Tag Archives: Old Blind Dogs

A step in the right direction

4 Aug

It’s August, so my mind is turning back towards school. I have my first training  of the 2016-17 school year today, a presentation by Kelly Gallagher. It will be fun to see colleagues again and go out for lunch, and generally start getting ready to go back to school. I am ready to change direction.

In her graphic novel, Compass South, Hope Larson;s characters have t change direction, too.


Publisher’s Summary: It’s 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra’s father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex is shanghaied to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother. Neither Alexander nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in-they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced, breathtaking adventure.

This is the first book in a series entitled Four Points and is really quite engaging. The second book, Knife’s Edge, is due out in June 2017 and I am looking forward to reading it. This series would be perfect for readers in grades 4-7, who love adventure.


As I sit  here this morning, sipping my coffee and gearing up for the day, I feel like a ship, changing course in a very calm ocean. August is the month where that transition happens. Rolling home, back to work. Here’s a little musical interlude from one of my favorite Scottish bands that sort of sums up how I am feeling these days.



Happy Burns Day!

24 Jan

Robert Burns, also known as Robbie Burns, the Ploughman Poet and the Bard of Ayrshire, was born on January 25, 1759.


One didn’t grow up a Gillespie without becoming familiar with him. Fortunately, we didn’t grow up eating the traditional Burns Night meal, haggis (sheep offal and oatmeal cooked in the sheep’s stomach).

Many of Burns’ poems were  intended to be sung, and many have been recorded, some very traditionally, some less so. Here is one of my favorites “A Man’s a Man For A That” performed by The Old Blind Dogs.

And here’s Dougie Maclean performing “Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon”. It is a lovely recording.

Growing up a Gillespie, we were also taught to stand at attention when we heard the bagpipes, so, please rise for this rendition of Burns’ most popular song”Auld Lang Syne”.

And, if you also feel called to raise a glass in honor of the Bard of Ayrshire, today or any day, go right ahead.


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