Archive | July, 2013

Lessons from My Son

30 Jul

One of the things we worked on as part of my writing institute was the concept of digital literacy, and using technology as a tool to enhance writing within our classrooms. All of us were given the opportunity to create a digital story on the topic of our choosing. I decided to make my digital story into a “gift” of sorts to my son, who has without a doubt changed my life permanently for the better. It was only my second time using iMovie, so it’s far from perfect, but I’m pretty proud of it all the same.

Starts & Stops

23 Jul

So far, this summer has presented itself as a series of starts and stops. It’s been very segmented, which has been hard for me to adjust to. It’s felt like I’m always waiting for the next chunk to me over with so I can move on to the next thing. First I was waiting for the MWP to start. Then I was waiting for Husband’s birthday party. Now I’m waiting for the MWP to end. Then I’ll be waiting for my family’s garage sale. Then I’ll be waiting for the start of the school year (with a few fun things scattered in between).

There hasn’t been a sense of continuity to my summer, which is perhaps why I’m reflecting on it now even though I still have a month left. It’s been a busy summer, and a productive summer on many fronts. These facts don’t keep me from feeling that anxious feeling that I always get when I feel like I don’t have enough time. I guess all I can do is try to accomplish as much as possible in these last few blissful weeks that I have left. I know that all of the hard work and all of the crazy will be worth it in the end when I feel more prepared and more organized for what’s to come.

Smell of a Generation

10 Jul

As part of my writing institute I have been doing (obviously) a lot of writing. Rather than hiding it in my writing journal like I normally would, I thought I’d try to get better about sharing a piece or two with the world on occasion, so here goes. 

While I’ve spent a not insignificant amount of time trying to block out the majority of my middle school experience, the smell of Cucumber Melon transports me back to those hallways and my sixth grade memories, whether I like it or not. 

My middle school years took place at the height of the Bath and Body Works craze. Country Apple seemed to be their most popular scent, but not at Magnolia Middle School*. We were the class of Cucumber Melon. 

It wafted down the halls, floating behind us, a body spray shadow every bit as connected with our identities as our fingerprints. It was ours in the hallways. It was ours in the cafeteria, ours in the bathrooms, ours in the library. But it was ours, most, in the locker rooms. Hundreds of bodies, hiding behind towels, insecure in all but our Cucumber Melon shampoo, conditioner, lotion and mist. 

The smell of Cucumber Melon defined our three years at Magnolia. It defined us, our generation and what we held dear. 

Given how desperately I, for awhile, wanted to forget that I ever attended Magnolia, no one was more surprised than myself when I accepted teaching in the one place I swore I’d never return to. 

The name of the school is different now, as are the faces, but the hallways remain the same. Students are instructed not to wear perfumes or scented lotions due to allergies, but every now and then I get a whiff of the unmistakable scent of preteen girlish angst. This smell is no longer synonymous with Cucumber Melon. It’s a scent new to me, but unmistakably Theirs. Whenever I happen to smell these potent rebels in the hall, I smile, and hope that they find as much cumfort, repreive and sense of self in the scent of their generation as I did in mine. 

*Name of middle school changed for privacy.