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I have followed Alan Levine’s blog and Twitter feed for a couple of years. I love participating in his #ds106 projects from time to time, as well. His dear mom Alyce passed away last week and it hit a nerve with me for a number of reasons-she reminds me of my sweet grandmother who turned 86 yesterday; my mom recently worried that her mom, my other grandmother, wouldn’t be here much longer; and Alyce and I share a love of baking for people. A couple of Alan’s friends declared today Cookies for Cogdog, or the Day of CookieLove, where readers were invited to bake cookies and give them out to strangers.

I set out the butter last night so I could make chocolate chip cookies first thing this morning. I use a recipe that I got from a dear friend in Brookings, SD. Her recipe comes out beautifully every time. I mixed up the batch then divided the baked cookies into three bags. I hadn’t thought about who would get them and started to get a little nervous about it. I talk to strangers all the time, but never offer them cookies.

On the way to my car after church I noticed that there was a man taking a break from working on the roof of the house across the street. As he was heading back toward the house I hollered an “Excuse me?” at him and explained that he was receiving cookies in honor and memory of a friend’s mom (it seemed a lot easier to say “friend” than try to explain the whole online Twitter/blog thing). He was definitely caught off guard in a good way.

At the farmers’ market a few minutes later, I wandered around looking for my next recipient. The gal at the java stand looked a little lonely since most folks there were after the fresh produce. After hemming and hawing a bit, I decided that I’d give her the second bag. I told her the same thing that I told the roofer but she asked me more details about the project and we chatted a bit. She thought that #cookielove was a great idea and, by the way, chocolate chip cookies are her favorite!

The last bag went to two ladies who work at the Good Sam house where my grandparents live. They spend their whole day giving care and I wanted to return some of that to them in cookie form.

What a great project to honor the memory of a kind woman, to treat people to some cookies and to get a little spiritual boost for myself!

Rest in peace, Alyce!

I first heard about Twitter when the news broke about James Buck using the micro-blog to announce his arrest in Egypt last year.  Sure, it piqued my interest, but I thought blogging was gratifying enough that I didn’t sign up at the time. I had no idea what I had been missing. I resisted for a few more months then jumped in with both feet during the vice presidential debates at the end of September. I had a blast writing about the Palinisms and Joe le Plombier, amusing myself greatly.  As I’ve amassed a solid number of followers and engaged with several of these folks online and face-to-face, I thank Twitter for helping me love my job again.

Granted, I’ve always enjoyed teaching, but until recently it had been missing that certain je ne sais quoi. I don’t always get the mental stimulation and challenge in the classroom that I need to thrive. Like my students, if I’m not engaged, I grow bored. Thanks to Twitter, though, I am re-invigorated. I learn something new every single day, “meet” people from around the globe and am challenged in different ways. I follow smart, forward-thinking, innovative people who enjoy sharing and building their own knowledge.

A short list of what I’ve gained in the past few months:

  1. Colorado Learning 2.0, a great un-conference of like-minded people from all over the country, not just Colorado. I am co-chairing the committee for next year. Join us on 02.20.2010 at Loveland High School!
  2. VoiceThread
  3. Lesson plan ideas
  4. Assessment tools
  5. Countless iPhone Apps
  6. Netroots Nation
  7. FTW
  8. #Hashtags
  9. Recipe for fresh collard greens
  10. Money and bread-baking tips