told them at the beginning of the semester that:
1. I was not going to judge them for their poor attendance. I don’t know what their reasons are for not coming to school. I was going to be happy when they showed up, help them make up their work when they were absent, and let it go if they didn’t try to make up their work.
2. I was going to “love them to death” and let them have some fun…
3. I was going to design the class and the work so that if they would show up and do exactly what I said every day, they would wind up with a good grade.
4. That sometimes they would get money for good grades (I give them a $1 here and there when they do well), they would always get support, and they would never get criticism for their days missed.
And, I decided a birthday party wasn’t such a bad idea, either.
So, last Friday, I gave a birthday party for three students who had had birthdays in February. Cupcakes (pretty ones, too, I might add), balloons, streamers hanging that were stamped with a colorful “Happy Birthday.” I lit birthday candles perched atop the fluffy white icing and candy sprinkles. I said, “Close your eyes and make a wish.”
I said, “Let’s all sing ‘Happy Birthday,’” and the whole class joined in and sang.
I gave each of the three $2 and a nice birthday card signed by me.
A couple of them had tears in their eyes.
One said, “My own family never gives me a cake with a candle on it on my birthday.”
My reply: “What’s a birthday without a cake and some candles?”
They all made a wish. They all blew out their little cupcake candles. We took pictures. We all smiled.
They all said, “Thank you, Mrs. Barger.”
The entire class sat there eating the beautiful colorful cupcakes and they all were SMILING.
They (and I) have been smiling a little more all this week, too.
And I just love them. And I don’t care when they are absent. I’m just glad when they’re there, especially if they show up smiling.
I love this song, and she does an amazing job singing it. I don’t always like the operatic style of singing, but it works with this song. And this song always lifts me up, gives me hope, gives me courage and strength. It’s a beautiful, wonderful composition.
RenÃ©e Fleming: “You’ll Never Walk Alone ” Nobel concert 06 (via Cta2006)
It just hit me…I think all throughout my midteens to late twenties I had a subconscious desire to be Shirley Jones. That makes me laugh. But it’s true. I wore my hair exactly as she is wearing hers in this scene. I wanted to sing just like her and loved all the songs she sang in all the musicals she appeared in. Yes, I think, it must be true…I wanted to be Shirley Jones.
Truthfully, I do think I came along about 15 years too late because I loved this kind of singing and performing, but by the time I was in high school, it was the 70’s and “If I Loved You” and anything that came anywhere close to it was considered TOTALLY stupid, out of style, out of date.
Yep, I was born in the wrong time when it came to my singing!
But hey, Gordon MacRae. Does it get any better than this? What a tremendous, unbelievable talent he had. I don’t think anyone performing these songs today comes near him. He was so masculine and could sing so beautifully. Whew. So good it makes me want to cry.