A Short Story – List Form

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The following short story was inspired by a prompt from Julie Duffy from STORYADAY.org and authors Jennifer Eagan and Lydia Davis.

 

Life Changing To Do List from an Unnamed Character #15

  1. File
  2. Write my Manifesto
  3. Change insurance
  4. Change beneficiaries on life insurance.
  5. Refinance the car loan.
  6. Plan trip to Portland, Maine
  7. Clean out closet
  8. Drop off items to Goodwill
  9. Rent a Uhaul
  10. Find an apartment that fits the 7 foot dining room table
  11. Open a new bank account
  12. Order checks
  13. Apply for passport
  14. Buy a vacuum
  15. Purge
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Marc D Hans is Amazing!

There have been several times in the trajectory of my teaching career over 22 years that I have questioned whether I am in the right place and doing the right things. I’ve been struggling with this concept for quite a while.

Tuesday my mindset shifted while listening to Marc D. Hans.  He is a man who does a lot and deals in Design Thinking. He is so much more than a teacher. After listening to him, I feel like I am in the right place again. I cannot put my finger on exactly what he said that resonated but overall he was INSPIRING. I needed to be inspired by someone dynamic. During the experiences he led us through I was ALL IN. It felt amazing and everything that he said made sense to me. I will be coming back again and again to my notes for the weeks to come. 

5 Takeaways (there were so many more for me!)

  1. Storytelling – every concept he talked about was connected to a story from his life. We were able to get to know him and he made his point. Even though I know that narrative is how our brains like to learn I often forget. Marc reminded me.
  2. Be Comfortable with the Uncomfortable – Being an introvert causes me to push out of my comfort zone with people all the time. The first activity he did that dealt with our phones pushed me – but I did it and I didn’t die. I have to remember that sometimes the payoff is better than the uncomfortable feeling. This idea ties into me sharing my own writing too.
  3. Make the SUBJECTIVE OBJECTIVE – naming things and examining exactly what it is can give perspective. Our perception of how people might react causes us to not start things because of our own limitations. We talk ourselves out of a lot and get in our own way. It reminds me to ask myself, “What is the worst that can happen?” Usually, it isn’t as bad as I first think.
  4. Humans crave GENUINE EXPERIENCES with others. I vow to stop answering “Fine” or “Good” when people ask me how I am.
  5. “Relationships are the difference between being a teacher and an employee.” How we care about the adults and students around us matters.

The literacy coach and consultant Lisa Vahey has been a jewel in my life over the past two years. There are many reasons for this fact,  but the most prominent in connection to today’s post is that she has introduced me to people that I never would have met any other way.  I never would have met Marc if it wasn’t for Lisa.

I am so glad that I was able to go to the workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday. I really left feeling inspired and I had some great conversations with teachers I work with.

I encourage you to look up these two people – you will not be sorry. You might even get inspired too!

 

Wait! She’s Trying to Remember the Rest!

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I am continuing my funny stories from my teaching career.

Last month I attended an amazing workshop with Jack Berckemeyer and his colleagues. One of the main components of their presentations is FUN. As I was listening I started a list of funny stories from my teaching career. Every teacher has funny stories of situations with students and I have decided to write some of them down.

Laughter helps you lose weight, live longer, and lower your blood pressure. Bring on the guffaws!

Wait! She’s Trying to Remember the Rest!

To quiet students, I use Harry Wong’s GIMME 5.

It is a nonverbal that if established can be effective.

When first introduced you say the 5 things – one for each finger. I believe I modified from the original 5 from Wong.

Stop moving.

Stop talking.

Look at me.

Listen.

Think.

When I was a reading specialist I convinced an old school teacher to let me in his room to teach writing. No one knew really why he let me in when he had let no one in previously. In his class, there was a student who was 6ft tall in 5th grade and sat in the center of the room in the back row. He was a leader in stature and culture.

While in the process of starting my lesson I had established the gimme 5 signal. I would go through each step until they complied and then move on. If they were still talking I wouldn’t move on.

One day I started with “Gimme 5, stop moving, stop talking…” I was waiting for them to stop talking when the larger than normal 5th grader said…Quiet! She’s trying to remember what the rest of them are!”

I remember saying, I didn’t forget and then started laughing.

 

StoryFest for StoryaDay May 2018

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Storyaday May is a challenge with simple rules:

The Rules from Julie Duffy:

  • *Decide how many days during May on which you’re going to write.
  • *Write and finish a story on those days

My goal was to write 30 stories and I wrote 31 stories in May 2018.

Every June, Julie hosts StoryFest at her blog. You can check out some other amazing short stories by going there June 23-24!

Here is my Day 21 story for you to enjoy! Comments are welcome!

Man Murdered by Tree in Minnesota Forest

By Mountain News Service on May 21 at 2:43 p.m.
Stearns County, Minn. —

Authorities are investigating the death of a man found with a bullet wound to the head in the Birch Lake Forest on May 20.

“We are shocked and saddened to confirm the death of Mr. Maxim Foster,” a spokesperson from the park office confirmed. “He was using dynamite to extract trees in an overgrown section of the forest when he was fatally injured.”

There had been previous reports from 15 years ago of an attempted murder and suicide in the Birch Lake Forest. A bullet from the attempted murder had been lodged in a tree and never recovered.

It is speculated the bullet fired from the tree when Mr. Foster blew the tree to bits. It apparently held a grudge and fired upon the man, killing him.

The tree will not be prosecuted.

3-2-1 Quote Me!! “Success”

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Thank you to Bitchin’ In The Kitchen for this nomination!

A Guy Named Bloke is responsible for this tag and it is super fun.

Here is how it works:

The rules of the tag are very simple:

• Thank the Selector

• Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

• Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

The topic set for me and my tagees is ‘Success’ so a huge thank you again for tagging me Bitchin’!

What does success mean to me?
Honestly if I was to answer this five years ago the answer would be very different than the one then I am writing today.
In my opinion, success is meeting your own goals that align with your personal passions, what you are good at, and your beliefs. It is about the way you make a difference in the world.
It is not what everyone else wants you to do, no matter what social media says.

Goals are dreams with a strategic plan.

Success if feeling peace with your life and how it is constructed is success no matter what that looks like for you. Work life balance is a lie that is created to make people feel guilty for how they live their lives. When people feel inadequate it is much easier to control them. Advertisers prey on this concept.
Success in my career a couple years ago would have meant lots of travel and hours at work.
Now? I would love to work from home and limit travel to mostly family trips. I limit trips from the house as much as possible.

Here are my two SUCCESS quotes:

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All of our experiences make us who we are. Some of these events are within our control, and some are not. There is a point of “before and after” when you realize what is important to YOU and your life, and what is not. Then decisions start to be made, your life looks different, and the people in your life change.

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Perception and mindset are important to how you view success. I love this quote above. Drive and how you approach situations is a big indicator of success. Not really luck.

I tag these FABULOUS bloggers!

Marian

The Cozy Pages

John