Par

My mom “plays” golf. She drives when she wants. She chips sometimes too. But she always, always putts. It’s her favorite part of the game. She also is like me and never keeps score. AND we have both never played outside of a Par 3 course…until recently.

In true fashion (on this recent outing), my mom dropped her ball with mine on the first hole and chipped and putted. She continues this way for several holes. On occasion she drives the ball. But by the time we get to our last hole, hole 9, she has just been putting. She’s given up on driving and chipping. Heck…I’ve given up many times in this game as well with the ball never finding the hole.

“Everyone is playing the entire hole. Teeing up and everything,” Jack insists.

Sighing my mom tees up her ball. Twhack! It goes surprisingly far and in the air.

Time to chip. Whack! It lands 30 feet from the hole.

“You’ve got a par putt! It’s a real par putt,” Jake exclaimed. “A paaaaarrrrrr puuuutttttt!”

My mom walks up to her ball. No practice swing. No hesitation. Thump!

We all watch…

in slo-mo…

as the ball travels up hill…

straight towards the hole.

We hold our breath…

The ball slows as it gets near the hole. Is the ball going to go in? Is she going to get a real par?

It goes in!

PAR!!!!!!

The 4 of us go wild! Jumping and cheering. She did it. She got par. Woo hoo…CONGRATS MOM!!

31

Today marks my 4th year (I think) in the Slice of Life Challenge so here goes a list of 31 things about me. I apologize ahead of time if some are repeats from other lists I’ve created..

  1. I am a 2nd grade teacher who looped with my class this year (so taught them in 1st grade last year too).
  2. Teaching is hard this year but I’m grateful to be out of the house teaching in person.
  3. Our school hours changed this year by 30 minutes (later) and it’s been hard to adjust to them.
  4. My motto this school year is “Good Vibes Only!”
  5. This past year I have come to love my couch and house.
  6. I never thought I’d be able to stay motivated working out at home…but here I am.
  7. I love working out… and my new rowing machine and Bowflex weights.
  8. I learned to binge watch Netflix during the pandemic.
  9. I love the town I live in and don’t want to move anywhere else.
  10. I’ve fallen in love with listening to books from Hoopla and Audible.
  11. I am loving having a short commute this year as so many people are still working from home.
  12. My go to drink is wine.
  13. My Friday happy hour crew gets me through the work week.
  14. I currently have an amazing student teacher.
  15. I teach swim lessons privately as a summer job…
  16. I got my first 2021 clients last week.
  17. My best friend is moving from Boston to San Fran soon 😦
  18. I miss traveling.
  19. My sister is getting married in July 🙂
  20. I played my first round of 9 holes not on a Par 3 course recently.
  21. I grew my hair long during the pandemic and am really like it.
  22. I enjoy going to the brewery in my hometown… everyone knows me.
  23. I participated in Mischief Night for the first time ever in 2020.
  24. My brother and sister-in-law got a dog recently…and I actually held it.
  25. I am attempting to stay off of social media for Lent.
  26. I get motion sick easily (cars, planes, trains…ugh).
  27. My favorite feature of mine are my shoulders from being a swimmer.
  28. I am a green tea drinker.
  29. I love sweets…cakes, ice creams, chocolate (especially dark).
  30. I am an indecisive person.
  31. My word of 2021 is EMERGE.

I made it to 31… woo hoo! That was not as fun as I thought 😉

3 words

Social media posed me a writing challenge last week. While scrolling I came across the challenge…

What would be the best story? Could I get a meaningful story in only 3 words? 3 words is hard. In fact, many of my favorites were 5 words or more. I tried my best not to look at the comments on Facebook until I finalized mine. But honestly I can’t choose just one.

So here are some of my 3 word happy stories (in no particular order).

Slice of Life!

Wine and Cheese!

Family trumps all!

At the beach!

Dessert is happiness!

Let it be!

This moment matters!

Acts of kindness!

How to Pick a Book

How do you pick your next book to read for pleasure? Or for professional development for that matter?

I set out today to pick some books to read over break next week and was stuck. Well, to be honest, first I was stuck because I couldn’t remember how to get books onto my Kindle. But then I got stuck on what to actually choose.

What type of book am I in the mood for? I don’t think I can do anything serious these days but am I in the mood for a mystery? A rom-com of sorts? And once I pick a genre do I rely on my favorite authors? Do I rely on Amazon telling me that because I liked book X I’ll also like book Y. Do I trust the recommendation of friends on Goodreads or bloggers that I’ve never met?

