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Category Archives: Humour

The Old Man and the Sea – The Limerick

We wrote limericks again today. Some students finished the ones they had begun and others were absent. One student from the latter group wanted to know what could go with something about the sea. I threw this out, but she wasn’t interested. I think it is the abridged story of the Old Man and the Sea.

There was an old man who lived on the sea.

He loved an occasional cuppa tea.

Unfortunately, he the water was from the brine.

He joyfully turned to wine.

That drunken old man who lived on the sea.

Limericks

I started on the academic work last night. I was productive as I tracked down some books that I have in my library and added to the library with a book order.

Yesterday, we began our poetry unit at school. I enjoy it and I think, for the most part, the students do as well. They grumble a bit, but, when they start writing they are laughing. We wrote limericks. I wander around the room, talk my way through limericks, and write one or two down on the board. It is mostly off the top of my head and they are fairly rough, but the students get a charge out of it and realize not to take it too seriously. I wrote these two on the board and decided to share.

There once was a boy named Earl

He wanted so desperately to be a squirrel.

Allergic to nuts, his dreams were dashed.

Distressed he wailed and his teeth he gnashed

That young fellow named Earl.

There once was a boy who loved basketball

Three-pointers were his downfall.

He went to shooting school

There he did rule

Today, he has fame and is in the Hall.

Blessings

The retreat was a welcome retreat. It was a time to be quiet and still find one’s voice. A theme which resonated throughout the weekend was a sense of being spiritually lost and what we should do when that happens. Part way through, I recalled an outdoor education class I took during my undergrad days. An expert outdoors man, Mors Kochanski, spoke to us about being physically lost and he gave us the same advice as I walked away with this past weekend. When you are lost, find a place to sit down and be quiet. Sometimes I know what I need to know and I only need to sit down and be quiet. The wisdom is there.

Ronald Wallace wrote this poem and it reminded me of blessings I take for granted and help me to find my way in life when I stop and am quiet. I can do all those things. I only have to stop and be quiet.


Occur.
Some days I find myself
putting my foot in
the same stream twice;
leading a horse to water
and making him drink.
I have a clue.
I can see the forest
for the trees.
All around me people
are making silk purses
out of sow’s ears,
getting blood from turnips,
building Rome in a day.
There’s a business
Like show business.
There’s something new
under the sun.
Some days misery
no longer loves company;
it puts itself out of its.
There’s rest for the weary.
There’s turning back.
There are guarantees.
I can be serious.
I can mean that.
You can quite
put your finger on it.

A Note

Well, I made it to the finish line this week and had a good day today. I ran out of steam after lunch, but afternoons have been kind this week. We are writing Fractured Fairy Tales and students get into this activity. I find opportunities to work 1-on-1 with students who need a little extra help. It is a great unit plan and can be modified for different ages.

Wislawa Szymborska wrote this poem. It fits with recent reflections about the extraordinary nature of ordinary life. My father-in-law, Bill, used to ask, “Who has more fun than people? More people do, of course!” I recalled his quirky, wise sayings as I read this poem. It is simple things, often overlooked, that give life its fullest meaning.

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes;

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.

 

Stay Human My Friends

I ready for my Sabbath break. Yesterday morning, this Bizarro cartoon was in my blog reader. Todd’s posts are short and provocative, so the link is to his site for those who have not been there before. He gives me pause to think.

I shared this cartoon with a circle of acquaintance. We discussed the Most Interesting Man in the World advertisements for an adult beverage. I am an abstainer so the ads are humourous, but there is no chance I will buy the product.

What about a broader message? Instead of closing with “Stay Thirsty My Friends” or “Stay Filthy My Friend”, we could say, “Stay Human my Friends”?

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds me, “find the ordinary in the extraordinary.” I often miss those things which make me most alive and human. I find, in the ordinary so often missed, the extraordinary and live a mindful life.

Stay human my friends

Be one with the universe

Be compassionate.

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