This Week in Ontario Edublogs


There never seems to be any shortage of good blog pieces from Ontario Edubloggers. Friday is my opportunity to share what I’ve read recently.

Here goes…


Arguments for Teacher Performance Pay in Ontario

This wasn’t the first time that Kyleen Gray has blogged about the merits of Performance pay for teachers. See the older post here. In this post, she argues five areas where she feels how performance pay would improve the profession.

  • Will support retention of effective teachers
  • Improve teacher performance
  • Positively impact student learning
  • Public perception of teacher professionalism
  • Vet poor teachers from the teaching profession

Personally, I have a difficult time seeing how it would play out in the long run.

  • Who would make the judgement about who is effective and who isn’t?
  • What is the baseline against which performance would be judged?
  • Particularly in her fifth point, would there be an opportunity for a “poor teacher”, however that is defined, to improve?
  • Are some subject areas more valuable than others?
  • How do you compare performance across grades, across subject areas, across a school district, indeed across a province so that there is a consistent standard?
  • Do we place higher value on coaching than we do on a person upgrading their qualifications or the experience and wisdom that comes from longevity?

There are so many issues that I just can’t see a solution to with this premise. The value of teacher federations goes beyond pay – it also involves security, benefits, social activism, collegiality, pension … How does that survive?

Stephen Hurley also blogged about the issue here.


Slice is of Life: Who Needs Me?

I would argue that teachers work all year long to get to the point that Lisa Corbett describes in this post.

In a mathematics class, she found herself on the outside looking in. But in a good way!

No student needed her assistance and yet all of them were engaged with whatever activity they were assigned. (See the image with the smiley faces in her post)

My first note on Lisa’s post was “this doesn’t happen by accident”. It’s the result of a great deal of hard work creating the environment, developing the skill set, and finding engaging activities to have the students working in this manner.

I suppose that she could have left and got herself a coffee but she found other equally valuable things to do in the classroom. What’s not to like?


WHEN LAST PLACE FEELS LIKE FIRST PLACE

In the first sentence in this blog post from Mike Washburn, I had to open a tab and find out just what he was talking about when he claims to have finished a race on Zwift.

Then, I was able to read on and put things in context. I had already had my eyes drawn to the spreadsheet-like construct that appeared in the post. So, Zwift allows him to compete against others in a MOOC for cycling and running. He was competing against people from who knows where and who cares where with the goal of pushing himself to do better things.

It’s an interesting concept and he admits that he had some pretty strict competition but it was a fellow competitor by the name of Lisa that kept him going. A lesser person might have just given up.

So, he stuck with it. Then, he turns his eyes towards the classroom. Is there personal learning that he could take from his experience to get the same results from his own students?

It’s an interesting read. I think it is a good reminder that we all need others to support us in our endeavours. As adults, we hopefully can realize this. How can we set the table so that students get the same understanding?


Find A Vision

Joel McLean offers a video well worth the time watching.

We can’t all be visionaries. I think we all know that.

But, how do you work for/with/along with someone who is.

Joel offers three suggestions…

  • Ask questions
  • Put on a different pair of glasses
  • Have faith

And, there’s another piece of advice that a visionary that I worked with told me once which was one of his attributions of success.

Surround yourself with smart people

I think we should all learn that we just might be that smart person that they want with them. If we use Joel’s advice, you just might be able to make them better.


Perseverance, struggle and a little grit: How running a 53km race relates to Education

Seriously? 53km?

Even biking that distance is an edurance. Jonathan So did this race and it took him 06:16:49.

The numbers and the distance just blow me away.

So, what does it mean in education? I like his quote

if we want our students to _____ than we need to show it.

He shows endurance, grit, partnerships, and all those things that we value in education. What a great testimonial about how he undertakes these things in personally.

It would take a brave student to refuse to do a lap of the track or gym in Mr. So’s classroom after this.

And that smile!


Do We Need A Scaffolded Approach To Bullying?

Coming from an educator in Hamilton, Aviva Dunsiger, served to put a great deal of context to her thoughts about bullying, particularly at this time.

On the eve of a bullying prevention assembly, she’s musing about ways to get a suitable message across. It’s NOT an easy topic. If it was, we would have solutions in place already.

Maybe this message is a utopian ideal. Maybe it won’t work in every grade. I wonder though if there needs to be a scaffolded approach to bullying. Would a book like this one be a good start in kindergarten, and what might the impact be as the kids progress along the grades?

