Friday, February 3, 2023

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 02/02/23

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels: E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Make AR and VR in the Classroom - “Create virtually anything in 3D” (L:T; SA:A)

Google Fact Checker - “Search fact checks about a topic or person” (L:G; SA:A)

Renting a Place to Live - “In this personal finance lesson, students will compare rental options.” (L:H; SA:LA, M, SS, C)

Turbulence - “What is turbulence and why does it happen? Explore the phenomenon that has perplexed physicists for over a century.” (L:G; SA:S)

Library of Congress: By the People
- “By the People invites you to transcribe, review, and tag digitized pages from the Library’s collections. Everyone is welcome to take part! Volunteer-created transcriptions improve search, readability, and access to handwritten and typed documents for everyone, including people who are not fully sighted. All transcriptions are made and reviewed by volunteers before they are returned to, the Library's website. You don't even need to create an account to transcribe, but registered users can also tag and review other people's transcriptions.” (L:H; SA:LA, SS)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Kinetic Art Exhibit

Last weekend I attended a Kinetic Art Exhibit in Boynton Beach. This is the second time we have been to this event.

“The 2023 International Kinetic Biennial is a free art exhibit and symposium of artists, designers, and performers to engage the Boynton community and South Florida visitors in contemporary kinetic art. The Biennial demonstrates the interconnectedness of art and technology and leverages human fascination with movement”

I really enjoyed going to see the art exhibits inside the Arts and Cultural Center. Kinetic energy is defined as the energy of motion and I loved seeing how artists brought this energy into their artwork. I was able to talk to some of the artists there and ask them questions. The outdoor sculptures were fun to see also. I was very happy to see many children there too to see the art and ask questions about the things they were seeing.

There was one huge artwork that fascinated me the most. There were strings of metal beads hanging from a motor that swirled them around. Below it was a box of sand with a metal bead in it that was pulled by magnetic force and created a piece of art in the sand.

If you ever get to visit a Kinetic Art exhibit, please go because it is fascinating!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

2023 Goals Review for January

 January was a good month. We did go on a 12-day cruise (MSC Divina) and had a great time. I think I’m doing a pretty good working on my goals. I worked on 8 out of 10 goals this month. 


1. Learn something new. - I learned Tunisian crochet to make a couple of dishcloths. 

2. Knit at least 1 sweater (Collins Tee) 

3. Yarn - more out than in (use more yardage than I buy) – no yarn bought in January! I did work on a pair of socks on the cruise and I have the Shawlography shawl by Stephen West on the needles. 

-Yarn used - 

-Yarn bought - 

3. Complete a shawl (Shawlography)

4. Try 4 new recipes. - I didn’t try anything new in January. 

5. Stretch regularly (at least 20 days out of the month) - Worked on this in January. 

6. Create at least 2 scrapbook pages each month. - Made 10 pages for January. 

7. Participate in the Photo a Day challenge - I’m enjoying this! 

8. Read the Bible every day. - yes

9. Read 100 books - Read 14 books in January. 

10. Read 12 nonfiction books.

  • Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli


What are your goals for this year? Please share.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Reasons and Assumptions

“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In Reasons and Assumptions, Rushton features Victor Hubbard, a homeless man in Texas and how the community found a way to care for him. 

Rushton gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Do you know people who have special challenges, but most people don’t know the reason why? How do you learn more while still valuing that person?

What do you assume about yourself? Are there people trying to help you see yourself from new perspectives? Do you let them?”

This video hit close to home. I worry about my students with special needs and what will happen to them when they leave school. Will the community step up when they see my student in need or will they shun and ridicule him. By making people more aware of the possibilities, it might make communities realize how they can help someone like this. Another concern is that will my students accept the help offered to them? Will they know the difference between being helped and being used? I guess I'm a mother hen and will always worry about my students. 