I ended up with a mixture of all of the above… and judging books by their covers (I know, I know…exactly what we tell kids not to do). But I’m still left wondering… how do you choose a book?

6—>14

Last Thursday my school district went back full time. No longer hybrid half days with an am and pm cohort. All in…all day!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. The job of keeping 6 second graders away from each other was challenging. How was I to do this with 14 of them? The job of teaching second graders and keeping them engaged is hard when they are right next to you. How was I to do this with the kids in the way back row with plexiglass all around?

I’d be lying if I said I was excited. This was a big task to undertake after all, another shift that in this school year. But as soon as the kids started entering the school their excitement filled it up and of course got me slightly more excited too.

Of course the two days of all in school had its glitches. We had to figure out what to do when frigid temperatures forced us to stay inside with no recess/mask breaks. We had to learn how to wait our turns more to get supplies. We even had to work on keeping our bodies more still because it’s really hard to hear through a mask from the back of the room.

But we made it through! The students enjoyed sharing their new school year backpacks and lunchboxes. They enjoyed morning meeting with more students to “beat” in our activities. They enjoyed hearing other’s strategies of how to solve a math problem. They gave each other writing feedback from afar and made predictions of what would happen in our class read aloud. They laughed at friends we haven’t seen in a while.

We definitely have a ways to go to build our school stamina but I am hopeful we are on the right path.

Mask Up

Never did I ever believe I’d make it more than an hour with a mask on, let alone while teaching/talking most of the time. I thought there was even less of a chance of a second grader doing it. But here we are 82ish school days later and holding strong.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the easiest thing at first. But with some trialing of different mask brands and styles it’s gotten better.

One of my favorite masks to wear is a black and white tie-die one. I wear it probably once a week, or at least once every 10 days. I find it breathable, fun for the kids to stare at and “matches” many outfits.

Last Friday I masked up with this favorite one and continued our classes read aloud. I stopped to ask the class a question and was met with blank stares. So I asked the question in a different way.

Shyly a girl in the back raised her hand. I eagerly called on her to hear what she had to say. “Um…did you know you have a hawk on your mask?” Not the answer I was looking for.

Now it was my turn to stare blankly. Another child chimed in before I could react, “oh yeah! Right there! By your nose. Take a selfie and see if you can see it yourself.”

And sure enough…There it was, 2 wings and a body of a bird on my mask. Never had I ever seen the bird on my mask before and never will I ever wear the mask again without seeing and/or thinking about it resting on my face.

Mask Up

Never did I ever believe I’d make it more than an hour with a mask on, let alone while teaching/talking most of the time. I thought there was even less of a chance of a second grader doing it. But here we are 82ish school days later and holding strong.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the easiest thing at first. But with some trialing of different mask brands and styles it’s gotten better.

One of my favorite masks to wear is a black and white tie-die one. I wear it probably once a week, or at least once every 10 days. I find it breathable, fun for the kids to stare at and “matches” many outfits.

Last Friday I masked up with this favorite one and continued our classes read aloud. I stopped to ask the class a question and was met with blank stares. So I asked the question in a different way.

Shyly a girl in the back raised her hand. I eagerly called on her to hear what she had to say. “Um…did you know you have a hawk on your mask?” Not the answer I was looking for.

Now it was my turn to stare blankly. Another child chimed in before I could react, “oh yeah! Right there! By your nose. Take a selfie and see if you can see it yourself.”

And sure enough…There it was, 2 wings and a body of a bird on my mask. Never had I ever seen the bird on my mask before and never will I ever wear the mask again without seeing and/or thinking about it resting on my face.

50 cents

Reading Freckle Juice on Friday my class and I had to pause and discuss the meaning of 50 cents. You see the book says that 50 cents is a lot of money and adds that it took Andrew (the main character) weeks to earn it in his allowance.

It was during this discussion that a boy in a younger grade walked by our open classroom door and peered in. He continued walking before backing up and walking in.

“50 cents is not a lot of money you know. It doesn’t buy much,” the unknown boy says, turns around and walks out of our classroom.

My students all turn their heads looking from one classmate to another, smirking. Finally one student pipes up “what/who was that?!” And the rest fall into a fit of laughter.

“I don’t know but I hope we taught him something today,” I reply trying (unsuccessfully) not to laugh at this memorable unprompted visitor.