It’s been quite the hiatus.
I frantically finished grading the end of 1st semester’s work and headed to Florida for the break, where I spent most of my time at my sister’s quite ill. I had such grand plans for the break, including tending to this blog, but my body revolted and forced me to rest.
Today was our first day back to school, and I wanted to try and give my students purpose and direction for the new year. In one of my clearer moments over the break, I read this tweet from @danpink: “What’s your sentence?: The video.” This was what I wanted my students to do on the first day back. Write a 3rd-person sentence, in the past tense, describing a big picture kind of New Year’s goal.
Today we watched the video, brainstormed ideas, and I shared with them my sentence: She may not have finished first, but she never gave up.
While the denotative meaning of my sentence refers to my conflicted desire to run a 5K this year, it also applies to my writing, my hobbies, my life. I don’t take risks. I don’t fail because I don’t try anything that I might fail at doing. And if I see myself starting to fail (*cough* crochet *cough*), I quit.
I shared all this with my students, because I thought that if I show them this tiny blemish in my character, it might inspire them to craft a more powerful sentence. And my students did not disappoint. I promised them I would not tweet or blog specific sentences, so I won’t, but many of my students wrote inspiring, motivating sentences.
Tomorrow, we’ll hang them like wallpaper on the cinder block, and I hope that as they drift in and out of what I’m teaching them, that their eyes will fall on a sentence or two and they’ll think about how they are living their lives, and remember how much I want them to keep at least one eye toward their futures.