Tag Archives: Slice of Life Story

Not counting down

16 May

I’m not counting down to the end of the year yet.

Really.

There are six weeks of school left. It would be absurd to start counting down now.

But my brain can’t help it. It looks for patterns and makes connections. When my last morning traffic direction duty ended two weeks ago, my brain noted that I could check it  off my list of things that I finished for the year. And so it began.

Here, then, are the end of the year stats I have been thinking about lately, looking down from 10,000 feet.

Six weeks of school left

Only one five day week of school to go

Four more Mondays

Two more Fridays

One more staff meeting

Three more PLT meetings

Two SBAC tests

12 more Enrichment classes to teach

25 more days of school

slice-of-life_individual

Life’s little ironies

9 May

I placed my groceries on the conveyor belt and sighed. After a long day at work, I was almost home.

The cashier finished checking the people in front of me, but, as I pushed forward she said, “Give me a minute. I have a mess to clean.”

I looked to where she went, under the end of the conveyor, where you stashes the basket you carry by hand. The basket that had been stowed there was oozing eggs. The cashier made three trips to and fro, getting more paper towels and spray cleaner. She grumbled a little about people who don’t mention problems and leave messes for other people to clean and I commiserated.

I didn’t have many items, and I was checked out quickly, with two paper bags in the shopping cart. Portland is plastic bag free. I parked the cart and carried my bags to my car, looking back to make sure I hadn’t left anything behind. Nope. I was good to go.

When I got home, I quickly tossed the frozen berries into the freezer and the yogurt into the fridge, then took Lucy for our afternoon constitutional. I would unpack the rest of the groceries when we got home.

I fed Lucy when we got home, then started unpacking the rest. It went a little faster that I expected, then poured myself a glass of mineral water. It had reached 72ºF in Portland!

I don;t know what caused the niggle in my brain. But something called me back to the fridge. Hey, where were my lemons?  I pulled out my receipt and sure enough they were on there, but they weren’t in my fridge. Weird. I looked over the receipt once more. Holy cow!  Two other items on the receipt were missing: celery and carrots.

The grand total was just over five dollars worth of veggies, but the pain in my life was huge. I was in no mood to run back to the store (though I did check the car, just in case.) So, I took the only action I could – I sent an email using the comments form on the store’s website. A feeble effort, but I let them know that it wasn’t the value of the items, it was the value of my time that was the bigger loss.

In the aftermath, I thought about the fact that, driving home, I’d been thinking over the fact that I didn’t really have a good Slice of Life story.  Ha! I thought, too, about the cashier, who had complained about people not doing the right thing. Ha! Ha! Life sure is full of irony, isn’t it.

slice-of-life_individual

Oops, I did it again

2 May

It should have been a simple process.

When I came to the page in my checkbook reminding me it was time to reorder new ones, I simply got online, went to my banking site and clicked the reorder button.

When asked for a shipping address, I was about to type in my home address, but I got to thinking. Since the last order in 2014, there had been a few package thefts in the neighborhood. I decided I would simply have the package delivered to school, where it would either be delivered directly to the office, or to our locked box near the school’s entrance. A much safer option than having them left on my stoop.

Within 24-hours, I had an email announcing my success.

Within a week, I had a letter from my bank asking me to call them about the order.

I called, curious as to what the issue might be, and spoke with a very nice young man, who dug deep and found my order. He asked me to verify my address. Check. He asked me to verify my shipping address. And here was the problem. The shipping address didn’t match. Weird.

My brain erupted in a fury of synapse firing. What had I entered for address? And then it hit me. My “new” school where I have been for almost 2 years, is on a street whose name begins with an L. So was my old school. So, I gave him a new address: my “new” school number with my “old” school street. BINGO!

I’ve made this mistake before, but had always caught it. This time, apparently, I missed it. The young man was now able to fix my order. As he worked we chatted about middle school. He told me I wouldn’t have enjoyed having him in my class. He also told me he was a veteran and had just been accepted into a university program to finish a degree he had started a while ago. It was a lovely conversation. In a matter of minutes, my problem was solved and we said good-bye. I wished him luck and success as he started down his new path.  With any luck, I will have my new checks in a week and a never make that mistake again.

slice-of-life_individual

The Case of the Anonymous Commenter

25 Apr

They don’t teach handwriting analysis or crime scene investigation in teachers college. Those are skills good teachers just pick up along the way.

I had to call on these superpowers last week in The Case of the Anonymous Commenter.

You see, we have a classroom tradition. At the end of a writing unit everyone displays their finished product and students wander the classroom, take a seat and read a person;s paper. When they have finished reading they make a positive comment that acknowledges a move the writer has made. After reading and commenting on one piece, they get to take two cookies.

We like to splurge when we celebrate writing.

