March 23 2015

Five Minute Friday: Talk #21



Talk. Oh boy! I talk a lot! Hmmm, I wonder if that’s why I don’t hear things all the time? Could it be because I’m talking too much?!?! Someone once told me that I have two ears and one mouth for a reason…I didn’t like that, but I understand. Listening is important, but it’s hard when I have so much to say. There’s a lot to say. Maybe that’s why I like to write. IO can “talk” in my writing. I love to read writing that sounds like talking. 

Listening to others talk is a good way to get ideas as a writer. Now, I’m not saying listen in on private conversations! Have you ever overheard something that sounds really interesting and you wonder what the rest of the conversation was about?!?! Sometimes, I like to jot those in my notebook and use them ion my writing. The best thing about writing is that I can make the rest of the conversation say anything I want it to say. 

Uh-oh. Now I’m talking about writing…or writing about writing. I’m confused. I’ll sum up…talking is good. Writing is good. Listening is important too!

March 23 2015

Five Minute Friday: SMILE #19

5 minute FridayThere is a student in one of my classes who always smiles. I love that! She laughs a lot too. Don’t you notice that some people have that happy & joyous energy?!?! 

When I’m around people who smile, I smile more. You know how yawning is contagious?!?! I think smiling is contagious too. Try it. SMILE. SMILE big. Keep smiling…and watch what happens. Do others around you start smiling? I’ve tried this. Sometimes when I am smiling for no reason, the first reaction of strangers is to look at me with a puzzled expression. That’s quickly followed with a smile…usually. Look someone in the eye! SMILE. See what happens. I bet you will help someone else smile. YOU are making the world a better place. Thank you to Isabella for always smiling! You always, always, always make my day happier! 

These are my favorite people to be around…the smiling ones! It doesn’t mean that they have perfect lives…but they search for the joy, for the laughter and for the SMILE in everyday!

(P.S. Isabella PICKED this word!!!!)

February 27 2015

Five Minute Friday: SURRENDER

SURRENDER. Hmmm, that’s a word that doesn’t pop up in every day conversation. There was a song when I was in middle school by Corey Hart (I think) called “No Surrender” or maybe it was by Richard Marx. I’ll have to look that up later.* I feel like there are lots of songs with the word surrender in them. 

SURRENDER. When I hear that word I think of giving up. I don’t like to give up. This is an unfavorite word of mine. SURRENDER means weak…well, not weak, but the opposite of strong. Not SURRENDERing means that you will survive to live another day. I won’t SURRENDER until I finish writing all of my blog posts. I won’t SURRENDER until my room is clean. I won’t SURRENDER until all of the laundry is finished and put away. 

I think the original intent of the word probably had to do more with war and fighting than it did everyday life. When I feel like giving up, saying,  “I won’t SURRENDER!!” makes me feel like a warrior! Strong. Resilient. Brave. 

When things get hard in life, remember those words, “I won’t SURRENDER!!” I think they will help you like they help me. 

February 23 2015

Five Minute Friday (on Monday) WRITE

WRITE. I love to write, but writing is hard! It takes a lot of concentration and thought. I often write from the heart. I write about what I’m feeling, living, learning. I’m struggling right now because I do NOT want to write on my other blog. I am avoiding it. I haven’t posted in a long time. I’m worried because in a few days the month long writing challenge, Slice of Life is beginning. I don’t want to do it. (Shhh! Don’t tell my students!!) I want to say skip it. Writing exposes so much of me and what I’m feeling. How can I write and avoid that? I don’t think I can…but write I must. I am writing a lot in my notebook. I’m writing a lot for my book. I’m writing a lot to people I love (cards and letters). It’s that blog writing that isn’t coming right now. I must write. Write through it. I’m learning new things about what it means to be a writer. It’s hard…but I believe I was born to write…so I. Will. Write. 


February 13 2015

TEN Minute Friday: LOVE

LOVE! Valentine’s Day is a day when we stop and celebrate love. I believe it’s important to always act in a loving way to everyone. (It’s not always easy though.) Today to celebrate love, I’m going to make a list of people and things I love…

1. My parents
2. Being an auntie to Jack and Jillian
3. Having the BEST aunts in the world!
4. Teaching the most AMAZING students in the universe!
5. Writing
6. Being a friend and having friends that make me laugh and listen to me
7. Owning my cozy home
8. BELLA!!! Cuddles and always happy…no matter what!
9. Strong women in my family, like my grandmothers!
10. I LOVE !!!!!!!! and ……… and ?!?!?!?

