Broadway

“What show should we go see?” came the text from my mom the week before April Break.  “My vote is Come From Away.”

“I like that idea.  Or Dear Evan Hansen,” I quickly texted back.

Tori, my sister, writes back “I’m in!”

Now we wait in anticipation!  What will we see?  

On Monday we find out we are going to…Come From Away!

We arrive 10 minutes before the show and quickly find out seats in the small theater.  My sister leans over and says “I’m ready to cry.  This is not going to be an upbeat show like others we have seen.”

“I agree,” my mom and I say in unison.  My dad is too busy looking at the playbill to add a comment.

But then, “Hey!  There is no intermission,” my dad announces.  “Use the bathroom now if you need to.”

The lights dim and we are suddenly in Gander, Newfoundland.

We laugh a lot.  We cry a little.  The hour and 45 minute show goes by in a heartbeat.

“Wow!” all of us say together.  “Excellent!”

 

Almost a week later and all 4 of us are still raving about it.

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April Break

Top 10 things to do over April vacation

◦ Clean out my closet

◦ Go shopping if the closet is clean

◦ Go to NYC for a show

◦ Meet baby Preston

◦ Enjoy Hens night out

◦ Get ready for spring at my house

◦ Catch up with friends

◦ Celebrate Easter

◦ Get my car serviced

◦ Relax and be happy

Proud

April 1st started the Slice of Life Classroom challenge.  I’ve never attempted this with my 2nd graders before so have no idea what to expect.  Will anyone actually do it even though some seem so excited about it?  How will their writing be?  Will their writing and the comments to their peers be thoughtful?  With these questions in mind I decided to modify the challenge slightly.  One change is that they can write about anything they way.  The other change I made is that they are participating in Google Classroom (which they are already familiar with) instead of a blogging site.

As April 1st approached I tried to rally the troops the best I could.  I talked with many parents about it at conferences.  I shared my own blog posts many times throughout the week.  I told stories about how I planned for my own March challenge, and how I was successful.  And yet I was still left wondering, will anyone participate?  

Sure enough, my class rose to the challenge.  Everyday last week I had over half the class participate.  Some students opted to stay inside during recess to work.  Some students wrote before school, some after.  Some asked to use laptops when they got to school early or were done with a task early.  They were fueled by comments from their peers, and comments from administrators and other teachers.

Some now I’m left wondering, will this week be the same?  How do I keep the momentum going?  How do I keep them writing over our week long April break?  

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see! IMG_7043

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Help me get these out of here

I ring the doorbell and wait, soaking in the sun, but huddle into my jacket to hide from the wind.

“Hi,” beams Linda as she opens the door.  Linda is the nanny for the 6th grader I tutor in math.  “I made lemon cupcakes with a vanilla lemon frosting. They’re still warm.”  She goes on to tell me the whole recipe as she places a cup of tea in front of me.

“Had the itch to bake?!” I say with a salivating smile.

Maddie comes in and asks for a cupcake too.  Whispering Linda says something to Maddie like “you have to wait until later.”

“Please!” Maddie says back.

Linda shakes her head no and says to me in less than a whisper “Craig (the dad) came home unannounced.  He’s not happy I baked.  I swear I never bake.  At least not for a long time.”

Before leaving Maddie and I to our math Linda comes over, gives Maddie 1 bite of a cupcake, winks and leaves.

An hour later, as I put my coat on, Linda hands me a tupperware container filled with cupcakes.  “Help me get these out of here,” she says ushering me out the door.

 

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Reflection

I cannot believe how fast March has gone by this year. Last year during the challenge I struggled many days to come up with an idea. Was my idea good enough? Was it slice worthy? I struggled some days to write even when I had an idea.

This year was different though. I came up with ideas faster but often was struck with the thought, “have I already sliced about this?”  After all, my life is pretty routine. But I went with it anyways. The words came easier to me. I enjoyed my writing time more with less stress. I even shared my writing more with my class and relatives.