The kids know the rules: Sign your actual name. Comment on the moves. No ‘suggestions’ or criticism.

Well, last Tuesday, we celebrated the end of our sci-fi mini unit. The room had a minty scent because I bought mint Oreos. What I really wanted to buy was alien head cookies at a bakery, but, with 600 6th graders in two classes, that was not in the budget. Minty Oreos, green like alien heads, were. In any case, students were milling around absorbed in the creativity of their peers, munching their Oreos. It was good. All too soon, it was time to wrap things up.

“When you finish the story you are reading,” I announced in my best Lt. Uhura voice, “please return to your seat and take a few minutes to look over the comments you have received. When you have finished reading the comment, staple them to you paper, turn it into the basket, and take your break. ”

I looked around the room monitoring student behavior. A quiet girl came up to me, her paper in hand.

“Someone didn’t sign their name,” she said, concern in her voice.” They just put anonymous.”

I looked at the paper. Indeed, someone had signed something other than their name, for written on the line for a name, was  “anonomous”. Interestingly, the comment was actually quite complimentary. It turned out she was not the only recipient of  an anonymous comment.

Break buzzed with the mystery of who the anonymous commenter might be. I overheard a conversation and knew which papers to start with to solve the mystery.

When the students returned from break, they got started on their Social Studies project while I got to work sleuthing. I took the stack of papers from the basket and found the ones with Anonomous’ comments. All in the same handwriting. Then, I looked through the others, paying special attention to the one belonging to the name I’d overheard at break. Sure enough, there was a match. In fact, he used some of the same words in his comments, anonymous and signed. I had him. The funny thing was, all of his comments were kind and supportive. I didn’t really understand why he hadn’t signed his name.

While the class worked, I sauntered over to his table feeling like Miss Marple must, just before cracking a case. I crouched beside the boy and simply asked, “Are you Anonymous?”

He reddened and spluttered, “Yes, but…. I….” and didn’t really know how to excuse his crime. I complimented him on his comments, reminded him that he should always sign his own name, then I slipped him a sticky note.

“By the way, ” I said, a smile on my face. “This is the correct way to spell anonymous.

slice-of-life_individual

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is in the air

18 Apr

Yesterday, when it rained, it didn’t chill me to my bones. Yes,it was damp, but it was a warm, April rain.

I’ve noted the change coming. For the last few weeks, when I arrive at school, I have been greeted by birdsong. That doesn’t happen in Winter and it warms my heart to hear it.

A lot of other things don’t happen in Winter, either.

I am sleeping with a window open regularly.

I  turn the heat up to take the chill out of the house in the morning, but rarely run it the rest of the day.

I consider NOT wearing tights with a skirt.

I choose a light sweater, rather than a heavy one, knowing it will likely travel home in my school bag.

What are your harbingers of Spring?

slice-of-life_individual

 

 

Playing with idioms

4 Apr

I have a busy week this week.

Me, the introvert. The person who loves to stay home.

I have commitments five evenings in a row. Five SCHOOL NIGHT evenings in a row. It has me dreading events I am actually excited about. And that has me playing with idioms.

At first, I thought out of the frying pan into the fire. But that seemed inaccurate. Having just left the relaxation of my Spring break staycation, it seemed that out of the slowcooker into the pressure cooker might be more accurate.

Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,  I am making sure I am eating healthy food this week. I made mushroom soup on the weekend to take in my lunch this week, and I made a lovely green juice this morning to be sure that I get the vitamins and energy I need to make it through the week. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,  right!?

29587379592_ffc85a733d_o

 

 

Dandelion Wishes

31 Mar

The last day of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge coincides with Crayola’s announcement that it is retiring Dandelion.

The thing about dandelions is that no one loves them until, as Nabokov says, they have  “changed from suns into moons”. Once the dandelion has transformed from golden sun to soft moon, it has the power to grant wishes to anyone willing to blow on the seed head and disperse the seeds.

So, here are my seeds for the writers of #SOLSC17…a little concrete poetry to drift through the air like a dandelion seed.

 

I wish you inspiration

and the words to say what needs to be said,

the pleasure of tasting life twice,

the determination,

discipline,

 courage,

patience,

promise,

vision,

faith,

heart,

time

to

w          e          d

r              v              a

i                  e                 y

t                             r                       !

            e                                y                                  !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Teaching Thinking

It's what our world needs now.

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

indent

"When you know better, you do better" Maya Angelou

Always Going Home

Writing from a writing teacher

Ancient Arts Yarn

Nature | Inspiration | Glorious Colours!

Writing Workshop Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

Leaping to your bookshelves in 2015!

Sixteen To Read

YA and MG books debuting in 2016

The Sweet Sixteens

2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade Debut Authors

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

What's Your Opinion?

A site to state what YOU think!

Love.Life.Read.

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

%d bloggers like this: