Yoga with Olga and Creative Writing with Third Graders
I’m feeling pretty good today. Not bad when considering the new meds make me a little sick to my stomach. Fingers are still numb, but it hasn’t been that long yet. Came really close to bowing out of some moves in yoga because the nausea was bad, but I ignored it and carried on.
And I’m glad I did. Olga is a terrific woman. She has this really expanded and welcoming view on all religions (must be her doctorate in theology). She incorporates so much into the yoga – little bits of wisdom, life lessons and small verses of poetry and verse.
While we were waiting for classmates to arrive she chatted to us about the recent earthquake and her worries for her parents in the Dominican and news about a friend’s husband who didn’t get a suitable liver transplant in time (the one they found to match turned out to not be viable and then he deteriorated quickly and was not a good candidate for survival when the next one came available) and was taken off life support. She didn’t tell us these things to make us down but to invite us to think of others plights instead of our own and to send some good thoughts out to our fellow man who need it too.
It certainly was an eye opener. No matter how bad life is – or how bad you think it is – it could always be worse. My heart goes out to the people suffering through the aftermath of the horrendous earthquake, I can’t even imagine what it’s like – the devastation in the pictures is mind-numbing to say the least.
So I came home, refreshed from class, happy I went and thoughtful as well. I went into my daughter’s class to do the last segment on their current creative writing projects. I wasn’t feeling up to a class of 8 and 9 year olds, but I went.
This last session was to proof-read and edit their rough drafts and get ready to write their final drafts. Their stories were hysterical! The writing prompt was “What if a piece of candy sang famous love songs in a Thanksgiving Parade?”
We had singing peppermints, bubble gum pieces and chocolate bars. They wrote about werewolves, candy eating horses, families running screaming and others gleefully watching the show. It was more fun than I expected – and more fun than the previous sessions had been.
The idea for me to do this came from a writing web-diva I met in FF&P named Liz, who did the same thing in her daughter’s class last year. I wasn’t sure I should try to do it. I wasn’t sure what I could teach them – after all there is a reason I don’t teach children for a living, I’m sure I couldn’t hack it!
We covered basic stuff really – types of stories, punctuation, dialogue, parts of a story (intro, middle and ending) and then they picked a fun writing prompt from a tri-sectioned writing aid for teaching creative writing. They talked about their ideas for the prompt, collaborated with each other in groups, did outlines and then wrote the rough draft.
I feel slightly drained now after the adrenaline of being in front of a class of kids has worn off. I don’t know how teachers do it day in and day out – and I stand by what I often say – they don’t get paid nearly enough for how important and difficult their jobs are.
I’ll be going back in tomorrow because a few kids didn’t get time with me or the teacher to edit their rough drafts and help them understand where paragraphs go. It will be in between doctor visits – am I crazy for shoving a trip to school in? Nah, it will help me keep my mind off of what the doctors have to say, keep me from thinking about the contest announcement on Friday and make my daughter proud.
Oh – and as a gerbil update – my son has not mentioned the gerbil again. I’m waiting… I’m sure he will soon and then I’ll have to steer him to the realization that no, Midnight is not coming back.