My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

November 19, 2013

Breathe. Just breathe.

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Two Writing Teachers

Anna Nalick's song, Breathe (2a.m.), has been running through my head this week.

Especially the chorus:

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button, girl
Just cradle your head in your hand
And breathe, just breathe
Oh breathe, just breathe.
It's one of those weeks (months, years).

The more time I spend outside, the better I feel.
Sunshine warms the skin and the heart.
Frozen, clear air helps me to focus my thoughts and prioritize.

Working to keep ahead of the rolling boulders,
Attempting to be proactive,
Keeping my ears open and mouth closed.

Reminding myself that I am human.
Remembering to breathe.
Just breathe.

November 12, 2013

Spinning head = motivation

Oldest daughter is trying to make her college decision before the end of 2013.  She wants to put this huge, adult decision -- one that weighs on her heavily -- behind her so she can actually enjoy the remainder of senior year.

As we walked the first of the two final candidate campuses this weekend, I let the senior daughter walk ahead with her friend, taking in all the sights and information.  I lagged behind with my sophomore daughter.

We have focused much time and energy on my youngest daughter, helping her to be a confident person and student.  She has quite the "staff" at school (as we joke, but it's true) to help her be successful.  She dreams of nursing, or helping people in some way.  We dream that she will have independent academic and social skills to be able to study at a 4-year university, perhaps even far from home.

It's November, so it's prime time for me to be stressed and preoccupied.  I wasn't talking much during our campus walk.  Youngest daughter can talk about anything and everything, filling any dead air around (yes, she did inherit this skill from me!)

As we crunched the leaves on the path, youngest started to tell me how she plans to study nursing and dance at a medium or large school.  The conversation was fast-paced and all over the place.  She wants to have our trust that she will do her best.  She wants there to be lots of clubs and people going to football games.  She knows that the people at the disability office have to give her help. (I reminded her that she needs to seek accommodations). She also plans to make lots of friends and eat at all the different cafeterias and have a cool dorm room with lights.

Is your head spinning?  Mine was.  Her head was spinning, but her mixed up thoughts have turned into a spurt of motivation.

Yesterday we saw a campus that her sister liked, but youngest adored.  She begged for a sweatshirt.  "I can go here. This can be my college.  I need to do my work and focus in high school. College starts now," she explained.

Someone's highly motivated.  I'll take it!

November 5, 2013

Best friend

Read more Slices of Life at
Two Writing Teachers

Yesterday was my best friend's birthday.  Beth is the kind of friend that everyone needs in their life!

We met when we were four years old.  We lived on the same street, but I had to get across the street and walk past a few houses to get to her house.  Kindergarten was with Mrs. Maki.  We got to play "house", sing songs, and celebrate graduation with a pinata!

Our moms started a Brownie troop for us and many other girls.  We had great times playing with Barbies, riding bikes, and spending long hours on the swing set.  At the end of 4th grade, her parents found a new house in a town a few minutes away.  My parents were looking for a new house that spring, too.  The universe wanted us together... our parents (unknowingly) bought houses four lots away from each other on the same street!

Throughout the years, we've been very close, traveled in different circles, had a variety of other friends and interests.  This hasn't stopped us from picking right back up where we left off, every time we talk.

Beth is caring, kind and selfless.  She's organized, thoughtful, and gives you just enough of a push to get you going when you're stuck.  She can handle the most stressful situation with ease and poise.  You may think she's a pushover, but she's far from it!

Happy birthday to my best friend, 40 years and counting!  Thanks for always being there for me and my family.  You are a treasure!