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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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SUDDENLY


This week my dog’s bark suddenly sounds sweeter.
The pooch belly I’ve been amassing suddenly looks thinner.
The bathtub in desperate need of a good scrubbing suddenly appears shinier.
The list of delicious television shows on the DVR suddenly seems longer.
The pile of papers to be graded suddenly seems more inviting.
The tan on my legs suddenly glows darker.
The stack of book reviews waiting to be written suddenly tugs at me stronger.
The clothes in my closet suddenly fit better.
The hair I’ve been trying to grow out suddenly feels longer.
Could it be summer is suddenly near?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

GOODNESS AT THE GROCERY STORE


The past week of my life has been filled with goodness.  My mom’s plane landed safely…four times!  My treasured colleague who was suddenly bumped when her position was changed ended up safely back in a position at our school.  My meeting with the superintendent led to the opportunity to extend my work to other middle schools in our district.  A former student invited my husband and I to attend his National Honor Society Induction and told us how he wouldn’t be there if not for our work. 

Now that is goodness.  But you know what else is goodness? When you are at the grocery store (I know it doesn’t seem all that good right now, but wait…just wait) stepping out of line with a cart full of purchased food when you are starving (keep waiting, the food is better, but that is not the truly good part) and you hear the surprised gleeful cry of your name (not your first name, but the one you are only called when you are surrounded by middle school students—your teacher name) followed by hugs, “We talk about your class all of the time,” “Did you use my letter about literature as an example this year?  What did your students think of it?” and best of all—“I miss you.”

Every once in awhile a teacher deserves to feel like a rock star.  At the grocery store.  Now that is goodness.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT


As it turns out, when you find yourself excited about your data with a soul, it might be a good idea to keep your mouth shut.  Just saying.

Even when the school board is on the verge of approving hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of spending and major teacher cutbacks to put a computer-based “superhuman” intervention program in place, you might want to keep your classroom successes to yourself.  Even if your success can be proven with the very numbers they seem to live and breathe.  Just saying.

I mean, you might be interested in attending an academic committee meeting with the bosses of your world, but you might want to reconsider.  Did you know those meetings are really stressful and they last about three times longer than scheduled?  Did you know you will be allowed to speak only when spoken to, even if it means you do not get the opportunity to fully explain your point?  Just saying.

And that academic committee meeting just might lead to a follow-up meeting where you have to sit down with the superintendent (read: SUPERINTENDENT) one on one.  That just might terrify you.  For good reason. Just saying.

And next week when you have that one on one meeting with the superintendent (still read: SUPERINTENDENT) you might want to make sure you stick to your script.  Given how much you love your job, you surely don’t want to say something stupid and give the boss of your world a reason to envision a target posted square on your back.  Just saying.