I’d love to see a Language teacher or a teacher-librarian take a read of Aviva’s post and provide a continuum of books for students to help the cause.

While we may not have the ultimate answer, I love the fact that teachers are thinking, talking, and through this blog post, advocating for the cause.


New Journeys

This blog post, from Lisa Munro, gives us an insight into education that we don’t always see. She’s a Superintendent of Education and blogging. As she notes:

I have hesitated to blog too much in this system role because, misguided or not, I sometimes feel people expect me to be the expert and that is not a great feeling.  If you have ever blogged you know there is a certain vulnerability in putting your ideas into a public space; a vulnerability and a commitment.

There absolutely is a vulnerability when you’re blogging. It’s something that I think that we all come to wrestle with the concept periodically. In Lisa’s case, she’s only two months into this new role so can be justified to be feeling that way a bit.

I can’t help though, but think that there’s real value in pairing this post with Joel’s post above. Nobody is in the position of being the all-knowing expert. But you can surround yourself with supportive and wise people and what better platform than a blog to make this happen?

Lisa does invite you to converse with her via blog and Twitter. Why not take her up on that?


So, absolutely, there is another wonderful collection of blog post for this week. Please do take the opportunity to read their thoughts in their entirety.

Then, make sure you follow them on Twitter.

  • @TCHevolution
  • @LisaCorbett0261
  • @misterwashburn
  • @jprofnb
  • @MrSoClassroom
  • @avivaloca
  • @LisaMunro11

This post originates from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

New .new stuff


I mentioned last week about attending the session delivered by Nicole Batte and Leslie Boerkamp dealing with extensions for Google Chrome. In particular, one extension was of interest to me – Google Docs Quick Create.

It seems like a very powerful extension and I did explore it a bit. The reviews are mixed though. But, the internet can be kind of troll-ish and besides, things are constantly changing and issues will undoubtedly be addressed. The author offers you to fork his code on GitHub so that could help the cause as well.

I didn’t keep the extension though. I’m cognisant of the performance hits that can be taken on your computer and browser with too many extensions or, even worse, too many tabs open.

Besides, I already had that functionality.

I can’t believe that it was over a year ago when I first started playing around with Google’s .new site and functionality. I remember specifically because I was doing a presentation about Hyperdocs. At one point, I had demonstrated to the group how to repurpose a Webquest into a Hyperdoc and I had used the docs.new command to create and open a new Google document for that purpose. The crowd gasped.

At least in my mind.

There was actually a pause in the presentation while I had to explain what I had done. Of course, a Google Document wasn’t the only thing that could be created. Sheets and Slides were there as well.

Each could easily be invoked by typing the URL in the address bar. It’s not limited to Google Chrome; it works in any browser since it’s just an address. So, it’s equally as functional in Firefox. Ever in search of something more productive, these things work nicely as a bookmark! So, I had created the three of them and then put them together into a folder on my bookmark bar in all my browsers.

As often happens, I forgot about it until the presentation. Those in attendance were impressed with how easy students could create new documents. It definitely would work for that.

After the presentation, I forgot again until this past weekend when I read this blog post on the Google site.

10 shortcuts made possible by .new

It’s just not the three shortcuts that I’d previously been using. In fact, there are a few more. I took a look through the list. If there’s something that I do repeatedly, it only makes sense to add them to my bookmarks. And I did. My list now looks like…

If you read the article, Google is letting people apply for new .new domains. The good news is that there may be more productivity shortcuts on the way. This is a good thing.

How about a .new to create a WordPress post?

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It would be hard to start this post and not talk about snow. It’s been a heavy week around, especially for a November. Buses were even cancelled one day and, in typical Essex County fashion, the main roads were dry by noon.

It’s time to share some of the great posts I read recently from Ontario Edubloggers. And, by the way, if you’re in Ontario and blogging or know of someone who is, please add it to the form that’s there to collect for the purpose of growing the list. Or, directly here.


Did you get your flu shot yet?

Your public service notice this fall from the Heart and Art Blog and Deb Weston. It’s personal for her.

In 2009, my students invited their classmates to a birthday party. One of the students had the H1N1 flu virus. In a class of 24 students, 18 students missed a week of class due to this flu. Their teacher, me, was then hit with the flu. I missed 4 days of work. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Upon hearing I was diagnosed with H1N1, my partner got his flu shot and slept in another room until I was well. The flu compromised my immune system and months later I contracted Whooping Cough.

