Today a friend of mine emailed me a series of charming first-day-of-school pictures of her grandchildren. First-day-of-school photos are a great American tradition. My sister-in-law sent a thirteenth, front porch, first-day-of-school photo of my nephew, packed for college. My son-in-law sent a first-day-of-school photo of my oldest daughter, Anna, today. She’s starting a dual PhD program, and she looks totally adorable.
“Maybe you’ll send me your first day photo!” my friend wrote to me. Oops. I forgot. Here is an end-of-the-first-day-of-school photo. Notice the wine, great American tradition for teachers.
Actually, it was a great day – 39 new young people in my life for a spell. “Writing is the sun and the moon,” I tell them; “What do I mean by that?”
“They give clarity.” “They are essential.” “They shed light on everything.” “The moon is actually a reflection.” Excellent!
They write their name stories, but when it’s their turn, they never read. They speak their stories – 100% of them in 17 classes over five years. Writing intimidates. They think they don’t know the language they’re supposed to use. Find your own voice on the page, I say. It’s worth hearing. I don’t want generic writing. Lots of nodding heads, which makes me feel good. One young woman falls asleep on the table in front of her – hair fanned around her head. I had to walk to the back of the room and jiggle her arm for several seconds to wake her up. I love teaching. There is always something new.
Day 7: 251 words, TOTAL = 1390; 58,610 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is an award-winning author, poet, and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her children, grandchildren, and granddogs.