Friday, November 01, 2019

NaNo Again

I've decided to give National Novel Writing Month a try again this year. I completed the challenge successfully in 2016, but haven't gotten very far in the years since then. This year I have gone in with some pre-writing done, which I hope will give me a better chance of seeing it through.

The local NaNoWriMo community is wonderful, although November is such a busy month for us that I've never been able to attend any of the in-person events. For those of you who don't know anything about National Novel Writing Month, you can check it out by clicking here. It isn't too late to join!

October was kind of a stinker of a month for our household, so I'm happy to kick it to the curb. November means birthday celebrations for Harper and I, as well as a delightful week off of school for Thanksgiving. I'm already thankful for the break!

Wish me luck with the NaNoWriMo challenge. I may post occasional updates here, just to help me feel accountable. Is anyone else I know participating this year? Send me a message if you'd like to be official "buddies" on the website.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Something I Never Thought About in 6th Grade

Well we're all back to school in these parts and I just saw a headline about the new locking systems that are being installed on our interior school doors over the next month and a half to provide another layer of protection against mass casualties.

It reminded me of a brief conversation I had with Michael on the way home from school today. He was telling me about learning about his teachers. One of them used to be in the military and he said he's so glad she's in our school because she knows what to do with a gun. I mentioned that she didn't keep a gun in her classroom and his reply was, "But if she could get it away from someone trying to hurt us she would know how to use it." The most horrifyingly sad part of this exchange was how matter-of-factly he mentioned it and was on to the next thing.

Our children think of someone coming in and shooting at them in their schools as a thing that could possibly happen. We have to do better for them. 

Monday, April 08, 2019

Mary Oliver and My 6th Grade Teacher

I've been participating in a challenge this month to walk one extra mile a day. I realize that isn't much of a challenge for many people, but it has been a test of time and commitment for me. I'm pleased to say that I've walked that mile 8 days out of 8 so far, we'll see how the rest of April goes.

Even a nice, gentle walk (or any activity) can feel torturous if I'm watching some kind of clock or distance count down. In order to peacefully walk on my treadmill, which is where most of my extra miles have taken place, I set the time/distance/speed and then promptly cover the digital display with my Kindle and read as I walk.

The last couple of days I have been reading Mary Oliver's Upstream. In one of the early essays in the book, Oliver was describing various birds and mentioned loons. Just reading the word, "loon," nearly took my breath away as I was instantly flooded with memories of a favorite teacher. Mrs. Freiburger was my 6th grade teacher and my 7th grade science teacher and she absolutely loved loons.

Aside from the loons, here is what I remember about Mrs. Freiburger as a teacher: she read us great books, we did lots of creative writing in her class, her last name was one of our spelling words early in the school year, and she loved science. Twice I got in "trouble" in her class and I still remember her reprimanding me because I cared so much about her opinion and I was upset I had disappointed her. What impresses me most, all these years after middle school? When I think of Mrs. Freiburger I feel happy. The memory of being in her class just makes me smile. Her passion for her job and care for her students still feels like a gift to me 30 years after being in her class.

I have no idea where Mrs. Freiburger is now, but I would drop everything in a heartbeat to have lunch with her. Wherever she is I hope she is enjoying her retirement and has endless opportunities to observe her beloved loons.