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, January 30, 2014

31 THINGS day seven

I am participating in a class with Ali Edwards through Big Picture Classes called 31 Things.  Every day includes a word, writing prompts, dig deeper prompts, a writing tip, and a photo challenge.  In addition to the prompts, templates for a physical album and/or digital album are included.  I am creating a digital album and plan to share the results here for the next 31 days.
created with Photoshop Elements 9 and tools from 31 Things with Ali Edwards
day seven | work

I love the work I do. 

In my final year of college I was told by the head of the English department at my university, “You are going to find after five years of teaching fifth grade that it is not a sufficient challenge for you.  What will you do then?” 

Although I suspected he was ultimately paying me a compliment about the potential he believed I possessed, I couldn’t help but feel deflated.  I wondered if he was right. 

Now that I have been teaching for nearly 14 years I can say with confidence that Dr. Ramsey was wrong (and not just about the fifth grade part).  Teaching has always been and will always be a sufficient challenge for me.  How could one ever master the skills needed to work with thirteen and fourteen-year-olds?  How could one ever master the art of teaching reading and writing?  Answer: One can’t.  It is simply not possible. 

Although my favorite part of teaching is working with students, lately I have especially been enjoying the planning part of teaching.  There is something about crafting a lesson, working to create one of those moments, that is exhilarating.  I love the anticipation of a lesson almost as much as the aftermath.  Almost.


  1. Every one of the thirty-two years I taught had challenges. The kids were always different, which required different lessons.

  2. So true. We actually had a principal candidate tell us that after teaching for six years they had done all they could do in the classroom. Wow! I am with you, the ride is never ending and always stimulating.