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, September 24, 2013


For as long as I can remember the rhythm of my life has included the following equation: school day ends=talk to Mom. 

As a result, my mother is often on the receiving end of ugly rants as I drive home.  Ranting tends to be one way I process issues in order to work through them to find solutions.  Ranting is also my body’s natural response prior to having a proper after-school snack. 

Sometimes I am centered enough to remember to share the good news (the plane landed safely stories, as my mom calls them).  Sometimes my day is so filled with goodness, there are only funny stories to share.  Sometimes I am feeling so good that I even brag a bit to Mom. (Only, for the record, it’s not really bragging if it is to your mom, since it is really a compliment to tell her what a wonderful daughter she has raised, right?)

Today, I shared the following story with my mom as I drove home:

After a particularly challenging last period, two of my 8th grade girls returned to my classroom at the end of the day.  They told me they had something to tell me.  In my experience, there is no anticipating what might come out of the mouth of an 8th grader.  So, I braced myself. 

And one of them unleashes this gem, “Mrs. Rush, we just wanted to tell you that we love your wardrobe!” 

The other girl immediately follows with, “Yeah, I mean, all of your dresses are so nice; you just always look so put-together.  You need to take us shopping or give us fashion advice!”

While this is not quite the kind of recognition I strive for as a teacher, I have to admit: it felt good.  I laughed and told them I will have to make my own ‘Mrs. Rush version’ of What Not to Wear.  They gushed some more before walking away. 

I didn’t really wait for my mom’s response before launching into another story, which surely led to another.  So it wasn’t until several stories later that she responded.  I walked into the house, my phone headset still in my ear, connecting me to my mom.  There is a long pause and she says, “Wow.  I just still can’t get over how amazing it is that you impressed today’s 8th graders with your fashion sense, at your age.” 

I am choosing not to take offense to the comment.  After all, it was someone who is old enough to be my mother who said it.


  1. I love middle school students. This made me smile.

  2. As you began the story of the girls, a smile crept onto my face, growing wider with each sentence. But it was your final line that caused an eruption of out loud laughter. I had to read that line several times just to enjoy the humor of it over and over. BTW - I thought you were very fashion forward at All Write.

  3. Love it! Now that's the way to end a day at school

  4. And one of them unleashes this gem, “Mrs. Rush, we just wanted to tell you that we love your wardrobe!”
    Ahhh... I miss 8th graders.... You need to bottle this complement.

  5. I imagine there are many other things those sweet 8th grade girls love you for, too, Christy, but this is the height of adoration, to love your clothes! Funny from your mom, too-I think after all your sharing that she just "gets" how middle school kids are!

  6. Kids and moms - gotta love them and what they say.

  7. 8th. graders are awesome...and to be complimented by 8th. grade girls is rare!

  8. 8th. graders are awesome...and to be complimented by 8th. grade girls is rare!

  9. I too profess to having style envy with respect to your wardrobe and fashion sense. You do have it together, in a lot of ways, even when it all seems to be fraying around the edges and ripping apart at the seams. As to the rants, I figured that out a long time ago. It took Bob forever to realize it doesn't mean I want solutions or to have it fixed...I just want someone to LISTEN. Thanks for doing that for me. (PS: Thanks for the treasured words and the loan of the Badger.)

  10. As having met you in person, their assessment of your wardrobe is totally an accurate one. I love it. And I love even more that you wrote this story. You make me smile.