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A Slice of what I’ll miss

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers (Even though I’m a day late…)

What I’ll miss wearing a mask to school 

Smiling. It’s my biggest coaching move. 
The smile changes, but it always means something. 

To teachers, I smile to say, 
“Good morning.” 
“I’ll see you soon!” 
“Can I help?”
“I know.” 
“I get it.” 
“You got this.”
“It’s hard, but we can do hard things.”
“I’m here.” 

I smile to say, 
“These kids! They’re amazing!”
I smile to say, 
“These kids! Can you believe it?”

I smile to say, 
“I know you’re not ready now, but maybe one day soon, we can collaborate.”
“I promise I’m nice.” 

I smile to say, 
“Look! Another meeting!” 

I smile to say, 
“Wow. This day!” 

I smile to say, 
“It’s okay.”
“We’re in this together.” 

Smiling. It’s my biggest coaching move. 
The smile changes, but it always means something. 

To students, I smile to say, 
“Good morning.” 
“I saw you trip, but it’s okay.” 
“Are you ready for math?”
“Oops, you dropped your breakfast!”
“That’s a beautiful headband.”

I smile to say, 
“I know you just got in trouble, but your day is going to get better.” 
"Your joke was funny even if nobody heard it."

I smile to say, 
“These teachers! They’re amazing! How lucky are you?”
I smile to say, 
“These teachers! Can you believe us, asking you to do this crazy stuff?”

I smile to say, 
“Give it a try!”
“Put the pencil to the paper, you’re going to write!”
“Keep reading.”
“Do you mind if I interrupt your reading to chat a bit?”
“I promise I’m nice.” 
“You’ve got this.” 
“It’s hard, but we can do hard things.”
"I'm here."

I smile to say, 
“Wow. This day!” 

I smile to say, 
“It’s okay.”
“We’re in this together.” 

I’ll still smile. 
I can’t help it, even under a mask. 
But it won’t matter. 
Nobody will see it. 

#FindTheJoy

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

 

I’m not saying that it’s quite as easy to find the joy each day, remotely.

Even before pandemic times
Before The Quarantine,
There were days.

Days when
meetings overtook
people were mean
things got canceled
I didn’t see a child,
(other than my own and they were grumpy that day, for sure)

There’s a reason I have a wine glass that says
#coachingainteasy

On those days,
Before pandemic times
Before Quarantine
I sometimes had to look for joy

And maybe I learned that looking for joy
is how you find it

Now it’s pandemic times
The Quarantine

Now I have to look for joy
It doesn’t pop up on its own and wave its hands in the air as often as normal
(“normal?”)

But it’s still important.
Because I’ve learned that looking for joy
is how you find it

Even if you are looking into your computer screen at little boxes
reading emails instead of faces
walking down your steps instead of around a school

Some people have reminded me that I don’t have to keep finding joy
posting videos, sharing every day
“It’s a pandemic!”
“Cut yourself some slack!”
“You don’t owe videos to anyone!”

But I do.
I owe it to myself
I owe it to myself to keep looking for joy

#findthejoy

(Check out my #findthejoy videos on Twitter and Facebook @OnaFeinberg … and join in! See what happens when you look for joy!)

#SOL20 March 11 A slice of a road trip

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing 

Road trip

with kids

And the dog.

Only 340 miles to go.

Until we unpack the van

In the middle of the night.

That’s always fun.

Only 338 miles

Of singing and fighting and

Car snacks and

A dull car-sick headache.

Only 336 miles until

Reality hits

Messy house

Schools closed for corona

Thankful we already bought toilet paper last week, so-

It’s ok

That the stores are empty.

Continue reading #SOL20 March 11 A slice of a road trip

A Slice of Recharge

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teacher

 

My Tuesdays are full of meetings, usually with 10 minutes in between. Today, I went to my room between meetings, plugged in my laptop, added a few yellow sunbursts to my “sunny days ahead” sign, and munched an apple while I took a picture of my new motivational sign. 

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I leaned against my counter for a minute, feeling guilty for not getting something from my to-do list done. I mean, that’s hard to do in 5-minute intervals, but not impossible. 

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I looked down at my laptop, and thought, “Well, at least I got my laptop a little recharged for the next meeting.” 

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Only then did it occur to me that maybe my minute of coloring and minute of apple crunching was my recharge. I mean, if my laptop deserves a recharge, maybe I do too? 

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Is this what they call self-care? 

I took another picture of myself to remember that today, I did indeed have 5 minutes of self-care.

A slice of 2 PSSA pantoums of course!

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I saw this “Anatomy of a Pantoum” on instagram today, posted by @beabetterwriter. So, I did some more reading about the form. I guess it used to be a rhyming poem, and now not so much. So I thought I’d try both kinds… no rhyme, and a rhyme…. Because it’s April, and it was the first day of the PSSAs, the first time any of my own children have taken the test. I’m fairly sure I’m not doing this totally correctly… but hey! I’m trying! 

