#SOL19 Memory Lane + Survey

I blog every Tuesday and link with other teacher writers at Two Writing Teachers.org. In March, they host a daily blogging and comment challenge. Come over to the blog and sign up to join in the fun this year!

Saturday was a trip down memory lane for me when I returned to the town where I started my teaching career.

I remembered the days I met my students at the park and we went sledding.

I remembered the Sundays I went to the library to get books for our class for the week and students started showing up when I was there.

I remembered the festivals downtown where I would hear my name shouted.

I remembered all the training I received at this corporation. I am still using most of what I learned there in my teaching life.

I remembered the teacher field trips we took to Brown County basically to eat pie and the line dancing class we took where I couldn’t keep up and just laughed the whole time.

I remembered the trips to Treasure Mart with Stephanie my friend and art teacher as we scoured for items to experiment with in our crafty states!

The town looked different and familiar at the same as 10 years of absence will do to perception.

One place I was looking forward to was lunch at Mike’s Pizza. My mouth was watering thinking about eating the Italian Beef Sandwiches and breadsticks. Sadly, they had closed at the beginning of the month.

What are you remembering today?

In order to serve my readers better please take a moment and take this brief survey and tell me your thoughts!

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Where Do I Live? #SOL19

Where we live says something about us. When we ask this question it gives us insight into the person that is answering. There is a lot to talk about surrounding the answer and variations of this question.

This question was asked of me various ways last Saturday when I attended my writer retreat at a local Buddhist retreat and meditation center. I have lived in so many different places over the last couple of years I always hesitate before answering. I do not feel that the town I am currently living in reflects who I am. Which in many respects is silly. We did move here based on county affiliation and closeness to my work. I am in a temporary place and I know it. It is like we are stationed in this house and waiting for the next deployment and the emotions around this idea are complicated for me. So when I answered the question when asked by the wonderful people I was meeting, it sounded wrong when I said the name of my town in response. No one was judging one way or another but I felt like I needed to explain something that I could not quite place. I wondered if it sounded inauthentic when I spoke it. I felt the need to share the town I worked in too even though it wasn’t asked.

When one of my friends asked me how I was settling in a couple weeks after we moved to this house I answered, “I cannot walk around in the dark yet.” I still cannot most nights. It has been 5 months.

I positively frame the situation and am grateful for having a house to live in. We have a great backyard that we will enjoy in the spring. We will plant flowers and veggies to enjoy this spring and summer too. Everyone has space here and my car is warm in the winter because we have a garage.

In this town, there is a delightful coffee shop and a used bookstore that I will frequent as time passes. There are new restaurants to try that are not chains.

I grew up in Northwest Indiana and left to live in Central Indiana after high school. I came back to the north after my Oma died. I knew if I didn’t leave the state after college graduation I would stay here. I plan to change that status in a couple of years.

I have been asked when I moved from New York to live in Indiana. I have been told I don’t quite fit where I am.

Here is what I love about where I live – it is where I am. It is where my husband and four children are and that is what is important. (My books and writing are here too – also important!) The memories we have made in this area are important.

The physical space has come to not matter so much to me. I live inside my head a lot of time and circumstances have taught me to learn that many things I thought that were unshakeable are temporary. This is how life works and how I learn so I am not sad about it. I hope this post has not left you melancholy.

My inquiry to you is:

Where do you live?

What do you love about it?

Every Tuesday I write and comment at TWOWRITINGTEACHERS.ORG. Come and read other people’s slices of life and comment when one strikes you. This post was also inspired by the 10 Things to Tell You Podcast.

Melody writes about being where you are. You can find her site here: http://melodywarnick.com/?ct=t%28EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2_11_2019_13_6%29&mc_cid=ef5ebb0f05&mc_eid=c5a7f71a7b

10 Things to Tell You

Every Tuesday (And every day in March!!!!) I blog and share it with teacher-writers on the Two Writing Teachers blog.

My Slice of Life today is inspired by the new podcast of the same title of the post. To listen you can find it here.

