Category Archives: poetry april cars car sharing



by: Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

THIS I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:–

There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;

And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged

A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords

Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner

Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.

A craven hung along the battle’s edge,

And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel–

That blue blade that the king’s son bears, — but this

Blunt thing–!” he snapped and flung it from his hand,

And lowering crept away and left the field.

Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,

And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,

Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,

And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout

Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,

And saved a great cause that heroic day.

“Opportunity” is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.



Passover, Easter, Studies and Chocolate

What is it about candy and chocolate that holidays seem to encourage their consumption?    

My grade four teacher used to return project work with a little Hershey’s bar tucked inside, adding sweetness to the marking process.  And listening to students get excited at the prospect of chocolate covered matzoh, or chocolate Easter Eggs brought back the memory of those tiny Hershey bars, scotch taped to the top of a paper.   The atmosphere when waiting to get papers back was electric; project work completed nearly always resulted in a free 1/2 hour with students munching while this teacher read aloud from her favourite story collection.  Best of all, she was a swift marker, no lengthy weeks of waiting to receive results. And all the students were given a treat, valuing effort made.  The holiday feel in that classroom was regular (but not daily), a mini ritual, a reminder of each unit of learning completed. 

Chocolate covered matzoh and Easter bunnies tell me that not only has another winter been managed but that celebrating the return to “order” and appreciating the beauty of annual renewal can involve indulging a little bit- Enjoy!

Practice and more

What to do when sharing knowledge about a specific focus seems more natural than twittering about my day?  Take a tip from myself and start by practicing.  I am a huge believer in the fact that being able to “wing it” comes from many many “practice run throughs” until the knowledge one wishes to share truly has been understood at the personal level and will be accepted as such.

April and Attitudes

     Yesterday,  I arrived to pick up a vehicle at the designated spot only to find my car rental not there!  Now I, like most people, operate with deadlines, and while I will give myself ample time and have a contingency plan, I counted on the booking.  Nearly fifty minutes late, the user of the vehicle pulled into the car rental spot with neither a sorry nor an attempt at making amends.  She exited the car and seemed to think that since she was willing to pay extra for the late return no one had been inconvenienced.  But I had an appointment for 7 o’clock and just squeaked in at 7:02.  It wasn’t the cost of the hour- it was the very real inconvenience of standing waiting for a vehicle and the knowledge that two other vehicles were on the lot- this particular car company operates on an honour system, and also states that dogs or other pets are to be kept in a container- the driver’s dog was loose in the back.  Now this is the second time I have gone to pick up a car and the vehicle has been in use- the first time I had a fifteen minute wait and that driver apologized stating traffic- understood- Yesterday however the driver’s indifference registered and I wondered if I was being foolish to be a member of a driving club where the honour system falls short- one bad apple?  maybe? or representative of how little respect people demonstrate to the idea of an honour system and a sharing system.  

     Sometimes it is not about money.  The car company did reduce the lease by the hour – I would rather have had the vehicle for the appointed time.  And it would have made a huge difference if the driver had simply apologized and hastened her exit from the car.   While I will patiently wait and watch molasses pour, waiting for someone already almost an hour late to exit a space is simply watching rudeness.  And her dog didn’t want to leave at all. 

Attitude.  One of the things students are instructed to watch for when analysing poetry or prose.  This being April and national poetry month, I offer up the following:

 A little bit of thought

Proves it was a mistake

Recognize the wrong in a simple gesture by

Initiating an apology-and…

Leave the vehicle by the roadside- not the person.

Attitude.  One of the things students are instructed to watch for.    

This being April and National Poetry Month.  Pay it forward when possible.