Best. Day. Ever.

sol #SOL

 

The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action. ~Herbert Spencer

Best. Day. Ever.

Everyday in the month of April my ELA class begins with a mentor poem.  We read the poem. We notice things about the poem. We imitate the poem.  We share our results. Eventually, the students will create their own poetry anthologies and choose a poem to read or recite to the class.  

I have been doing this unit for several years now with a few changes to the poems I present to the class.  I usually get some of my best writing during this month. I am not sure if by April, my students are just better writers or the poetry form is less threatening, but I don’t get too much resistance.

Today, our mentor poem was “Foul Shot” by Edwin A. Hoey.  It is filled with action and suspense. The classroom protocol is that I put a mystery amount of minutes on the timer, and the students are free to remain at their desks or move around the room to work.  When the timer when off today after about 10 minutes there was a rousing sigh followed immediately by voices begging for more time. Who am I to stand in the way of creativity? I gave them more time to write.

As if that wasn’t enough joy for one day, our next activity was reading a text set about Wild Horses.  The students worked with partners to read the articles, create a claim, and list evidence they could use in an argument essay.  They only had to develop an outline, not write the essay.

As I meandered around the room, I heard lots of good conversations about what should be done with the wild horses that can no longer sustain themselves on the lands where they roam. So what’s the big deal?  

When the class was dismissed and was walking to their next class they were arguing their claims!

Can’t get better than that!

Happy Birthday, Big Al!

sol #SOL 18 Day 15

Never forget who was with you from the start. ~ Anonymous

 

Today is my father’s birthday.

He would have been 90,

but he has been gone

for 22 years.

 

I often wonder if he had lived

if life would be different

or not.

 

Would he have overcome his

Alcoholism?

Would he have become less angry

as he aged?

 

I doubt it.

 

Our relationship has changed

over the past 22 years.

How might you ask?

 

I’ve grown older and wiser.

I see that life is not clear cut –

black or white.

 

Life is messy.

 

Although my greatest joy

has been being a parent,

it can really suck at times.

 

You do the best you can with

the hand you are dealt.

You can win, but more often

you are bluffing or folding.

 

My parents struggled financially,

and I think my dad was depressed –

his bourbon and water a way to self-medicate.

Who talked about depression in the 60s?

Certainly not men!

 

We certainly did not see eye to eye very often,

and he ruled supreme

with a heavy hand and strict rules,

But he loved us and made time

to coach baseball and attend concerts.

 

I’d like to think our parenting styles

are polar opposites.

While no parent is perfect, I tried

to be more caring and compassionate.

I did the best I could.

 

I am sure when my own children

look back they will definitely

agree they were loved, but I bet

they will think they do

a better job as parents –

give them another 25 or 30 years.

 

Happy Birthday, Big Al!

Frustration

sol#SOL17 Day 26

To conquer frustration one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles. ~T.F. Hodge

 

I got  this prompt from Rip the Page by Karen Benke.  I purchased the book after I saw another idea used by another slicer!

Frustration

Frustration, with her sick sense of humor,

waits to appear until I am trying

to accomplish a task.

She giggles when something

is beyond my grasp.

She chuckles when I stumble.

She brings along her close friends,

annoyance, irritation, and exasperation.

They speak in hushed whispers

secretly laughing at my inability

To complete the job at hand.

Together they mock me,

unknowingly make me more resolute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise

sol#SOL17 Day 25

Surprises are the greatest gift life can grant us. ~ Boris Pasternak

Surprises are always nice.  This morning my daughter called and said she would come and make dinner for us.  Great!  What you need to know is I very rarely cook.  My husband is a chef, and he not only cooks every night, but he grocery shops each week as well.

Recently my husband started a new job.  He is now cooking at a new Italian Market that just opened this past week.  Needless to say, he is working some long hours because the store is brand new.  With me still being on the walker, I am not doing much cooking myself, so when Angela said she would cook, I jumped right on it.

It turned out to be a cooking co-op.  Angela made a delicious chicken dish – enough for tonight and some for the freezer.  I made broccoli with bread crumb topping and sauteed mushrooms the way my father-in-law use to make.  My husband brought home some rolls and chocolate chip cookies.

We had a delicious dinner with Angela, her husband Ryan, and my grandson, Parker.  If she didn’t come over, we may have gone out to eat or made some omelets.  Not only that, Parker and I got some snuggle time.  Surprises are always nice.

Embrace

Five-Minute-Friday-4 I just joined a new writing group called Five Minute Friday.  Every week I will get a new word delivered to my inbox and have to write about that word for five minutes and then post.  I am looking forward to a new challenge.

Embrace the glorious mess that you are.  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I am having some difficulty embracing the ways my body seems to be deserting me.  First it was arthritis and creaky knees that need to be replaced eventually that some days made it hard for me to walk long distances.

Next it was the achy joints and intense fatigue which led to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Just when I was getting use to the changes that brought with it –

BOOM!  A pelvic fracture.  My body is beginning to spontaneously combust.

This latest diagnosis of osteoporosis has me longing for a do-over.  Could I have prevented some of these things from happening? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I need to embrace the changes or I won’t be able to move forward. I will be stuck in a place of what ifs.

 

Black and Blue

sol#SOL17 Day 22

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Getting dressed in the morning can be a real “treat”

when you’re trying to match your pants to the socks on your feet.

Why does the color navy look so much like black?

I thought these were blue, but I might be off track.

 I even asked my husband, “Are these pants navy?”

“Let me see,” he said, “I think so – well maybe.”

You need just the right light to know the exact hue.

So, I worried all day – Are they black or are they blue?

THEY WERE BLUE!!

  

 

Good Morning

sol#SOL17  Day 18

daybreak

However long the night, the dawn will break. ~African Proverb

Dawn is breaking.

The sun’s rays

gently awakening

the tree tops,

spreading slowly –

from top to bottom

until the entire tree

is bathed in yellow

ready to say,

“Good Morning.”