Slice of Life: An Unobserved Slice

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

Three hours are left before the last day of March, and I still don’t know what to write about today. Was there a slice hidden somewhere in my day? If there was, I didn’t notice it, maybe because I was preoccupied by something.

Was it that moment when a third grade student came up with the perfect metaphor for a poem she’s writing?

It could have been when a first grade student sat up a little straighter after figuring out a word he didn’t know.

Was it hiding in the emails I wrote?

Maybe it was when a kindergarten student hugged me in the hallway just because she felt like it.

Did I miss it while I was planning for tomorrow?

Or was it when I got home after a late meeting and my husband had dinner ready and waiting?

Whenever it happened, it went by unobserved. Some days are like this.

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

Slice of Life: Broken Glasses

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

Have you seen those videos of babies hearing their mother’s voice for the first time? Imagine what it must be like to have the mute button turned off and all of a sudden hearing the soothing sound of a human voice.

I experienced this in reverse after I broke my glasses yesterday. I wore them gingerly until my husband took them to try to fix them. It was astonishing to me how utterly dependent I am on them. I could navigate my house, and thanks to 40 years of typing, was able to write this and have it be relatively error free, but not much else. I could listen to a podcast because I knew the icon’s  color and general design. But I couldn’t stop typing in the middle of a sentence, because I couldn’t go back and reread. If I lost my train of thought, well, it’s lost. (It wouldn’t be the first time!) 

As I typed these words I realized what it must be like for students in our classrooms with learning differences that aren’t being addressed. When we don’t differentiate for these children, we’re essentially asking them to work without their glasses.

We insist that they read this book, do this math, write this story.

And, oh by the way, do it with one sense missing and hardly any experience to fall back on to help you.

Then we’re back in five minutes and wonder why they haven’t gotten more done.

Now we’re exasperated because they don’t know who the main character is because, well, it’s right there in front of them! How do they not see that?

My husband had my glasses for about fifteen minutes. I quickly became bored and frustrated. I was ready to go find something, anything, I could do without my glasses, even if it was only folding clothes.

I can’t imagine how I would feel after six hours of this. I also had a splitting headache, not because I was trying to read this, but because it was impossible not to look at the screen while I typed.

Learning to see by losing one’s sight is a literary device as old as literature itself. I’ve always thought I did my best to differentiate and make accommodations and modifications so students will be able to learn. After this experience, though, I wonder if I’m doing enough. From now on I’ll be much more aware of ensuring that every student can see (and hear!) exactly what they need to. I want to see that smile of joy and understanding spread across the faces of all my students.

 Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

Slice of Life: National Puppy Day

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

Did you know today is National Puppy Day? Puppies, like most baby animals are hard to resist.

It was really windy on Monday!
It was really windy on Monday!

I spent the weekend in Virginia with my son, his wife and their new puppy, Louie. Louie is a rescue puppy and his exact origins are unknown. But it doesn’t really matter what kind of dog he is, because as soon as you look at his sweet face, you fall in love.

Louie with his proud parents.
Louie with his proud parents.

Even when I’m away from home, I’m an early riser. I like the peace of the hours while the rest of the house is asleep to read and write and think. Once Louie woke up Sunday morning, there wasn’t much quiet. I took him outside, then we curled up on the couch so he’d go back to sleep.

This brought back so many memories of my babies not wanting to go to sleep. Memories of rocking and singing to them for what seemed like hours, and the feeling of relief when their head finally started to nod. Then the inevitable resistance, their head snapping back to attention, their eyes widening in surprise, only to droop again. Finally the heaviness of their body in my arms as they relaxed into sleep and melted into my embrace. Their breathing softens. They are asleep. And then, there’s a noise. The eyes fly open and you start over again. But this time it doesn’t take as long for them to be lulled back to dreamland.

I’m glad my boys are grown, and that I don’t have a puppy to care for every day. But I loved visiting Brian and Jackie, meeting Louie, and remembering those long-ago nights and our bedtime rituals.

 Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

Slice of Life: Lists

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

I spent some time this morning making lists of everything I have to do at work this week, appointments to make for spring break and more. So I thought I’d just keep making lists. I pulled out Lisa Nola’s Listography: Your Life in Lists (Chronicle Books, 2007). Skimming through the pages, I began to wonder if I’d even be able to settle on a list. Then I saw Nathaniel Russell’s illustration of the brew kettles at the “Legendary Pabst Beer Factory” on the list for “Places You’d Like to Visit.” As it happens, I’ve been to the Pabst Beer Factory in Milwaukee.IMG_1727

As for other places I’d like to visit, here are my dream vacation destinations:

  1. Florence, Italy. I’ve wanted to visit Florence ever since reading Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King.
  2. Alaska
  3. Montana & Glacier National Park
  4. London
  5. Scotland
  6. Ireland
  7. anywhere in Europe, really

What’s your dream vacation destination?

 Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

Slice of Life: Finding the Silver Lining

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

When we woke up this  morning, there was a distinct chill in the air. For the past few days it’s been cold and rainy, last week’s spring preview long gone. Still, it shouldn’t have been this cold.

The dog and I headed downstairs for our morning routine. First stop: the thermostat. Sixty-six degrees. Not so bad, I thought. I pressed the button to fire up the furnace and take the chill out of the house. No response. I pushed it up another notch. Still no rumbling from the basement. Thinking that maybe the thermostat was just confused, (it was still pretty early!) I lowered the setting, then started raising it again. Silence.

I went back upstairs to tell my husband. He went to the basement to see what was going on. When he came back the furnace was still silent. “For some reason, the burner isn’t getting any oil. It’s not something I can fix.” We agree that I’ll go to work for the 7:45 meeting I can’t miss, then call the oil company.

So now I’m home, sitting in my sunny but chilly kitchen waiting for the repairman. Hopefully he’ll be here soon and the repair won’t be a major one. In the meantime, I’ve made some phone calls, paid a few bills, and had a second cup of coffee. Now I have some unexpected time to read and write. This cloud does have a silver lining!

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

Slice of Life: A Sunday Morning Photo Essay

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

Sunday mornings at my house have a very different pace from the rest of the week. Here is a peek into my morning. (I tried to put some of these pictures side-by-side, but was having too many formatting issues!)

IMG_0067

On my way to walk with my friend Colette, of Used Books in Class fame. We walk together every weekend as long as it’s not below 20 degrees, raining, or snowing.

IMG_0069
Colette’s dog, Chaucer, always joins us. He’s ready to go!
This knot hole intrigued me. I get all sorts of ideas when I walk.
This knot hole intrigued me. I get all sorts of ideas when I walk.
Our walk takes us through the fairgrounds of the annual Fireman's fair.
Our walk takes us through the fairgrounds of the annual Fireman’s fair.
IMG_0077
Spring is here!
Soon this pond will be full of tadpoles.
Soon this pond will be full of tadpoles.
This tree was full of singing chickadees who didn't want their picture taken.
This tree was full of singing chickadees who didn’t want their picture taken.
Another sign of spring.
Back home and ready to work on the crossword puzzle.
Back home, ready to work on the crossword puzzle.
Off to breakfast.
Off to breakfast.
Breakfast's over. Time to write my slice, work on my WIP, and read.
Breakfast’s was delicious! Now it’s time to write my slice, work on my WIP, and read. Happy Sunday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

 

 

Slice of Life: Sick Day

11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

A sinus infection has laid me low. Here are the highlights of the last five days:

Sick Day

Sinuses clogged,
Head throbbed.

Soup simmered,
Tea steeped.

Pillows propped,
Cat curled.

Books stacked,
left unread.

Dozed all day.
Will this bug ever go away?

 Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.