SOLSC Day 19: Remember when…?

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Slice of Life Small LogoThank you to the ladies at Two Writing Teachers (www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com) for hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Remember when…?

I got home late (again) tonight and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t allow my friends to read one more boring story about how I’m either sick or don’t have the time to do anything. I decided to revisit this date from last year’s blog. It seems that lately people are curious about the past, with Timehop on Facebook, Throwback Thursdays, and such, so I thought I’d take a look.”

Is It Friday Yet? (Originally written on this blog March 19, 2014 — One Year Ago)

I feel like I am in 1700s Massachusetts — the Battle of Bunker Hill/Breed’s Hill. I’ve climbed, ready to attack; I’m a “Minuteman” — ready to work in a moment’s notice. Monday and Tuesday flew by. I kept up, crossing each task off of my to-do list, and I got done with everything! Then Wednesday arrived.

Wednesdays are true “hump” days around here. Hump. Slump! Oh, my goodness! Today is trudging along like a camel in the desert! Slowly stomping along, I am moving forward. I’m writing this piece during my lunchtime, because I think once I get home I’m going to pass out on the couch. Grinding, winding, minding my business, just to get over the hump.

The rest of the week should go fast. I am hopeful that Friday will bring about smooth sailing, lasting through the rest of the spring. I am ready to get over the humps (Wednesday AND winter’s weather hump). I’m ready to blossom in spring, and into 2014 Indiana! The Revolution is over, right?

Well, I am NOT happy with the results of this search! I sound like an old record: too much to do, not enough time. I am supposed to celebrate this year: living my dreams, cleaning the clutter, living “lean.” That’s it! I’m starting anew…tomorrow.

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: Memories Come Later

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Tuesday was “Slice of Life” day. Not feeling well. Head pounding. Can’t think. Can’t write.

Wednesday morning, I’m home. Memories come later. This morning’s “on this day” news was the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster from 1986. Memories come and go, but this particular a.m. news sparked a vivid and disruptive time-travel experience for me, where my high school choir teacher came running into the studio room yelling, “Turn on the TV! The Space Shuttle just blew up!”

I remember. It was my senior year — last semester of high school — and we were happily socializing before the bell rang. We were high schoolers, not paying any attention to the world beyond our own until…Boom! We were forced to watch, forced to think, forced to feel for others.  I remember sitting down along the risers with my classmates while another boy ran and pushed the power button on the big black box hanging in the corner. We all sat in silence, watching, thinking, feeling.

I remember. I wasn’t feeling sad for the crew of the Challenger. How awful was I? I wasn’t wondering what happened at “Throttle up.” I figured I didn’t need to know that detail. I was reliving how my family had watched the first Space Shuttle take off in person — watching from the Titusville Pizza Hut with awe and wonder for the newest NASA space program victory. I remembered that the “5-Minute Guarantee Personal Pan Pizza” for lunchtime was new and that poor Pizza Hut staff could not possibly serve all the tourists that day in 5 minutes, and how my dad paid the bill anyway, even though it was supposed to be free.

I remember. As a future teacher-wanna-be, I felt awful for Christa MacAuliffe’s family. The first civilian– teacher– in space. What an opportunity! For an ordinary person to travel into space? It was the chance of a lifetime. This woman was everyone’s hero! Our own science teacher at our own high school had interviewed for that position! What a huge deal! I remember thinking, “Oh, my god! That could have been him!” Our class sat and watched, and thought, and felt for others in a way that not many of us had experienced before that time. I had never witnessed a death of a loved one at that point. I never had an aching heart before that day. I never knew those people or their family members, but that day…my last year of high school in 1986…I remember feeling pain for others.

I remember, but I dream about the future, too. I know that even though the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, bringing the world to a screeching halt, that NASA is not done with space. In 2003, one of my 5th grade students felt as I had in 1986. His grandmother’s backyard housed debris from the Columbia disaster.  I thought, “Oh, you poor kid! I know exactly how you feel!” Watching, thinking, feeling for others, I’m sure he remembers that February day as I do this day. Even though the Space Shuttle program has ended, I imagine that NASA is currently designing future exciting endeavors for teachers and their students in space. I think of the International Space Station, and the future civilians who will travel to the moon, Mars, and beyond. I have hopes and dreams — and I have January 28, 1986 in the back of my mind forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: Memories of Summer

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Summer’ here! Summer is almost gone.

School’s out. School will begin soon.

Dreaming of the good life…dreaming never ends!

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: End of the School Year…Finally…?

