WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: UNUSUAL***

Lignum Draco, a WP mysterious dragon photographer, says post a photo that is unusual in some way for you, whether it be through technique, by subject, or in some other unique way. This theme is wide open to interpretation because only you know what is unusual to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Who Died on the Twenty-second of April?

 

Actor Will Geer, everyone’s Grandpa (Walton), died
of a respiratory ailment and was buried in his beloved grove.

 

Ansel Adams, rugged hiker with a camera, died
of cardiovascular disease in intensive-care.

 

Huey Newton, social activist, was shot
on the street in Oakland.

 

Cesar Chavez died
of arrhythmia precipitated by fasting and was buried
in a casket of unvarnished pine.

 

Pat Tillman, football player and US Army Ranger, was killed
in a canyon in Afghanistan.

 

Erin Moran, the Happy Days actress who lit up TV screens, was found dead
at a trailer park in Indiana.

 

Jean, my mother, died
of complications from Alhzeimers
in her bed at home
while across town, my father, Americus, died
of exhaustion and grief on a hospital gurney.

 

I stood near each of them, listened to them breathe.
I mourned with them and for them
and walked away into the rest of my life.

 

They are survived by me, their only child.
I think of them often and am mindful that,
when it comes to death,
I’m up next.

*** At first, I thought it a rare occurrence that a husband and wife would die within hours of each other.  

Since this unusual event in 2001 happened in my own life, I have learned otherwise.  

Have you heard similar stories?  

Toni 7/22/17

 

 

 

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: TRANSIENT

 

crossing Lake Orta, Italy

Most humans are never fully present in the now because, unconsciously, they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one.

But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.

                                                                                                                                                             ~Eckhart Tolle

Toni 6/23/17

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: FOCUS

Algebra II, the parabola lesson

 

Mr. Franklin points to a minimalist sketch.  ‘Alright people, today the focus is on, well, the focus.’  His triangular brows rise. Glacial blue eyes peer over rimless lenses, perusing our sea of faces.

 

All our math lives, we only knew about straight lines. Eyes roll, wander, glance sideways. This was a tough sell to teenyboppers.

Undaunted, Mr. Franklin introduces us to the parabola and its friends through the magic of wax paper.

We have no clue what a focus and a directrix are.  (We heard it wasn’t going to be on the test.  Just sayin’.)

 

Anyway, class that day was a hoot. And I did learn this much:  a parabola is a special arch-shaped curve.  But not just any arch-shaped curve. Each and every point on a parabola is at an equal distance from a fixed point ( the focus !!!) and a fixed line (the directrix).

 

So after applying the ruler to the wax paper and making a gazillion folds, I finally got a curve.  And that was that.

 

These days, teachers use Angry Birds and lots of cool real-life examples.

I don’t remember Mr. Franklin mentioning that when you kick a soccer ball or shoot an arrow or fire a missile or throw a stone, it arcs up into the air and comes down again ~ following the path of a parabola.  That kind of visual might have helped.

 

It wasn’t obvious to me how signs, symbols, and substitutions join together to become a coherent idea. In algebra, X marks the spot. (Well, sometimes it’s N or Y, as Mr. Franklin liked to say.)  To me it was like a pile of puzzle pieces, gray side up, not all that interesting until I finally realized that they fit together to create something pretty intriguing.

 

The parabola made my eyes glaze over. But when I saw The Eiffel Tower?  I thought about wax paper.

Toni 6/16/17