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

Friday, March 2, 2012



Student #1: Maybe superheroes were already thought of when there were dragons.  Maybe people saw the fire-breathing dragons and thought, “Hey, what if humans could do that?”  That might have been the first thought of a superpower.

Me:  Excuse me.  Did you just say, “When there were dragons”?

Student #2: Yeah, like during medieval times. 

True story. 

Yes, this conversation actually happened during my honors language arts class this week.  The invention-of-the-superhero discussion was sparked by our upcoming visiting author Matthew Cody’s book: Powerless.

Though witnessing the realization of way too many several students that fire-breathing dragons did not actually exist was cause for panic considering the upcoming state testing that begins next week amusing, I can’t say it was my favorite superhero conversation of the week. 

Today, in the alternative class I invented, my students begged for independent reading time.  I don’t usually spend class time on the independent reading part of reading workshop on Fridays because school-wide we start the day on Fridays with independent reading. I have to admit, this class contains some of the unlikeliest readers, and I was happy to succumb to their request if it meant they would actually engage in something as productive as reading.

As my heart was bursting into a victory dance I was caving in to their request, a student spoke up.

Student X:  I figured out your superpower, Mrs. Rush.

Me: Oh yeah?  What’s that?

Student X:  Getting us to like reading. 

Me:  I wish I had that superpower!  In reality, I work really hard to make that happen. 

Student X:  You make it look easy.  Like you just hand over a book and we fall in love. 

Sometimes you have to hold on to the best moments and laugh at the rest.


  1. Christy!!! This is a beautiful slice; one I think I'll probably hold onto for the rest of my life. I loved how you showed your real thoughts in strike-through text (I giggled!) and the message is top-drawer. Please explain to your alternative students involved in this conversation how awesome I think they are :). See you tomorrow's slice!

  2. Wonderful story, again! I am so happy you share these with us. Does my heart good to hear your success. "Like you just hand over a book and we fall in love." Beautiful! And and FYI-I was an adult before I realized/discovered that King Arthur was not a real person. I was heartbroken! I'm not sure about dragons, but I think I was pretty old. To believe in something so magical is rather sweet, I think. But then there is the testing... Finally, have you read the Nerdy Book Club post today? I think you'll like it!

  3. You know what?
    I totally believe you have super powers.
    Tell your alternative students I'm with them on that one.
    Tell your honors kids that my honors kid also lives in a world where dragons are real.

  4. I believe you have super powers too! Your words are mesmerizing and I fall in love with your slices, just as your students fall in love with the books. What an awesome note of recognition. On those terrible, bad, no-good days when kids believe in dragons, remember this.

  5. Our very own super hero - woot woot! :)
    How fabulous to have students not only realize the magic, but to speak it out loud.

  6. I love how you told this through the conversation. The best line is "Like you just hand over a book and we fall in love." That is a super power! I sounds like you have developed a book whispering talent. Way to go!

  7. Yep, you are a super teacher! "You just hand over a book and we fall in love." Sounds like magic to me.

  8. Oh, my! Don't they just take you through all the emotions!

  9. You got a wonderful compliment. Just don't let testing and other enemies to steal your powers.

  10. What a WONDERFUL story. I love how you mixed in your thinking with the dialogue in play style. I also love the crossed out words left in the post. Great idea.


  11. You are a superhero! I just had to read this conversation aloud to Andy! You rock, my friend!

  12. You do have superpowers! "Like you just hand over a book and we fall in love." I had to type out that sentence. What a testimony to your superhero-ness! (And, you can write like a super-hero, too!)

  13. Great story! I loved that you kept those crossed out words - your REAL thinking!

  14. What a fabulous superpower to have - getting students to read. At times, it can feel like it is never going to happen. I laughed out loud about the dragons even though I understand completely about the panic about upcoming state tests.

    Thinking Out Loud

  15. Super hero you are! I love reading your stories, especially your inner-true voice. A joy! You are a super hero for me.