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

Monday, March 18, 2013


The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by TWO WRITING TEACHERS

Although I learned a lot of cool things at the Illinois Reading Council Conference, the best thing about this kind of professional development is the connections it fosters.

So far, six people who attended my session have contacted me for follow-up information.  Some of who have shared their own ideas with me in return for requesting additional resources.

A friend I used to work with very closely who has moved and now teaches in another town attended a session I was attending just to steal a few moments to catch up.

The morning after I returned from the conference, I was invited to go to breakfast with three teachers from another district (one had also attended IRC) to share what we both gained from the conference with the other two teachers.

Today, I brought back copies of Words in the Dust for two of my teacher-friends at school. 

I also invited the class of one of those teachers to join mine while I shared a few highlights from the conference (the inside scoop on Shusterman’s latest books and the story behind Words in the Dust).  Not only did that connect me even more closely to that teacher, but I also built connections with another entire class of students.  In addition, my students gained a connection with the other teacher, who shared some of her husband’s experience when he was stationed in Iraq years ago.

What I learned at the conference inspires me.  The connections I am building as a result are my fuel.


  1. Hurrah for you Christy. The fact that you communicate such openness along with expertise in your teaching must aid in those connections! It's wonderful for your 'fuel' as you said, but the connections reflect you too. I'm glad you notes this especially.

  2. COnnections. Always an important part of any conference/learning. I'm checking out Word sin the Dust. Too many people have mentioned it lately for me not to take a look (or maybe it's just you writing about it a lot :O)

  3. I'm glad we are connected, Christy. I read the first pages of "Words in the Dust." Every book you choose for me is like crack...I just have to dive in. Thanks for thinking me worthy.

  4. Connections are the best part of a good conference! I love that you have taken time to share what you gleaned with others, another important part.