Slice of Life: A Month of Learning

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“With words at your disposal, you can see more clearly.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer 

Last week, We Are Teachers shared this on Twitter:

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I printed it out to share with teachers right away. I love the visual message that learning is so much more than memorizing facts or formulas. As I considered how to write my final post for this month-long challenge, it occurred to me that these words were a perfect way to organize my thoughts about the experience of blogging every day.

Reflecting has the double benefit of giving me insights into my writing, but also processing and learning from whatever event I’m writing about. The frustrating part about reflecting is that you think of a better way to handle a situation after the event. Of course, this learning can be tucked away for the next time a similar situation arises. Similarly, with writing, a better word or sentence construction occurs to me after I hit “publish.” Still, I’ve become more aware of words and sentence structures I overuse. In my never-ending effort to improve my writing, I’ve tried to use them less often.

Writing daily has made me more attentive to the world in general. This has helped me solve some problems I’ve been struggling with in a story I’ve been working on for the past year.

Creating is the whole purpose of this challenge. Each day has brought forth a new piece of writing. Some posts have been more successful than others, but the very act of creating them has helped me become a more confident writer.

Which brings me to the word grow. Over the past month, I’ve tried writing in new ways, ways that haven’t always been comfortable. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, I’m pushing myself out of “the suffocating insulation of personal safety and into the frontiers of the beautiful and the unexpected.”

Finally, this has been a month filled with thinking. Thinking of a topic to write about. Thinking about just the right word or phrase for a poem. Thinking about all the beautiful, heart-felt writing I’ve read on other blogs.  Thinking about how lucky I am to be part of this inspiring, nurturing community.  Thank you for helping me see things more clearly.

And a very special thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for their Herculean effort to provide this space for teachers and others to share their every day during this month. Your hard work is truly appreciated! Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

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11 thoughts on “Slice of Life: A Month of Learning

  1. This post is filled with wonderful things— The initial quote, the poster, and your reflections. I love that you were clever enough to think of using the poster to frame your thoughts on this final day of the challenge. I’m still sifting through my thoughts and reflecting on it all. Next Tuesday’s slice maybe? Overall, I’m grateful for the experience and for writers like you who have taken the time to share your world and your words and to comment on mine. Thank you, Catherine!

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  2. Catherine, thank you for sharing this wonderful graphic. I can see why you rushed off to share it with your colleagues! I could connect with you when you shared about growing. Thanks to the words of Liz Gilbert for pushing into trying new writing styles. Now, I am off to check out We Are Teachers!

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  3. I love this graphic! Thank you for sharing it and reflecting on each word. I love reading your posts – always insightful. I love that I can hear your voice when I read your writing. I have learned so much from this month challenge – thank you for being a part of it. Til Tuesday!
    Clare

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  4. I love the graphic and how you applied it to this reflection of the month of slicing. The richness comes from reading other posts and gathering ideas and craft moves and connecting with each other.

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  5. Love the crafting of this connected to that beautiful quote, Catherine. It is always a pleasure to read what you’ve shared each day. And I love the poetry too. You are inspiring me to get moving for more. Looking forward to April and more poems!

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  6. Wise words! I’ve enjoyed all the posts and the comments and the sharing. I’m also impressed with what comes out when we slicers MUST post today. And all that follows… (including, I suppose, ‘oops’ ;0)

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  7. Catherine, these five words are an excellent lens through which to view this writing challenge. I can relate to the ideas you’ve shared. I am grateful for your voice, both here and in the comments you wrote to me this month. Thank you!

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  8. […] Catherine did a wonderful job of pointing out all that she LEARNED in this month of writing. She organized her thinking through the following words, which came from a message she found on We Are Teachers: Reflect, Solve, Create, Grow, and Think. If you align the words on top of one another, the word LEARN appears vertically like an acrostic. I could relate to all that she gained from this month of writing. […]

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