One Of THOSE…

 

I was mortified as I walked in to the building this morning. I couldn’t help but turn a little red and hurry a little faster into the safety of my room. It was hard to believe that she had really pointed me out that way, right in front of students and co-workers. It just isn’t right! 

You see, I’ve never seen myself as one of “Those” people. You know the ones…totally left brained anal-retentive rule keepers who never color outside of the lines and who couldn’t possibly fathom putting a neon purple streak in their ferret’s hair (Mostly because they only own those little miniature rat things that squeak instead of bark but would never have colored fur). NO SIRREE! I AM A REBEL! I AM A WRITER AND WRITERS ARE BOHEMIAN ARTIST TYPES! I AM WEIRD! FORGET THE NORMIES AND COME FROLIK! And then day 2 of students being in school rolls around. As I’m walking into the school to open up my room, a fellow teacher calls out to a couple of boys nearby. “Boys! We want you to walk on the sidewalk instead of on the grass…you see how Our teachers are doing it? See Ms. Tyree there? We want you to walk like her, on the sidewalk and not killing our grass!”

 

I could feel my street cred flying away from me. Knife to the heart, wrenching stomach pains, pounding headache…Ms. Tyree is a side walker, a joiner, a follower…my toes screamed out “No, we love the grass! Don’t point to us!!” but it was too late, the damage was done. I was labeled.

 

*Though this is a true account, I have exaggerated a little here and there (mostly right there to your upper right hand side). I didn’t realize until halfway through, however, that I was doing so for a purpose. You see, I have students who have been spoken about, applauded, and/or ignored for the better part of their existence. As 5th graders, they know who is different or if they are the different ones. But I don’t want to know more than I absolutely have to. Do I have to know who has autism and who is ADHD with meds to take? YES! I need to know for everyone’s safety and, more importantly, to give them their best chance at growth this year. But I don’t need another teacher to tell me how my student used to lay down on the floor and bellow like a goat in the second grade…I’m fairly certain that I used to swing by myself, singing made up songs in four part harmony when I was in second grade. I had mostly grown out of that by the time I hit 5th grade.

More than that…writing does not only belong to the ‘gifted’ program kids, or to the ‘normies.’ In fact, most of those people won’t understand the real truth in writing, because writing is a very adaptive art. My ‘specials’ on the other hand, have learned from experience the need to learn and adapt. Who do you think would do better? I’m betting on my specials!

 

Thank you all for your continued support. I will (hopefully) be able to spend a little more time with the blog by next week. I know we are sorely in need of some new posts! (I also just remembered that today is Wednesday so….no Reading Wednesday this week).

 

May you all be blessed and peaceful this week, and may you never be a “Normie!”

Last Lines

I recently read an article on the first lines of a novel (http://cristianmihai.net/2014/01/28/opening-lines-2/) and in thinking about those, my mind slowly turned to the last lines of my favorite works.

Some of the most moving, and sometimes simple, lines of text in literature are the finale sentences. They are the culmination of their tales, the punctuation at the end of the sentence. And they can sometimes change the entire feeling of the novel.

Although not a novel, one of my absolute favorite last lines in all of literature is that of William Shakespeare’s King Lear. After five acts of his life, the entire story is summed up and left hanging on two little words, “He died.” I’m not too proud to admit that I cry every time.

(the movie end, slightly different but beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPI5EgqQoy0)

After amazing adventures and death defying acts made even more amazing and frightening due to their small stature, the hobbits return home at the end of The Return of the King and the final line, said by Samwise Gamgee, is this: “Well, I’m Home then.” What simple fervor and contentment this brings to me. He’s home, they are home, and after everything he has been through, Frodo’s faithful gardener and best friend sits in his chair with his family, and is home.

(images courtesy of a convoluted line of repinners on Pinterest)

At the end of Louisa May Alcott’s thriller love story, A Long Fatal Love Chase (published two years before Little Women and well worth the read) Tempest, described as a libertine who resembles Mephistopheles (i.e. a man of low/no moral character who resembles a demon, or possibly the demon), gathers his drowned wife in his arms and stabs himself, declaring defiantly “Mine first-Mine Last-Mine even to the grave” I got chills just typing that up for you.

                                                    (picture via Eleanor Mackender

   Guildford Castle secret garden)

Some books, like Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass leave their reader to wonder exactly what happened, or will happen. Though Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ended with a paragraphical sentence describing how Alice would be when older, Through the Looking Glass leaves us with the questions, “which do you think it was?” I, personally, believe it was all real.

Finally, the sum of everything that happened in one of the most famous book series to have been written in many, many years, J.K. Rowling’s final sentence in the epilogue of The Deathly Hollows is this, “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” Every time I re-read this book, and this line, I feel both a weight on my heart from the losses and a weight lifted because now there is safety. Now both the muggle world, and the wizarding world, are free to exist as they do without threat from a man who wouldn’t just die when he was supposed to.

Yes, I know these are books and not technically reality. However, they are a big part of my life and, hopefully, will be a big part in the lives of many of the children in the world. Books provide escapes, imagination exercises, and just good fun. So now that I’ve shown you mine, why don’t you show me yours? What are some of your favorite closing lines?