20 juin, 2018 – Lost Language Arts. Dying arts, a piece of the past that can be shared in love, received with intrigue and recalled nostalgically.

Lost Arts –

Substitute teaching this year was an eye opening experience.  To say things have changed is the understatement of the YEAR!

However…ah hello…where did cursive go?

What Happened To Shorthand & Cursive – 

Cursive, it’s gone.  It seems to have died the same slow death dealt to shorthand.  Dead, like shorthand.  Gone, quietly and unceremoniously.

I remember when shorthand was retired from the public school system in the early 80’s (at least where I went to school).  Poor ole girl – she fought a tough battle, but ultimately lost.  I’m sure there are people who continue to learn to use shorthand to some extent, but gone are the days of steno pads, and shorthand drills.

I however, still recall those glory days.  A product of the 60’s, I was so excited to get to High School in the fall of 1979 and  have my shorthand book issued to me.  Hysterically, basically the same book that my mother had used some 20 years earlier.

Photo of my mom’s book from about 1963 –

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Mom’s Book – 1960’s

Being the language freak I am (note, I did not say language guru), I was and am still amazed and intrigued by shorthand which, I consider a language.  There were a couple of methods if I recall – Pittman used in the UK and Gregg used in the US.

According to the internet, there are countries that teach shorthand for those students / professions that might find it useful.  And I’m sure there are some careers / professionals that do or would find it an advantageous and useful tool.  However, if you asked someone under 40 what shorthand is / was they would be hard pressed to respond.

Cool stuff that shorthand / sometimes call stenography.  I thought of it (shorthand) as a code.  I imagined myself a WWII code breaker, transmitting and deciphering secret war time messages.  I can still write I love you – see below.

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I Love You

Cursive An Endangered Species –

“You wrote your name in cursive, who taught you that?”  I asked.  “My grandma,” the 4th grader responded.  “Great job buddy!”  I enthusiastically replied.  

As a substitute, I’ve learned not to write my name on the whiteboard (not to be confused with a blackboard) in cursive, because the students can not read it if I do.

Just a few short years ago my children were taught and learned to write in cursive, I remember hearing rumors of it’s decline, but really paid it no mind.  It’ll never happened I thought to myself.  But now as my grandchildren have entered school I realize, it’s pretty much a done deal.  It’s gone!

I understand the rhetoric.  Just like I understood the all to similar rhetoric when shorthand was enjoying her final days.  Yet – it still saddens me.  MY grandchildren WILL NEVER KNOW HOW TO WRITE CURSIVE.  It’s up to me to pass this on.  If I don’t – it’ll be too late…

There’s So Much To Learn These Days – 

There’s so much for children to learn these days – I don’t even know where the educators would find time in the school day to plug cursive back in to.  I’m not even sure of the actual status of cursive (state to state), but I’m pretty sure it’s not part of today’s standards in my state.  An internet search will leave you unsure and you’ll find it a very heated and debated subject.

I’ve been so impressed with today’s teachers and students.  The teachers teach some amazing concepts.  And the students absorb these concepts at an incredible rate.  Far more advanced at a given age than I remember being.

Today’s standards are just that – today’s standards.  They are for the NOW.  They are relevant and solid and I have faith in the education system I witnessed this year.

Vintage Themes And Remembering That Change Is Progress – 

As much as I like vintage, I’m a big advocate for change.  Believing that change is progress and always proclaiming publicly – change is growth – change is progress.

I keep in my pocket a picture of the past a memory of long, long last.

There are things that can and should be shared and cared for and passed on in our lifetime.  Recipes, prayers, memories, trinkets, skills, quilts, and last but not least, cursive and shorthand.

Like the cold war, the typewriter and the film camera, cursive and shorthand are memories I have.  Memories, that my children and grandchildren don’t have.  And like the memories of my parents (the draft, Elvis, and the 57 Chevy) and of my grandparents (the great depression, the jitterbug, and WWII), each set subjective.  They are relevant only to OUR unique time here on earth.

The Truth Of The Matter Is –

Things change, they evolve, they fade.  Many traditions, arts, languages, customs, ways etc… are lost to progress or simply to time.

It’s understandable, but none the less sad.

Cursive is to today’s elementary school student what shorthand was to me.

It’s not rocket science and saving it will not end world hunger.  It’s a dying art, a piece of the past that can be shared in love, received with intrigue and recalled nostalgically.

I hope you enjoyed this look back – I know I did.

Pass something on!

Suz

Mai 24, 2018. A Moroccan tajine finds a new home in KY. RUNNING with JOY at 52. Keeping the half marathon under 2 hours. BIGGEST medal on earth! GEIST Half Marathon Review.

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The gift of the tajine

Warning:  I use the word JOY a lot in this post.  As it perfectly describes my friends and my weekend run.

The gift of the tajine –

I watched as my two friends (one lives in Morocco and one lives in Paris) prepared our noon meal in my Kentucky kitchen in MY new tajine, hand carried all the way from Morocco.  I  watched as they carefully cleaned and chopped the fresh ingredients, all with JOY.  As they laughed and smiled, I was transported to Morocco.

The aromas – out of this world!

And the JOY they shared in preparing this meal – amazing.  From turmeric to saffron, my kitchen was alive.

The gift of the tajine made me feel so special.  What a sweet and thoughtful gift.  Hand carried and delivered with love.  These moments are the moments that make my life rich and full.

Here’s to one of the best meals I’ve had in my life And here’s to good friends who live life with JOY filled hearts – CHEERS!

