DREAMS

I had a dream last night, one of those ones where you dream something the first time, and then it is magically the next day, and your brain tries to recreate what happened in the first half of the dream.

This dream was about sharks. It was about purposefully baiting sharks to watch them get aggressive and attack boats that viewers were standing in. Admittedly, I do not understand where the cruelness of this dream originated, for I quite like sharks, but that is besides the point.

The first day in this dream with the Great Shark Extravaganza, it was stormy and exciting, and everything ended in a bang (literally, because it was thundering). The sharks got all their food, and they eventually retreated. The only other person that I knew there had been my father. We had enjoyed the sharks as much as we feared them, but we had felt safe.

The second day of my dream, my class of fourth graders was joining in to watch the sharks. Now, at this point int he dream, I realized how dangerous it had been the night before to watch them. The sharks came ridiculously close to the safety rails. The boats had nearly tipped over. I had to protect my children. I could feel that sense of impending doom where a dream was about to turn into a nightmare. Someone in my dream was not going to make it.

But, despite my fearing of the worst, the dream took a turn. Yes, the sharks were still there, feeding aggressively and being angry with the boats, but it was not storming. Dolphins showed up from nowhere and protected the children from the sharks so the children could actually play in the water without fearing shark attack. An actual rainbow came over this bay of strange peace and happiness, and I was in complete shock in the dream.

And now I am thinking in metaphors, as I often do, and I wonder if perhaps I am becoming one of those people who loves my kids so much that I just want them to be taken care of, and I want to be the one to do it. After all, I said several days ago that I wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to save them from the sharks. I wanted to save them from the storms and the turmoil.

But I had done absolutely nothing besides stand there and watch as they took on their own challenges and learned who they could trust. All I had done in the dream was bring them to this place in which that opportunity for growth existed. I had not protected them. I had not even encouraged them to jump into the shark-infested waters. They just had done it because they felt ready to handle it themselves.

So, it seems that maybe – just maybe – I could be worrying too much sometimes.

READ IT AGAIN

Junior year of high school

There is a book that you

think I only read simply because two

boys fall in love and that

is the kind of story that I like.

But when I read of these

simple things, like falling in love, I can

Senior year of high school (cue partial long-distance)

only think of you as the words

fly down the pages and remind me

of the beginning days, after

the crushes and after the years

of confusion

down to when we finally knew

what the other person wanted.

Freshman year of college (cue long-distance)

These words on the page of a book

feel comfortable and familiar and warm

just as you do.

Because now, we are so

very in love, but there was that

Sophomore year of college (cue study abroad)

exciting and debilitating and exhilerating

time in which we were not quite

there yet, but we were still

teetering on the edge, and I cannot

describe just how much

I loved that feeling, and I crave

Junior year of college (cue still long distance)

to feel it again. Not with anyone

else, but with you because it was just

so fun to fall in love

with you.

I know now how the happy ending

goes, because I live it each day, but these books

transport me back into

This year! (aaaand still long distance)

our journey that got us where

we are, and there is something

lovely in that idea.

SUPERHERO

I simply cannot find the words to express just how much I wish I could be your superhero. I want to save the day. I want to solve your problems, and I want to banish the clouds that dot your mind when you begin to think to much

or compare yourself too much to others

or to tell yourself too many negative things that you just shut down.

I want to be the person to save you from all that. From your anxiety. From your social struggles. From your emotional outbursts, just because as a ten year old, you have trouble asking for attention without admitting weakness to yourself. From your lack of positive body image. From your dipping self-esteem.

Couldn’t I just save you from your monsters? Wouldn’t that make everything so much easier? Wouldn’t it nice to know that you had a superhero by your side forever who could help you take on your demons so you can feel as wonderful and strong and beautiful as everyone but you knows you are? Wouldn’t it just be perfect if I was not just with you for a year? That you would not have to leave me in June and hope your next teacher will be your superhero, too?

Wouldn’t that be nice?

SCHOOL WRITING

Teachers, I feel, often underestimate just how much they truly write during the day. Teachers who say they “don’t write” likely aren’t considering all the small notes and planning they do throughout the day writing. So, today I will share some of the more academic writing I do within my classroom in order to aid my students.

We are currently writing papers about the Revolutionary War, and we are beginning to research for our second section in which we discuss an important person or an important event from the war. To best understand the planning process, I made my own notes to help organize my thoughts:

HOOK: Colonial spies did not truly come into play in the war until the Continental Congress began planning more organized forms of protest, rather than just protests coordinated by the rebel groups of teenagers and young adults.

WHO THEY WERE

  • Ordinary people, such as shop owners
  • Women/wives
  • Culper Spy Ring (worked under George Washington)

WHAT THEY DID AND HOW

  • Secret letters and messages
  • Infiltration through cross-dressing or false traitorship
  • Gathered information by eavesdropping in public or in homes
  • Disguises to appear unassuming

THE EFFECTS ON THE WAR

  • Gave information to the Patriots, including battle plans
  • Intercept important documents and letters enroute
  • Aided in victory!

JUST BEING HONEST

When I used to forget

important things like

homework

or due dates

or paperwork

or the fact that I was supposed

to take the chicken out

of the freezer,

I would panic.

I am more calm about

forgetting things these

days, as I have realized that

life will go on, and consequences

are not usually life-

altering.

That being said, I most

definitely forgot

to post my slice yesterday due

to the fact that one

of my biggest icons came

to speak at my college, and for

once, I found something

more important than

writing.

WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE

I wrote a letter to one of my students today. He has been having a particularly rough few weeks since Spring Break. I have given him the benefit of the doubt many times. I have worked hard with him to support him and reach his goals. I hold him to expectations, but I help him get there. To me, this is love. This is support. This is me doing my job.

To him, that is not it at all. Love looks very different to him, and he does not want this kind of love. So, here is the note I wrote that meant nothing to him, but it is still in his desk, just like all the other little notes my mentor teacher and I have written to support him throughout the year on tests and during tough work periods, so perhaps, one day, it will mean something. I really hope it does.

While some of this letter may seem strangely blunt, I have built a relationship with this child where he has, in the past, greatly benefitted from me addressing things which are holding him back, such as his image of himself.