In days of old when I was a student,
in days of old when I was a high school English teacher,
we might have had a word study lesson in English class.

an adjective,
describes when need or want is sufficient or adequate.
I have had enough nonsense.

a pronoun,
used in place of a noun to denote adequate quantity or sufficiency.
Have you had enough?

 can be used as an adverb of degree.
Yes, I’ve experienced enough of this nonsense.

an interjection.
Enough!  Stop this nonsense.

The students in today’s schools have lessons to teach the rest of us before they can continue to learn traditionally taught lessons on English, math, science, history, civics.

an interjection has become a rallying cry.

The symbol and word began to appear in social media sites after the school shooting last month.
The symbol and the word already denote a visual message that stands for:
No more gun violence.
No more school shootings.

written on poster board and lifted high,
becomes the symbol for a movement.

Using this word as a rally cry,
 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
 unite, organize,
 and bring together hundreds of thousands of other students
 to march in cities across the nation to send a message to the leaders of this country that they want action against gun violence now.

on poster board is now a
oriflamme for
March for Our Lives.

Marchers lift  oriflammes where the cries of their hearts have been written with these words:

Today, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, rallying behind the use of one word, taught me not a grammar lesson, nor did they teach me a traditional word study lesson. They have taught me how much power there can be when one word is used by many voices to send a message.

The lesson these students taught the rest of us today came out of what they have learned in school.

They have learned, many by personal experience, that schools are no longer safe.
187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence in school since Columbine.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 
 have learned that if there is to be change, 
they must be change agents.

students across the nation came together under the rallying cry of 
to teach the rest of us just how powerful a word can be when it is used to send a message of change.

I could not get enough of watching the beautiful brave students from 
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
use the voices they found and developed after unspeakable horror visited them when 
they attended school on 
February 14, 2018.
On this date, a gunman took the lives of their classmates and teachers in a senseless act of violence.
On this date, school shootings and gun violence became personal to them.
On this day, they came together with one cry,

These students learned how to debate in debate class,
but soon they were using the skills they learned in debate class to argue for their cause:
there must be stricter gun control laws in our nation.
The arguments they made for their cause were solid, well researched, honest,  and factual.
No longer were these students just preparing for a debate tournament.
They were preparing to present their arguments on the world stage.
Their arguments were soon heard around the world.

These students had learned lessons in civics about democracy and how it is supposed to work.
Today, they showed us what democracy looks like.

They rallied.
They marched.
They demanded change.

They used their voices to show the world and this nation that our Freedoms are beautiful when we use those Freedoms to strengthen our Democracy. 


Today, I have again been proud to be an American.

I sobbed into the dish towel I held in my hand as I alternately cleaned the kitchen and watched the
March for Our Lives
on television as it occurred in Washington D.C.

I sobbed for the lives lost in a place that should be safe: school.

I sobbed as I thought of the trauma and shock and grief  that the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas experienced at school.

I sobbed as I thought of how this trauma marred their young lives and sobbed as I thought of how they will carry this trauma and will have to make sense of it for the rest of their lives.

I sobbed because I was overcome with emotion as I looked at their beautiful, brave faces.

I sobbed as I listened to inspirational speeches they delivered with an eloquence and articulation that we rarely, if ever, hear in our world of politics today.

I sobbed because I saw their respect for our Freedoms and for our Nation, and for each other.

I sobbed because though they were young, they were wise and wonderful, and they were united, and they were honest, and they were respectful, and they were real.

They were a breath of fresh air which we do not deserve to have because we, the Children of the Sixties, have become calloused, and cynical, and have forgotten what it is like to believe change can happen when people march for what is right.

I sobbed because I again believe that the people can and will rise up and speak against:
 social injustice, 
greed, and 
political corruption.

I sobbed because I saw our 
our hope,
our children,
stand united 
giving a message
that says
#Enough is enough.

This bright, articulate, passionate, organized, and intelligent generation 
truly has given me hope for the future.

I join with them by sending this message:
It is time for change.
The lives of our children continue to be at risk.

I hope I’m around for another couple of decades so I can see just what this next generation of citizens and voters will do with the lessons they learned in school.  
For now, on this day, I was so moved, and so proud to call them my fellow Americans as I watched how they were using their voices to inspire change across America.

Not one more.
Not one more student should die at school.
Not one more teacher will have come between a gunman and the students in his or her classroom.