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Monday, January 30, 2023

MSC Divina

Click here for pictures


The MSC Divina can hold 3502 passengers and 1388 crew. Our captain was Christopher Pugh, the hotel director was our friend, Guglielmo Gargiulo and our Cruise director was Pedro (the voice from the ceiling).Our balcony cabin was 12133 and our cabin steward was Shirley. We had dinner at table 615 in the Black Crab Restaurant. Our servers were Ryan and Wayan.


Day 1 Monday, January 16, 2023, Embarkation

We left the house at 7 am and went to Bagels & for breakfast. We left there at 8:15 and got to the port at 9:30. We were worried about hitting rush hour traffic, so we left early but forgot that it was a holiday, and the traffic wasn’t too bad. When we got to the port, there were no signs telling us which terminal to go to at all. So, we parked the car in Lot C and took our suitcases with us to find the ship. The ship was in Terminal E and we went right in through security and checked in. We only had to wait about an hour before we could get on the ship.


When we got on the ship, we found our cabin and put stuff in the safe, and left our bags in the closet. When we left the room, the cabin steward said our cabin wouldn’t be ready until 2 pm. Then we went to the Calumet Buffet (Deck 14) for lunch. After lunch, we walked around and drank a lot of beer. We were able to put some beer and sodas in our refrigerator at 2 when we could go to our cabin. Waiting for us was a bottle of Prosecco and some meringue cookies. We walked and drank some more but went back to the cabin at 4:30 for our Safety Drill. We watched a video and then called a number to verify that we watched it. After that, we had to go to our muster station and check-in. Once that was done, we got ready for dinner.  Our dinner mates were Philip and Jackie (Morganton, NC), and Kevin and Susan (Ocala, FL). We enjoyed dinner with them. Service was a little slow, but it was the first night and we expected it. I like that we had paper menus to look at (and didn’t have to use our phones to read a QR code to get the menu like on the MSC Seaside). After dinner, we walked around and then Don had a cappuccino while we listened to music at one of the entertainment spots. When we were getting ready for bed, we got a letter under the door that we hadn’t watched the safety video so I’m glad I took a picture of the screen at the end that shows we watched it. When I called the number on the letter, she told me to disregard the letter. They must have had some technical difficulties.


Day 2 Tuesday, January 17, 2023, Freeport

We arrived in Freeport around 9 am. It looked different than we remembered it so we got off the ship and walked around for an hour. I was surprised that it was hotter than I expected. Then we got back on the ship and relaxed until lunchtime. After lunch, I read while Don did his exercise walk on the deck. At 5 pm we had the Welcome Back party in the Black and White lounge which was very nice and classy. The musician was great too. I was very impressed with the way they did this! I stopped at Guest Relations and asked for a copy of my account and I noticed an odd charge of .83. The girl said it was a mistake and would get it taken off. Dinner was excellent and our servers were extremely attentive which was nice. We went to the show, Autumn in Paris which we really enjoyed. I thought the dancers were amazing! I love the shows on MSC ships, and I was glad to see that they weren’t the same shows that were on the MSC Seascape that we saw last month. Before returning to our cabin, we stopped at the Divina bar for cappuccinos, which were wonderful. When we got back to our cabin, we were surprised with gifts from the hotel director, our friend, Guglielmo! It was a wonderful day!

Day 3 Wednesday,  January 18, 2023, Ocean Cay
At 10am, we had the Diamond Party and we got to see our friend Guglielmo again! He introduced me to the Captain, and I got pictures with them both! I gave Guglielmo another gnome for his daughter. We also met a nice couple, Dan and Ann during the party. I stopped by the Guest Relations desk again and got a copy of my account. The odd charge was still not taken off but Angie said she would take care of it. Then after lunch, we arrived at Ocean Cay and we spent the day sitting on the beach. The water was too cold for us to go swimming though. We got back to the ship around 4:30 and got ready for dinner. After dinner, we went to the show Grande Amore. After the show, we went to an outside deck so we could see the light show from the Lighthouse. It was pretty cold outside with the wind blowing.


Day 4 Thursday,  January 19, 2023, Ocean Cay

We got off the ship at 8:30 and walked around the island. When we got to the bridge, we saw a huge sea turtle and enjoyed watching him swim around. The staff told us that he can get in and out over the netting and eats the jellyfish. We also saw a stingray. It was still too cool for us to go swimming. We got back to the ship around lunchtime and then relaxed until dinner time. After dinner, we went to the show Extreme which was very good. Then we went to the Atrium and enjoyed the music and some drinks until midnight.


Day 5 Friday,  January 20, 2023, Miami

We ate breakfast early and then stood in line at guest services to get new cruise cards. We had gotten a letter yesterday that told us to do this. When we got to the desk, we were told that we didn’t have to do this. Then we went to the Black Crab restaurant at 8:30 and waited to be escorted off the ship through customs and then back on the ship. We were back on the ship by 10:30. After lunch, we returned to our cabin and relaxed. We got a gift of Prosecco and appetizers, so we enjoyed them on our balcony. We also had the safety drill at 3:30. We went to dinner at the same table (same servers) and met new tablemates. They were a couple who live in Montreal and spoke mostly Chinese. My prime rib was cooked perfectly. Don had to leave suddenly because he had severe heartburn from eating the blackened grouper. I finished my dinner and dessert hurriedly and went back to the cabin to check on him and he was better. We had an early night.


Day 6, Saturday, January 21, 2023, Sea Day

It was a lovely day at sea! After a relaxing breakfast, I went to an Arts and Crafts session where we did an Iris Folding Project (It had nothing to do with flowers). It is a card-making technique and it was fun. In the afternoon, we went to the Master Chef show which started off with everyone answering 10 cooking trivia questions. Those who wanted to participate onstage turned in their answers and the 3 people with the most answers were picked as contestants. The 3 people were given a mystery box of ingredients. Once the timer started for 10 minutes, each person had to make something with the ingredients and then the judges picked the winner. The ingredients were whipped cream, profiteroles, chocolate, raspberry filling, and sprinkles. Three men were picked and 2 of them had no clue what they were doing! It was really funny to see their finished food.  Dinner was very good, and it was Gala night so we dressed up for dinner. We had the Surf and Turf which was Lobster tail and Chateau Briand. The dessert was Baked Alaska. After dinner, we walked around the ship and enjoyed the music, and had a nightcap.


Day 7, Sunday, January 22, 2023, Costa Maya

We got off the ship around 9:30 and walked around the port area for about 90 minutes. It was pretty hot out there. The port area was very different than the last time we were there so I’m glad we walked around. We did get outside the port and walked up the street a little way and saw the path toward Mahahual but we didn’t go there. After lunch, Don did his exercise walk on deck 7 while I enjoyed sitting on the balcony. At 5 pm, we had a Welcome Back party in the Black and White lounge which was very nice. Then at 6 pm, we had dinner at the Butcher’s Cut restaurant which we always enjoy. The food is delicious there! After dinner, we went to the Divina bar and had some cappuccinos until bedtime.


Day 8, Monday, January 23, 2023, Belize

Since we have to take a tender to go ashore, we decided to stay on the ship. We have been here many times so it was a good day to relax. After breakfast, we went to deck 7 and did our exercise walk. Then we came back to our cabin and relaxed on our balcony until lunch. After lunch, we relaxed on our balcony until dinner. Since we weren’t thrilled about the menu in the dining room, we decided to eat at the buffet. After dinner, we went to the show that featured magician Jeff Peterson. He was pretty good!


Day 9, Tuesday, January 24, 2023, Cozumel

We docked right downtown which was wonderful! Usually, we dock about 3 miles away and walk into town. While we were walking around, I stepped off a curb and strained my Achilles tendon. Even though it hurt, I was able to walk around for a couple of hours. We came back to the ship for lunch and then we relaxed in the cabin. There was another bottle of Prosecco and sweets sent to us so we enjoyed them as we sat on our balcony. I rested and elevated my foot along with taking some Tylenol and using Voltaren gel on it. Before dinner, we had a couple of cappuccinos and then went to the top decks to look at the NCL ship, Prima which was docked beside us. It must have been an all-male cruise because we didn’t see any women on the ship. There was a tube going from the top down a few decks that people would get on some kind of cloth “boat” and ride down, but we watched some people get stuck in the clear section and had to shimmy and wiggle to continue through. I would have had a heart attack! Finally, a crew member came through and where he got stuck, he was waxing that area. They also had a go-kart track on the top decks which looked like fun. We had dinner at the buffet but for some reason, none of the food seemed to excite me. When we got back to our cabin, we had a phone call. Head waiter, Ricky Lewis was calling to check on us since we hadn’t been to the dining room in a few days. He wanted to make sure we were okay which I thought was very nice of him!


Day 10, Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Sea Day

 After breakfast, Don walked while I rested my ankle and did a little packing. At 10 am, I went to the arts and crafts session where I painted a t-shirt. Then we went to the Diamond party. After lunch, we relaxed until dinner time. Since it was an Elegant night, we had dinner in the dining room. The head waiter, Ricky Lewis, hugged us and was excited to see us. Another couple had dinner with us (Ernest and Justine from Cleveland, OH) and we had a wonderful conversation. Don ate the Fish and Shellfish skewer which gave him heartburn again. After dinner, we stopped for a drink but he was so miserable that we had to return to our cabin.


Day 11, Thursday, January 26, 2023, Ocean Cay

We arrived at Ocean Cay around 7 am (our Daily program said we would arrive at 8, our itinerary said 9, and the Daily schedule said 10). Our itinerary said that we would stay there until 10 pm but the cruise director announced that we had to be back onboard by 6:30 pm. We got off the ship around 8 am. We usually go to Lighthouse Bay but this time we decided to try South Beach. We found a couple of chairs in the shade of a palm tree which was between a bar and the restrooms. We got in the water for a little bit but it was a little too cool for Don, so we spent the day relaxing in the shade. After cleaning up when we got back to the ship and packed our suitcases. We had a few cocktails and then went to dinner at the Buffet. During dinner, there was an announcement that we were leaving immediately for Miami due to a medical emergency and should arrive by midnight. We still couldn’t get off the ship until the morning because there wouldn’t be any customs agents on duty. He must have been going at a fast speed because the empty hangers in our closet were banging around and I had to take them all off and lay them on the floor of the closet.


Day 12, Friday, January 27, 2023 Disembarkation

I got up around 4 am and noticed we were docked in Miami. I woke Don up around 5:15 and we were at breakfast by 6. After breakfast, we went to the Pantheon theater where we were supposed to meet by 7:45 am. We were there at 7:15 and were surprised to hear our number #4 – Diamond members) were allowed to get off the ship. We got our suitcases easily and went through customs using face recognition. Disembarkation was extremely smooth and well organized! We were in our car and heading to the interstate by 8:10 and was home by 9:30.


Things I Learned:

  • We have learned that any ship that Guglielmo is on the cruise is usually exceptional! Service is excellent. 

  • Learn the bartender’s name that you like and use that bar often. You usually get good service there.

  • It is always good to let the maitre’d at dinner know how great the service was. They appreciate hearing something good.

  • I love chocolate-covered strawberries!

  • You should check your account every day to make sure you don’t have any inaccurate charges to your account.

  • Bring a long sleeve shirt to the beach when it is cool outside because when the wind blows, you will need it.

  • When my foot hurts, don’t ignore it. I ended up with a huge blister on the ball of my foot! If I had checked the hot spot earlier when it first hurt, I might have avoided the blister.

  • Internet costs: $12.99 per day per device (browsing); $17.99 per day per device (browsing and streaming).

  • Iris Folding has nothing to do with flowers and is a fun card-making technique.

  • I like when our ship docks downtown in Cozumel (Punto Langosa).

  • Parking at the Port of Miami is $22 per night.


 Original Photo by Pat Hensley