Friendship Expectations

This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones. I like to be prepared.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

The trait I value most is integrity. I want people to do what they say they are going to do. I guess this goes hand in hand with trust. No one expects a friend to betray you.

I also believe in the emotional bank account as well. Deposits are made by both parties in a relationship and both can withdraw. Just like a regular bank account, it can become overdrawn. If you hurt me before we have established too many deposits then the relationship suffers.

Friendship has traditionally been difficult for me. I have been burned by more people than I can count which is I am sure why my introverted tendencies have showed themselves more over the last couple of years.

I Remember…

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This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my very own life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

Why are the terrible memories the easiest to remember? There are many of these for me as I am sure there are for you as well. One of the most terrible is when I got the call that my Oma had died. The person on the phone told me she was gone. I misunderstood and asked where she went. She had been known to be ornery and get angry at my grandfather. Her getting in the car and leaving wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

I did not believe she was dead. I drove the 3 hours in desperation to see her at the funeral home. She wasn’t dead until I really saw her lying there.

It was April 1, 2000 when she passed away. April Fools day which she would have found amusing. I still think of her often. She sent me the scent of roses before I opened my eyes that first year anniversary.

She did not meet my son. She did not meet my husband. She did not see me move jobs or states.

But, she did see me jump off the diving board at the Y for the first time. She did see me graduate from college. She did see me get my first teaching job. She saw me do a lot of firsts throughout my life.

Is there a silver lining in your terrible memory? Is there a positive frame to learn from?

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What Do You Want to Know?

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I am up early for #5amwritersclub accidentally. In the first phase of this isolation I am craving books. I am considering ordering this one:

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I am writing and reading every day. I did venture out for a short period yesterday with my son because I needed boxes and paper towels. I interacted with some of my writing friends online. I submitted as well.

There is focus when you are in the middle of a self imposed challenge. You can read more about that here.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

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The obvious answer right now is to know how long this pandemic and the consequences will last. To know how long I will be out of school might be helpful.

One of the mantras I live my life by is “Everything is temporary.” I have learned temporary is an amount of time that can feel long but be short or the opposite. Time is a human constraint and Mother Nature has her own ideas about it. I feel the universe is telling everyone to slow down and rest. Life moves forward and I have the choice as to how I frame that time.

Many of my friends are anxious about this whole situation and I feel guilty to admit I am not. I am taking it as it comes in the present moment because I cannot control it. I am honoring this time as the gift it is. I cannot say as time stretches on I will feel the same way. Being told to stay home is not a punishment to me. I know people feel uneasy about this factor but it can honestly be the difference between life and death depending on your health and who breaths the same air as you.

What would you want to know?

Thinking Thursday

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My coffee is hot this morning and I am thinking about this week. It has been moving along smoothly and quickly. Today is one of those days where I am waiting for answers from other people. I cannot control the situation, but the result will have impact on my life moving forward. We are almost to the end but sometimes it is hard to wait. I am encouraged though! The birds are singing outside my window and I am grateful for all that is in my life.

I attended a new writing group last evening. It was lovely and held at the library. It was upstairs in a board room and I had to be let in a locked door by a library worker. It made it feel very “secret society”. There was reading and critique first. Then we did a 10 minute writing exercise and then read those pieces. There were 5 other people in attendance. Apparently, there are 12 members all together but not all active.

This morning I am super excited that Sarah Selecky is on the Secret Library Podcast. I am listening and writing at the same time. I may have to pause, but I find both Caroline’s and Sarah’s voice inspiring.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

The superpower I would love to have is to read faster. I have so many books I want to read and although I read quickly it never seems to be fast enough. I need to train myself again to sit and read for longer periods of time. My reading stamina has suffered. With everything in our lives happening in such bursts I find it difficult to sit and read anymore. Sitting and writing doesn’t seem to be a problem, only reading. Part of the issue is reading is fuel for my writing and I often will stop reading and go write something down.

I would love to hear your answer to the question!

Who Are Your Five People?

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On a creative group Zoom call last evening the idea that you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you came up. I have thought a lot about this idea since I heard it about a year ago.

I waver back and forth as to my belief in this statement. I do believe there is a circle of concern for the people that are closest to me. There is also a circle of influence that flows both ways. I influence others and they influence me. (Covey, anyone?)

I do know that I am more creative and business minded with my writing since I became part of my creative group last fall. The women in that group are all over the country and have perspective and know me in a way no one in my real life does.

[As an aside here – Does this phrasing bother anyone else? If my friends are online it is still my real life – I abhor the idea that since I am not in the same room they are not real! I vow to stop using it now.]

I have education people, writing people, creative people, personal people. Only a couple of them overlap.

Do you know who your five people are?

I challenge you to make that list today. Writing it down may surprise you.

5 Education Reflection Questions

I love questions. I love to ask them of others and to reflect on them in my own writing and mind. I have a question collections from reading and also from podcasts. The end of the year is a great time to think about which questions I want to ask more regularly.