It’s hard to believe that, despite the facts, we have this conversation every year.

Since you can get it at a pharmacy now, there’s no “waiting for a doctor” excuse any more. Just do it.

I’ve got mine.


He talks about me at home

There was a time when student-led conferencing was solely an elementary school thing it seems. So, it was with real interest to read that Amanda Potts had mom and a family of three show up for parent/teacher interview – two students that she taught.

From a reading perspective, I found myself bouncing back and forth with empathy from teacher to student who had just been outed that “he talks about me at home”.

From an education perspective, I thought that it was a real winner that this parents wanted to talk about the choice of reading that was selected for this class. I don’t imagine that happens a lot.

The timing of reading this post and an invitation to listed to a new podcast from Amanda and Melanie White made it full circle here. I enjoyed both.

You can read more about this podcast on Amanda’s blog as well.


A Stitch in Time

I knew about much of this from Colleen Rose through private conversations. She wasn’t going to be going back to the classroom to start the fall semester after having had a great summer.

Colleen goes very public with details, including a TMI warning in this post.

I think that it’s cool that she’s turning the whole thing into a learning event – how much more “teacher” can you get than that. In this case, it’s teaching herself to knit. Kudos for doing that.

What impressed me about this post is that there’s a common thread running through it – yes, it’s pure Colleen, but there’s technology everywhere. Mapping a trail, taking pictures (lots of them), medical technology, Dr. Google, listening to podcasts, and YouTube tutorials for learning her new skills. Way to go, Colleen.

The post even includes a shoutout to her union for taking care of things for her.


Parlons Minecraft BIT2019

Jennifer Aston delivers an interesting post about a session that she and her daughter delivered at the recent Bring IT, Together Conference about how Minecraft has found its way into her French classroom.

Her slidedeck, which she freely shares is here: http://bit.ly/parlonsminecraft

Unlike many of the sessions that I attended where the slides were filled with text and drawings, etc., so that the speaker becomes redundant, Jennifer recognizes that she’s very visual in presentation and that the slides, by themselves, doesn’t really tell you what’s happening.

So, she clumps her slides together with speaking notes so that we can follow and understand the message.

Nicely done and it’s great to know that the practice of ensuring that presentations in both Ontario’s official languages are still offered.


Detentions

Matthew Morris doesn’t give detentions. That’s interesting. Maybe he doesn’t need to? Or maybe he’s got another way of handling the things that detentions would claim to solve?

What I found interesting was his note that he’s asked by students “do you give detentions?”. Even that question speaks volumes that the students are coming from a school culture that includes them.

I can’t recall giving them out. In fact, we were specifically told not to since most of our students were bused to school and after school detaining would open a can of worms. I remember noting that there were still lots of after school sports, clubs, and activities. But, as a new teacher, I wanted to follow the rules.

This ran through my mind after reading Matthew’s post

beatings will continue until morale improves

If the goal of detentions is to improve things, maybe there’s a better way to reach that goal.


Secret Truths of Empathy While Learning to Advocate

Hmmm. Thanks to this post from Ruthie Sloan, the secrets are now revealed!

The big takeaway, if you need it is that

empathy is not sympathy

It certainly isn’t accumulating the number of check boxes on a student IEP either.

What might happen if we began our meetings and our journey with deep and genuine curiosity (beyond check boxes on IEPs but about the ‘whole-child’ and those who are also learning how to support)? How might this affect our capacity to cultivate empathy? What might it do to our filters and translations?

If we truly believe in working with the “whole-child”, then a more global approach is essential. Ruthie uses the term “moral imperative”.

I can’t help but think that the suggested approach would be deemed to be too inefficient and not cost worthy in the eye of the bean counters. Plus, with cutbacks in support…

I think you can fill in the details.


Community Archives and Identity

This is actually a very short message informing us about a presentation that Krista McCracken is delivering to an Algoma sociology class.

Slides are available here.

Unlike Jennifer’s approach of not including speaker notes, Krista does have speaking notes to go along with each slide.

Of course, looking through a slidedeck isn’t the same as being there but this was intriguingly interesting and I used a search engine to find out more about the Archives talked about in the slideshow.


Please take the time to click through and enjoy the original blog posts. As always, there’s some great sharing going on.

Then, make sure that you’re following these leaders on Twitter.

