I’m not much of a Facebooker anymore. I used to be on there often, commenting and posting and what-not. Now, I’m there to do two things: 1) lurk around a little bit, and 2) look back over at my memories from years past.
It was while looking over my memories that I saw a post from seven years ago. It’s almost like I had sat down to write a letter to me today. It resonates, resounds, holds true and truer:
There I was yesterday, cruising around and commenting on some great blogs during the Slice of Life Challenge, when I came across GirlGriot’s musings about the noises she was hearing from under a grate by her apartment building. I thought…now THIS is a great story prompt, and I told her so. Before I knew it, she challenged me to write, and before I knew it, I accepted.
‘Round about this afternoon, I was fretting over my 5th grade language arts class. I had my standard lesson planned, but I could tell from their energy this morning that I was NOT going to have them engaged with Business As Usual.
I read the original post to my students and issued a challenge: can WE write those monster stories? And, just to make the challenge even more fun, can we do it with 100-word stories? Lo and behold, we all jumped into the opportunity fully and excitedly. My work is shared below. And…hop over to GirlGriot. She’s got some good stuff going on!
Stacie prayed it was over when the construction crews came. She hoped the monster, with its phlegmy grumbles, was silenced. GONE.
Until she ran the disposal.
Up reached a gelatinous hand, followed by an arm, head, torso, into full corpulent, schlubby splendor.
“Who are YOU?”
“Yeah, it’s me. Morrie. Morrie Fatberg. Looks like they flushed me out downstairs, so I’ll be crashing on your couch.”
Morrie coughed, a familiar, liquid rumble that rattled Stacie’s teeth. “Ya got a Ricola?”
Stacey handed Morrie a dishwasher tab instead.
Try as she might, Stacie never COULD get that grease stain from the rug…
Want to read my kids’ work for yourself? I’ve offered them up in the comment section of GirlGriot’s post. =))
Here we are at day 9 of the Slice of Life Challenge! Today had me thinking: you know, even though it seems corny for stories to have the weather reflect moods in characters, I have to admit that sometimes…well, sometimes the weather gets it right.
Oh!, perhaps, she pondered, upon seeing the weather outside as it rained, snowed, threatened to grow bleaker and bleaker, the environment darkening, reflecting an accurate likeness of the heart’s atmospheric conditions, perhaps I can only hope this is not a metaphor for a sad state of affairs, but merely a good omen– just a harbinger that might bear with it the promise of a snow day
Here we are at Day 5 of the Slice of Life Challenge. I saw this particular type of post from a fellow Slicer, and try as I might can’t find the original post that inspired me. If that’s you, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to edit my post to give you “props.” But I thought it was a fun spin on a bio.
I can’t be the only one who… …peels bananas from the bottom up. …times her library visits by when the tote bag gets too full …looks at the sky whenever she goes out ….thinks the best part of a pedicure is the massage chair …routinely pep-talks herself through the day: “Okay.” “All right.” …still puts emoticons in her texts, even though she knows darn well the emoji keyboard is right there …is not above eating peanut butter off a spoon …sees baking as a viable form of therapy …can’t sit still on a telephone call …prefers windows to AC just about any day …finds solace in a dinner of scrambled eggs with cheese …doesn’t actually mind the sound of cicadas each summer …has inherited her father’s love for and facility with punning …doesn’t get people sometimes …just likes picking up big things and putting them down again …can visualize TODAY as the day she’ll be her best, amazing self (until she gets out of bed) …wonders why the other drivers on the road have to be there, or why she has to drive behind them …needs a nap and time with a dog …always thinks of the best thing to say three days after she’s written a thing
Day 3 of the Slice of Life Challenge. And folks, I guess they don’t call this month MARCH for no reason. Get up, get moving, KEEP moving, lather, rinse, repeat. Because, as many of you know, Life likes to work that way.
So I’ll leave you with a couple of images from my latest walk: SIGNS of SPRING. I hope you find them as delightful and fortifying as I did.
When you have a group of squirrelly fourth-graders on a beautiful spring day,
And you have them for two full hours’ worth of literacy studio,
And you know that some of them have the wormies and squirmies and the like,
And you know that a movement break is more than called for,
And you reach into your improv game bag-o-tricks,
And you pull out a fun one called “Yes, let’s!”
And you tell the kids to start walking around until someone shouts a crazy suggestion,
And you tell them the proper response is to shout “Yes, let’s!” and then begin doing that thing,
And it so happens that all eighteen of you wind up on the floor crawling like babies,
And your evaluator comes in, unbeknownst to you, for an informal observation, do you freak out, apologize, and pretend nothing happened? Or do you thank the universe for its impeccable timing, dust your knees, herd everyone back to their spots and return to business as usual?
Those of you who know me can probably guess that 1) I have no pride, so 2) I figured it was a pretty accurate snapshot of how things go.
Of course, the subversive rabble-rouser in me maybe wished she had caught the conga line:
Hooray for the Slice of Life Challenge! This is year 4 for me – which is pretty tough to believe. I’m maybe a little proud of myself for sticking with it. Now…this is a year where life is a little…googly-eyed, shall we say. So, I’m not confident I’ll make it every day. I’ll sure give it a shot, though!
Today in class, I taught my fourth-graders about forced association: the act of putting together concepts or objects that have NO BUSINESS being connected.
Today’s prompt: How is a teacher like a fishing pole?
Usually, I get the standard array of blank stares and concrete responses (“ummm…they’re both kind of tall…?”).
Not this year. This year, the kids walked in ready for abstract. They came in ready to conquer CLEVER. And they did not disappoint. I’ll let their work speak for itself.