I am continuing this blog post from the first class, so my five minute Friday, may be twenty minute Friday. I’m finding it challenging to get back into the thought process after a block of teaching, but here goes nothing…

11. Peppermint Coffee
12. Snow days…it’s like getting the gift of time
13. Kind words…showing kindness is a LOVING gesture and makes us all happier!
14. Stickers!
15. Finding just the right book at just the right moment!
16. Anne Shirley…my kindred spirit (in book characters)
17. Comfy shoes
18. Warm soft sweatshirt (Can you tell it’s cold?)
19. Working with motivated and enthusiastic teachers!
20. Unexpected surprises


February 6 2015

Five Minute Friday: PLAY

PLAY. I love words that can be both nouns and verbs. Going to the theater and seeing a PLAY is one of my favorite ways to spend my time! I also like to PLAY with my friends…but adults don’t call that PLAY. Why not? When do we get too old to play? Hmmm…I guess middle school is around the time that you stop having “PLAY dates” and you start “hanging out” with your friends. I’m thinking…and thinking…I guess that stays the same. When I call a friend, I never say, “Do you want to come over and play?” or “Do you want to go out and play?” That makes me sad. 

I am going to start doing that! We all need PLAY time in our lives. Work keeps me busy. I have many responsibilities outside of work. They all make me happy, but PLAYing is silly and carefree! PLAYing is giggling and not caring what anyone thinks. 

February 3 2015

Five Minute Friday on Tuesday: FAVORITE

Favorite is a word that I don’t like very much. It feels ordinary and boring, but it’s a word that  my students and I use everyday. We ask questions like,
“What’s your favorite part of the story?” 
“What’s your favorite song?”
“What’s your favorite book?”
“What’s your favorite…FILL IN THE BLANK!”

It’s great to start a conversation, but it gets so boring. I need a new word or maybe I need a new way to get to know people. What else could I ask? Hmmmmmmmm……

Drawing a blank.


Why do we use favorite so much? I think it’s because it’s familiar and easy and everyone has a favorite….

I guess if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…

My Favorites:

color: yellow (and orange)
song: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
book: Anne of Green Gables
animal: dog (Bella!!!)
day of the week: Sunday
season: fall
baseball team: Red Sox
college: Boston College
city: Boston
vacation spot: OBX

January 16 2015

Five Minute Friday: DANCE (Part Two)

Ahhh dancing! It’s great exercise. It makes me happy. I get to listen to fun uplifting music. It’s interesting to me that I love dancing and I have no real skill to dancing. To be truthful, I stink! The best part of this is I DON’T CARE! 

One of my favorite stories about dancing is when I was in high school. I was babysitting my sister. I had just gotten a brand new tape, or maybe it was a CD…I can’t remember! Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians! What was the name of the song I’d heard on the radio a million times/!?!? I think it was What I Am? I put the music on (we had speakers wired through our whole house) and turned it up. My sister and I started dancing around the family room. We jumped up on the couch and chairs. We were singing and dancing and having a grand old time, until…

We looked out the giant picture window and we saw the paper boy there. We don’t know how long he had been there, but he was watching us and he looked kind of scared. I don’t even think he knocked on the door. That is one of my ALL TIME favorite memories of dancing and having fun with my sister. 

January 9 2015

Five Minute Friday: BEGIN

I just heard a student say, “We are at the BEGINning of a new year.”

Writing about the word BEGIN makes me realize that I love beginnings but I don’t like endings. Maybe that’s why I dislike New Year’s Eve and I really enjoy New Year’s Day. The night before is chaotic and busy and it can be sad too. There’s nothing about that holiday that I enjoy. My favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations have consisted of quiet nights with friends or even spending the night on my own. 

I love the first day of the New Year…the beginning. It’s so fresh and new, like a clean piece of paper…with no words on it yet. The possibilities are endless! Potential for all of my dreams coming true! This could be the year that….fill in the blank with your dream!