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Star Light, Star Bright Hodgepodge

Although Joyce spent time traveling this week, she still managed to come up with another fun list of questions!  Go Joyce!!  Hope you had a wonderful time while you were away!  Let’s get to the questions!

1.  Share one way you think the world has changed for the better since you were a kid?

Technology has advanced to the point where the world is a very small place.  I love that I can connect with people I haven’t seen in years, and it’s as though we were never apart.  With technology has come advances in medicine and a host of other improvements.

2.  How ’bout one way it’s changed for the worse?

Technology has advanced to the point where people have a new way of sharing way too much personal information or inappropriate content.  This is just one way that technology has changed the world for the worst.  Technology can also be distracting.  I think of students who are so enamored with their digital devices that they fail to take full advantage of stimulating conversation going on in class.

3.  Starlight, starfish, starling, Starbucks…your favorite ‘star’?

Anyone who knows me can predict the answer to this question…STARBUCKS!!  It’s to the point where my local establishment knows the various nuances of my very special orders…soy milk, no whipped cream, toppings included.

4.  Name a song that’s overplayed, but you love it anyway.

I really don’t have a good answer for this question.  I mainly listen to Christian radio, and it’s no different from other stations.  The same songs get played over and over.  I don’t care, though, because I love them all.

5.  When did you last have home made ice cream? Your latest favorite flavor?

I don’t know that I’ve ever had homemade ice cream.  I’m lactose-intolerant and haven’t been able to eat it for the last twenty years.  When I could eat it, I loved chocolate ice cream.

6.  What do you think is the best way to inspire or motivate people?

I love this question!  I teach Intensive Reading to struggling high school students who are unable to pass our state assessment.  A big part of my job is figuring out how to motivate my students.  I have to build their confidence and enthusiasm so they will want to read and so they will believe that they can.  I’m only three years into this adventure, but what I’ve found that works best so far is to set a good example and model the enthusiasm I want them to have.

I buy books every time I get paid.  Before I put them in my classroom, I read them.  Then, I do book talks with my kids.  By the time I’m finished, there is a waiting list for the books.  I think what motivates these kids is sincere enthusiasm in what I do.

One very quick story.  I’d recently finished the book Beautiful Creatures.  It is several hundred pages long, but it tells a wonderful story.  It is narrated by the main character…a male.  One of my students who struggled severely with reading and simply had no interest in being at school had finished his current book.  I casually put Beautiful Creatures in front of him and encouraged him to give it a go.  For any struggling student, a thick book can be very overwhelming.

He reluctantly began to read.  He reluctantly read the next few days during independent reading time.

Before I knew it, he had stopped complaining and was really reading.

A few weeks later, he’d finished the book.  Fortunately, I’d just received the second book, Beautiful Darkness, in the mail the day before and had taken it to school the day he finished the first book.  He snatched up the sequel and began reading.

He got suspended from school but still had my book.  I was able to procure it from his brother, whom I’d taught the year before.  I found out that my student had finished this book and really wanted to read the third one.  He had also tried to get another student in his class to start reading the book.

We motivate by example and sincerely believing in what we are doing.

7.  When was the last time you were without power?

We were last without power a few weeks ago when my area was hit with torrential thunderstorms that caused flash flooding.  The rain continued for days.  Chicky had gone to spend the night with a friend, and she scared me to pieces when my phone rang at 3am.  She was standing outside my front door.  The power had gone out all over town, so my garage door opener wasn’t working.  She’d left her friend’s house in search of home and, hopefully, air conditioning.  We were only out for about an hour, but it got hot and humid quickly.

8.  My Random Thought

As you are reading this, I am driving a moving truck that is filled with many of my Chicky’s possessions.  She’s moving out…permanently, we think.  She signed a two-year lease for a rental house.

At this moment, I’m not sure if I’m going to leave bawling, or if I will be stoic.

This is the fourth summer she’s left, but there’s a sense of finality with this trip.

It is the most bittersweet move of all because she is on the precipice of being completely independent.

I am excited for her.  Every summer has led to this moment, preparing both her as she stretches and me as I let go.

I am also sad.  Our relationship is far from perfect, but I think we turned a corner this summer, and we are beginning to relate to each other as adults rather than just mother/daughter.

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8 Responses

  1. Good luck with the move and sendoff. It is always bittersweet.

  2. I hope the move goes well. I can’t tell yo how many times I have moved my daughters…between college dorms and apartments! Is chicky moving far away? Hope not!

  3. My brother got married almost 2 years ago. We thought it was funny that the girl he was dating went to the same schools he did, from K-12, and they never knew each other. When she met my mom for the first time, she INSTANTLY knew who she was though–grande no whip iced white mocha!

  4. Aww, my heart feels for you at this bittersweet time as Chicky leaves the nest. Hugs!

    And be sure to visit my blog before Saturday! 🙂

  5. I am inspired by the story of your reluctant reader who read not just one thick book, but its sequel. What books might you suggest for my own boy (11) who hates to read. We make him read for a half hour but it’s preceded with a lot of complaining and “who READS these days?” (That is, “cool” people, not Mom and Dad.) He liked The Hunger Games and so we’ve put Chasing Fire in his hands. I will be tutoring a boy from England in a few weeks (age 14) and his dad tells me he needs help with comprehension. Got some tricks to share with me?
    Oh, BTW, did you hear what the CEO of Starbucks said? It’s the reason I have been boycotting that company since March. Can’t , in good conscience, support them (not that I was ever a big fan). But his was ian n-your-face “take your business elsewhere” . You’ll be okay with Chicky moving out if you’ve had practice. Our son’s last move was not nearly as hard, even though permanent. Sorry for the comment bomb!

  6. I love the Beautiful Creatures story… certain books just click the switch for some people. I just watched the movie & have all the books on my Kindle… can’t wait to read them all now.

    BTW – we answered the first 3 questions the same 🙂

  7. So wish there were more teachers like you AuburnChick!!!

  8. I agree, the technology craze has gotten out of hand. I think teachers should take everyone’s cell phones before class starts, too many kids are using them and texting or instragramming under their desks.

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