I guess it's time to admit it. I work a lot-- sometimes more than sixty hours a week. And that doesn't include the evenings at home responding to essays, preparing lessons, talking to parents, etc. And then I do other stuff- Spanish class, Bible Study, Weight Watchers, Book Club, and dog classes. And now, all of a sudden, everything has ground to a halt. I don't have a husband or any kind of significant other. My sons are adults-- they live at home, but they don't spend a lot of time with me. And life is way, way, way quieter than I'm used to.
I'm trying hard to establish some kind of schedule for myself. Every day I try to:
- read my Bible
- do housework
- do financial stuff (taxes, etc.)
- spend time outside
- do something physical
- do some reading
- do some writing
- connect by phone or video chat with other human beings
- learn something
- practice my Spanish
So far, I think I have been the most successful in the "learn something" category. Today, for instance, I did two big "learn something" activities. First, I watch Ralph Fletcher's presentation on keeping a notebook. Ralph actually did the presentation yesterday, but I was driving the puppy to the mountains, so I missed it. He shared his full-sized notebook and also a smaller "stealth notebook" that fits in his shirt pocket. Ralph also shared a poem, and encouraged watchers to write off of the first and last lines. Here is my first attempt:
Sometimes I rememberthe good old dayswatching youteam captaina red and white flashflying into the end zone.
And you,after the game,shy smiledking of the fieldpushing your waythrough adoring fansto give your moma sweat-scentedpost game hug.I still can’t imagine
anything better than that.
(c) Carol Wilcox, 2020
Later this afternoon, I watched Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher on You Tube. Every day this week, Penny and Kelly have amazingly and graciously gotten together (cross country) and shared their thinking about reading and writing. It's been beyond fabulous; thoughtful and deep and practical, such a sweet respite in the middle of these crazy days. Penny and Kittle have also pulled together an amazing guest list. Today was Donna Santmann, a middle school teacher from New York City, who talked about using notebooks with her middle school students. Donna was down-to-earth and realistic and really honest about her work with her middle schoolers. And she said a couple of things I really want to remember...
It’s eighth grade.They’re little. Let them play.Who cares if they are wrong?
They’re not so deep.
We’re not so deep.
Most of us are fairly ordinary.Let’s embrace just being beautifully ordinary.
Today was a good day for learning