No more school shootings.
Stop the gun violence now.
Protect kids not guns.
Stop the NRA.

Congress, you must act.

Congress, it is past time.  
You must immediately enact a comprehensive bill that will effectively address the gun violence issue in our country.  

Our children have joined arms to 
March for Our Lives.
Our children should never again have to run for their lives.

Change, Structure and Blogging

I've never done well with change.  I like things to be the way I like them to be.  It seems I have a difficult time with change because creating structure for my life is extremely difficult for me.  Once I establish a system and create structure for my life, I feel less chaotic if I stick to to my system or structure.  I would like to say it is in my DNA not to conform to structure, but where would I be without the structure of my DNA?

As I write these words, I realize how conflicted I am over the roles that change and structure play in my life.   I need structure and hate change.  I love change and hate structure.  Deep down inside I have always resisted rules, structures, and schedules.  I feel very trapped if I am not free to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  My daily struggle involves one where I try not to do things as the spirit leads because if I only did things when I am inspired, a lot of things that need to be done would never get done.

If you read that previous rambling paragraph, you may be saying to yourself, "This girl is really confused.  Does she like change or not?  Does she like structure or not?"  My answer would be, "I truly am confused!  You've got that right.  I am a mess.  I love/hate structure.  I fight against structure because I feel it confines me.  I must have structure to do well.  Change scares me.  Change is exciting to me when I am in control of the change."  Can any of you relate?

As a teacher, I relied on structure in order to have good classroom management.  As a ninth grade English teacher, much of my task was to teach order and structure.  Much of my day consisted of teaching the structure of a sentence, a paragraph, an essay.  Other days, my focus in teaching was on teaching the structure of a story.  I loved teaching structure to my students.  I insisted that structure was evident in the way my classroom was maintained, and that it was evident in all writing assignments except for journals.

After retirement, I struggled most with structure.  I now longer lived by the bell.  I no longer had to stick to a lesson plan.  I was free to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.  Since I needed a hobby of sorts, and because I love to write, I took up blogging.  I had a slow start, but then, I found myself spending at least an hour a day blogging.  Blogging connected me to an entirely different life.  I soon found that a day just was not complete without visiting my blogging friends.

Since we moved in October, blogging has really taken a backseat in my life.  This is not because I don't love reading blogs and writing blog posts.  This is not because blogging is no longer important in my life.  It is because of change and a lack of structure in my life that blogging has been pushed to the back.  I so admire those of you who write blogs on a daily basis filled with photos, sayings, and family events.  Here it is a week after Easter and my camera full of photos taken on that day is still upstairs untouched. I have not downloaded the photos.  I have not written a blog post about our wonderful holiday, and now the news is a week old!

When we first moved, I couldn't even find my desk.  I didn't turn my computer on for days.  I didn't clear off a place for it on my desk and plug it in for weeks.  Then, I actually was unhappy with the location of my office space and my desk.  The room selected by me, and the only room suitable for such an area, is in the basement in what seems to me to be the most disconnected from life corner of the house.  Needing connection to life to write, I find I have a very difficult time even wanting to enter my office.

Realizing my dislike of my office space, I purchased a desk for the upstairs guest room.  This has caused me to feel a bit more connected to life and blogging, but so far, the location is still not totally working out for me.  I don't want to move my entire office upstairs, so I continue to feel disconnected to my space for writing.

Then, there is the lack of structure in my life these days.  Jim and I have really struggled with this.  We found that a new house means that life get lived a little differently.  The routine was disrupted when we moved.  We are beginning to adjust to our new environment, but it has taken us some time.  We have both dealt with multiple health issues in the past year.  These issues have not gone away since we moved.  These issues have also disrupted our routines in life.

At times, during the past five months, I've thought of giving up blogging since I just could not keep up with reading blogs, commenting, and writing my own posts.  I have not given up blogging, but my blogging life has certainly changed.  I hope to get some structure back when it comes to blogging.  I hope my blogging friends will bear with me.  Know that I think of you often, read your blogs as I can, and write when I finally am able to set the time aside to do so.

As I have thought about my future in blogging, I have been pondering adding a new blog.  This blog will remain, but I am exploring the idea of adding a second blog.  This seems like nearly a crazy thing to do since I can't keep up with this blog, but I hope to create a blog with a different theme and with more structure.  Again, don't give up on me as I explore this idea.  Stay tuned.