March 31 2013 – sigh, puppets and books, end of vacation

What a marvelous Passover break!

judih by jeremy

judih by jeremy

The gift of time.

A chance to see my children. All of them!

An opportunity to be together with family for a few hours of laughter, wine and food in the location where I first arrived back 35 years ago.

A chance to meet up with writers and friends.

A moment to think (about things other than how to revive a half-comatose student population.) A glimpse of life within walls other than those heavily fortified, in rooms with windows, a chance to sing into nothingness.

Time to eat as I wish, as much or as little as I choose.

The possiblity of long walks with my partner

Time to be with no constant scheduling.

A present of a day to venture forth into the unknown metropolis of Holon to visit the Holon Puppet Center.

To see puppets of sorts and forms that were made by those who love to make them. To see a school where learning the art of puppetry is celebrated.

To visit Design Museum in Holon. To walk through the visuals of Lea Gottlieb and her teams of creators. To feel intentional building design.

Design Museum Holon - Lea Gottlieb

Design Museum Holon – Lea Gottlieb

A time for one-on-one with my eldest daughter.

Today, as I sense these days winding down, I see the half-made puppets on my still unscrubbed floor – & my stacks of semi-inspected papers. I re-read the NLP course notes of techniques and skills that I long to apply to others; I shrug at semi-hatched plans to publish my haiku into a hard-copy chapbook.

I smile as I sit and meditate this morning. I know that half-whatever will always remain half as I constantly re-vamp my conception of ‘whole’. Half-way along a permanent moving sidewalk still brings enjoyment and chance for growth.

A vacation

refresh body

reshuffle mind



March 1st – roll call


basic face

basic face


January – My trip to London (alas I didn’t blog it – but who had wi-fi when it was needed?) was phenomenal. To be in a conference of brilliant minds all wishing to share what they do and learn together new concepts to put into practice – well, that’s such a high bar of attention, that it’s hard to beat. (World ORT Wingate Seminar 2013)

I learned about gamification and how to step inside that new domain.

I heard from others that they would have been delighted to hear about puppetry in teaching. Next time!

I attended Chuquai Billy‘s poetry gig, and was happy to read some ku with him accompanying the breaks with his keyboard accents.

I met Jean from my ancient childhood and saw her current day incarnation – similar to then.

shops on High Street, Camden town

shops on High Street, Camden town

February – a month of catching up. Re-teaching that which hadn’t been taught in my absence. Re-dealing with kids who wanted to watch movies instead of study. Jumping into puppetry lessons with kids who want more per week. More and more!

Re-applying learnt concepts and re-kindling enthusiasm for a school day that doesn’t begin to offer the intense high of London’s Wingate Conference.

Sharing what I learnt with teachers in meetings and on the way to other things.

Re-thinking how I can engage my disengaged students.

Now March.


I feel the anxiety of students needing to pass Matriculation exams. I feel their lack of enthusiasm and preparation. I feel ill-equipped to deal with those who chose never to work. I feel helpless to help those who won’t work because they’re frustrated. I feel dismay with those who fear the work more than anything.

When free from feeling them, I devise wonderful techniques for implementing language. It’s all so simple without my students! Why is that?

(It’s complicated)

alter-ego mid-process

alter-ego mid-process

Saturday ku:

school dreams
haunt the morning

And so I awake way too early on a pure sweet Saturday. Not even coffee brightens my mind. Luckily the sun is out and the neighbour’s coughing session has ended. I can open the window and breathe in pure sweet refreshment.

anemones in the Negev

anemones in the Negev

What’s so difficult about rearranging the world?

A lot of good people have a lot of good ideas.

They share them with other good people.

They discuss, hone, perfect and set the wheels in motion to implement the good ideas.

But something seems to stop a lot of that flow


some twist of sociological interworking seems to crop up, preventing that good idea, worked on by good people, from being actualized to help other people live more reasonably.

Why is that?

What’s so difficult?

Look at Dean Kamen and his Segway. A simple pedestrian sized form of wheels created to deliver people in cities (or malls) to where they want to go without a lot of mess, fuss or inconvenience. Why aren’t our cities populated by simple little Segways? Why are we still forced to inhale fuel pollutants, risk our lives to cross streets, deal with unnecessary noise – all because people insist on taking cars from block A to block D?

The Segway. A good idea. It could rearrange the world. It was invented over 10 years ago. Why aren’t we seeing it in all of our cities?

Doing business via Segway

Back home, I’d like to rearrange my classroom. I’d like to rearrange students’ thought processes. I’d like to rearrange my own priorities first of all. Why is it so difficult?

How much inertia do we all gather as we live our successive years on Earth?

Is habitual ritual so very sacred that we refuse to give up things that we know are doing us harm?

What’s so difficult?