Running with JOY and keeping the pace at 52.

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Ginormous Medal

Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer…  My go-to running song.  I sing to distract my self from the distance.

Although I love to feel the miles, running 13.1 miles does takes a while.  And keeping it under 2 hours has been my mission.  I’ve completed numerous half marathons over the last 10 years, and only two have been over 2 hours.  The first and second were 2:05 and 2:02, since then I’ve been able to stay under 2 hours.  The fastest in 2013 at 1:53 and the latest, this past weekend at 1:58.

Having not run a half marathon in 18 months, I was afraid and anxious to take on last weekend’s race.  I was afraid of the distance / pace ratio, and I was afraid of what the last 18 months of age might have dealt me.

Not only have I aged (luckily as the alternative is…not aging), in 2016 and 2017 I took on the ultra run.  I ran a marathon, a 60K and a 50 Miler.  I also completed a half ironman (70.3 miles – swim, bike, and run).  These longer distances presented new challenges – but the challenges did not include speed.

Returning to shorter distance this year, I found myself with questions.  Could I maintain, a 9 minute per mile or less pace for 13.1 miles?  Could I still run fast (my fast, not your fast)?  And why is staying under 2 hours so important to me?

As I ran the Geist half marathon, I found myself running with JOY.  I simply ran and I felt good.  No aches and pains.  No knee pain for the first time in several years.  I was however – cognizant the entire time of the pace I needed to maintain in order to meet MY goal.

I stayed in the mile and I truly enjoyed each mile.  When I reached mile 11, I knew I was going to come in under 2 hours and I was SO relieved.

The course was hilly and I love hills.  None of the hills were horrible, and each hill climb was followed by a downhill.  Sweet rewards.

Why is staying under 2 hours important to me.  Is there really a difference in running a 1:59:59 versus a 2:00:00?  I have no profound answers, I just know that I feel better when I stay under 2 hours.

I’m not setting any land speed records.  For me, it’s just what motivates me – it’s what keeps me running.

I also can’t run a sub 1:50 (YET), goals people – we all need goals.

My current goal is to simply run each half marathon under 2 hours.

Does it matter?  Nope.  And what happens when I eventually go over 2 hours?  Life will go on.  C’est la vie.  

BIGGEST MEDAL EVER – Geist Half Marathon

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As I crossed the finish line and the sweet girl handed me the finishers medal, I hoped I wouldn’t fall over from the weight of the medal.  This medal is HUGE.  If you are into hardware – this is your medal.  It can also be used to serve tapas (small Spanish dishes, served at bars).  This medal is my all time favorite.  It’s pretty, it’s sparkly and  the back can double as a mirror (according to my grandaughter).

The Geist half marathon in Fishers, Indiana was simply amazing.  The course was beautiful as was the weather.  The logistics were well thought out and the volunteers were top-notch.  I rarely do a half marathon twice – this one, I look forward to doing again.

I met an angel at mile 11.  Thank you to the runner who ran the last 2 miles with me.  I know we helped each other meet our goals and that’s what the running community is all about.

For all I know you were a real angel sent to save my day.  If so, job well done.  If not, congrats on meeting your goal!  I however, prefer to remember you as an angel.  More fun this way!

Mon Amie –

Your visit brought JOY to my life and house.  Your laughter, kindness, and child like heart have taught me much.  You live life with such happiness.  I admire you.  And I seek to imitate you – as the highest form of compliment.

Your family is beautiful.  Your love for each other radiates.  YOU are always welcome.

Thank you for your patience as I spoke French.  And thank you for several new phrases – I’m looking forward to using them in France.

My brain was exhausted from speaking French, but in just a few days I improved so much.  Conversation is the key – I hope we have many more.

Until we meet again – on the trails in Morocco or in the streets of Paris.  I will practice LIVING.  I will seek out new trails, paths, streets and adventures.  I will focus on JOYFULL living and I will learn to use my tajine as a way to recall our time together.

À bientôt,

Suz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janvier 20, 2018. Dans ma tête, je suis! Mais, dans le miroir… In my head, I am! But, in the mirror… AND a good example from across the pond.

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Dans Ma tête 

Dans ma tête:  I’m BRISK, I’m active, I’m fast, and energetic.  I’m young, I’m limber, I’m awake.

Dans ma tête – I’m all these things.

In the mirror:  I’m slow, I’m idle, I’m listless, and tired.  I’m old, I’m stiff, I’m always falling asleep.

In the mirror – I’m all these things.

Je Suis Qui ?

Je suis moi! 

Je suis BRISK et actif, et rapide. 

Je suis aussi – fatigué… PARFOIS.  

Je suis qui?  Je suis moi.

C’est moi!

Mais, Je ne suis pas une vieille dame

Je suis jeune! Je suis jeune! JE CRIE!  Dans ma tête je suis jeune.

Pourquoi pas je dis.  Pourquoi pas!

Parce que tout est dans la tête – n’est-ce pas!

Mais, bien sûr! 

Supplémentaire – Elle est une bonne exemple (She is a good example)

When I think of how I want to be when I get old (older).  I think of her.

I think of how she appreciates the years and looks back on the smiles, the lessons, and the tears – but never the fears.

How she aims to share it with us all and hopes we never fall.

She is always by our side – there’s just a big ole lake – l’Atlantique, it’s so wide.

I want her grace and courage, her strength and drive.

Today, I run because I can

I run to feel the air so deep within my breath – beneath.

Suz