Mrs. Whitworth is ALWAYS Right

Have you heard?  Mrs. Whitworth is ALWAYS right….  I overhead this said by several of my students to a new classmate who was questioning how things were done in Room One.  They were defending the Room One way, and their teacher, to someone who didn’t quite grasp the obvious.  I try my best to be fair, consistent, and loving in my classroom.  Sometimes I think this is lost on many of my children… but maybe not. When it comes to having my back, my room full of 6 and 7 year olds will willingly let an outsider know what’s what.  It was the best moment of my day.  That, and having one of my struggling readers raise his hand to read aloud to the class AND listening to him read successfully… Yes, there was joy in Room One today.

Oh, and did I mention, Mrs. Whitworth is always right?


Thank You Sam, Dick, and Fred

Those on the left, have been calling for something to be done, for our leaders to step up and stand up, even in a symbolic way.  We have been watching and hoping for action towards changes in the culture surrounding guns in our country.  We are sure that it will take many different tactics to have any impact on the growing number of mass shootings in our country.

Yes, the students of Parkland have moved the country and their voices have reached many people… we are beginning to move, to be moved, to think past what we have been unwilling to let go of.  But it is not our politicians who are making change, change is coming from the leaders of large corporations. Walmart, Kroger (Fred Meyer), Dick’s Sporting Goods and many others have decided that they will take action and say we will do what we have the power to do.

No one wants to be responsible to having sold a gun to the next mass shooter.

I saw the sign hanging at the gun counter in Walmart…  ‘As of March 6th, 2018, we will no longer be selling any gun to anyone under 21 years of age’…

Thanks Sam, Dick and Fred for doing what our elected officials are afraid to do. I hope that it makes a difference, but even if it doesn’t, it makes a statement, it makes people think, and it may move us towards a safer, kinder country.

Let’s hope that Washington reads the writing on the wall, listens to the American people and follows the lead of these retail giants. Hopefully this is only a beginning and our politicians need to open their eyes because we WILL be voting in November and if they are not ready to take a stand they may be packing their bags.

Thanks For Choosing Roseburg

I went for a run the other day and passed this lovely family (twice) as I circled Stewart Park… it was a beautiful day and as I waved for the second time, with both hands and a big smile, they all smiled and waved back, almost laughing at my cheerfulness.

They were a family of color, probably with relatives who originated somewhere very far away and I am grateful that they chose to make Roseburg their home.  Why?  Because they give me hope that our community will learn acceptance, love, tolerance and grow into a place where we are all more safe, where we all value education, libraries, and our environment.

Some of my most cherished friends and family, immigrants, have moved away to places more progressive… friends from Mexico, Ireland, Brazil… while others from, Japan, Australia, Israel, England, have chosen to stay. Our community is enriched by people who bring with them culture and ideas that are different from ours, we are not diminished, we are uplifted.

Our car was broken into the other night, by some guy, probably on drugs, who had no sense of respect for others.  WE are doing something wrong as a society when we vilify people who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families by working hard and getting an education, when our own children are loosing themselves to drugs, video games, violence, and crime.  Hurling hateful rhetoric on-line, out car windows, and in classrooms, is spurred by the man who sits in our highest office, himself hurling hateful rhetoric… a twisting of the first amendment… free speech does not mean that you HAVE to be hateful or unkind… just because you CAN be does not mean that it is right. Being hateful is a choice.

Teaching children to love learning, value education and respect others begins at home. I know that our town is full of families who do just that.  So I am glad they will be joined by new families coming to live the American dream.  They are not takers, they are contributors, they are business owners, they are hard workers and I welcome them, smiling and waving as I run by.

I hope that our small community is overrun by people of color, by immigrants, by people who may not attend the popular church or any church… diversity is our path to a better society.  So, thank you for choosing Roseburg  …  we need you.


Happy New Year ~ Looking Ahead

What did you do with your year? Sometimes surviving the year is enough.  So much loss and tragedy across our country, but if you were lucky enough to make it to this point without personally being touched by loss, illness, or financial troubles, then you are fortunate and perhaps you have spent your year making changes in the lives of the people around you.

Wishes of health, happiness, and peace in the new year are repeated in various forms across all social media.  I hope that these sentiments come true and that we all have a healthy and happy 2018.  I know that many things are out of our control, but years ago someone told me that we shouldn’t say ‘have a great day’, we should say ‘make it a great day’.  I think about this idea often.  Much of our happiness depends on our outlook on life.

So, for 2018, I hope you walk on the sunny side of the street, make things happen, be involved, find the silver lining, smile, move your body, be kind, make healthy choices, meet adversity with optimism and hope, and always ‘Look for the joy’!