  • @dr_weston_Phd
  • @Ahpotts
  • @ColleenKR
  • @mme_aston
  • @callmemrmorris
  • @Roosloan
  • @kristamccracken

This post appeared at:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Whole lotta extensions going on


Not related to this topic but I love this song anyway…

The session “There’s an Extension for That” was given by these ladies at the Bring IT, Together Conference.

I’m a sucker for sessions like these.

I firmly believe that owning a browser is just a starting point. You make it “yours” by customising the look and functionality. It makes no difference whether you’re using Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, or any of the other alternatives. They all browse the web well.

I’m a long time Firefox user and have always thought that you could turn a good experience into a great experience by adding addons that extend the functionality of the browser. I have my favourite collections – devoted to privacy and what I need for functionality.

But, I’m not confident enough that I have the best of the best or that I have them all. I enjoy sessions where people identify what extensions they use and how it makes them productive. I’m not above stealing borrowing a good idea.

That led me to this session, run on Leslie’s laptop, to see what these two presenters felt were important to them. I remember thinking that surely, surely, all of these extensions were loaded on Leslie’s computer just for the sake of the presentation and not that they’re always there!

I like the presentation dynamic that they had. Leslie was seated and operating the computer while Nicole gave us the description of the extension and what they felt was the value for them. The presentation moved along very quickly and if you were taking notes, you might have missed something. Thankfully, they shared their presentation.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1eRxe6lfDs6mKnKtxcHM3bYJTTJ_Jft98JuNG7QcqpYI/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_04

The presentation was done in Chrome but most of the extensions/addons are available for all browsers.

I would encourage you to walk your way through the presentations and see what they’ve identified as their “Best of the best” choices. We can always learn from others. http://bit.ly/BIT19Extensions

Learning about Watson


At the Bring IT, Together Conference last week, I had slotted aside half a day to spend in Tim King’s session on security. As it would happen, unfortunately, the voicEd Radio show was being recorded at the time so I had to miss it.

I’m not sure whether or not presenters got a registrant list so I hunted him down over lunch to let him know of my absence. He didn’t seem to be too disappointed (maybe it was the birthday gift I’d given him last summer) but then he indicated that I needed to go to this other session in the afternoon. It was given by Gordon Alexander from IBM. He was going to talk about IBM’s Watson and augmented intelligence. He also had good IBM swag to give away. I like swag.

So, I went and thoroughly enjoyed things. While Mr. Alexander had to step aside for a couple of minutes at the start, Tim begin the session and, of course, we had to get up to speed with Watson and its work on Jeopardy.

I’d seen it before but was interested all the same. Then, Mr. Alexander came back and delivered the message that was the heart of the presentation. Then, we got a chance to try it ourselves.

All of us in the group were invited to create a free account on Watson and it was smart enough to reject this flood of requests from the same location! So, we switched off the wifi on our phones and created the accounts on our own data. Success.

The activity that were to take part of was to create our own chatbot. Tim’s TEJ class had had the same presentation as we did and they did things like an interactive pizza ordering bot. That would definitely be of interest to students and so we were off. The interface was very much like flowcharting from years ago before flowcharting kind of went away for programming as we shifted away from a procedural paradigm. It seemed very natural and fluent for me and I was plugging away when Tim offered an already created product that he thought we should explore. Diversion time.

It was called Personality Insights and the claim was that Watson would take your content from Twitter and make observations about you as a user. I guess it makes sense since when you post to Twitter, you don’t have any expectation of privacy. So, we gave it a shot. We also found out that the source is on GitHub.

By this time, Tim’s wife Alanna had come along side of me. She wanted to see my results. Only if I could see hers! She grabbed her tablet and off the two of us went off to explore.

Thankfully, I had a fully qualified teacher-librarian sitting beside me to explain some of the things that got analyzed. Gregariousness? It was interesting. A couple of people had tweeted out the direct link and others who saw it were checking it out. It’s too bad because they would have lost the context of being in the workshop.

But, the bigger thing was to go to Watson’s page and the personality insights page to get the bigger picture of the program/product. It added a great deal to what I think about when I talk about advertising and business. Overtly, who hasn’t chatted with a bot on a car dealership’s website? What is happening that we don’t know about?

Very quickly, the 2.5 hours was over. We hadn’t had a break because we were so engaged with Watson and the discussions surrounding it. I found the conversation about guidance departments and student support with products like Watson very interesting. Maybe even a bit scary. What happens if Watson is wrong?

