Hi everyone

Time for a bit of goo foffing. Last night our Robin and her Tim and their Tyler and his Josie flew in. Jeff is already here. So let the good time roll. I have stuff to do, and at least some of it will get done, but some won’t. A friend advises me to stay in the moment. I predict that things will all work out.

On the “missing you” side, we are missing Jeff’s Jennifer and grandson Kris, who is celebrating his 31st birthday today alone.

Happy birthday, Jeff Harrison

Hi everyone,

Today is Jeff’s birthday. We won’t be with him. Half a country separates us. We’ll talk on the phone and sing the Happy Birthday song, same as always, and wish we could be together to sing it in person. We’ll think about him a lot today and remember him as boy and man. I’ve written about Jeff and Robin over the years to capture a few favorite memories. Here’s one about Jeff from CONNECTING DOTS, written about a time when he wanted to go camp in the wild, the two of us, no girls allowed. We called the site we chose Camp Little Hatchet. The first two years we stuck to a strict policy that absolutely no girls were allowed, and that went especially for sisters and mothers. Year three, on the last night, Robin was really feeling left out and Sandy asked me on the phone if they might come down to join us. I had to use my fatherly skills to negotiate a suspension of the rules, just for one night only. Here’s how I remembered in the book.

I’m 37. For the past three years Jeff and I have traveled 50 miles to camp on Beaver Creek. Robin would love to come too. So far we’ve stuck to a strict no-girls-allowed policy.


Camp Little Hatchet —
manly odors of tent and hot-dogs,
potatoes burnt to blackened shells
in a rock-circle guy-fire.

Last bastion of rugged males
hidden in weeds that would make girls cry
about snakes and spiders lurking nearby.

Butterfly nets and water skis
leaning ready against trees,
boat pulled up by masculine muscles
onto the bank.

“What do you think?”
We’re getting ready to slap steaks
thick and juicy the way guys like them
onto the grill,
“Invite the girls for the last night?”

“Never allowed girls before.
Think they’d come?”

“Don’t care if they do,
don’t care if they don’t.”

“I guess we could call.”

Our guests arrive in time to eat.
They don’t make fun,
and that’s important.
We’re glad to see them, even here.
We let them stay.

(c) 2009 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

Fast forward to Jeff the man, the loving husband to Jennifer, son, brother; the fisherman, the hunter of clams and crabs; the chef of wondrous dishes, the tech guy, the wit, the fixer guy, the answer guy, and so much more.

Happy birthday, son. I’m proud to be your dad. I love you.

GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH is finally here — really!

Hi everyone,

On September 22, Laura Robb and I celebrated the publication of our book, GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH for Grades 4-8. As it turned out, books weren’t ready for shipping until yesterday, October 8, so we get to celebrate again.
One reviewer wrote, “Laura Robb and David L. Harrison have nailed the very core of the kind of cognitive apprenticeship that transforms student engagement and capacity.”

To the teachers who contributed to our book (including my daughter-in-law, Jennifer Harrison), thank you. I loved how you somehow made time for us when we came to you to “test drive” subject matter and activities. Laura and I are very grateful.

Leaving Oregon

Hi everyone,

We returned home yesterday from a seven day trip to see Jeff and Jennifer in Portland and Cannon Beach, Oregon. I’ll tell you about all our wonderful visit later but this morning I’m sad for all the people in Oregon, California, Colorado, and everywhere else who are being devastated by the unending, high-wind driven fires.

At J&J’s house at Cannon Beach, they have a majestic view of the valley from their back deck. On Tuesday we could already see smoke drifting in over the hills.

Here’s the same view two days later as we were leaving for Portland. And here is all we could see of downtown Portland yesterday as we headed to the airport. By then Portland had been judged the worst air quality of any major city in the world. Fires have already caused 500,000 people to evacuate or be prepared to, and small hamlets have been entirely wiped out. So very sad.