Saturday, December 14, 2013


Discover. Play. Build.

I am participating in Ruth Ayres' Celebration Saturdays. Head over to her blog, Ruth Ayres Writes and read a bunch more celebrations. Lots to celebrate this week!

1) Homecoming! This afternoon, my boys come home for three glorious weeks! In a little while I will head to the grocery store and buy all the things I haven't kept around since August- chips, and frozen pizzas and ice cream, in addition to stuff to make real meals. I'll clean for a while, then head to the airport around 2:30. I can't wait to give my man boys a big ol' hug! I'm hoping that tomorrow they will help me decorate the Christmas tree.

2) Laughter! I love that I work at a job where I get to laugh hundreds of times every single day! Two stories from this week…
Kindergarten recess duty- I have lunch recess duty with the kindergarteners. The two classes are really heavy on boys and I usually end up acting as referee for whatever sport they are playing. This week's game has been Iron Man, which tends to get a little rough. On Thursday, I had had enough and I said, "OK, guys, no more Iron Man. Now we are playing Marshmallow Man!"

I was amazed when all ten or twelve little boys cheered and then proceeded to run in circles bumping into each other for a minute or two. One of the boys finally stopped and looked at me.

"Hey, Dr. Carol, how do you play Marshmallow Man?"

b) This week, I helped administer my district's midyear interims. I was proctoring a group of eighth graders who needed extended time for math. They had just come in from lunch recess and were a little round up. Usually a little humor goes a long way, and I said, "Don't make me get out my mean teacher voice!"

One of the kids responded, "You don't have a mean teacher voice."

"Yes I do!" I insisted. "And it's right here in my pocket."

B, one of the kids who makes me laugh every day responded, "Well it's not a very big voice, because that's not a very big pocket!"

3) Being outside- Last week, we had subzero temperatures for five or six days straight. We had enough snow to make driving treacherous, but not enough to really enjoy. Mostly it was just cold, cold, cold! This week it's been warmer- all the way up into the 50's several days. The kids have been able to play outside, which is always infinitely better than indoor recess.

On Thursday morning I was proctoring tests for a group of seventh graders who struggle with school kids of learning. We had completed one hour-long session, they had worked super hard, and I could tell they were getting really tired. I couldn't imagine them being able to do their best for another hour.

"Let's go for a walk boys," I said.

We checked in with the office, then headed out for a quick walk around the block. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it was just glorious to be outside. We went around once, which was all I had planned, but it was so beautiful, I asked the boys if they wanted to go again. They did, so we made another loop, then headed back inside to do a second session of testing. The boys worked super hard and really gave it all that they had.

Today I'm celebrating the power of a ten minute walk.
4) Dedication- I work with an amazing group of colleagues. They work so, so, so hard and give so, so, so much to kids. This week, they have had to deal with a zillion end of semester deadlines, an altered schedule, interim exams, and then scoring interims. They've been troopers-- giving up planning time, scoring writing samples early in the morning and after school, helping each other, etc. I'm really grateful to get to work with such an incredible group of people.

5) Yesterday- Another school shooting in my city.  My heart breaks for all involved-- the fifteen year old girl in the hospital in critical condition, the parents of the shooter who are grieving the loss of their son as well as the pain he inflicted on others, the teacher/debate coach that was the intended target, the 2500 students who had to experience that terror, and all of the teachers and school staff.

At the same time, I'm grateful that it wasn't any worse. I'm thankful for the school custodian who saw the boy entering the school and called for help, for teachers who got kids into corners down and out of sight, for law enforcement officials who acted quickly and possibly prevented a much larger tragedy.

Please keep the students, staff, families and community around Arapahoe High School in your prayers. Pray especially for the student who is still hospitalized in critical condition, for the family of that girl,  and for the parents of Karl Pierson, the shooter. I cannot imagine what any of them are going through.

And that's enough celebration. I have to go to the grocery store. My boys are coming home today!


Chris said...

Hooray! The boys are coming home...frozen pizza for everyone! :) Your post had so many celebrations - I smiled at each one. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that a 10-minute walk (and other "small" things) can make a big difference.

Leigh Anne Eck said...

What a big day for you...and for your grocery bill! I have one 17 year old son, I can't imagine feeding two! I love your conversations with the kindergartners. They say the funniest things. So sad about the shooting. I wrote today about Sandy Hook. I can't imagine what those families are going through. Have a great day with your boys!

Holly Mueller said...

Such wonderful celebrations! Another school shooting is such a travesty. Thank you for trying to see the good in it.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Here's to the joyous homecoming, Carol - woohoo!!! Pictures, please!

Terje said...

Thank you for the laugh at the beginning. And thank you for the thoughts in the end.

elsie said...

Life is going to be busier than ever when the boys are home. Enjoy your time with them.
I will continue to pray for all those involved in the shooting. So sad.

Linda B said...

I hope you keep on celebrating with those boys home, Carol. What good stories you told about the wonderful students & colleagues at your school, and your words are well written about this latest tragedy at one of our schools, sadness for all. I am watching the live broadcast from the sheriff now. The young woman shot is still in serious condition with a severe head injury, and they corrected the age. She is 17 and a senior.

Ramona said...

Love the Marshmallow Man story! Let me know those rules when you figure them out. My class of 19 sixth grade boys (and 8 girls) gets wound up during their 5 minute break. Enjoy hugging those man boys and every precious minute they are home! said...

YOU have so much to celebrate even when there are still senseless acts of violence. YOU will likely hug your man-boys a little closer and play with your little kindergarteners just a little more as you go forward this week too. I will keep your community in my prayers .