So as I end this year’s Slice of Life Challenge I’m feeling proud. Proud of myself for finishing year 2. Proud of becoming more confident. Proud to be moving on and sharing this wonderful experience with my students in their own Slice of Life Challenge.

Thanks for a great month of writing! Enjoy your day off. See you on Tuesday!

I Love Rock n’ Roll

I love rock n’ roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock n’ roll
So come an’ take your time an’ dance with me

I was driving when this song came on the radio today and immediately brought me back to freshman year of college.

Jackie, my roommate, and I were very different.  She was messy, I was organized.  She was a night owl, I was in bed by 10 most weeknights.  She was a procrastinator, I got things done early.  She was a science nerd, I was more of a psychology person.  She enjoyed noise while she worked, I did not.  Even with all of these differences we still got along great.  We balanced each other out.

Somehow (I really wish I remembered) we got into a routine of taking a study break and singing and dancing to this song.  I mean full out dancing…hairbrushes in hand singing, standing on chairs dancing.  Sometimes we would even have an audience because our door was always open!  I’m sure it was her idea, not mine!  But it was so fun and a great stress reliever.

One day, while doing our routine a guy from across the hall stopped to watch us.  When the song was over he asked, “would you mind if I video taped you doing this?  You see I have this film class I’m taking and I need a final project.”

I can’t remember what the criteria for the project was but both Jackie and I immediately said “NO!”

The guy was bummed and said “but no one except my professor and myself will see it.  And clearly I’ve already seen it.”  He got us there.

“But what about the final?!  Do you have to present it to your class?” Jackie asked.

“Nope! I just have to turn it in” he replied.  “Pleeeeeeaaaaaaase…help me out.”

Jackie and I looked at each other and agreed to help out a dorm mate.  After all, maybe we would need help from him sometime…lifting something, killing something, or other “guy” things.

I never even saw the edited video but I know we did several takes of it.  Singing, laughing, dancing.

About 2 months later Jackie and I were at a frat party.  We were talking to our friends when “I Love Rock n’ Roll” came on.  Of course we started dancing, some of our friends joined in.  It was nothing like our usual dance but it was our song, how could we not.

The song ended and we were just about to continue to talk to our friends when a cute guy, who I had never seen before (and later found out Jackie hadn’t either), came up to us and said “hey…aren’t you the girls in that music video?  The ones that danced to that song on chairs?”

Jackie and I both turned red!  “Um what?” we both muttered at the same time.

“Yeah.  I’m sure it was you.  A classmate of mine just showed his final project in class and it was 2 girls dancing to that song in their dorm room.  It was great.”

Jackie and I laughed and uncomfortable laugh.  The guy walked away.

“Well, that was unexpected and super embarrassing,” Jackie mumbled next to me.

“I’m sure the class only had about 10 people in it” I said trying to reassure both of us.  “It definitely could be way more embarrassing” I mumbled back still as red as an apple. “Nothing we can do about it now.”

And hey… now it’s a great memory to think of every time I hear

I love rock n’ roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock n’ roll
So come an’ take your time an’ dance with me

 

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Success

I was out sick on Wednesday.  Feeling better but still sluggish I made my way to work on Thursday.

I typically setup for my day the afternoon before so I try to get to my classroom early.  Success!

Walking into the building I am full of anxiety. Will the classroom be a mess?  Will anything be broken?  What will the guest teacher’s note say?  

I slowly open the door to my classroom and look around.  Not bad!  Everything looks like it did when I left it.  Nothing broken like the last time.  Another success.

I spot the guest teacher note near the smartboard.  “We spent most of the morning needing reminders of talking and self control.”  Ugh…opposite of success.

I make my way to my desk.  I spot something new.  Something green.  “Little touch of spring for your desk,” reads the note from a parent.  My smile is back!

Here goes another day!

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