Our Memory Garden

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This is another excellent post by a dedicated teacher.

A Teacher's Reflections

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As Memorial Day approaches, I think of our Memory Garden at school.  It is a place to host our Memorial Day Remembrance for children and families, and a place to celebrate the hero in all of us on Kindness Peace and Love Day, each September 11th.

Over the years, the Memory Garden has grown in scope.  It has become an oasis of remembering and reflecting for children.  It is a place of peace.

I wrote this last year about our Memory Garden:

Our Memory Garden at school is a raised bed of beauty; flowers, sculptures, American flags, and a collection of painted rocks, all to mark classroom pets and loved ones who have died over the years. The garden sits quietly as children run and play alongside. It is welcoming, and children who visit inevitably ask questions.

Additionally, there is a flat paving stone with a carved dragonfly in remembrance of…

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I Stand With the People of Manchester, England

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(https://pixabay.com)

Once again, the people of the world have witnessed another horrific attack, this time on a group of concert-goers, many of them children, in Manchester, England. This terrifying attack and its  consequences are beyond horror. With great sorrow, I offer my prayers and thoughts to the people of Manchester.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Favorite Horror Films of the 1940s: Cat People

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

In 1942, producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Torneur, advanced the making of horror films by expanding the possible topics and boundaries. This extraordinary film is not one that relies on a standard “monster”; instead, Torneur employs psychological suspense and subtle development of terror.

This film offers a sophisticated and understated treatment of sexuality and its impact on people. The main character, Irena, a fashion designer, born in Serbia, and played by Simone Simon combines the modern world of high fashion in New York City with the old world beliefs that she is descended from people who are shape-shifters and who turn into big cats when sexually enticed and aroused. Torneur builds a new variation on the established theme of lycanthropy, in which a male changes into a wolf. Additionally, the film demonstrates the tension between science and superstition, the modern era versus the medieval times, and religion versus secularism.

While to a contemporary audience, this movie might seem dated and subdued, I believe it still carries great impact in its study of horror that is felt rather than seen, slowly created rather than visceral, and suggestive rather overt.

Cat People did very well at the box office, but it received a mixed range of reviews at the time. Since the 1940s, it has come to be seen as one of the more important horror films of the 20th Century.  If you have the opportunity, I recommend watching Cat People.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

 

Look What Happened!

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This is a wonderful post on the importance of reading for children and on excellence in teaching!

A Teacher's Reflections

Independent reading.  SSR.  Call it what you like.  It is crossing over from learning to read words, to learning to read.  Parents and teachers alike take a deep breath and clasp their hands together when this happens.  There are no words to say.  Words might spoil the moment.  After all, major milestones don’t happen often.

Look what happened!

I was busy in the classroom, working with children on a 100-piece puzzle. Things were bustling yet quiet.  I looked over at the big rug and saw children dragging chairs.  Little did I know that they wanted to arrange chairs in order to read books.  After they set up chairs on the rug, they went for the books.  Then they sat down, together, to read independently.

These are young children who cannot read, yet that is exactly what they are doing.  Babies hear words; that’s how they learn to talk. …

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Quotations on Strength

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Lao Tzu

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

                                                                          Lao Tzu

 

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

                                                                         Eleanor Roosevelt

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(https://pixabay.com)

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

                                                                        Mahatma Gandhi

Favorite Horror Films of the 1940s: The Wolfman

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This is the latest in my series on horror movies.

charles french words reading and writing

The-wolfman

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Even a man who is pure at heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.” (The Wolfman)

This is the well-known saying that is at the heart of the 1941 Universal Studios film The Wolfman. This film completes the quartet of monsters that are at the heart of the Universal horror franchise: the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula, The Mummy, and the Wolfman. While there were certainly other creatures and monsters in the films in this time period, these are the four most prominent.

While we see science run out of control and ancient evils in the other films, in The Wolfman, we view a story of tragedy that is focused on an ordinary man, Larry Talbot, who is swept up in unfortunate events beyond his control. Because he is bitten by a werewolf while…

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Quotations on Integrity

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

                                                                 Frederick Douglass

 

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“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

                                                                Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“One person of integrity can make a difference.”

                                                                Elie Wiesel

Favorite Horror Films of The 1930s: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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This is the latest reblogging in my series on horror films.

charles french words reading and writing

JekyllHyde1931

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from 1886 , which gave the world the epitome of the double, one of the central characteristics of the Gothic genre, this 1932 film is one of the best horror films of that decade or any other time. Robert Mamoulian directed and Adolph Zukor produced the film for Paramount.  Fredric March played Jekyll and Hyde and won the 1932 Oscar® for Best Actor. The film was expensive, coming in at approximately one half million dollars to make, and it was also a financial as well as critical success, making about one and one quarter million dollars–a huge amount of money in those days.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

The film is an excellent adaptation of the novella, something I rarely say about any film.  I love films almost as much as I do books, but almost any adaptation of…

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The Genie Hunt

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M.C. Tuggle’s new book The Genie Hunt is now available!

M.C. Tuggle, Writer

The Genie Hunt

Solstice Publishing has just released my novella The Genie Hunt, a modern fantasy set in High Point, North Carolina. It’s the latest comic adventure of Buddy Vuncannon and Coot Pickard, whose first exploit appeared in my short story Witch Flambé, published by Aurora Wolf.

Attorney Buddy Vuncannon and his friend Coot Pickard are heading out of town for a fishing weekend when they’re surrounded by a SWAT team. When Coot is booked, Buddy learns three of Coot’s friends identified Coot as the gun man at a pawn shop robbery, the latest in a string of violent crimes that have terrified the small town.

To defend Coot, Buddy must stand up to a bullying district attorney, uncover the identity of the real robbers, and battle a powerful genie from Iraq who serves the robbers. Buddy’s investigation implicates an old friend, reigniting long-forgotten friction between Buddy and Coot. Old…

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May 12, 2008 Angel of Warsaw – Today in History

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This post is extremely important–it is a recognition of an often unknown hero who saved many children during World War II.

First Night History

All told, Irena Sendler saved about 2,400 Jewish children and infants and about 100 teenagers, who went into the forests to join partisan bands fighting the Nazis. The far better known Oskar Schind…

Source: May 12, 2008, Angel of Warsaw – Today in History

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