SOLC 31 of 31: Challenge Accepted

Challenge Accepted

31 days of noticing

31 days of finding meaning

31 days of interpreting

31 days of connecting

31 days of remembering

31 days of playful writing

31 days of creating

31 days of risk-taking

31 days of being a writer

Challenge Completed


SOLC 30 of 31: In the Local News…

I’ve realized that the only actual newspaper that I read is our local newspaper. Perhaps its because it’s the only one that gets delivered to us. I enjoy thumbing through the paper, reading the local police blotter, letters to the editor and happenings around town.

Imagine my surprise last night though, when I got to the sports section and found two pictures of my son included in the sports section! What a nice treat! Wrestling season is over and we’ve now moved on to spring track and baseball.  Where did they get those pictures? Who took them? Why are they included now? Ah well, still a nice surprise for us for him to be part of the local news for a day. Go Cougars!


SOLC 29 of 30: Slope Success

It was a rare moment last night where there was a ceasefire of the negative attitudes, sibling insults and commotion around who-is-bothering-who more.

They came together over the math concept of slope. He was preparing for a test on that concept and my son, who is usually my more confident mathematician, was struggling with applying the formula.

My daughter, his older sister, who is not usually very confident with her math skills, piped up, “I’m good at slope, let me show you  how to do it.”

And so, she did. Patiently, kindly, and successfully.

Success in more ways than just knowing how to find the slope!

SOLC 28 of 31: The Digital “Push”

“What are you working on now?” the text message says.

“How many more do you have left?” it chimes as it slides across my phone.

“I’m done!” it dings.

Sometimes cheerleaders are right there in the stands cheering you on as you play. And sometimes, the can be cheering you on even though you aren’t physically together.

This week I’m on Spring Break, yet I’m working on reports for school. These reports are due right after Spring Break, so I’m on a mission to get them done today so that I don’t have to think about them over the rest of my break.  Yesterday, while working, I was communicating via text with the rest of my Principal’s group. Together we encouraged and motivated each other.  One responded, “Now I have to stop myself from procrastinating too much and just get them done (i.e. started).”

Earlier this week after a long weekend at grad school I got an e-mail from a professor encouraging me to try something different for my stats homework (most of which I had already finished already!).  I texted a colleague in my cohort and she replied, “Just got back to my airbnb and I’m going to work on stats. Want me to check it out? Maybe no help but I’d be happy to try.”  Another colleague texted me, “I will take a look tomorrow and let you know what I see….” Just knowing that there was someone else in this with me – even virtually, was reassuring.

Earlier in this challenge I wrote about the happiness coach and sharing gratitude with others. During that workshop she asked us to text somene we know and tell them something positive. Later in the workshop we checked to see if they had responded, most of them had, with love and surprise and gratitude.

Whether you are cheerleading from the sidelines or using digital tools to connect, getting that digital push can be just what you need to keep on going.

My next text today, “Who wants to meet for lunch after writing summatives?” – this will be just the push we need during Spring Break to work and then enjoy lunch together (something our Principals group rarely gets to do).


SOLC 27 of 31: Is it “safe”?

Is it “safe” to put away the winter boots, the scarves and hats, the snow pants?

Is Winter really done?

Has Spring really sprung?

Or, just as I pack away all of the winter gear to hibernate in their cubby baskets until next year, will Winter pack another punch?

Praying for positive, praying for spring, praying that it’s “safe” and putting it all away!


SOLC 26 of 31: Surprise Dog!

The front door was slightly ajar, as it usually is, and our dog, Caeden, was outside enjoying the sun. He either sits on the front step or runs around and then pokes the door open with his nose to let himself in.

I hear him barking. This is not unusual. He barks at other dogs, squirrels, birds, leaves – anything that moves suddenly.

I hear a commotion on the front of the house and look up to see a dog in our house. Not unusual. We have a dog.

I do a double-take – this is not my dog. This is not my neighbor’s dog. Whose dog is this? Why is it in my house?

I scamper to the front door and the dog follows my dog back outside where a second mystery dog is waiting for him? her?

They both have collars on. I’m not fast enough to look and honestly, I’m a little unsure if I want to get close to them – what if they aren’t friendly?

I grab my phone and want to take a picture to post on our local neighbors social media page. By the time I go outside, the dogs are running away and into the woods behind my house towards a busy road.

I’m full of worry and questions now. Will they be ok? Where should they be? Will they get hit on the busy road they were running towards? Were they running towards their home?

My dog is also worried. I can sense that.  He keeps running in and out of the house panting, searching, smelling. He too has questions.

Now we wait and worry.

SOLC 25 of 31: What’s in a Spring Break?

It’s amazing how when you have a travel vacation planned for spring break, it feels long, exciting, rejuventating and luxiourous, but…

…when you don’t have travel plans for Spring Break (as I do not), and your plans include both grad school work and school school-work,  your vacation feels not like a vacation but just a change of location with the same work.

In order to cure this, I’m going to spend time not only working on my to-do lists, but planning two future travel trips (Baltic Cruise and Costa Rica). That will keep my imagination going, my travel juices flowing and my spring break spirit in tact.

SOLC 24 of 31: Marching for Our Lives

Today, across the nation, students, parents, educators and concerned citizens will be participating in the “March for Our Lives.”  This march was organized by students who survived the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

This movement, inspired by youth, stands of the shoulders of thousands of activists who have march before them to call for change.

I’m unable to March today as I’m in class all day in Philly (maybe I’ll find a way to join the Philly March), but my 13 year old daughter will march for us. She is on a bus to Washington D.C. as we speak and I’m so proud that she and her friends are taking part in this movement.

Last Monday, we made signs together for her to take with her. And while I can’t march with her, making the signs together was one part of taking this journey together.  As both a parent and a school administrator, each school shooting hits home on some many levels. But our message is clear – schools are safe havens, they are no place for violence and fear.

I’ve recently been reading the book, Malala’s Magic Pencil to the upper grade students in my school.  This book, and Malala’s activisim at such a young age reminds us that every voice can make a difference. I am so inspired by the voices and actions of the youth. Let’s hope they make a difference.  March on!


SOLC 23 of 31: Weekend Work

Today I start my 7th weekend at UPENN for my doctoral program. I’m 8 months into this program. I WILL graduate in May of 2020.

The weekends are grueling.

Classes start at 3 PM on Fridays and run until 9 PM with a short dinner break.

Classes begin again at 8 or 9 on Saturday and sometimes run until 8 or 9 on Saturday evening with lunch and dinner breaks. We also have a two hour Saturday Commons break on Saturday that is meant to be used for more learning or group work.

Sunday classes begin at 8:30 and run until 3 with a 30 minute lunch break.

Homework assignments are done the month before the weekend and also given during the weekend. Group work is a must (but per assignment) and for support and collaboration.

This program is in addition to my full time job. Everyone in the program is also working full time. It’s mentally challenging, an educational marathon, and a personal goal to get to the Ed.D.

But, would I recommend it to others? Most of the time, I would.  Here we go… another weekend of learning in the books…

SOLC 22 of 31 : Iced Trees


The trees in my backyard

have been


with the

sweetness and


of mother nature’s



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