So, thanks, Tim for steering me in this direction for that afternoon. I really enjoyed it.

And, I got a pair of blue IBM ear buds to take home with me. I wonder if they’re “powered by Watson”?

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Yesterday doing the voicEd Radio show was fun. Ramona Meharg joined Stephen and me live to do the show. She shared a number of things that I think Stephen and I would have overlooked. It was great.

Great, as well, was all the new equipment that Stephen had. Instead of my clip on headset with condenser mic, we had real radio quality stuff. So new and fresh, that he and Derek Rhodenizer were unpacking them for the first time. Everything worked out well. As always, it was a fun show and we chatted about these blog posts from great Ontario Edubloggers.


Cyber Dissonance: The Struggle for Access, Privacy & Control in our Networked World

From Tim King, a not-so-quick-and-easy post to read. He unloads his thoughts about everything dealing with this topic.

I have a theory about why it’s an increasing issue important to teachers and students and others in education.

Unless you’re teaching this stuff and staying up to date like Tim does (he takes courses), you don’t worry about it. Why? Because there’s nothing you can do about it.

Networks and computers in schools tend to be locked down and managed by others so you couldn’t make healthy decisions about setup even if you had the inclination. This leads to a mindset that carries on to home and personal setups. Think about it!

I wanted to attend Tim’s workshop but it was on at the same time as the voicEd broadcast. I found it telling that Tim had a packed house but when he asked how many were teachers, there were none. They were all IT professionals.


A Journey with Sketchnotes

I felt like Tina Zita wrote this post with me in mind. It’s all about the power of the Sketchnote and she goes kind of deep into the concept. The big message, as all Sketchnote posts seem to be, is that anyone can do it.

I’ve tried; I’ve failed.

Miserably.

Ramona chimed in with an interesting observation when I asked her if you should Sketchnote along with the topic being presented or should you wait until later and draw something from your notes.

She felt that people were in the former camp. I think that puts me even further behind because my attention is focused on the message and I don’t handle distractions real well.

I have great admiration for people that are indeed able to pull it off. If you’re interested, Tina summarises her plan that she had to indoctrinate others.


Walking in a New Way – the Ottawa Indigenous Walk

This is a very powerful and insightful post from Paul McGuire. He’s pulling all the stops out on opportunities for his teacher-candidate class.

In this case, he took them on a walking tour of Ottawa. What a rich setting for Canadiana and Canadian history. He’s done it many times.

But, this time, he had a indigenous community member lead the walk. What a concept.

We can all walk and look at and read the plaques but having someone who knows the story behind the story would be priceless.

Is such an opportunity available in your community?

Why not reach out and see if it is?


Autumn Math Walk

Autumn is such a beautiful season. Everything is in the process of change. Things that were great in the summer and preparing for winter. Things to come in winter are just around the corner.

What better way to inspire inquiring with students than going outside and checking things out.

That’s what Deanna McLennan did with her young students.

Young kids learning about the Fibonacci sequence?

Why not! It occurs in nature. Somehow, I feel cheated. I didn’t learn the concept until much later in my educational career. Wouldn’t it have been nice to understand that there was this thing in nature – as opposed to the here’s something else about mathematics that you need to know approach that I and so many others have traditionally done.

Of course, there’s more than that. Living in Essex County, we have this wonderful opportunity to see the Monarch butterfly migration. See everything that her students explored in this post.


How To Self Engineer A Learning Community?

For the population who think that kids just show up at school, sit in rows, absorb content and then graduate, they need to read the thoughts from Rola Ribshirani.

Written back in August, she shares with us feedback from last year’s students. Of course, everyone could do this. But you they? Do you?

It seems to me that this is a terrific opportunity if you truly believe that you’re growing as an educator and that you want to understand those faces in front of you. It’s also worth noting that what they see and feel may not be 100% accurate when held to the actual standard. More importantly, it’s IS true in their mind. When the two don’t meld, I would suggest the second concept is more important.

Rola also takes a bit of space to talk about bias. That’s an area that we can all appreciate and learn from.


30 Days of Gratitude: Day 26 – The Perfection in Imperfection

As a Clinton boy, I took a little pain from reading about Heidi Solway’s trip to Goderich with her husband. Goderich? Really?

You have to smile at the little things that were supposed to happen but didn’t on this getaway. It happens to all of us.

