Continuing With My Best Effort


I missed two days of posting.  I know how challenging this task is that I put forward for myself and my students.  It is challenging to see the “seed” moments in everyday that would be interesting to other readers.  I know I appreciate and take note of more in my life as I look for these moments to share , but wonder, “Is it interesting?  Is it meaningful? Is it something I want to share with the world?”

Several years ago, a local photographer, Craig Blacklock, gave himself a monthly challenge that could be compared to the Slice of Life. He was only allowing himself to take one photo a day.  I recall reading his reflections discussing the challenge in not taking the large obvious easy photo(he was in the Superior National Forest), but look to see the beauty and art in the smaller view.  He had some beautiful sunrise photos of Lake Superior but also had photos that included small plants, driftwood, shadows, the things that may be overlooked.  Some were breathtaking and some were less so.  I I must not be so hard on myself.  Some days the writing is there in front of us waiting to be put on the page, others it will be a little less glamorous, but perhaps more meaningful.

As I read the work of other slicers, I connect with them as teachers, mothers, daughters, and shared human experiences on the planet. Their words inspire me to write and appreciate things in my own life.  I am grateful to those who comment and affirm my word choices and can place themselves in my shoes.  

This morning I have determined to continue to practice, share my comments with other writers and put out the best that I can each day.  It is all I ask of my students, it is what I should be okay with for myself.  I am a new writer.


Spring Inspired Haiku


A haiku inspired on my snowshoe hike today.

crusty ice layer

ridges drawn by blowing snow

sun draws new edges

Spring Has Arrived

SOLIt was 77 degrees warmer today than a week ago.  Last Monday, the students were inside for recess because the windchill was -22.  Today we had 55 degrees above zero!  It is amazing the smiles that appear as the snow melts.  People are kinder, more patient, and talk with one another versus bury their faces in their phones while in checkout lines.  Maybe all the heavy clothing makes our hearts heavy after such a long bitter winter.

We are on spring break and today it felt like spring.  I took time to absorb the sun shining on the deck.  It is amazing how powerful that warming feeling is.  The world felt better, tasks felt doable and my teenager was humorous.  Glorious.

New Challenges

SOLStarting new things can be exciting and anxiety building at the same time.  I began my Master’s program last week.  How would I fit this new responsibility into my life.  What will have to give and flex to fit it in. I’d watched as colleagues breezed through programs with mad rushes at the end of each 4 week period completing papers and reflections on what they had been trying.  I knew that if I were to be paying for further education I wanted to be challenged and feel that I was improving my knowledge and skills.  I wanted to know that I would be challenged and inspired to raise the level of my instruction, that the money and effort would be of value.

Only one week has passed and my students and I are benefitting from my coursework.  It was a crazy week with two nights of conferences, community ed, and track and field day.  I don’t know that it is a typical week to determine if my family is the piece that must always be in flex.  How fortunate I am to have such a supporting family to encourage me along the way and help in any way they can for me to achieve my goal.

We are always trying to reach for new things and keep things in balance.  Perhaps the balance is shifting so that no one piece is ever lost.

Spring Ahead

SOLFourteen years ago, daylight savings time was the first weekend in April.  I know this because I was in the hospital in labor waiting my first baby.  We arrived at the hospital at midnight and labor went very quickly.  I didn’t have any drugs so labor was rather intense. I remember looking up at the clock during a contraction and the minute hand spun around the clock quickly.  I thought I was losing my mind it hurt so badly.  It was just the hospital clock “springing ahead.”  My son arrived two hours later.  Isn’t it amazing how our minds blurs that waiting time for us.  I didn’t tell anyone at the time of my worry about the clock spinning.  There are so many crazy worries those first few days.  I think it was later in the week when we arrived home and the clocks were wrong that I realized what I had witnessed and knew it wasn’t just a pain crazed hallucination.

Warm Fuzzies

SOLAs we wrapped things up before our spring break today, we also had to say goodbye to a treasured classmate.  This young lady is an all around fantastic person. She is hard working, understands the value of perseverance, and is willing to help anyone in anyway that she can.  I believe every classmate was sad to see her go.  She has that unique ability to help diffuse tension in a gentle and humorous way so that we can laugh at ourselves when we take life too seriously.

Before we left for the day, we made “Warm Fuzzies”.  You know, the pom pom necklaces where you pull out strands from your own necklace and tie them onto another classmates while you give them a compliment.  It was amazing.  For a group that I constantly worry about their empathy and compassion, they had powerful and specific compliments to give one another.  My class is two third boys and everyone of them went home with their necklace of multicolored threads on.

We will miss our classmate but have warm fuzzy thoughts of her with us always.

Put Me on the Bobsled Team



Track and Field day can feel rather crazy.  There are over 400 5th graders “crazed” inside the university field house.  They zip around like ants who have lost their ant hill scurrying and hurrying in all directions.  Looking like they have a destination in mind and then they zip in a completely different direction for no visible reason.

It is loud.  All these voices, the start gun, the cheering make my head throb.

Students LOVE this day.  It is “their” Olympics.  Most are like the Jamaican bobsled team and know there is no chance of winning but are thrilled to compete.  A select few, and they know who they are, are the contenders.  Their PE teachers have had them running in the gym during recess all year.  They have an internal drive to win and external pressure to succeed as well.  Their second place overall  is a bigger loss than the 4th place runner of their contending heat.  Their victory is everyone’s victory, their defeat, their own.

My favorite part of the day came as we walked to the awards ceremony.  One of my “bobsled athletes” had only competed in long jump.  He was so excited at his attempts.  “I had a great one, but, unfortunately, that one I scratched.  I think I might get 3rd or something though.”  He had no idea that the “contenders” had already compared distances and knew their standings.  After the winners were called without distances announced, my Olympian said, “Huh, they must have had a few extra inches than me.  I wish I hadn’t scratched.”   I am so thrilled for him in his joy of the day.  How wonderful to be happy with your best effort regardless of ranking.

My second place “contender” went home in tears.  There were no words to cheer her for her success.

I hope to live my life knowing I have given my best and that is success.