Sunday, March 27, 2016

#sol16 New Life

 The promise of Easter
Is new life.
Sweet joy,
 After bitter emptiness,
Bright hope 
After disappointment,
 After nightmares,
After disaster,

New hopes,
New dreams,
New beginnings,
New life.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

#sol16 I never thought

The other day, my Two-Writing-Teacher friend Michelle posted this:

I read it late at night, lying in bed, not my own bed, but in another - sort of as if I was running away from home, from the pending holiday, from what used to be....from what I thought I had.....from what I never thought would be....from my old life....

I read it with tears ready to bubble over; however, like Michelle, I did not let them flow.  Instead, I let the "green eyed monster" who expected to have one of those happily-ever-after families that go off into the sunset together go back under the covers and go back to sleep.  Like Michelle, my hopes, dreams and plans have not played out the way I thought they would, the way I expected they would, they way I planned....

I read it thinking I wanted to drive to her house and give Michelle a big hug and tell her that I understood....I really did.....Life does not always play out the way we want it to....the way we thought it would...the way we wanted it to go.....

I'm not sure the source of this quote (although the internet gives credit to Hilary C.) but I cut it out a few months ago from something I saw on Twitter and put it in my quote book:  Life is not about what happens to you, it's about what you do with what happens to you - so get back out there."  

So on this eve of the holiday filled with hope for unimaginable miracles and calorie free chocolates,..on the even of this holiday where hope springs eternally...on the eve of this holiday of brighter colors and lighter jackets and hope for better days ahead..... I'm going to keep on going and doing, and praying and loving......'cause sometimes, life is not how we thought it would be....but I'm glad I got back out there because:
Oh My Goodness, 
Doggy loving moments
Baby hugs and kisses
Are some of the greatest joys 
On earth
I am glad 
I am trying 
To get back out there
Even though I never thought......

Saturday, March 12, 2016

#sol16 Determined

To gnaw Sophie,
To chew on that football,
To move forward,
To discover,
To look ahead,
To see the magic
In walks, specks of dirt,
To enjoy the moment
Reach for new heights
Embrace new adventures
To see things
From this new perspective.
To go forward.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

#sol16 Everybody wants me to do it their way

I'm not usually held to the tight confines of curriculum demands, such as writing a report with clearly designated sections.  My job is to meet students where they are and help them close the gaps in their learning.  Yet, teaching is never an "in the box" kind-of-job; thus, sometimes, my job more closely aligned with what might be referred to as a "resource teacher" and I find myself helping students compete challenging assignments.  

So it was the other day as I tried, without a lot of success, to "coerce"a student into to write about the education system in Mexico as part of her Grade Level Assured Writing Project.  "I just want to write about the animals," she said with tears bubbling in her eyes. "Really, I don't want to write about their education.  I don't have to do that.  My teacher didn't say so," she implored as the tears began to flow. "Everybody wants me to do it their way."

I sent her off to get a drink of water and tried to wrap my head around her strong response.  I pondered how I could rework this task so that it was "her way."  To be honest, I wasn't even sure what the problem was!

After a chance to "cool off" and a long, long drink of water she returned to the table and sighed deeply, in the way that makes teachers rethink assignments and reconsider what is important. "So what do YOU want to include in your Mexico report?" I asked as she settled sullenly into her seat.

"Clothing, of course," she said with a smile.  "I want to write about the dresses with flowers all over and the big hats to keep off the sun.  I want to write about the way kids wear uniforms to school.  I don't even know what EDUCATION is anyway!"

"Of course," I said as I smiled and "jumped on" her clear explanation of the problem. "Let's start with clothing because that is indeed your area of expertise!  But I think you might want to include the part about wearing uniforms to school in the Education section.  Education means schools and learning.  You are getting an education right now," I said with a smile.

"You should have told me that education meant school," she said with a laugh, "I can do that."

"Let's start with clothing," I responded.  "That is an area where you are an expert!"

"Everybody wants me to do it their way," she laughed as she wrote "Clothes" as the title of the page.
"In Mexico, people were big hats to keep out the sun.........but they do not wear shorts.  They are too modest!"

Thursday, March 3, 2016

#sol16 March 3 A Moment in Manhattan

The sky is dark when I leave when I leave my Lincoln Center Campus.  It's a long day for me as I get up before 5 AM, commute more than an hour to my day job, teach struggling readers all day, and then grad students at night.  I am tired when I head out of the city sometime after 9 PM for my long commute home! 

Perhaps it's the deep thinking that goes on or perhaps it is the caffeine I inevitably consume to keep me energized; whatever it is, I usually have MORE energy when I leave campus than when I arrive! 

Last night, however, as I stepped onto the busy street corner in Manhattan, I thought I was either over tired or just imagining things.  There appeared to be a person walking/running towards me.  As he got closer, it was clear that the person was driving his stand-up-motorized-walking stick down the busy street. He waited at the light and then sped off down the street.  I must admit to staring to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing.  I wish I had taken a picture but frankly I was too shocked to do so!  I did look around to see if others at the intersection were as surprised as I was. Everyone else was busy talking to friends or texting on their phones leaving me to wonder on the drive home is I had really seen what I thought I had seen! 

So now, I will forever wonder if I was just overtired or did I really see what I thought I saw on a busy street corner in Manhattan!   I guess the "central message" is to capture those "moments" in pictures as well as words!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#sol16 March 2 The Next Chapter

I was driving around in circles, 
so to speak,
Trying to find a setting, 
For this next chapter of my life
On a warm, sunshiny, late winter afternoon
Filled with the promise of spring.

I found myself repeatedly
Circling by this huge, dirty, ugly,
Melting reminder of the chapter and season
Coming to a close.
"Be done with you," I thought
As I turned the corner, 
And began the next chapter.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

sol16 Marching Through March Without the SOL Community?

I thought about skipping this year,
I thought about how much I have to do,
As a teacher of reluctant and struggling readers,
With lesson plans, CSE meetings, multiple reports pending,
As a professor to 30+ graduate students,
With more reports to read than I can count.

As the mother of new parents,
Who could use painting, babysitting, cooking, support,
As the Grammie to two snuggle-puppies,
Who make my heart grow as they roll, cuddle, and coo,
As the Auntie of many
Who need to know that life goes one
As well as some books, snuggles, and veils.

As a friend who would like to share breakfasts, dinners,
Talk about the past, the present, the future,
As the caretaker of a house-on-the-market
Who must vacuum every dust bunny and wash every dish,
As the getting-ready-to-move-lady,
Who should be packing and finding a place to live.

As the caregiver for my last surviving Aunt,
Who needs to know that someone still cares,
As the executor for my mother's messy estate,
With more forms, accounts, reports, worries
With two houses to sell, three income taxes to file,
With more daily cringe-inducing- messes
Than I care to acknowledge.

Then, March 1st came.
There were slicers posting soon after midnight.
I got excited about Opening Day.
I wondered what March would be like without SOL?
I told myself I had to try.
Writing is part of who I am now,
Part of the Teacher, the Professor, the Mother, 
The Grammie, the Auntie,
The Caretaker, the Caregiver,
The Executor,
The Writer.

I will try
To write and read,
To heal and grow,
To reflect
To look ahead
To look at the Slices of My Life
That Writer-ly Eye.