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Showing posts from September, 2012

A Flicker, A SPARK, A Flame!

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English: Campfire with sparks in Anttoora, Finland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For the past few years, I have been taking part in a wonderful collaboration called SPARK.  SPARK, a quarterly event that brings together artists, writers and musicians, is the brainchild of Amy Souza, a writer and artist in her on right.

Just a few days ago, the most recent event, SPARK 17, came to an end.  For me, it was one of the best, yet.  

For SPARK 17, I was both an artist and a writer.  I submitted a Flash Fiction piece I had written and a photograph that I enhanced with GIMP.  My partners, both very gifted and talented woman, sent me an inspiration piece to respond to, also.  One was a painting, the other a poem.  

You can see the results of our work by clicking on the following links:

My flash fiction and Liz Mathews painting.

Liz Mathews painting and my poem. 

Ana Gonçalves poem and my photo.

My photo and Ana Gonçalves poem.

What a pleasure it was to work with two uniquely different people.  I felt challe…

Poetry, Fall and Fundraising!

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Autumnal Equinox
The misty ghosts rise early from the river bed. Traveling up the mountain side, they wrap their icy arms around  the swaying maples and bending birches. Their chilly welcome signals a change from homely gowns of green to garments of lush red, startling orange and brilliant gold. Soon, the entire mountain is resplendant in its autumn finery.
by Linda M. Rhinehart Neas © 2012
How I love the autumn season and writing poetry!  This fall, I am so excited to be participating in the Poem-a-day challenge because for each poem I write, friends and family have pledged a donation to The Center for New Americans (CNA).  CNA is an organization that supports immigrants and refugees by providing various resources and programs that help acclimate them to their new home.  
Some of you know that I am very passionate about CNA.  This is were I teach English as a second language.  I have had the joy of seeing students with few English skills progress to community college and beyond.  One of the thi…

Poems and Literacy

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November is the Poem-a-day challenge. This will be my third year in the challenge, but this year there is a twist.  This year, for each poem I write, people will be pledging money that will go to the Center for New Americans (CNA), a non-profit organization that supports and educates immigrants and refugees and their families.  

I am excited for two reasons: one, this is where I teach and I love my students.  Two, the money will be going to continue our family literacy program, which allows children of our adult students to be taught in a pre-kindergarten literacy program, while their parents are learning English. 

30 Poems in November was conceived by Northampton Poet Laureate Leslea Newman, who challenged the poets and writers of Northampton to write their poems during November 2009 to raise funds for CNA.  The idea caught on like wildfire and the fundraiser not only was a success, but it became a yearly event that has now grown into a community celebration of poetry.

Poets can sign up…

Wisdom Education

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Icon of St. Sophia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Over the past month, I have taken a course on Wisdom Education, which is based on the work of theologian, Matthew Fox, who is famous for Creation Spirituality, among other things.  The course was developed by Theodore Richards, the director of The Chicago Wisdom Project.

In a nutshell, Wisdom Education is a means to help students, first, get in touch with their body's wisdom, learning techniques to de-stress, then, second, allow them to find a creative means to express themselves. 

What I loved about this pedagogy of teaching is that it works for students of all ages because it takes us back to Wisdom.  Teaching in aboriginal or indigenous cultures is steeped in Wisdom.  In fact, the "teachers" are often referred to as Wise Women or Wise Men.  

Matthew Fox teaches that Wisdom Education incorporates the 10 C's - Contemplation; Character/Chakra Development; Cosmology & Ecology; Chaos & Darkness; Compassion; Community; C…