Sunday, June 21, 2009


Lastly, I just got back from a week in Florida. I went without Suzanne and Frances, because I was there to work. Every year, a company flies nearly one thousand teachers from all over the world to a location so they can gather and grade a test involving student writing. Because of confidentiality laws, I can't go into any more detail than that about the test. It is my fourth year doing this sort of work, and I always have a great time meeting other teachers.
Here I am, assessing writing. My assessment is that they stopped teaching penmanship in many schools...

I met a grotesque old woman (her words, not mine) from Georgia.
As well as two interesting teachers from Utah.

And here I am with Noreen from California, and Miriam from Texas, who have, in past readings, been my partners in crime. When we did this last year, we went and got henna tattoos on the last day of the reading.
I took this picture of palm trees-- as I live in Michigan, palm trees are terribly exotic and fascinating, though they are all over the place down there.

Here is a shot of the pier by the hotel. One year, I paid $1 to walk on the pier and realized it was a bunch of fishermen.
I took this picture of the beach at dawn one morning.
Here is a shot of my friend Noreen reading her poetry at a reading they held one night.
I took this picture from the window of my hotel room, on the 11th floor of the hotel. My camera had sat in air conditioning all day, and when I opened the window and stuck my camera out into the hot, humid air, the glass lens of the camera immediately began to fog up.
Here you can see what the beach looked like through my foggy camera lense. I kind of like the effect.
The company we worked for gave us money to go out to dinner one night, and I had a friend who had driven herself to the reading, so we decided to take a road trip to the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in her convertible. The three of us climbed to the top of that lighthouse.

And here I am at the top. The view was worth climbing 21o steps.

Allegedly, we were supposed to be able to see Cape Canaveral from the top of that lighthouse, but I didn't know what to look for.
After doing all that climbing, we were hungry, so we went and had dinner at "Lighthouse Landing" which was, surprise, surprise, right across the street from the lighthouse.
I don't know what gave me the impression that Florida was tacky...
This was our view from our table, at Lighthouse Landing.

Lastly, here is a self-portrait that I took in one of the gift shops. It shows my little Olympus XA2, which I just love shooting. Some call it the "poor man's Leica"-- and while I don't know as I would go that far, I think its a fabulous camera because its compact, sturdy, it has fantastic optics, and its amazingly quiet. It was one of the first idiot-proof point and shoot cameras, and its worth every penny of the $13 I spent for it on ebay. I also love it because it has this electric eye (it runs on two button batteries) which automatically sets the correct apeture and exposure for the lighting, and because of this, you almost never need to use a flash, and as you can see, I carry it around without a flash most of the time. It takes grainy, contrasty, color-saturated pictures, which I love. Also, its a fast camera--it has a range focussing system which works well, and it works fast--much faster than most digital cameras.
I also must add, that I enjoyed the reading. I enjoyed meeting colleagues from all over, and I enjoyed being near the ocean and getting some sunshine to take back to Michigan. But I missed Suzanne, and I missed Frances, and after eight days away from them, I was very ready to get home.
This post has probably gotten longer than you care to read. Most of you come here to see pictures of Frances, not of me. But I felt like sharing. More pictures of Frances follow, so keep reading.


G's Momma said...

You're a test reader???? I expect Frances is going to get a very good score on a certain college placement exam...


Anonymous said...

Dale, you take great pictures. I've head good things about that po-ET. lol.

Did you get a henna this year? I should send you a picture of my shark.