Here are 5 Questions I am pondering lately:

  1. What gives me life at work?
  2. What wears me out at work?
  3. Is there anything I can do to eliminate or diminish the effects of #2?
  4. What do I truly want to change?
  5. What do I miss from my teaching life?

Number 5 is the one that is popping out to me the most lately. Being a coach I am often just outside the teaching. I co-teach with others and model lessons but there is something different about having students that are my own day to day.

Student action and reactions to what I plan is exciting to me. I truly look forward to the discussions I have with students.

One thing I did recently was to make the notecatcher for students look like sketchnotes. My model on the large chart paper looks like the student version.

I want my 7th graders to be motivated and I was thinking about how I would like notes to be more fun.

In my own classroom I used to take risks and ask kids in my class all the time to evaluate our practices and reflect. My goal was always to give them strategies they would use forever, not just for the next assignment or test.

I miss the day to day schedule and the micro movements to change students behavior and academic action. I miss family meeting time, the group written chart story and mini-lesson, the independent writing time and conferencing. I miss the many real alouds a day and writing practice time.

I need to incorporate a time blocking schedule to my coaching life. The schedule between 3 offices gets tiresome some weeks. I need to dedicate certain days to certain tasks to keep myself on track and get more focused work completed.

Questions 1, 2, and 3 had me thinking about my first teaching job and a life-changing conversation. A good friend and I in the first building I ever worked in, had a discussion about what I missed about college. She asked me specifically what I missed with the idea that I could incorporate those missed experiences into my life now. The idea was to take the essence of the actions and make it real again. I took that to heart and made some changes that were wonderful.

Question #4 had both a small and large impact on my thinking today. The small impact is a self-editing idea that I learned in high school. A teacher advised reading my piece one sentence at a time, starting at the end. Taking the sentence out of context allowed me to focus on the sentence itself without the content of the story surrounding it. I would be less likely to skip over important details this way.

I would love to be able to work from home a couple days a month but not sure that is possible with the new schedule.

I am always trying to improve my practice!

Please read this piece here.

Weekend Coffee Share – Hunter Moon

A cup of coffee and a conversation!

The weather finally cooled off in the middle of a rain storm! Here is hoping it stays that way. The fuzzy warm red blanket is on the bed now. It is a great time of year. It was also a full moon last night called Hunter’s Moon! I cannot say I am hunting anything except words for the page.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I made apple slices this weekend from the fruit we picked at the orchard last weekend. They are like flat apple pie with icing and delicious. The house smelled so good when they were baking.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week was full. There were a couple days at work that got rearranged and not by me. I always handle it better when I am the one changing it but I have to roll with it.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had a great day Tuesday at a training sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education. It was a day full of math rich tasks and was super fun. I spent the day with a teacher I am working with this year and we were able to chat in a more personal way. We laughed and had a nice lunch too.

You can read the rest of this post here.

11 Questions Answered

clear glass bulb on human palm

Tim Ferris asks successful people 11 questions in his book Tribe of Mentors. I have answered his questions in order for you to know me a little better. I would love to hear your answers to these questions as well!

Comment here or on Medium!

“What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?”

I love books about life experiments and was immediately drawn to this book as soon as I heard about it. I believe in the idea that you are influenced by the people and books you surround yourself with. Megan had coffee with a new person to learn from them and also to make new connections.

“What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.”

  • Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain pen, black, fine nib
  • A pair of scissors in every room
  • $10 business cards that have writer printed on them — solidified the idea that I am really a writer

What new belief, behaviors, or habits, adopted within the last 5 years, have most positively impacted your life?

  • intermittent fasting
  • keeping only what I love
  • stop saying yes to things I want to say no to
  • study what is energizing and what is draining

What would you put on a billboard?

  • Everything is temporary — good and bad

Click here to read the entire Medium article.

Wednesday Update

person writing bucket list on book

It was asked yesterday how I did with my intentions.

I lived my day with fire.

I did down dog in the afternoon.

I wrote several times during the day.

I had FANTASTIC productive talks with teachers. I feel like I listened to what people were saying and trying to be helpful.

I wrote down 3 experiences from the day.

I did write down a random memory.

I did celebrate Llama Tuesday and said hello to as many students as possible! There were lots of smiles.

I did enjoy my beverages last evening! And my dinner too.

MY 10 ON TUESDAY:

I intend to live my day with fire today.

I intend to do at least one yoga pose.

I intend to write.

I intend to have meaningful, life giving conversations with teachers today.

I will intentionally listen to what needs my teachers are telling me through conversations.

I intend to pay attention to my surroundings today.

I intend to write down 5–10 experiences from my day.

I intend to write down a random memory.

I intend to smile and say hello to as many students today to celebrate Llama Tuesday!

I intend to enjoy a beverage when I get home from work.

What are your intentions today?