Today is my birthday and I had a flashback to seventh grade yesterday. Well, I have flashbacks to seventh grade every day, but this one was different. The headline for the Daily Herald was World War II-era plane recovered from Lake Michigan and I remembered my birthday gift, a plastic model kit probably a P-47 Thunderbolt or some other World War II era fighter. I remember I reading everything I could get my hands on about the WWII, War in the Pacific and Europe, and I enjoyed building plastic models of aircraft from the time period. The models have disappeared tossed years ago when my interests changed and I needed room on my shelves as a teenager. A few years ago, I revived my childhood hobbies building model airplanes and N scale model railroading to share with William. We don’t have the time I want to spend on them, but they are there when we do have time.
That seventh grade birthday was just after my parents decided to divorce and dad had moved to Saudi Arabia. Today’s birthday, thirty-six years later, is the last of the forties and somewhat bittersweet. Since reaching adulthood I have never been one to dread a birthday or for that matter be incredibly excited about it, either. Last summer, William was snooping and asked when my birthday was (he honestly did not know when it was) in search of password combinations. I was aghast, but when I checked with a few friends I discovered that most adolescents have no idea when their parent’s birthdays are. He honestly had no clue when my birthday was or when Beth’s was for that matter. To add to the excitement today is our final day of fall conferences from 4:30 until 8:00. However, we do have Veteran’s Day off, though William and Olivia do not and will be at school on my day off.
Regardless, today will be a great day. My students have finished their conclusion and are ready to begin the process of re-thinking and revising. Last night I was finishing my conclusion and Olivia looked at the screen, saw the part about the camel, and she wanted to know more. So, I read the entire story to her. It took longer than I thought because there was so much that needs to be fixed. It is choppy and repetitive; though some parts are good, it needs work. It is below and I suspect it will change before the final copy.
Signs of people began to appear and before I realized it we were in Riyadh pulling into dad’s compound. We stopped, opened the gate, and drove in coming to a halt in front of dad’s house. The house looked like all of the other houses. It was still dark but the sun was beginning to creep over the horizon and mark the start of a new day. Dad climbed out and Julie followed gently calling us to get out of the car and go inside. I don’t remember helping unload the car or much else except for the feeling I was home, safe, and I could sleep. Julie showed us our rooms all ready for us and I climbed into my bed and was soon fast asleep dreaming about the fun my brothers and I would have at the pool and in this very different and strange land.
Today is gonna be a great day. We are finished drafting and moving on to revising and I need to use all of my ‘superpowers’ to get my students to re-think their writing and move to the next level. In my conversations around the room, a few students have shared that they have never written so much and I can believe it. They are growing, developing, and thinking at levels they have never thought before. Because of this they are writing more and being clearer with what they write. I see this will William and Olivia and I hope to coax them into writing a short post for Thursday’s blog. Until then, Making the Days Count, one day at a time – even on my birthday!