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  1. Accept is my word today for today’s #Write28days. I need to accept some truths. I am contemplating and planning these GATHERINGS and I need to find the WHY. I think I have realized some truth after some journaling yesterday. One truth is I am an introvert so I need to carefully plan the execution of these events to not exhaust myself.
  2. I am super excited for my critique group video call this evening with Katherine and Marta. I am so honored to be writing friends with these ladies. I value their feedback and thoughts and they never steer me wrong.
  3. Storyaday.org’s Julie Duffy hosted a free writer Zoom call last night where 16 of us got together and wrote. It was wonderful to do 3 sprints together and I crafted a new short story! It took a surprising twist and direction. It is always fulfilling to talk story with other writers.
  4. The topic for the above podcast today is “Are you Lonely?” I love solitude but there are times I feel disconnected from people. On my commute this morning, I was thinking about being disconnected which is why I think I am pursuing the GATHERINGS idea. I want to have time to connect to other creatives for everyone’s creative well to be filled.
  5. Several years ago my life blew up and I was lonely because I was thrust into a situation where I knew NO ONE who had gone through the same thing. There was one person that had a small connection and I was rejected. Luckily, I found a group that supported me. I am forever grateful for this organization and they helped me from going into a spiral that would have not been recoverable.
  6. The #teachwrite Twitter chat was last night and super fun! The questions were amazing. I love that a teacher is part of this group that works in the corporation I used to. Seeing her name pop up in my feed makes me feel closer to teacher-writers locally! There is a chat every month – If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. (I will put the questions at the end of this post.)
  7. I have a literacy/coach meeting this afternoon with a consultant I adore listening to and working with. I am looking forward to the word for are going to do today!
  8. This is a wonderful site to follow. There are daily writing tips, great words, great quotes and a prompt. https://writerswrite.co.za/
  9. Another person to follow is Nancy Stohlman. She is an amazing flash fiction author, editor, and overall fantastic person. Find her here: https://nancystohlman.com/
  10. Connection for students is important and creating a feeling of belonging. I once named a remediation group “Writing Club” because I wanted them to come and I wanted them to enjoy the writing not get down on themselves for being selected for writing remediation. I wanted to instill an abundance mindset. Everyone wants to be part of a club especially one that you have a special invitation to!

What do you want to tell me today?

Happy Writing!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Every Tuesday teachers gather at TWO WRITING TEACHERS to share slices of life. They link their blogs in the comments and then comment on at least 3 other sites. Come join us today!

Today’s Slice:

The text came through at 8:50 pm yesterday. Before that hour, there had been hours of speculation. We were not the first corporation in the area to call it. To my surprise there was no two-hour delay game, it was straight to cancellation. It was not just cancellation for today…IT IS FOR 3 days! I do not go back to work until Friday.

The weather reports keep saying the Midwest is colder than Antarctica with this winter storm. I woke up this morning thinking about updating my eLearning page and heard the wind. The new house doesn’t have a fireplace and we miss it. We have found how drafty the windows are.

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Earlier the actual temperature was 6 degrees with a – 13 windchill. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be -12 and a low of -22 (without the windchill). I cannot remember when it was that cold before now. I am sure it has been.

Last week I went to school two days. This week it will be only one.

We don’t celebrate winter here so most people will be hunkered down inside their house. To be fair, the weather is not consistent which makes it difficult to adjust. Yesterday afternoon it was 47 degrees before the temperature started to drop several degrees an hour again.

We kept warm in my house. We ate veggie soup with warm bread fresh from the oven.

I am thankful the snow makes everything bright.

I am thankful I do not have to commute many miles this week.

I am thankful for time to finish Slade House by David Mitchell.

I am thankful I will have time to go to the gym every day.

I am thankful I am able to work from home.

I am thankful my furnace works.

I am thankful I am with people I love.

What are your thoughts on winter? What are you thankful for today?

Sunlight and Flowers #SOL18

Day 3 of Jim Knight coach training was yesterday.

There was a slightly different mix of coaches at this training. I drove into the city this time which was pretty stress free and the drive was full of sunshine.

We used feedback cards after Jim established a procedure for them. Red/Yellow/Green cards can be used with students to show answers really quickly and can also build community. Jim Knight said, “There is power in a collective response.”

A lot of the conversation was around relationships.

We learned how to use several data collection measures which are awesome and actionable. I have used several over the years but these were deep and focused.

One of the specific strategies we talked about was creating a learner-friendly culture. Bill Stickland opened a school that has beautiful things everywhere you look, a building that is full of sunshine and fresh real flowers.

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He believes that change can only happen if you see change, including your surroundings. I have the book on hold at the library and am looking forward to it coming in.

Many of the conversations throughout the day continually reminded me that little things matter to ALL people. The thoughtful note, the smile, the nod, the acknowledgement of you being in front of someone…and the sunlight and the flowers.

