Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Only One Vowel #SOLC23

 Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity always has wonderful ideas for the classroom.  Too often, I don't have the time to sit and read her posts on Instagram, but today she had me at "writing a poem with only one vowel."  I could not resist.  I continued to read and accepted her challenge.  Here is my short poem using only o as a vowel.  It perfectly fits my current vibe.

Work non-stop,

drop onto floor - 

slow roll to morn.

I would love to see others.  I may even come back if I have time to write more.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Nonet to Nothing #SOLC23

but nothing
reveals itself,
laughing and taunting.
Frustration builds until
I pick up my pen to write 
nothing a particularly
uninspired nonet to end its hold.

I thought this was better than writing about the boys' bathroom shenanigans.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Adult Steps Are Like Baby Steps #SOLC23

I always tend to get the frantic texts from my twenty-year-old daughter during school.  Not over the weekend.  Not at night.  Only when I am teaching.

11:17 a.m. text:

"I think I'm going to need a new phone before summer.  This week I've taken out my SIM card 5 times because it keeps breaking.  It stopped working a day or 2 ago."

Hmmm....She did not let me know about this over the weekend.  I can feel my chest start to tense.  I think And what am I supposed to do?  

11:19 a.m. response

"You are due for an upgrade, but you will have to go to the AT&T store."

She had all weekend to take care of this, but she decides to wait for Monday morning.  I know she wants me to do something.  I can see that in the responses she is sending, and then she reveals her motive for texting.

11:21 a.m. text:

"Lily suggested to have the phone send to me."  

Meaning I go to AT&T and get the phone for her.  BUT, I live 1,100 miles away.  

I start taking some really deep breaths.  Several of them.  I look for an AT&T store near UW-Madison and find one not too far from campus.  I send her the address and tell her to take an Uber.  

The conversation goes on as she explains that she has to go to the gym and then eat before she can go to the store.  She also has a chapter meeting at 5:30.  Basically, she is insinuating she does not have a lot of time.  She is quite the busy girl.  

12:27 p.m. text:

"That's plenty of time right"

Yes, it is!  Just go!  I want to write this, but I try to keep my frustration out of the texts.  It is probably good that her phone does not work and we can't talk.  

1:33 p.m. text:

"Going to AT&T now."

The texts continue as she makes her way to the store.  

I anticipate a call.  I even make a back-up plan with the teacher across the hall to cover for me when it comes.  However, it never comes.  

2:06 p.m. text:  

"Getting it now!!!!"

She is taking some of her first real adult steps with only a little help from mom.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

A New Nighttime Routine #SOLC23

The evenings can be hard for me.  Exhausted from the day, I tend to want to snack even though I am not hungry.  I sit in front of the television only half watching.  I play on my phone, mindlessly scrolling for what can turn into an hour.  None of this is healthy or fulfilling.

Last night, I found myself starting to rummage through the pantry for a snack to eat eat.  When my husband is away for work, I find sadness creeps in because I am alone and miss my kids even more.  That sadness tends to steer me towards sweets and chips.  

I stopped and asked myself if I was hungry.  I was not.  I looked at the black screen of the television and thought about what I wanted to watch.  Nothing.  I had no desire to turn it on.

Suddenly, I picked up my knitting bag and book and went upstairs.  I put some lavender drops in a diffuser, played instrumental ukulele covers on my phone, and sat down in my chair with my knitting.  

I hummed.  I moved the needles, sometimes talking myself through the pattern.  I let everything else drift  away while I focused on the sound of the music and the movement of the needles and yarn.  

I continued until I felt my eyes start to get heavy, and then I inspected my work and was relieved to find no errors.  

When I climbed into bed, I was content.  I put my head on the pillow without tears of sadness, closed my eyes, and feel asleep without any anxious thoughts.  

That may have been the beginning of a new nighttime routine.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Fun with Titles #SOLC23

 Thank you, Leigh Anne, for the inspiration and push to try a book spine poem today.  I actually went to Leigh Anne's list of book title writing prompts she prepared for the Teach Write Academy.  

I cut the titles apart and randomly selected 10 to create the poem.  

Then, I started to rearrange them to create something that made sense, but I knew I would want two versions - the actual title with no words and another poems with a few words to connect the ideas.  

I wonder if I selected too many titles to create a poem.  I feel that it needs more to bring it all together to convey the meaning I find developing in the titles I have put together.  Here is the poem I created with only the titles:  

Falling Short
Waiting for Normal
Rain Rising
A Wish in the Dark
Possibility of Now.
Words with Wings
Freedom's Promise
Finding Someplace
Between the Lines
Paper Wishes.

I wanted more, so I added a bit more.  This is the poem with some additional words to bring it all together.  The titles are in Bold.

Falling Short and 
Waiting for Normal,
I feel the Rain Rising.

I make A Wish in the Dark,
and feel the Possibility of Now.

Words with Wings bring 
Freedom's Promise,
Finding Someplace 
Between the Lines
for my Paper Wishes.

Friday, March 24, 2023

My Thoughts Are Sleeping #SOLC23

My thoughts are sleeping,
they have been on a hamster 
wheel all week running, 
and now, energy sapped, they
have decided to collapse

Thursday, March 23, 2023

My Special Four Corners #SOLC23

Thank you to Megan's slice for the inspiration today.  I am going to share the 4 corners that surround me for most of the day and bring me so much joy because of all the students that share the space with me.

Top left corner:  My classroom library.  This is where two books shelves stand filled with bins of books that are worn and tattered from greedy hands.  There are more books displayed on top, along with my Harry Potter Legos.  I love to sit with students to find a book for them to enjoy.

Top right corner:  Metal cabinet.  Inside the cabinet, there are word games, escape rooms, Legos, paper brown bags filled with writing inspiration, puzzles, and books.  It is a cabinet of goodies for a word nerd!

Back right corner:  A file cabinet and book shelf filled with lessons, books, and units.  19 years and 3 grades worth of lesson materials and units are housed within these drawers and upon these shelves.  On top are pictures and mementos of years of teaching and a few writing games.  In essence, it is the history of my learning and growing as a teacher and learner.

Back left corner:  The entrance.  There is a community "Where I'm from" poem written by my 8th graders handing on the door and a sign that says "We Can Do Hard Things."  I love to greet my students as they come in the door each day.  

What are in your four corners?

Only One Vowel #SOLC23

 Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity always has wonderful ideas for the classroom.  Too often, I don't have the time to sit and read her po...