Twice in our end-of-year Language Arts circle in June, teachers said they were going to use the summer to figure out who they were. One said she was going to figure out who she was when she’s not here, because the last school year had hollowed her out. The other said she needed space to remember who she is again.
As I sat and listened (because I hardly ever share much of significance, being the private person I am), I thought of the quote from The Tumbling Turner Sisters, a book I was reading at the time: “There’s something to that…What you have when you’re just you.”
My awesome friend Mary does my hair, and when we were talking about an upcoming publication of one of my poems, and another poem I’d just started about my daughter, she asked me, “Heather, when do you write, seriously?”
I have writing notebooks hidden under my bed. The writing in them spans years of my life; there are many words on the pages.
The thing is…I haven’t looked at them in years. Literally. I am afraid to look at them. I am afraid to remember things I wrote about, things I have long since forgotten. I am afraid of the memories. Most of all, I am afraid of my voice.
At my previous school, we had a tradition of “adopting” seniors and doing our best to successfully “parent” them through their senior year. At my new school, we don’t adopt kids per se, but I always refer to my students as my “kids,” and despite the confusion this causes sometimes in conversation, I actually feel like they are my kids.
This year, I continued part of the adoption tradition with my AP Language and Composition students.
Another day, another NPR story, another reason for me to write.
I missed this story about the SAT and ACT college entrance tests the morning it aired, but I caught a link via Twitter and then thought about the subject for quite a while after reading it. Mainly, my thoughts centered about the thoughts, “I didn’t take either the ACT or SAT, yet I made it through college, and now I’m a teacher. I think I ended up just fine.”
Yesterday, I read this article called “The Gatsby Curve: How Inequality Became a Household Word.” I initially clicked on the link on Twitter because it mentioned The Great Gatsby, and since I’m a nerd, I’m a sucker for when people use literature to explain things in society (see original tweet below). Continue reading →
A month ago yesterday, Neil Gaiman gave a lecture at the Reading Agency in London. Yesterday, I gave his speech to my AP Language and Composition students to read. I had two motivations for doing so:
1) They are learning to analyze argument, and Gaiman’s argument is so overtly stated it is a great place to start, and
2) They need the added push to help them understand the importance of reading fiction in helping them become productive and literate members of society.