Something I overheard at school today made me stop and think. One of the instructional assistants made a comment about loving fancy notebooks. I usually would chime in with a “me, too,” but today I paused. While I do still love a fancy notebook, most of my writing recently has been in plain, spiral-bound one subject wide-ruled notebooks. The one I’m currently working in is bright red and the next one on deck is my favorite color, blue. While I still have lots of fancier notebooks, I’ve been drawn to the regular notebooks that I associate with school.
I’m not sure why I’m writing so much in regular notebooks, but it’s been working. It reminds me of when I was in middle school and high school and filled up notebook after notebook with my writing. Those were the days when I didn’t question every word, phrase, and sentence. Those were the days when I didn’t try to revise as I wrote. Those were the days when I really felt like a writer. Maybe subconsciously I am trying to recapture those days. Whatever the reason, though, words are getting down on the page!
The Virginia-Michigan game tips off at 9:35 tonight. Actually, I’m watching the beginning of the game as I write this. I don’t like waiting until 9:30ish to slice, but I took a nap (and a long one at that) in order to be able to sit up to watch the game. I really don’t think that I could make it through a basketball game starting at that time of night because that’s when I’m usually trying to wind down and think about going to bed. Even with caffeine, I don’t think that I could last much past 10:00, especially on a school night.
The nap was nice, if a little long. I’m in the recliner in front of the t.v. and the team is on the floor. I have a glass of tea beside me and I’m sure that I’ll go trolling for snacks when the first commercial pops up. Now that I’m all rested, I’m going to enjoy watching my guys! Go ‘Hoos!
Today, my whole school ate lunch together and shared the things that we’re thankful for before embarking on our Thanksgiving break. It’s always inspiring to hear about 145 students (from kindergarten through fifth grade) and staff members share all of the things for which they are thankful.
I am thankful for “girls nights” with my Mom. Yesterday, both of us had a challenging day, so we met for dinner and soon the stress of the day was replaced by laughter (and a lot of food). I appreciate those times with Mom!
I am thankful for a husband who cooks dinner, even when he’s had a long day. I appreciate his time in front of the stove and the delicious meals that he prepares. Tonight, we had grilled chicken marinated in Italian dressing and it was wonderful!
I am thankful for my teacher friends at school. They don’t know how often they inspire me and encourage me and make me laugh. They make our school a wonderful place.
I am thankful for my students. Watching them learn and grow
I am thankful for the UVa men’s basketball team. Watching these talented players brings me so much joy! While I know the past week has been hard on them as a part of the UVa community, they came together and played their hearts out.
I am thankful for the next five days when I can rest and recharge my batteries. There are books to read, television to catch up on, and memories to make with my family.
I’ve had a hard time focusing since yesterday morning when I learned of the events at UVa. UVa has a special place in my heart. I attended UVa as a graduate student and there truly is no other place like it. I am also a huge fan of UVa sports. So I immediately recognized Lavel and D’Sean. While basketball has been and will always be my #1, there are very few football games that I’ve missed. In fact, I think we have a couple of games on the DVR from times when we couldn’t be home to watch the games live. I love my UVa sports teams.
I’ve struggled to write my thoughts about the events of Sunday night. The first thought I had upon hearing the news was worry about S, the daughter of one of my best teacher-friends. S is a junior at UVa and my first thought was of her safety. Thankfully, S was safe and sheltering in place in her dorm room and was able to communicate with her family. J, her mom, was able to head to Charlottesville Monday evening and see for herself that S was okay.
Every time I see Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean’s pictures, my heart hurts. I think of their families, their fellow players, their friends, and all of the other people who cared about them and the pain they’re experiencing.
I think of the two survivors and pray not only for their physical recovery, but for their emotional strength. I think of the other students on the charter bus and what they must have witnessed on Sunday night. I think of the rest of the players on the team and the coaches and staff. Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean were a part of their football family. I just want to surround them all with one giant hug.
There’s so much more that I’m feeling and my words simply are not adequate.
It was one of the few mornings when Mike wasn’t in front of me on the way to work. Normally, we leave at the same time and actually chat on the phone while traveling to town. However, on this morning, Mike was working from home. I was cruising along, listening to the radio when suddenly, the image below appeared.
Luckily, I wasn’t driving fast and was able to stop gently as I waited for the deer to make a move. However, he didn’t seem inclined to go anywhere. He was fixated on something on the side of the road (I’m assuming a doe was in the vicinity). I sat there for several minutes and even snapped a few pictures, but he didn’t appear to care. For the first minute or two, I was like, “Oh, isn’t he beautiful,” but after a few more minutes, I began to get a little impatient. I needed to move on or I’d be late to school. Finally, the buck decided to slip off into the trees on the side of the road and pursue whatever had his attention. I proceeded on to school and thankfully, I was not late!
I’ve been hitting the chocolate stash in my desk a lot. My secret pal gifted me with chocolate pretzels and I’ve been devouring them. I also had a bag of mini Hershey bars and then my Mom made a peanut butter and chocolate concoction that always makes my mouth water. She sent me a container of those bars and they were sitting on my desk.
I had grabbed one of those peanut butter chocolate bars in between groups sometime after lunch. I can’t remember exactly when I ate the bar because it seemed as though I grazed all day long. So at the end of the day, when I went to the bathroom, I noticed for the first time a blob of chocolate on my face. It was like a large brown mole had appeared on the right side of my mouth. I have no idea how long that blob of chocolate was on my face. Hopefully, it was there long because no one seemed to notice what looked like an extra mole on my face! The moral of the story, then, is always check your face after eating chocolate! I have some small mirrors that I use for students to see what their mouth is doing when making specific sounds and I might just need to use one after enjoying a chocolate treat!
Last week, I wrote about seeing a bear on the way home one evening. This week, it was sheep in the road as I drove home. I’m not sure if this was planned or an impromptu field trip for the sheep, but when I rounded the curve and saw this, I couldn’t help but laugh. I laughed the entire time as the sheep calmly walked by. They were so close that I could have reached out and touched them, which I wanted to do. They followed a guy with a bucket of feed and really didn’t seem to pay any mind to me.
So, what will next week’s animal be? I’m curious to see what’s next!
What to write about? Some Tuesdays, I struggle to decide what to write about, while on other Tuesdays, there are so many things that I want to write about. Today was one of those days!
This evening, on my way home, a young bear wandered across the road in front of my car. It was a cute little bear and I tried to snap a picture, but he (or she) disappeared in the brush on the side of the road before I could get the camera app opened. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a picture because on of my students is an avid bear hunter and would have enjoyed seeing this bear. Plus, it was really cute.
Then, I had a session with a first grader that still makes me chuckle. C is such a fun child to work with and the way that he says things always makes me laugh. I was reviewing our learning targets for the lesson and I thought that I had done a good job on creating kid-friendly targets. However, after I finished, C looked at me and said, “I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good!” It was all I could do to not burst out laughing at his serious tone. I also appreciated that he was trying to give me a vote of confidence.
So, this has been a good day for harvesting stories and I am grateful for that!
It’s almost 9:30 and I’m finally winding down after a busy day. I had a three-hour webinar after school and then I needed to work on a presentation for a three-hour PD session next week. I’m definitely ready to curl up and relax a bit before going to bed.
While today has been busy, it’s been a day of successes for students. One student who was on a mid-first grade level at this time last year did an amazing job reading a third grade passage this morning. My kindergarten students are making progress and I’m excited about the potential for growth this year. Lessons seemed to flow today and I’m tired but happy!