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I don't think it's good for kids
a pantoum without rhyme 

One might be doing it to fit in
One might be doing it for the bubble gum
I'm not sure why I didn't just opt them out
But my kids took their first PSSA today

One might be doing it for the bubble gum
That's what motivates some through
But my kids took their first PSSA today
And by all accounts, it's fine

That's what motivates some through
For 4 more days they'll test 
And by all accounts, it's fine
I don't think it's good for kids 

For 4 more days they'll test
I'm not sure why I didn't just opt them out
I don't think it's good for kids 
One might be doing it to fit in


Cop out on the Opt Out
a pantoum with rhyme 

"I hope I get my teacher a good score"
You knew then you had copped out 
Because this was the very first time your
PSSA-hating self hadn't signed the opt out. 

You knew then you had copped out. 
Pressured from some unseen place, 
Tired of the invisible testing walkout
You can't beat it, so I guess you just embraced? 

Pressured from some unseen place
Your kids are annoyed with this task
Thinking the rules are stupid in this case
"Why no watches or snacks?" They ask.

Your kids are annoyed with this task
You knew then you had copped out 
You put on your happy mom mask:
"You can do it! I have no doubt." 



It’s just a moment

 

The boy is maybe 2
he reaches for his dad’s hand
(I assume it’s his dad
but that’s not the point)

He’s maybe 2
they’re on a walk
and he reaches for his dad’s hand
it’s just a moment

I drive by
back from a quick dinner drop off
because my kids aren’t 2
they are 16, and 12 and 9

I have pictures
of my kids when they were maybe 2
walking with their dad
(It’s definitely their dad)

But you can’t climb
into pictures
and hold hands
with your 2 year old

So I’m adding this
to my list
of stuff
I sometimes cry about

A slice of Harry Potter

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

 

I really had to pee, but I knew I’d be home soon so I didn’t run into my friend’s house when I dropped her off.

“Is this going to be a problem?” I asked myself as I drove home. I had been gone for 2 days, so sometimes it’s hard to run right in and go straight for the bathroom. But, my kids are older now, and I knew they’d understand.

I pulled into the garage, grabbed my bags as quickly as I could, and wondered why the dog wasn’t at the window wagging his tail.

As soon as I walked in the house, I noticed something was wrong. The lights were low, the dog didn’t greet me at the door – he was harnessed and held.

Then the music started, and the kids began their Harry Potter performance.

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It was a very intricate performance.

It depicted all 7 books.

There were letters floating in the fireplace, fake smoke, wands, a broom, Quidditch, a Hogwarts Express Trolly stocked with actual candy, and even Voldemort. There were individual candles crafted with tubes, hot glue, and paint. There was even a Deathly Hallows garland strung on the fireplace. A Deathly Hallows garland!

 

I watched the whole thing. I clapped, I hugged. I admired the hard work.

And then, I ran to the bathroom.

 

#Sol18 March 8 Distractions

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 

Distractions. I have written, deleted, and been interrupted more in the last 2 hours than I can possibly describe. Someone needs a snack, someone wants to play a game, someone wants to go back on the beach to look for rocks. Someone has a story to tell me. Someone wants to know when I will be done, when I will make dinner, when I will play a game, can we watch a movie? If I had any ability to concentrate I’d tell you in more detail. I’m sure it would make a heartwarming, humorous tale. Vacations with 3 kids always do. Right?

It feels like I’ve been sitting here forever trying to write. I sat listening to the ocean, watching the waves through the deck doors.

I thought I might try a list poem: vacation or trip?/shells/rocks/interruptions/cold breeze/waves crash. . . .But, it wasn’t just my family distracting me… I was distracted by the shadow of a song being played in the back of my mind. What is that song? A squeaky guitar, almost spoken word singing a kind of list? It was on a mixtape. I ask my mixtape high school friends,  I google all sorts of search words.  No success. Shouldn’t my brain work better than this?

I won’t write a list poem today. I may never find out what that song was. But, I will make dinner, do the dishes, look at new shell collections, play a game, find a family movie, and put kids to bed.

Ahhhh. Vacation.

 

 

#Sol18 March 7 All in a day: the beach

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

All in a day: the beach
(6 word memoir slices of vacation)

sunrise coffee with chilly beach view
fresh doughnuts eaten before seagulls land
comfort sad children on sound walkway
watch kids play, find free library
browse beach tchotchkes but don't buy 
restaurant's first ever "Is sauce vegetarian?"
get bunches of "Thank you ma'ams" 
bundle up, sit on beach, read
bundle up, sit on deck, write



A slice of not nice

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I’m not always nice.
I think maybe I used to be nicer.

There’s this lady down the street
She has a “Love everyone” sign in her yard
But she was so mean to my baby last year.
and when I see her around, I yell at her
in my head
“Love everyone? What about a little kid trying to make his way in this world?”
But on my face, I smile.
Yesterday I saw her running by me in the park
and I’m waiting for my reward since
I did not stick out my foot
and trip her.

I’m not always nice.
I think maybe I used to be nicer.

I went on a walk with my puppy
who pulls and tugs, tail wagging to greet
every
person
he
sees
and when a young college student grimaced and hid in her boyfriend’s arms,
I raised my eyebrows and said,
“He’s just a baby”
In a sarcastic, condescending tone –
Even though I totally get why she was worried

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Yikes! It’s the cutest thing ever! 

I’m not always nice.
I think maybe I used to be nicer.