Slice of Life – What is My One Word for 2022?

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 23 November 2021

Resourceful, inventive, unwasteful, prudent?

Careful, judicious, protective, astute?

Simplicity or stewardship?

What is my goal and focus for 2022? I am in the process of considering what the right word is for my one little word for next year.

It is becoming clearer, but I need a word for it. If there is one.

These past weeks I’ve been sorting through accumulated possessions–too many that we have gathered over eight years. I’m giving things away daily, whenever someone is nearby I hand them an empty bag to fill. We came to this country with nine suitcases, and we are going home with eight. Most of our possessions won’t be traveling to California with us.

So, this process has reminded me that it would have been better to have not accumulated in the first place. I want to be careful, mindful, wise in my next chapter when I will be setting up another home.

Not only that, I want to be resourceful and frugal for the sake of the planet. Instead of buying a new thing, I want to use up, make do, do without, and wear out or repurpose what I already have.

I work hard to do this with food in my kitchen. For instance, when I went to some friends house for breakfast the other day, I ended up with dried pita bread leftovers. I cut them into triangles, baked them and served them yesterday to guests with homemade hummus. It saves money and the planet to eat without wasting and without buying processed foods. I want to continue to get even better. (Have you seen Carleigh Bodrug do this @plantyou?)

Another example…I had saved a new canvas for my 2022 word painting. However, what if, instead of opening another plastic-wrapped package, I use Nawaf’s Dot Day painting from years ago as my canvas? I can write my one word onto the red dot, perhaps? Is it disrespectful of the original artist? Or is it a legit art form?

Anyway, any ideas for a suitable word for 2022 for me?
A new canvas or a revitalized dot painting one of my students made for Dot Day years ago.

I Learned, Didn’t I?

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 9 November 2021.

You knew a few letters last year; the only one you said with loud confidence was the initial letter of your first name. I wondered what had prevented you from learning your English sounds and letters during your first two and a half years of school. How clever and smart you were, noticing patterns in the words on the test, and sharing your interest in life and all the little happenings around you. However, you weren’t able to do the activities I asked you to read and respond to. You were distracted and took a bathroom break during the screening.

Today I saw you again, and you have made such prodigious progress. You know your letters now, spouted the sounds in the phonemic awareness screening, read nonsense words, and even a few sight words.  I told you how proud I was of the progress you have made in the last few months. “I learned, didn’t I?” you said.

marvel of learning
your hard work is paying off
yes, indeed, you did

Thankful For This Time

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 2 November 2021.

We now have nine weeks before we leave Bahrain, and I’m realizing how very fast the days fly by. By day, DIBELS screening at school and cleaning out cupboards and closets are two tasks that are keeping me busy. I’m so thankful I am not teaching this year, so I have time to do what needs to be done to make this a good move. I remember one move we made when my children were in middle school, I was teaching full time, and we moved to another state the week after school was out. Fortunately, we had professional movers, but when we got to our new home and I had to look through and sort the boxes that should have been done before. There was one junk drawer that had just been poured into a box and shipped across country, complete with the sticky gum sticks, broken rubber bands, random staples and paper clips, bits of Blue Tack. Yuck!

This time of course it’s a different kind of move. There are no professional movers with semi-trucks picking up the houseful of furniture and belongings for four people. We hope to get our eight years worth of Bahrain belongings into eight suitcases; that means we have a lot to give away. I’m trying to sort things to make them handy to look through. Now, I’m starting to invite people over to go through and pick things they would like to have.

Thankfully as we close this chapter, Covid numbers are low and the country is open for gathering. A few times a week, we have fun in the evenings and weekends being with people. I’m starting to feel like the goodbye is really coming, and it’s not going to be easy.

Filling up boxes
Expanding to the living room now

Slice of Life – Can We Change Now?

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 26 October 2021.

I’ve been writing a small poem each day in October using the Inktober prompt for the day. For yesterday’s word, splat, I went to a favorite inspiration post: “141 Ways to Play, Process, Stretch, Express, Disrupt Words and Form”. I randomly chose one from Andy Schoenborn. It was to write a story in 100 one-syllable words, and then add line breaks and enjambment to make a poem to help the reader pause.

