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.



August 17, 2014

A Few Thoughts for the College Girls

Dear College Girls,
(Anne, Chloe, Katie L., Katie S., Kelsey, Lindsey & Mikayla... this is for you!)

Congratulations on meeting your big goal!  You're in COLLEGE now!

WOO HOO!
HOORAY!

OH CRAP!


I remember sitting in my dorm room on the first night.  I had moved in early to attend a retreat with the honors college (Surprised?  Me, too!).  It was dark.  It was verrrrrryyyy quiet.  I had already talked with my back-home boyfriend on the phone.  My parents and brother were gone.

It was very lonely.  It was 1987.  No cell phones.  No social media.  No Netflix.  Wahhhhh!

Fast forward two days later.  I had fun on the retreat and made a new friend.  I met three girls on my floor that were juniors (they had lots of survival tips).  My roommate wasn't bad.  The girls next door were nice.  College was much less lonely!

The most terrifying thing to do in your life is something new.  Something unknown.  I think you are all really brave for heading to new towns on your own to follow your dreams!

I couldn't write a blog post for you COLLEGE ladies without giving some advice.  I know you like it LOVE IT when I give advice!  Here goes:
  1. Don't spend the whole year in your dorm room.  Leave your door open when you're up for some socializing.  Talk with people at the sinks and in the food lines.  Be yourself - you will make lots of friends!
  2. GO TO CLASS, even when you're too tired, too crabby, too uninterested.  I got a B in Introduction to Anthropology by going to class, taking minimal notes and doing the Northern Star crossword puzzle each lecture.
  3. Join a club, organization, sport or group.  If you don't love it, pick something else, but try to be involved on campus or in the community. It will make the college experience more worthwhile!
  4. Get a pretty planner and write down your assignments, tests, and projects.
    (My lack of organization still bites me in the a** on a regular basis. You will excel at this!)
  5. Enjoy yourselves.  Really.  Most adults would go back to the college years in a New York minute.  Many of us moms are SUPER jealous and want to live vicariously through you. But we promise not to.  This is your turn.  
Be careful, have fun, and love every minute of these years, even when it gets tough.  We (moms, dads, friends, siblings, former teachers) are ALL here for you.  Just text/call/write when you need something (read:  I will send you chocolate).  We understand you have lots of mixed feelings on an hourly basis.  

Dear College Girls, you WILL be AWESOME!

Kid President knows it!  We know it, too!

  



August 12, 2014

Transitions

Read more Slices of Life stories at
Two Writing Teachers
Yesterday I put one foot in front of the other and walked toward room 107.  It's my new classroom at the elementary school I've worked at for 11 years.  Our custodians warned me that there would be dust (new floors) and lots of desks (nowhere else to put them).I stopped and chatted with a couple of colleagues.  Then I finally went in.

Blank slate classroom
I started moving desks into groups, and I wiped out my desk.  I started emptying boxes and wiping down counters.  My oldest daughter, Lindsey, arrived with lunch.  She helped me angle the desks and move some tables.  She made a carpet area and picked the bulletin board colors.

Then she noticed the room number on my door.

"Next week, I'll be in room 107 as well."

As I start a new adventure this fall, my oldest daughter will be starting a new chapter in her life.  We move her to college next week.  Her dorm room number matches my classroom number in a interesting coincidence.  

We are doing our best to stay calm, but the shopping and organizing and gathering and planning put us at odds at times.  To deal with the stress, my husband happily travels for work each week and my youngest daughter slips on headphones and retreats to her room.

I can't predict how the next week will go as I prepare for 18 (as of today) smiling six-year-olds to enter my new room.  I know there will be groans, laughter and lots of chocolate.  I think the roller coaster of emotions will be similar for my daughter as she prepares to leave home for the first time.

Transitions are part of life.  We all need to find ways to make them successful.  Luckily I have an excellent support system, including my family, friends, coworkers, online PLN and writing community.

Wish us luck!