Teaching Someone How to Tell Time

teaching clock

The Summer 2016 Challenge continues. The entire first stanza of this poem was today’s prompt.

IT TAKES a SOLID HOUR
to teach an ESL student
how to tell time,

the basics –
the o’clocks,
the minutes.

That’s assuming they already know
how to count to 60.
If not, you need to allow for that.

The fancy stuff –
AM and PM,
noon and midnight,

half past,
a quarter to and
a quarter past –

takes longer,
but those details
are especially useful.

The biggest hurdle,
it turns out,
is the same for all –

figuring out
which is the little hand
and which is the big.

Depending on the clock face,
it can be difficult.
The teaching aid (shown) is simple

but that assumes the learner knows difference
between little and big.
If not, you need to allow time for that.

I’m not in a rush.
I enjoy imagining the many moments
this skill will prove useful

and the student thinking back on our time together.
AND I enjoy my afternoon nap
because it’s amazing how tiring mental work can be.:-)

Q: How necessary is it to know how to read a clock face now that we have digital clocks? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Doing the Real Work

 

placemat

I GOT BACK TO WORK on the ebook
that stalled out and
has been waiting for a missing part to arrive.

I think it came in last week or the week before,
but I have the unfortunate habit
of letting things sit unopened

because if I take a peek
it’s on me to take the next step
and I’m not ready to open the file again.

Truth is, I lost my oomph
and have been looking everywhere for it,
except in the direction of the missing piece.

The middle is hard; it’s where a lot of people stop. – Ann Kroeker

At church
we’re coming up on the last of a 5-parter
about Nehemiah
and how work gets done

not impulsively but with planning
not disorderly but methodically,
in his story

each assigned a section
closest to home.
We are not where we are by accident.

The view out of our window
has been given as a gift.
There, right there, is the place to

take our tools each day
and apply them
for the season we are there.

So much time is wasted
wishing we were working
on someone’s else’s assigned section

while ours lays waiting
for us to bring our tools
and dive in.

Nothing good gets started without getting to work. And nothing great gets finished without staying at the work.- Ann Voskamp

Notes:
If you’re stuck in the thinking stage, Where to Start
Stuck in the Middle by Ann Kroeker
The Secret to a Genuinely Productive Work Weeks by Ann Voskamp
Book of Nehemiah

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Rain Lover

THIS MORNING’s rain
turned the birdbath into a tempest
and made the flowers bend low.

I am a rain lover
raised by a woman
who thought of rain
as ruiner of days.
a spoiler of picnics and outfits,
a turner of moods.

Possibly, when younger,
I thought the same,
back when I spent my life
trying to make curls straight.
Or maybe I had no opinion at all,
but just went along,
trying to keep her disappointment
in the weather
from driving the whole day downward.

ONE AUGUST AFTERNOON
at my best friend’s house,
after weeks of record heat and drought,
the skies quite suddenly opened
at 4 o’clock in the afternoon,
a real gully washer.

My friend’s mother,
a beer or two into cooking dinner,
left her kitchen,
marched outside
and stood in the rain,
soaking it up and laughing.

We, 16 and embarrassed by everything our parents did,
went to bring her back,
but she’d have none of it.
She walked out to the sidewalk,
stepped off the curb
and splashed in the torrent
rushing through the gutter.
When we reached her,
we did the same. It seemed the thing to do.
There we were, the three of us,
soaked to the skin and laughing loud,
not caring if the neighbors were looking.

There was something in that moment, I know,
for I’ve never forgotten.

 

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