Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bones and magical friends

The nut and I have the best conversations. The first morning of school, my husband was off work. As we are driving down the driveway, the nut asked,

"Where is Daddy going today?"

"ummm, I think to go buy socks."

"For who?'

"For him."

"Who is Tim?"

I remind her that it's 6:38 in the morning and Momma needs a few minutes to clear out the cobwebs. Especially since I am driving.

I have been fashing over this school year with the nut, worrying about her, especially socially. I staunchly decided to NOT worry about her friends or lack of them - if she is happy alone playing with who she calls her "magical friends,' then I will let it go. I will open my hands and just let it go. I will NOT worry about her feeling all alone, a single leaf adrift on a creek.

But then she threw me a bone. A test bone. I am beginning to think it may have even been a Let's Fuck with Momma Bone.

Driving home on day 2 of 1st grade she nonchalantly throws out:

"I made new friends today."

"You did?" My heart pounds a bit harder but I keep my voice normal.

"Yep. And they're real."

I am not convinced. "What are their names?"

"Megan. I don't remember the others."

There are others. My palms slip a little on the steering wheel.

"They sat with me at lunch and we talked."

"Honey, that sounds awfully nice! What did you play at recess?"


"Did you guys have fun?"

"Oh, I played chase by myself."

Definitely a Let's Fuck with Momma Bone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here we are on our first day back to school. We made it. Taylor is a bit blurry because she was giggling and so excited to go and smashing my face with her noggin!

These are my fabulous shoes that I started my school year off with. I realized as I fashed about over which shoes to wear that God more than likely has not allowed me to win Power Ball simply because sometime not too long after winning, my husband would be heard in three counties demanding "who the FUCK is Jimmy Choo and WHY do YOU keep giving him ALL OUR MONEY?"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

THIS is why I teach.

I am asked, often and with a slightly puzzled expression, "um, and why do you teach?" This picture is why. Yeah, I supposed I touch children's lives and make an impact on the culture
and very future of this glorious country, although I really don't see myself as being that big of a cog in the wheel. But this ... this ... well, let me explain.

A few years ago I looked across my classroom and noticed something askance on one of my posters, the poster for "assonance." Not having my glasses on, I walked over to take a closer look. I saw this:
I started shaking so hard, with my back to the class, staring at this poster, that the boy who did this, the child of one of my very closest and most amazing friends, was a bit worried. Then he realized I was laughing. Laughing so hard I had to sit down and they had to bring me the Kleenex. Without saying a word, I stood up, went and fetched my camera, and took this picture. I also immediately emailed it to his mom.

Some people might see this as disrespectful. A defilement. Rude. I see it as a slice of genius. We hadn't even discussed these poetry terms yet in this kid's class and here he is not only reading it but seeing it differently than anyone else in the room, including me.

This is why I teach. I live for the moments when the light bulb goes on and a student really SEES something, FEELS something, and - most importantly - finds his or her OWN meaning in something, even if I don't agree with it. Hell, especially if I don't agree with it. Learning to think for yourself is WAY more important than knowing how to define assonance.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

There's a first time for everything

Ok, I'm a little nervous since this is my first blog. Well, not my FIRST first, since we blog all the time in my classroom, but that's SO different since they are writing about what they think and feel and all I have to do is respond and encourage.


But when I am thinking about school starting next week, I'm thinking about my daughter who is going into first grade for the second time. It's the best decision for her, but still it haunts me that the kids will make fun of her and then I will be arrested for fist-fighting an eight-year-old. She is a strong, sweet, funny little peanut and I loathe the idea of someone taking that away simply by being unthinkingly cruel. They are, after all, seven and eight years old. So we are being upbeat and positive and arming her will ALL kinds of self-esteem without making her unbearably big-headed (tough to do!). I would LOVE to believe my husband who says she'll be fine and would I just GO TO SLEEP already, but I know just how wonderful or awful kids can be.