It is raining and Falling Action

I made it through Monday, though barely. The weather was dreary today and it made it even worse. I read that at our latitude we lose 3 ½ minutes of daylight each day, that sucks! There is just no delicate way to put it. In addition to being narrative writing season in my classroom, it is a busy time in the school and at home. I got home from school and helped Olivia with her math homework and then we were off to a book fair at her elementary school, that wasn’t. We ended up at the town library instead. She was ‘on fire’ to pick up a good book to read and I wasn’t about to stand in her way.

I had been thinking of Coleen and her family all day and I got a couple of messages from Facebook friends from DJHS who have picked up the thread and are following along. I talked to my mom, who is caught up in the narrative, too and she passed on some encouraging words. I was talking to her when we arrived at the library and Olivia waited patiently at the door while we finished talking and we could go inside and find her books.

It is book fair in my school and I got a few books, including the new Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. My students got a preview to start class, they wrote out their wish lists, and they planned their purchases. It runs through Thursday and I probably will go back for another book, which is on my reading list or should be. Once back in the classroom, it was time for word work and then on writing. I shared and my climax paragraph structure, answered questions, and then got down to work checking in on my students and making sure they were keeping up.

Below are the notes for the falling action paragraph, I will be sharing it in class Tuesday.

Instructions for Falling Action

  • 1 – paragraph
  • Explain how the characters reacted to each other, or to themselves, after the turning point of the story.

Mr. Watkins’s Falling Action

A silence fell across the classroom. I sat there stunned looking nervously around the room, we all were, looking at the desk. The teacher spoke to us about visiting a counselor or talking to an adult or something, I don’t remember, it was all a blur. I thought of Coleen and her mom, our substitute science teacher, and how horrible it was that they were gone; that they were dead. Death is a hard concept for a seventh grader to grasp, especially since it was the first loss I experienced. My grandfather had passed away a few years earlier, but he had been ill and it was not sudden. Twelve year-olds are not supposed to die, especially with their entire family. The bell rang and we went about our normal schedule, but the day was anything but normal. By lunchtime, some of the details had filtered out and we learned the entire family; her mom and dad and her older sister had been killed in a private plane crash in west Texas after Christmas. I couldn’t keep my mind off her and her mom, there was the empty desk in my classes and I wondered about her and her family. I thought of things I had said to her, if I had been unkind, or even if I had said anything at all. I thought of my own dread of coming back to school and realized that I had come back to school, even if I didn’t want to come back to school, I was there and my classmate wasn’t.

Note to Student: There are 259 words in my falling action and 232 words in Mrs. Line’s. I have written what I think what my reaction was. It is not perfect and will need to be revised before it is finished. I still have the conclusion to write before I go back and piece all of the parts together. Then I will find the flaws and overlaps in the writing. Your paragraph should be one (1) paragraph and somewhere between 75 – 200 words long, as always you can go over, but you can’t go short! Also, you’ll have to look at the balance of your writing. As it stands my narrative looks like 96-417-345-259-? You can see the pattern and the conclusion is yet to be written. Let me know if I can help you.

It is late, it seems as if for some reason I can write and fit this project in and sacrifice other tasks and projects to make this one happen. I suppose the message I am trying to get across is important. In my adolescent angst, I was pretty self-centered and only thought of how things affected me. I still think about me far more than I should, but I am better than I was thirty-seven years ago.

A moment ago, I took a short break to stand up and walk around the house and I heard the pitter patter of rain on the roof and thought of how relaxing the sound is. For a moment, it was peaceful, but I was back thinking of Coleen and her family and that horrible day. Monday was a good day, but Tuesday, has got to be better. Maybe a million and six times better. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, even one pitter-patter at a time.

Is there an event in your adolescence when you experienced conflict and learned an important lesson?

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2 thoughts on “It is raining and Falling Action

  1. Hi Clay:

    I too am apprehensive for the shorter days and what it means to “get through” the Winter here in Chicagoland. I find that I hibernate and pick up indoor hobbies and cook more and generally slow down from the hectic pace of the rest of the year. Today is gloomy for sure, but there is a sunny day or two coming this week, so we must carry on!

    I have not been reading lately, and so I am wondering, have you indeed lost a student? How tragic if true and I am so sorry, Or in 1974 a story?

    1. Patti, we (my seventh graders and I) are writing our personal narratives and I have learned that it helps if I pick a topic and write along with them. I am writing about my seventh grade Christmas break when one of my classmates and her entire family were killed in a tragic accident – a small plane crash. It made me realize that my troubles were small compared to the other possibilities. Today is gloomy but last Friday and Saturday were glorious! Living here has its moments, indeed! Take care!

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?