Instead of a 100-word story, I wrote a prayer. It breaks my heart each day to see such effort to get school back to “normal”, when some parts of normal weren’t all that great.

A Prayer for School Change

How can things change
so much? We were just fine,
and then we weren’t. Splat,
like a moth that hit
a fast car, school stopped. Now,
we try to pick up
the cracked and rent
bits
and put them back
as they were.
But,
can we just stop
and find a new way?
A fine way to be
in this world.
Please,
Lord, help us give voice
to kids who do not yet
have one. Help us make
rules that just give
life. May the kids be free
to catch a glimpse of
who they can be.
So be it.

On another note, Blooket came through and added Hoor’s name to their computer system:

Slice of Life – Blooket

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 12 October 2021.

Today while observing a computer class, I learned about a new review game called Blooket.com. As the children started logging in to Blooket for the review of the lesson, I began to help some of the children get to the page and join the game the teacher had prepared.

One little girl got an error message when she tried to write her Nickname, which our teachers always encourage the students to write their real names. She got the message “That name doesn’t seem to be appropriate.”

Someone said, “Oh, you didn’t use a capital letter.” I wish. We tried again with a capital. That wasn’t it. Then, so she could play, we just used her first initial and second name.

I found my cheeks getting red with embarrassment and anger that she had to get that message saying her NAME wasn’t appropriate. It was a name unnecessarily censored. It stayed with me, and I got more indignant.

When I got home, I signed up for Blooket so I could send a message to the contact email asking them to do something about it, so she wouldn’t have to get that message again.

Within thirty minutes I received this humble and helpful response:

Hey Denise,
We are super sorry about this! We will add that name so it is not flagged. We aim for users of every age group to be able to play! Unfortunately sometimes the computer picks up the wrong thing to censor.
Apologies for the inconvenience,
S.
I am thankful that I spoke up. As of now, though, her name remains inappropriate, according to Blooket. I will check again until it’s fixed.

Slice of Life – Update on My Yo-Yo Quilt

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 5 October 2021.

Today I finished another step of my yo-yo quilt. I was inspired to get started on this quilt in August and wrote about my progress here.

Since then I’ve worked on it off-and-on, and I learned so much. I’m not totally satisfied, but I decided to finish anyway. It was my first attempt doing artwork with yo-yos. Each piece has been basted onto the background. Now I just need to more permanently sew down each of the more than 600 yo-yos. (I wonder how long that will take!)

My inspiration is the Bahrain World Trade Center. Click the link or photo below to read an article about the process of the building of this landmark in 2008.

Slice of Life – A Sevenling

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 7 September 2021

Last month I wrote a Slice of Life about reading, how I had been neglecting it, and I asked for recommendations for my next read. I got some great suggestions, most of which I had not read yet. I went to my public library online, and checked out Goldfinch first, which Fran Haley had suggested.

I loved this sad and suspenseful book that had characters I will never forget. It was really difficult to put the book down, and I would read in bed for too long each evening, until my eyes glazed over or I fell asleep. However, I’m a slow reader, and this book was 750ish pages, so I had to renew it. Then yesterday I had to have a cataract removed from my eye, and I still had about 3 hours left to finish the book. When I got home, while my eye was still patched, I finished reading it. One eye closed under the patch, and the font size enlarged for my other lone eye.

Today I checked out my next book, this one on audio so I can rest my eyes the next few days and do more listening. Thanks to Lakshmi’s idea of listening to classics on audio, I checked out Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.

I wrote a sevenling poem about Goldfinch; the sevenling form I learned about last month from Tammi Belko. She sometimes has her students write sevenlings after they finish reading a novel, so I did that today too. You can read more about the sevenling form here at her post at Ethical ELA.

Goldfinch
Theo Decker loved his mother and then Pippa,
he experienced hell, and he and Boris tried to escape
this life by flying too close to the sun.
He didn’t want to forget his mother,
to have stolen the painting, and
then to have disappointed Hobie.
He was too young for all the catastrophe.

I’m not usually a great patient, so I probably read and wrote too much today. I will go add some drops to my eye and rest it now.