Ten Things I’ve Learned Recently (solsc) 11/31

Taos N.M. Windows painted by D.H. Lawrence. So cool.

Taos N.M. Windows painted by D.H. Lawrence. So cool.

I love list posts. This one was motivated by an email newsletter from Marianne Elliott a few months ago. Hers was far more profound than mine will be.

1.  If I start my very rowdy ELD class with fifteen minutes of silent reading, the students calm down and are able to listen and engage with the class.  Reading works much better than my voice enciting them to calm down and pay attention. I have to read along with them. If I don’t, they don’t read either, so these minutes are not a time for me to get things done. It is reading time only. I’m reading a lot of books lately.

2.  I used to think that we didn’t have time to read for fifteen minutes every day. Now I say what better way can we spend our time? My students do not read on their own. Ever. I believe that if we are to be successful citizens of the world and of their own lives, the ability to calm down and read is essential. So we read. Every day.

3. If I try to write a blog post a day ahead of time so I’m not always posting it so late, the post always seems insignificant, like a filler because I couldn’t think of what to write about. Or when I reread it just before I post it it just seems like yesterday’s news. And I find it uninteresting.

4.I have a hard time taking good photographs in artificial light. the edges always seem blurry and the light always seems yellow. I’m not a fan of photoshopping them to make them look nicer, so I’m disappointed. Actually, I don’t even know how to photoshop, so that’s an issue too.

5. A twelve minute nap in the afternoon refreshes me more than sleeping an hour. I have to set a timer for that.

6. Decided to go on a Facebook fast this month. Actually I started on February 18th. I’m wavering. I like to go once a day or so just for a second to see what people are posting, but I’m not responding or posting anything. Except my blog posts which are posting automatically.  I’m unfollowing people here and there but I don’t think I’m following the letter of the fast.

7. Over at Kevin’s Meandering Mind, is a recent post that is a series of photos, followed by a gif that says, “Notice the Moments.” It struck me that that’s what a slice of life is all about, isn’t it? Finding meaning in the small things that happen every day. If we don’t look for them they often get past us. In The Alchemist the protagonist, Santiago, is told to “watch for the omens.” This noticing the moments makes me think of that. Our lives get so busy and full that it’s easy to let the small but important things, the little messages that wait for us, just slip by.

8. Sometimes those little moments are found in things like that song that’s playing over and over in your head one day, and then the next. You wonder why you’re suddenly singing that song, until you stop and listen to the words. “Hold your head up, you silly girl,  look what you’ve done. When you find yourself in the thick of it,  help yourself to a bit of what is all around you, silly girl. Take a good look around you…” Suddenly you realize that there’s a message in those words, if only you could hear it.

Hm. Only eight things. I guess I need to pay more attention.

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8 thoughts on “Ten Things I’ve Learned Recently (solsc) 11/31

  1. llsmiles says:

    I love this list post. It is like stream of conscious writing but organized. I will definitely use this idea with other teachers and students.

    1. I applaud you for reading with your students, everyday and being reflective about the purpose. Purpose matters.
    2. I love that you mentioned another blog post and I have a connection to him!
    3. Song lyrics. Yes, that is so true. I have a shirt that says: My brain is 99.9% song lyrics and it is so true but I rarely think about the message for the right now as they float across my brain (except for gospel lyrics, I do listen to their message in the now)
    4. Writing is so good like that. When we write, we remember.

    Your list post inspired me. Writing inspires me. You inspire me!

    Write on!

  2. writekimwrite says:

    I ended reading this with a laugh! I think eight on a promised list of ten is just right when the eight things are so encompassing. I do wonder about #5 and how you discovered 12 minutes was the best nap time for you. Another slice?

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