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Tomorrow is the last school day with students before break. Wow! What a year. I wrapped up with an interesting meeting with my partner teacher and our principal. Yes, it was a long year (thanks to the snow days!). Yes, we are ready for a break. But we are also looking forward to the next school year — an exciting new adventure awaits!

Thank you to all of the students, parents, and colleagues that made this school year one for the books. I appreciate all of you!

A little poem to leave with you:

Forget that we started class before eight. Forget your pencil? No, I won’t wait! Forget the answers on the test? Forget to act your very best?
Forget the author, forget the plot. Forget which book was great, or not. Forget to walk straight in the hall. Forget to pick up the basketball.

But don’t forget the fun we had. (Don’t forget to ask for new IPads!) Don’t forget to help each other; she’s your sister, he’s your brother. Don’t forget to think of me whenever you use the Power of Three.

Don’t forget the lessons you learned, about thinking, dreaming, and how you turned…work into the fabulous grades you earned.

Forget about Ellis Island, Russia’s pogroms, and geography’s many, many miles. But don’t forget —

— I’ll miss your smiles!

This poem was inspired by Kenn Nesbitt’s “What to Remember in School” (from Aliens Have Landed at our School, 2006)

 

Day 26: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Inspiration Poem: Trying It Again

Thanks to my fellow Slicers and Ralph Fletcher for reminding me to use a mentor text and recreate it with my own words. Here’s my attempt:

The Good Old Days

Sometimes I remember

the good old days.

We traveled to Florida

to catch spring break’s rays.

The most fun I ever had

was sitting on the beach with Mom,

walking to the pier with Dad.

Sea shells collected, sand castles erected.

Needing that sunscreen and hat

so sun poisoning wouldn’t make you lay flat

on the bed; can’t go out, Oh drat!

Playing with sis in the pool after dark,

Going to Disney, can’t find anywhere to park!

Returned to the balcony, tired, just sat.

I still can’t imagine

anything better than that!

Day 23: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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A Winning Weekend

We studied multiple-meaning words all year, and one word defined my weekend: winning.  I was thinking about posting this slice after 1:00 a.m., to be early for once, but now I’m glad I waited. My weekend revealed many definitions of “winning” and I plan to share my revelations in class this week. Winning, by definition, can be used as an adjective, a noun, or a verb, all generally meaning “gain or acquire.”

“Winning” as an adjective means (according to dictionary.com/thesaurus.com) “gaining, resulting in, or relating to victory in a contest or competition.”  Another version of winning states that it means “attractive.” I use both variations at once here — I couldn’t believe I was winning the game of Clue against the best board game players I know; I showed my winning smile proudly after beating Courtney!

I thought about my winnings and I decided that I share them with my family and friends. My many spoils Saturday and Sunday included time to watch movies,  play games, and relax after chores were done. I even reserved a brunch for the family at Tippecanoe Place, a famous historical mansion restored as a fancy meeting place. I felt like a winner, sharing good food and conversation in a unique atmosphere. Although my winnings did not include money, (I am still a poor teacher! LOL) I felt tonight that my loot came to me in the form of my little granddaughter who visited us before going home to bed.

I won! The verb. It means “to be successful or victorious.” I won this weekend because I was productive and happy AND now I have another authentic word study lesson to share with my students. “Winning” certainly does feel fantastic!

Day 22: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Wish You Were Here!

I wish I could have attended the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Saturday Reunion today. I loved reading about the highlights on all the blog posts — another amazing Saturday in New York City! Diane Ravitch was a keynote speaker! This amazing event drew the usual crowd of teachers from around the country! The weather wasn’t too shabby! Smiles to all of you. Thank you for sharing.

I read that some fellow Slicers got to meet each other for the first time in person! How wonderful! Finally getting the chance to truly become personal friends AND share in the learning — the opportunity of a lifetime. I look forward to the next time I will walk with a thousand other people along Broadway, crossing over at 120th ST to Riverside Church, arriving at least 45 minutes early to get a good seat (now there’s a challenge!), and enjoying a fun-filled day of thinking and sharing time with the experts in the field of education.

As for today’s events at home, I have to admit it was a productive, busy, yet relaxing day. The dryer got fixed — yay! I can do laundry! (Note the sarcastic tone.) We did our taxes — yay! (No, really! We needed that done.) My daughter and I went to the mall and brought home dinner — yay! (No, really! It was nice to get out.)  And for tonight’s main event, I watched “Pretty Woman” on TV — yay! (I enjoy viewing my favorite classic movies again and again.)

Bonus! It’s only Saturday and most of my chores are done now; I can enjoy the entire day tomorrow, too!  “Wish You Were Here” — not just a line from a postcard.

 

 

 

 

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