~ This gentle school librarian...
on one of my kids' anxiety over turning in a book late,
"Oh, she's fine. There are just some repeat offenders we try to nail."
~ The long procrastinated report cards are done! And I'm proud to say that my kids are doing well. Smart, funny, thoughtful, usually accurate in math.
~ We started the dreaded long division yesterday in class. Do you remember the angst? I do. I can remember sitting in my desk at Julia Green Elementary School and crying (yes, it started early) because I just couldn't remember if I was supposed to divide, multiply, or bring down. I don't remember my teacher. To this day, she is faceless in my memory. But I do remember her heartlessness and how little help she provided. Not so with me! In a fit of determination and my desire to redeem that painful year of my childhood education, I made up a chant and a dance for the long divison process.
So, I put the symbols on the board in order and then I teach them the chant: "Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down. Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down." I can't adequately describe the dance here but it basically entails the kids making the symbols for each word with their arms. Later on, when they really have it down, I'll start the chant and then holler out different styles, "Ok, now gangsta style! Now opera! Now country! Now rock star!" Hey, being a drama queen really pays off every once in a while.
~ My friend Robin spoke at our lower school fellowship time and gave a great object lesson on how we should pass on the blessings that God gives us (like items passing through a tube) instead of holding them all to ourself (like items being held in a can.) A great lesson, true and not always easy. There are some blessings we can't wait to share with others. Like those people in our lives that we love and adore and want everyone else in our lives to know them too. I admit that I live on this assumption that my dear friends in one circle are, of course, going to know my dear friends in another circle. Why shouldn't they? Don't they know that they are all close to my heart and so then closely linked? No, they don't, and so the lovely burden is that I then try to connect them in the hopes that they will like each other as much as I like them.
I grew up with Mom always saying to me before I left the house, "Be a blessing!" I didn't truly begin to understand the weight of that wise hope for me until a few years ago. So I will publicly say now- Marmee, thank you for wanting that for me, and seeing the blessings that were God-planted in me that you wanted to be passed along to others. And I even forgive you and Mary Beth for yelling it out from the front porch when I was a junior in high school and walking to the car on a first date with the guy whom I had had a crush on for months.