How do you make your learner space inviting? This could be a writer space or a teaching space. What are your sunlight and flowers? Enjoy them today and share with someone else.

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Slice of Life: HOPE #SOL18

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Hope is a concept that has come up several times over the last couple of weeks. At my FABULOUS Jim Knight training for coaching HOPE is an integral part of the IMPACT CYCLE for coaching. It is a HOPE that teachers and students can get better at what they do and learn.

Jim Knight says there are 3 attributes for hope:

  1. You need to aspire to some type of goal
  2. You need a pathway to get there
  3. You have to have agency – the belief you can get there

Anne Lamott also has a new book out called Almost Everything: Notes on Hope. She wanted to write a book about all the hopeful things she knew in a world that is surrounding us with negativity and hopelessness. I picked up this book from my library holds yesterday and cannot wait to dig in. Solinet is another author who has thoughts on hope.

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What do you have to say about hope?

I hope to have an impact in my job every day. I have hope that the 8th grader I am teaching to read will continue to grow from his pre-primer level. I hope that the sense of peace and connection that has been nurtured over the past weeks will continue with my fellow coaches. 

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”– Samuel Smiles

Henry’s Questions #SOL18

I often use Todd Henry’s questions when I am coaching and when I am reflecting with fellow writers. Here are my answers for today.

What are you working on?

I am working on my novel in progress for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). I am 45, 000 words in. I can see the finish line of 50,000 by Friday. It has been so much easier this year with the support of my Storyaday group of writers.

What is inspiring me?

I have been reading Kathy Fish’s flash fiction. I really would like to get into one of her flash fiction workshops. I will try when she offers it again. It fills up quickly.

My husband and I watched a documentary about Bill Murray and how he starts random acts of fun. It was inspiring to keep myself open and available.

My Storyaday writer group is inspiring me.

Two Writing Teachers is always inspiring for teacher blogs and prose.

Where do I need prodding?

Right now, I don’t need any external motivation. I am internally motivated for the moment. 

Thankful #SOL18

My Regular Run Route on the Bike Trail

I am thankfully off this week from work. The days are for rest, reading, fun,  and writing. Last weekend, the family played homemade Jeopardy and Pictionary. The children even made questions to test the parents knowledge of our children. We rocked it of course!

This morning I watched Friends show bloopers and laughed harder than I have laughed in a long while. The laugh that feels like you are doing an ab workout.

I am thankful for time and weather to allow me to run. I have logged 10 miles in two days. I forget how the runs fuel my creative mind. I thought of poem lines, new clubs for school, an ending for my novel, and other essay topics. 

I am thankful for my writing. I am to 35,000 words for my NANOWRIMO which is National Novel Writing Month.

I am not just thankful this week. I am thankful every week. This week allows me to be extra thankful for what I have in my life. 

What are you thankful for?

Snowy Morning #SOL18

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The first snow descended yesterday as I drove home from work. The tiny flakes sprinkled my windshield and melted from the warmth of the car. It continued to happily come down throughout the evening. Dinner was pot roast and homemade bread which made for a perfect evening.

This morning the roads are shiny reflecting the lights of the cars as they plug along. The blue sky was light just before the sun came all the way up. The grass looks like it has powdered sugar sprinkled on it.

Snow makes me happy

Winter makes me happy and the coziness it brings.

As I pulled into the parking lot it rained leaves to remind me that we are still in fall, not yet winter.

#happy moment

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Where is the Daylight Saved? #SOL18

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Routine is engrained in us.

We have the patterns we engage in because we love them and patterns we follow because we have to. Ultimately, I understand that the “have to’s” are a choice as well but we don’t want to have an accident or get fired.

Daylight savings time is a break in the routine that is out of our control. I read the articles about how certain states are trying to end this practice. I had read someone state it was expensive that I thought was odd. There are added wages for certain jobs because they work overnight. Doesn’t that even out for the company when we spring ahead though?

I am not sure we are saving anything – why is it called that? Yes, there is the sun in my eyes on the morning commute now and it is dark when I come home. I didn’t save any sunshine. It isn’t in a bottle that I can open when I need it. It isn’t in a Sunshine bank account that I can withdraw from.

I have said before:

Daylight savings time is JET LAG with NO TRAVEL

As always, in life and in teaching there are adjustments to be made. In a week, I will be used to the new routine, but I will still be searching for the sunshine.

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