I'm participating in the Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers this month.
I'm on a borrowed PC computer while my Apple is in the shop.
I can't figure out how to download the SLICE graphic on this computer.
Yesterday was my birthday. I am not big on celebrating, and yesterday was a pretty low-key, normal Friday- up early to respond to ELA papers (I teach for our English Language Acquisition department as my second job), 11 hours at work, a glass of wine with a colleague, a long walk with the dog, slicing, and then crashing on the couch, just like every other Friday night.
Except, for some reason, the secretary decided she should announce my birthday over the PA first thing in the morning. Which she never does for other teachers or staff members. Which led to discussions about my age. Which is old. All. Day. Long.
In Kindergarten, where they are currently working on place value:
O: How old are you Dr. Carol?
O gleefully throws her hands up in the air. "Oh Dr. Carol, that means we get to use the flat!" (The hundreds block, for those who aren't primary grade teachers, is a square block, called a flat. The kindergartners usually don't get beyond the tens blocks, which we call sticks).
S: How old are you, Dr. Carol?
Most of the first graders oooh and aah.
S, however, is not so sure. "If you were that old, Dr. Carol, you wouldn't be here. You'd be dead."
During lunch, the seventh graders query me.
"How old are you, Dr. Wilcox?"
I respond, again with a random number. "117."
W, "Really? That's cool."
His friend B, sitting across the table. "Think about it dude. She's not that old! That's like, that's really old. She's probably about 28."
J, who just enrolled at our school a couple of weeks ago, "That's not enough. She's not 28. Look at her hair. She's probably about 94."
Note to self: Discuss number sense with the seventh grade math teacher on Monday.
Right after lunch duty, the principal pages me on the walkie talkie. "Carol, they need you in sixth grade right away. There was another problem in the lunch room. Inwardly, I groan. The sixth graders are my responsibility at lunch time. They are good, good, kids and I totally enjoy them, but this has been a hard week. They have been inside most of the week. They are frisky. There have been lots of issues and hurt feelings. Almost every day after lunch, I have spent 20 or thirty minutes trying to help kids work through problems. Now what? I run up stairs from the basement. The sixth grade teacher is waiting at the door. "Carol, I'm sorry to bother you, but there was another problem in the lunchroom." I take a step in the door, and the room explodes. Another birthday surprise.
At 3:00, I get paged to the office. A student needs to talk to me. It is Abby, a fifth grader. My birthday twin. "We had cupcakes in my class. I saved this one for you." She gives me a hug. "I hope you have a great birthday." Her sweet smile almost brings me to tears.
Yep, yesterday was my birthday. And I don't really like birthdays, but this one was full of surprises- a fourth grade serenade, in Spanish, gift cards to Starbucks and bookstores and dinner, and hugs, and kind words, and laughter.
A pretty special day after all.