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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

in which I CELEBRATE reasons to smile

celebrate with Ruth Ayres and friends every Saturday
one | Though I am not one who buys into the idea that numbers are a worthwhile way to represent humans, I am celebrating test scores.  If the Powers that Be are going to place students in classes based on numbers, judge my effectiveness by numbers, and communicate progress to students through numbers, then I am happy these numbers reflect good news.  The average MAP test scores for my three classes improved:
Voices Strong +7 points
8th grade Language Arts +6 points
Honors Language Arts +4 points

two | I am participating in 31 THINGS: Documenting the Details of Real, Everyday Life Through Wordsand Photos, a class with Ali Edwards through Big Picture Classes.  It is a challenge I am thoroughly enjoying and learning a lot from.

three | Sometimes a lesson just comes together flawlessly.  Kind of like on American Idol when they talk about ‘creating a moment.’  I have had several of these experiences lately.  Each deserves its own blog post, so I will not reveal details here.

four | Because I was inspired by Deb at Coffee with Chloe, I have started a speech team at our middle school.  We are starting very small our first year, but I am not sure my heart knows that because it feels so rewarding to work with students performing through words, voices, facial expressions, and subtle gestures.  What power!

five | Although I haven’t stuck to my writing plan, I am celebrating anyway.  Just the fact that I have a writing plan to stray from is big news.  The fact that my writing plan has also encouraged me to exercise more (it is my only acceptable means of avoiding writing) is also worth celebration!


  1. YEA! for a speech team. The growth I see in kids from one year to the next is always amazing. And you form such bonds with kids....I can't wait to hear more about this.

  2. Such good reasons to smile! I love reading about things you are doing in your class, so I can't wait for those posts. What fun for the kids to be a part of speech! They will remember the pieces they perform for the rest of their lives. What a strong showing your Voices Strong class made (and the others too)! That is an awesome number to celebrate!

  3. Great celebrations! Hooray for a speech team. Loved the reference to AI!

  4. Love every one, but number five is a big smile, Christy, to ignore writing because you need to run! But seriously, how wonderful you are beginning a speech team-I'm sure the students are wonderful and thrilled! I haven't read your 31 days posts, but will catch up with you!

  5. The photo-words 31 Things sounds interesting. Thank you for haring it on your blog. Even though you don't stick to your writing plan, you are writing daily. By the end of the month you will have a meaningful and beautiful scrapbook. Congrats on your MAP scores. Starting small with speech team is a wise choice. Have a great week!

  6. I love that you are starting a speech team. I have a much younger sister who was on a speech team and loved it. It did wonders for her self-confidence.

    I love when I try to avoid something and do anything but the task at hand. I find myself cleaning to avoid school work often. That's pretty bad when I'd rather clean. Glad your alternate is at least a healthy one.

    Love reading your post,

  7. I'm glad you don't think numbers define a student, but it's a happy day when the numbers reflect the changes you see happening. Lots to smile about this week. I do a good job of reading blog posts when I should be... doing other stuff.

  8. Yay for speech team! I'll be checking in to see how it all goes, Christy.

  9. I remember where I first heard your name...


    I was amazed by you.