Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What a difference 8 days made, 192 little hours

Tis true! Just one week later and I have the summer school kids from heaven! Well, mostly... But the main thing is this week is making up for the last two weeks of begging, pleading and squeezing the writing out of kids.
This past Monday, a whole new crop landed in my classroom chairs. Interestingly, except for a couple boys, my students this week are girls. Girls rock. I mean, boys are great, but girls really know how to turn life upside down on its head in a weird and wonderful way. I have the fourth grade girls and then the sixth to eighth grade girls and they're all fantastic and unique and I look forward to seeing them every day. They're fantastic writers and they're dying to write! Some of them even bring their notebooks out to the playground. It's really beautiful. While they're swinging, they've got their comp books in their lap and with a slow swinging motion, they keep on writing. They're curious and talkative and really great writers. I decided we should make a book of all their stories and they agreed they'd love that. One of the girls today said, "We should really have a party on Friday. You know, like a publishing party!"
And, I agreed. I love that.
It's not meant to sound self-centered, but one of the greatest joys of this week is that it's like I'm looking back at myself at that age. I get to talk to myself in the fourth grade, struggling with all that is "friend" and what to do if others think you're different, and then I get to talk to myself when I've gone through a few more years of life, but still don't quite understand where it's all going; me, in middle school. I love that they are willing and wanting to share their thoughts and how much of what they don't say comes out in their writing. It's been a great feeling to encourage them on a daily basis, seeing their faces light up. (i did have one moment of classic-teacher-embarassment: i was out of the classroom for a bit and when i came back in, a few of the girls were up at the blackboard, giggling, and writing something. when i walked in the door, they ran back to their seat except for one. i made a comment that if she didn't get back to her story, she probably wouldn't have one to put in the book. when i went up to erase their scribbles from the board, one of the girls cried out, "..but...but you haven't even read it yet!" and i looked down to see the words: molly rulz, with all their names signed to the tag.)

The two journal/book photos above seemed totally appropriate for this particular post. Though, they actually come from this past Saturday: a great day that I spent with Danica. We went to Ambatalia Fabrics in Mill Valley and fell right into step with Molly, who owns the shop. During the course of our maybe...what?...two hours there, I spent a large part of my time pondering over the above journals made by Ashley Rose Helvey. Gorgeous productions that absolutely spill out all over with emotion. At one point, Danica went to get a coffee and came back to find me still standing there in the hot sun, just staring at Ashley's books. I was trying to soak them into my very core, to remember them as inspiration next time I'm feeling less than creative.
And these cloud photos I took seemed appropriate here, as well: They were the last clouds of those gorgeous, clear san francisco summer skies. We've now moved into the fog-filled, cold summer days that we're known quite well for, and I, for one, get fairly introspective when it comes to these kinds of days. (I don't have that big, blue open sky to get lost in...) So, that introspective-ness is perfect timing since I've been tagged once again: Once by Ashley and once by Deb. Indulge me once more, will you?
(That's a lot of "once's" for something I'm doing again--hee hee)

1. I can't go to bed at night with scissors, knives, a box cutter or even a hammer just casually laying around the house.

2. I took violin lessons as a kid, but used to hide in the bathroom stalls at school to ditch class with the flautist.

3. Two of my favorite words are: reticent and facade.

4. I once did a reality show for the O(prah) channel: it was 'single new york gal lookin for love'. It was long before I met RK and waaaaay before reality shows were a house-hold topic.

5. I talk to plants and animals on a daily basis. Outloud.

6. I collect anything to do with ears. And what I really, really want is a model ear from a Doctor's office.

7. I love Barbershop quartets. They make me cry, in a good way.

8. Some of the best dreams I've ever had (while sleeping) are the ones in which I fly.

I "tag" ellen, arkay, and meighan.


comfies said...

i remember hearing somewhere that if you dreaming of flying it means you're happy. makes sense i suppose.

comfies said...

or rather, if you DREAM of flying it means you're happy (typo, oops).

Deb said...

Goooood stuff Molly....I happen to have a rubber acupuncture ear from a Chinatown herbalist. I really really do...hmmmm!!!!!

molly said...

deb, i've got that same rubber ear from chinatown. LOVE it!

ashley rose helvey said...

molly! thanks so much for posting these pictures! it makes me the happiest most satisfied person in the world to know these inspired you. i find it refreshing and inspiring to read your blog... it's very personal and deep, something most people don't do often on blogs. also, about the cast iron pan, i actually hadn't listed where I had got it until you commented... so you weren't seeing things. it was $37 at the WS here in marin!

Christina said...

so much to comment on here, but mostly i'm just SO happy you got a crop of kids that are as inspired as they should be by you! maybe it's where i'm at, but dang it if girls just aren't so much better than boys most days. lets hang soon, i could do with some of your happy. xo

Ellen said...

Yay for Molly! I wish I'd had a teacher like you. When I was in third grade I decided I wanted to be a writer. I forgot that until one day about 10 years ago when MM and I were driving back into the city and it hit me like a ton of bricks: "Hey wait, I wanted to be a writer when I was 9 so OF COURSE this is the right thing to do!" (I was in the trows of career agony.) Don't you wonder how many of these girls will write for the rest of their lives? I bet more than a few.