Slice of Life: Piano Crates And Imagination Rhythm

I’ve had time on my hands this past week and so I’ve wandered into making a few tracks of music. Here are two songs from yesterday, each capturing a little different emotional spin from being stuck temporarily at home. (Note: I think the songs are best experienced in headphones.)


Piano Crates (link)


Imagination Rhythm (link)

Peace (Rhythm and Sound),

Second Half of FlashFeb Drawings

This is the second installment of my curation of illustrations done for Flash Feb (where a prompt with an F in the title invited art).

Here is the first compilation for Days 1-15.

Peace (and Drawing),

Slice of Life: A Gift Of Soup And Kindness

I was out, walking the elder dog, when I saw a dear friend and neighbor walking her dog. She has been in the midst of medical care, and before I could ask how she was doing, she wondered why I was out walking instead of at work, teaching. I told her about my positive test, and my underlying cold-like symptoms, and then she gave me her own update.

As she was walking away, she turned back and told me her freezer was too full with many food deliveries from family and friends, including chicken soup, and that I should take some, and that she would leave it out on her porch, in a cooler. Later, walking the other (younger) dog, I did just that, grabbing a freezer bag of soup, and noticing she left me a bonus, too: a cookie.

Slice Of Life Soup

Both soup and cookie were delicious, and what a reminder it was that our lives are enriched by family and friends who keep an eye out on, and for, each other.

Peace (in hot mugs),

Slice of Life: Letting The Bot Blog

This kind of experiment with AI is now way overdone by too many bloggers, but I figured I’d ask ChatGPT to write me a Slice of Life blog post for today, and see what it came up with.

I asked it:

Write a slice of life blog post about a day sick at home, reading books, walking dogs, and wondering how students in the classroom are doing with a substitute teacher

It replied – in a response it entitled “Sick Day Worries”:

AI Blog Post

And, well, it’s words capture much of my worries and the slow unfolding of the day at home yesterday with books and dogs, and such, including a cup of tea in the afternon and some soup as snack. We live in strange times. (But, alas, Bot, I won’t be back to school this week at all)

And the image below? That comes from Stable Diffusion, another AI, which I asked to generate a watercolor image of a man walking two dogs on a winter day. It sorta looks like the dogs and I out on a ramble.

man with dogs on winter day

Peace (Automated),

Slice of Life: The Start of March

Slice via DallEYesterday, I wrote a post about how I might not take part in too many days of this year’s Slice of Life for various reasons, and here I am, on the first day, popping in. Go figure.  (The art here is from Dall-E2, with the prompt of a “slice of orange, done as digital art” – one of my ideas was to maybe share some art as slices, but I am not sure how that would even work yet.)

I’m stuck home this week because I tested positive on Monday (but mostly feel OK — just some cold-like symptoms) and need to quarantine through Saturday, and then mask up next week upon return to school. It’s been so long since I’ve had to think about it that I didn’t even remember the protocols. But basically, we had a week of winter vacation last week, one day of school on Monday, then a Snow Day yesterday, and now I am out for the next three days. Weird.

So yesterday, I was busy working on lesson plans for a substitute for three days and groaning about that work for a few hours (luckily, we just moved into Figurative Language, so there are plenty of fun activities for the students to do).

Then, late last night, I received an email (which I only saw this morning) from a student who had a terrible family emergency, and I feel as if being stuck at home is the worst thing I can be doing right now, instead of being in school, helping my class work through a difficult situation.

And so begins March …

Peace (and pondering),

PS — I did blast a loud shout-out to the Slice of Life Challenge in a National Writing Project space, so I hope some of those friends engage, too, as much as possible. I mean, teachers as writers! That’s a NWP motto.

Slice of Life: I Just Don’t Know

For many years now, in March, I have taken part in the Slice of Life daily writing challenge via the Two Writing Teachers community. This year, I can’t seem to muster myself, and it kicks off tomorrow. I figured I’d write a bit about my thinking- – a Tuesday Slice about whether to Slice or not.

My ambivelance may be part of how I view this Kevin’s Meandering Mind blog these days — it’s no longer a place where I am always doing a daily bit of writing anymore. It’s become more of a periodic space to share and think out loud when the interest strikes. I gave myself permission in the last year to let go of the idea of needing to post something here at the blog every single day. It may also be that my teaching life is taking up my full attention. It is. Sleep issues that have bedeviled me make for a more difficult morning transitions for me, too.

I also know that my daily writing focus has shifted towards writing short poems each morning with one-word prompts off Mastodon (and, of course, the DS106 Daily Create) and adding a third task to the writing routine seems like a bit too much to me right now. I know I have merged poetry and Slice writing in the past (using Haiku, say, for Slice writing). I’ve also done Day in a Sentence as Slice writing, narrowing down a reflection into a single sentence of thought.

I had an idea of doing Visual Slices this year, of using simple artwork with no writing to express a sense of a day, and maybe I will still do that from time to time. I’m giving myself permission in this post not to worry about Slicing every day, or even any day, but to keep the door open for when I feel inspired to reconnect. I hate the idea of not doing anything but that’s still a possibility.

A powerful element with the Slice of Life challenge is that you get to see many, many educators writing and reacting to each other. What began as a small community of teacher/writers sharing and commenting (a key component is that you comment as a reader) has now become a massive community — a good thing, in some ways, but maybe a bit too large for my tastes these days when I find myself leaning towards smaller but more vibrant networks of people. But I know that I can find familiar bloggers, too, from past Slice events, and reconnect, if I need to.

Whether I will or not … I’m just not yet sure.

Peace (thinking it out loud),

Data Points/Data Portrait

Data Portrait

One of the many data-centered art activities in Observe, Collect, Draw! that I reviewed the other day is a series of prompts that lead you to create a data portrait. I followed the directions and emerged with the embedded data art image. I sort of like it has no labels, although it may be confusing to anyone else (and maybe even me, in the days ahead).

This screenshot hints at some of the data points. Basically, shapes and colors and lines and more represent data along the sets of demographics, personality traits, interests and more.

Observe, Collect, Draw! A Visual Journal | Princeton Architectural Press

Peace (and Points),