Happy Anniversary to The Goddess Howe!

Happy 1-Year Anniversary to The Goddess Howe blog! Yep, one year ago today I posted my very first blog as I stepped off into this crazy journey of pursuing my dreams. The Goddess Howe flower pictureTo all of you who have subscribed to the blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Your support means the world to me and has encouraged me on days when I questioned my sanity for doing this.  (And if you haven't subscribed yet, PLEASE DO! It's painless.  You just sign up with your email address and you get an email whenever I do a post.  Which you can read or delete or forward or ignore.) To those of you who have commented on my blog posts, a big huge thank you!  I read once that the difference in a blog and  a website is that a blog is a two-way conversation, so thanks for conversing with me. To all of you who have followed The Goddess Howe on Facebook, thank you!  Your likes, your comments, your shares, and your support have kept me going and inspired me to keep writing and keep posting.  Share it and spread the word whenever you like it!summer fun, beach, 4th of July, swimming And finally, I'd like to thank the Academy.....or more importantly, My Knight and Dr. Smooth, for reading every post, critiquing every post, and for providing so much great material.  We have two new catch phrases in the house.  1- You should blog about this! and 2- Don't you dare blog about this! Blogging is a funny thing.  Putting yourself out there to the entire world (or the portion of the world that will find your posts) and saying, "Here's how I feel.  Here's what I think.  Here's what happened to me."  Sometimes they like it.  They're inspired, or entertained, or encouraged.  Sometimes they don't like it.  They're offended, or infuriated, or bored. But isn't it just the coolest thing?? That I can sit down and write out what I'm thinking, or feeling, or experiencing, and for a brief moment in your day.....you and I connect?  No matter how far apart we might be, and whether we are family, close friends, or complete strangers....for that moment we connect.  Our lives bump up against each other in this big ole' world. So here's to another year of bumping into each other!  I'll keep posting; you keep reading and commenting. And now there is a whole new way for us to connect.  Starting today, The Goddess Howe will be featured as a weekly column in the South Lake Tablet.  It's new material, so check it out! I'm gonna celebrate today with a Diet Coke.  And maybe a cupcake.  But we can celebrate together by taking a look back at the most popular posts from this first year based on the stats.  Just click on the title to read that post.  Enjoy! (and seriously, thank you!)

wedding bouquet from wedding planner, The Goddess Howe#10:  Bizarre Things No Wedding Planner Wants to Hear

Spend fifteen years working weddings, and you wouldn't believe some of the crazy stuff you  hear.

#9: And You Thought Your Handy Man Was Hot

My Knight's incident with acid proved I didn't miss my calling by not going into Emergency Management.

chewing gum on folders for The Goddess Howe post#8: Grizzly Bears, Class Size, and Chewing Gum

When people ask why I quit teaching, I tell them penguin eggs and chewing gum.  Here's the gum part.

#7: Perfect Wedding Gone Haywire

Just when you think nothing can go wrong, inevitably it does.  Especially if it's a wedding.

#6: Laundry Lessons Learned

One of my most embarrassing moments.  And I chose to share it online with the world.  And people clicked on it enough to make it in the top ten posts on my blog.  Should I be proud or humiliated???

#5: Known By Love (Why Everyone Should Have An Aunt Zula)

I miss this dear lady so much, but I am so happy that my tribute to her resonated with so many people and made the top ten.  She would have smiled at that.  In fact, she probably is right now.

#4: Tattoos, Pole-Dancing, and Cirque du Soleil

More people get to this post through random Google searches than any other post I have written.  I never knew so many people searched the web for "pole dancing tattoos".  And I can almost guarantee you that this post was not what they were looking for!

snake coming out of the drain in a bath tub#3: Snake in the Tub: An End to All Bubble Baths

This post has definitely caused the most controversy by far.  Many people would not read it based on the title.  Several friends cursed me for posting pics of snakes.  And a few have cursed me because they don't enjoy bubble baths anymore.  And this post garnered my first piece of hate mail.  Some total stranger had very strong opinions on what happened in my bath tub.  To each his own.

#2: Meeting Justin Furstenfeld: Our Blue October Adventure

This is one of those posts that I wrote for me, to get it off my chest and express something I had been unable to express.  I didn't think anyone would relate to it or particularly like it.  But we are never truly alone in our thinking or our feeling.  And it turns out quite a few people could understand admiring someone so much and wanting to express that, and ending up looking like an idiot instead.  Enough to make it #2 on the stats.  (It helped that there are lots of Blue October fans!  #sway)
Blue October Justin Furstenfeld
Me, My Knight, & My Fave Singer

And the #1 post from The Goddess Howe's first year: No Zero Grading Policy

I told my principal when I left teaching that I hoped to do something to help kids on the outside that I was unable to do on the inside.  I am thrilled that this post on a subject I am so passionate about ended up getting more hits than anything else I have written here.  Anytime we can open a dialogue and enlighten others to see a cause, to question an issue, to converse and share information, there is hope for change.  And I firmly believe our public education system needs to change. So there you have it!  The top ten most visited posts from my first year.  I published 80 posts this year.  I am setting a goal to almost double that in the coming year.  I hope you'll keep coming back for more.  And tell your friends. The Goddess Howe Much love, The Goddess Howe      

No Zero Grading Policy

notebooks and binders for class size blogThe Orlando Sentinel published an article this week about the no-zero grading policy.  It appears that high schools across Central Florida are starting to incorporate the policy of giving nothing below a 50%.  This has been a common practice for many middle schools for several years now. The article in the newspaper actually said it is against state law to do this, and that the state statute says Fs should be graded as 0-59 and that an incomplete assignment should be a zero.   That's news to me as a former teacher who was strongly encouraged (pretty much forced) to never give below a 50%. I was shocked to read a statement from an Osceola County spokesperson saying that Osceola County schools do NOT use a grading policy of F being less than 50%, especially since the official policy we were given as teachers at an Osceola County middle school was to have nothing below a 50%. Continue reading "No Zero Grading Policy"

Teenagers, Teachers, & Years that don’t Exist

One of the great joys of teaching middle schoolers is that they typically think they know everything, but they haven’t seen enough, done enough, or read enough to know much of anything.  By the time they reach 7th or 8th grade, most pre-teens and teenagers think they are ready to graduate and live their lives, and school is just a conspiracy by adults to waste their time and hold them back. They may be able to quote entire episodes of Family Guy or keep a beat with Eminem or Drake, but they have never heard of John Wayne and think that Washington, DC and Washington the state are the same thing. For me and my sarcastically-bent humor, the challenge was lovingly working through their lack of knowledge when they were hell-bent on throwing their perceived knowledge in my face. Continue reading "Teenagers, Teachers, & Years that don’t Exist"

Grizzly Bears, Class Size, and Chewing Gum

Chewing Gum used when Class Size failsChewing gum by itself doesn’t seem like a good reason for anyone to quit teaching.  So when people ask why I left the profession, and I answer “penguin eggs and chewing gum”, they always look confused.  It’s a quick, easy answer to a question that isn’t at all quick or easy to answer. We'll call this student Jose.  He came in halfway through the first quarter, a large boy, easily twice the size as most of the other sixth graders.  Right away there was something not quite okay with Jose.  He giggled a lot, spoke in very simple sentences, and didn’t seem to know what was going on around him. Continue reading "Grizzly Bears, Class Size, and Chewing Gum"