But what a nice description of a getaway to celebrate 25 years. I loved the list of the things that they did not do. And, of course, they did…

  • enjoying conversation over dinner at a quaint and quiet pub
  • hiking along a decommissioned railway under a canopy of trees
  • studying the activity at the salt mine as a barge made entry, then exit the next day
  • driving along the beach at night listening to the power of the waves, feeling immense presence in the moment
  • sleeping in perfect silence with no thought of waking to the wonderful racket of kiddos
  • browsing through books in the most perfect independent book store which seemed planted there awaiting my arrival
  • reminiscing, even just a little, over crazy and comical things from the past

I’ll be honest; when we return to Huron County, we do go to Goderich. It really is a delightful and beautiful place to visit.

And Heidi and Paul – congratulations on 25 years.


Hit By A Car

This post closes on a rather sad note from Diana Maliszewski.

Her husband and son were struck by a car in a crosswalk. She even reconstructs the accident scene for us.

Diana does go into great detail and I would encourage you to read this post to get the complete story.

For all of us, pedestrians or drivers, there’s a powerful message about paying attention and being alert at all times. It’s easy to get lulled into a sense that nothing will happen – until it does.

I’m sure that there will be more details from Diana in the future but if I could make one plea – put down that damn phone and pay attention.


Please take the time to click through and read these terrific blog posts. As always, there’s great learning to be had.

And, make sure that you’re following on Twitter…

  • @tk1ng
  • @tina_zita
  • @mcguirp
  • @McLennan1977
  • @rolat
  • @HSolway
  • @MzMollyTL

This post originated on

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Last minutes decisions


Yesterday’s post just went out and I’m starting to think about packing and then heading east to Niagara Falls. There’s no rush (at least on my part) and I think that it bothers the farm girl that I married. You know “get up with the cows and get moving”. Heck, I haven’t even walked the dog yet. “I’ll walk him”.

My biggest computer decision is always how to carry it/them. I could go backpack or I could take my pull bag. Since I end up really with a mobile office since I need two computers for my show with Stephen Hurley tomorrow, I’ll probably end up with the pull bag. Both of them have certainly had mileage pulled on them. It’s always fun to see what’s left in them from the last outing. In this case, it would have been to Phoenix in July. I just found my portable battery pack. I wondered where that went.

The check list is always interesting. No matter what; the most important part of all of this is remembering to bring the charger for the computer, watch, and phone. Without them, I’m a digital fish out of the water. Ah, there’s my boarding pass and my paper receipts. I’m starting to realize that this thing is really a storage locker between conferences.

Just remembered – I haven’t imported my conference calendar into my personal calendar yet – OK, I’m back. I wonder if I’m going to change my mind once I get there.

Then there’s the clothes. The key is to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for the event. It’s going to be cool so I’ll need a coat. Hopefully, the conference centre is going to be a comfortable 20 or 21. I hope that I pack enough socks. A major catastrophe happened here last week when our washer bit the dust. The new one doesn’t arrive until Thursday so I’ve been frugal with socks. I pointed out that the cool kids don’t wear socks but I was told that I’m not cool.

And then there’s the shaving bag and the last minute inspection.

“Do you have your razor packed?” No, I haven’t even shaved yet today. “OK, well don’t forget to pack it and shaving cream”. We have the same routine every time and the same conversation about not going off the grid. I’m pretty sure there’s a drug store or two in Niagara Falls in case the worst happens. How did I get this far in life anyway? I have this process; as I do my regular morning routine, I pack. It makes sense to me.

Dog walk.

And I’m back. A cool morning, to be sure. After reading Diana Maliszewski’s blog post earlier this morning, we made extra sure that we were well off the road into the gravel.

And the suitcase is on the bed. Is she trying to get rid of me? <grin>

I should be ready to “head east” in a bit. I had purchased my poppy the other day only to be unable to find it yesterday so had to head out to buy another one. As I got out of the car, I found it on the floor. Seatbelts and poppies don’t get along. In the process, my low air pressure light came on so there was a bit of making that right.

It’s all starting to fall into place nicely. I still have some traditions to observe when in the region – buy some Picard’s peanuts, visit Brock’s monument, enjoy the Niagara Parkway, stop at a winery or two, and then some personal things. It’s going to be a great week.

I hope to see you there; I hope to make some new connections; I hope to learn lots.