Showing posts from January, 2018

At Home - In My Dresser

  In My Dresser           I came across Mamaw’s nightgown the other day when I was rummaging through my dresser. She’s been dead for three years now. After her funeral, her belongings were moved to my parents’ house where family divided her stuff. Most of it wasn’t worth much. And I didn’t take much. I have some of her cookbooks. I collect cookbooks, and Aunt Robin said I should have them. My son took a coat rack that says, “Believe”. It is outdated and tacky, but it is mounted in my foyer and holds my sons’ coats.             While I am writing this, I am wearing the gray robe I took. Mamaw had several, so I thought it was fine to take this one. I like it because it is soft and I can wrap myself in it. I wear it nearly every evening. It smells like me now. Like nothing.             The pink gown with the little white flowers printed on it that I found in my dresser drawer the other day still smelled like Mamaw. I've never worn it. Three years and her smell was still the

Bulletin Boards

I hate bulletin boards. The worst part of getting my classroom ready for the new school year is covering them. I used to feel great pressure to be creative and decorative, like my elementary school teacher friends. Now I don’t even cover the brown cork with any paper. I don’t use any colorful border. I don’t use any of those cool letter cut-outs to place encouraging or clever quotes on the board. No word wall. No calendar. Just the information I’m required to post: emergency procedures, the school mission statement, my contact information, the bell schedule. I have four bulletin boards in my room. On the one that covers the length of a whole wall I have student work posted. It’s the best and easiest way to cover the several feet of blank space. The one in the front of the room has announcements clumsily thumb-tacked to it. The two smaller bulletin boards in the back corner, where Reese, Hank, and Heidi sit, I’ve neglected. They are mostly empty, except for scraps of encouragin

A Dreamer

By nature, I am a dreamer. The sadness is that I harness my dreams so tightly with my own lack of confidence that I often strangle them. Being a dreamer means that I’m really great at ideas but the practical world is difficult for me. I can teach 100 kids how to write a beautiful persuasive essay and inspire them to go to college, but filling out a purchase order or signing up for insurance brings me to my knees. I can’t handle it. This near inability to function in the real world makes achieving dreams a bit hard. But I also think being a dreamer is a great asset as a teacher. I dream with my students. I am excited about the possibilities for their lives. It is fun to imagine, to hope, that they will become great people and do great things in the world. I can push them to expand possibilities beyond what they know, to believe they can do hard things, to encourage them to at least try. And I equip them with some tools that will help them get there. Reading and writing, of cour