a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Five Little Things

Ruth’s slice yesterday about “little things” was in the back of my mind all day.  So many little things, good little things, happen within a day that it is easy to overlook them.  Today, because I was on the lookout for these good little things, something happened—the goodness in these little things grew larger! 

Little thing #1:  The guest teacher in my room who was filling in for my co-teacher stopped me in the hall to say, “I love the way you conduct your classroom.  I have never seen anything like it and it made an impression on me. “

Little thing #2:  It was pajama day for red ribbon week.  Enough said.

The last few little things come from my special, inventedclass.  So, maybe these little things are more like medium things…

Little thing #3:  Thestudent who stopped writing because his older brother/idol told him, “Writingis gay,” produced two drafts of poetry in the past two days.  Today’s poem contained a line about listening to the Temptations sing “My Girl” while the rhythms of Tupac beat through the wall from the next room. 

Little thing #4:  A student, who is normally completely disengaged, participated in discussion during shared reading today.  He was building towers with glue sticks that happened to be near his seat, but when I noticed he seemed to join in more while he had the kinesthetic distraction, I decided not to bother him about following along.

Little thing #5:  After little thing #4, a student said, “You have to take a picture!  Please take a picture before he destroys the glue stick tower!”  Another student at first said, “We’re not in kindergarten, we’re in 8th grade!”  When I got my camera, he quickly changed his tune to, “Ooh, take another picture from a different angle!”  I couldn’t ignore the children inside these tough 8th grade boys—I had to indulge them:


  1. I love the way you captured the little things. The pictures are great. Boys and building - thanks for sharing.:)

  2. Oh-I've been thinking of Ruth's 'little things' too, Christy. I love how you found things to share all day today. This is a sweet story & it seems that your manner with the boys is getting there to their hearts. (I believe that our middle school kids would still be playing if if wasn't so not okay, with everyone-parents and friends, even society. And that's why the video game craze; it's play, just not with pretend toys of old.) Also, am glad you shared #1 as one! What a wonderful compliment to you.

  3. Your reaction to the glue stick tower is powerful. Big meaning in little things...thanks for sharing.

  4. Yes, the glue stick tower was a HUGE little thing. It is so sad about play. It is being destroyed at such an early age. My husband and I have talked about how we played into our middle school days. We were out in a rural area, and no one grew up fast that way, but in other ways we were certainly more mature than today's 8th graders. Sad, sad, sad. They need the play and creativity that is just not made available and is ridiculed by others. Maybe you can "build" on that tower idea. Could you bring in other things to construct with, have them take their pictures from the most interesting angles, write about them, etc.? Such a precious moment! I'd never want it to end!