As our year comes closer to an end I hope that you have felt that your year has had purpose.  If nothing else, this new administration has given rise to the voices of many who once sat by silently letting their government officials do whatever it is they do.  If you are reading this, perhaps you are one of those voices who has joined the chorus of outraged patriots who are watching our country slide down a slippery slope of hatred, greed, bigotry, and violence.

3.2 trillion dollars of tax cuts will have a huge impact on our country.  It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this change.  We won’t know for a while… money for government programs that people need will be at risk.  Stay alert to small changes in the coming years… will you need to push back your retirement date, pay more for your health insurance? Who knows how this will affect our lives in the future.

Although our country is being led by a buffoon, our outrage is what will save us.  It is our obligation to fight for peace, love, joy, compassion, and taking care of not only our fellow citizens, but ALL people of this country and the world.

Your purpose, to this end, can be manifested every day.  Thinking critically about what you say and do, how you treat your family, friends and those who are not your friends, what you post and how you comment… what is your purpose? Are you making this world better with your actions, are you improving the lives of the people around you, are you helping rather than hurting? Are you walking through this world consciously with thought of your actions and comments?  Each day you have a choice to raise your voice against stupidity, hatred, and greed.  Each day you have a choice to raise your voice for kindness, mindfulness, love and peace.

You have a purpose, choose wisely…


The Net and You

I am not tech savvy and all this talk of Net Neutrality has not drawn my focus… I have been more obsessed with Trump’s antics, Moore’s pedophilia, the Russia investigation, the revision of our tax code, the declaration of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and all of the revelations of sexual harassment by men in power…

But, here I am on my computer, working on the Net, hoping that people will have an opportunity to read my latest blog and wondering how ending Net Neutrality will really affect my life.

The motivation of Trump and the head of the FCC is once again transparent.  Just like all of Trump’s appointments, the new FCC, Ajit Pai, although originally appointed by Obama, at the recommendation of Mitch McConnell,  was once a lawyer for Verison and has continually worked against Net Neutrality.

So, although Trump and Pai claim that ending Net Neutrality will benefit the American people it is clear that the benefactors of this change will be the owners of big companies who can pay to have their content pushed to the head of your search engines.  It will make you, the consumer, pay to see what you want on the net and limit your exposure.  No longer will you be able to have the world at your fingertips because some content will be so far down on the list you would have to weigh through page after page of options before you find that obscure video.  We will pay more for less, and big business will once again be rewarded.

Our internet is a model help up by the world as the gold standard of freedom… this will be one more way Trump will be hurting our international reputation, hurting the little guy and benefiting those who already have wealth and power. Once again we need to speak up, contact our representatives in Congress and protest this rollback of sensible regulations meant to keep our internet a place for the free exchange of information.

If you are reading my blog now you are doing so because of Net Neutrality.  Without it you might have to buy a package that had wordpress included in it or be blocked from seeing content that is not part of your internet package.  Two years ago one of my first blogs went viral and was seen by almost 70,000 people world wide… without Net Neutrality that never could have happened. The free exchange of ideas on the internet is what makes someone living in small town America able to learn about the world, participate in conversation, or run a small business on equal footing with someone in a larger city.  This will affect EVERYONE who uses the internet for information, for communication, for commerce. EVERYONE

Remember that this change will not benefit small business or consumers, it will benefit big corporations and large internet conglomerations … just like all of Trump’s moves, it is disguised as something good for America, let there be no question… it is not.




That’s Why They Pay Me The Big Bucks

I sat on the floor in the hallway.  An upset child sat with me.  He was not in trouble but had used the word ‘penis’ when talking about where the ball had hit him.  His friend, who he now hated, came to tell me that this sweet little guy was using inappropriate language.  Quickly I told him that the word ‘penis’ was not an inappropriate word, it was the name of part of your body.  There was nothing wrong with that word or that part of the body.

How do we explain that not all families like to use that word?  I tried my best.  ‘That word is something that doctors might use, or that some families use, or ….., hmmmm, it is a word that makes some people worried’… The boy fired back, ‘It is a normal word!’ Yes, it is, but not all families like to use it.  “Like the ‘H’ word?” Yes.

We got through the moment… I told him, “If you are worried about something it is okay to come to me, I won’t be mad and it doesn’t mean that someone will be in trouble. It’s my job, that’s why they pay me the big bucks.”

‘They pay you a lot of money for this?’….’Well, not a lot, but enough so that I can buy good food to eat. Okay?’ Okay….

Oh, my….