Rebus stories and emails

For years, I’ve included graphics in my email messages. Why?                 Having researched imagery, I know if information is presented orally, people remember about 10%, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65% if you add a picture. The more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized and recalled. This is known as the pictorial superiority effect; and it is why we scaffold with images for English language learners. As is the case with many SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) strategies, it is best practice.…

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“I would prefer not to.”

The setup (i.e. the summary of the summary of Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener (by way of Sparks Notes ) The Lawyer, the narrator of the story, has already been surprised once before by Bartleby’s refusal to examine a document, as all scriveners (law-copyists) are required to do. Bartleby said he would “prefer not to,” and the Lawyer was so surprised that he hadn’t argued with him. A few days after this incident, there is a large document to be examined. The Lawyer calls in all his employees to work on the examination. But when he calls Bartleby to assist as well, the scrivener…

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Trees

“I don’t like trees because they’re not perfect,” I blurted from the backseat of the car. I remember my parents shocked reaction and call for clarification. Something about the lack of symmetry was a sad statement for a boy of eight, and quite telling of my innate perfectionism. Now as an adult having endured and survived many of life’s greatest personal challenges, I’ve grown to appreciate the beauty found in trees because their imperfections. Like us, trees go through seasons. At times, the trees are in full bloom, and the smell of crisp spring air engulfs us. By fall, our…

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Another surgery

Having been married at Santa Monica Beach, CA in ’07, I’d hardly predicted how we would spend our anniversary nine years later. As we checked into the registration desk at the Denton Regional Hospital, the receptionist asked, “How can I help you?” I responded, “We’ve reserved the honeymoon suite and spa.” After surviving an emergency open-appendectomy all-inclusive of [benign] tumors and seriositis (the inflammation of the tissues lining [a number of] my vital organs), a few months later, what I thought to be scar tissue turned into a golf ball-sized tear at the top of my 8-inch incision. Spring Break…

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Me: Won. Appendix: Zero

Note: This post was originally written July 5, 2015 and added to this blog site two years  later (because I have a blog now). The setting of my “how I spent my summer” essay would start at Denton Regional Hospital in wee hours of morning on Thursday in late June. Going back to the previous weekend where I’d been at the Texas Association of School Board Conference co-presenting some of the remarkable things happening in Denton ISD, I’d been hurting in the gut. But since internal issues have been my norm for so long, I just went on. (I chew Pepto-Bismol like…

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My TEDx Talk

Unless a bear is chasing me, I don’t run. On the forms at the doctor asking, “Are you allergic to anything?” I write, “Running.” Yet I’ve just finished a task someone recently compared to running a marathon. Having described my TEDx Talk experience midway through the process, a colleague said, “It sounds like training for a marathon. At some point, you just want to get it over with, get your 26.2 sticker, and say you did it.” Perfect. (Admittedly, I once Googled “26.2” because I thought it was a bible verse I couldn’t recall; and then I understood out why…

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