Monday, July 11, 2011

Small Moments

One of the reasons I started blogging is to experience the discipline of writing daily. I ask that of my first graders, so why not try it myself. Here is what I have learned so far: it's not as easy as I thought.
I now realize that having a "story" every day is not as plain and simple as I had expected. I have plenty of ideas stumbling around in my head and even in my heart. But I have come to realize that they are not all ripe. Some are too close to home still. Some have fallen flat. Some are still being lived out. And some are too lengthy or too short for my moods.
One thing I have challenged myself with is to find the small moment of the day. I think I might even try this with my first graders in the upcoming year. My ideas are not fully formed yet, and clearly neither are my experiences.
I always practice and understand the importance of modeling for my students (not with clothes, but rather with strategies). But now that I have done some adult writing of my own, I think I am ready to start transforming that into what it means for 6 and 7 year olds.

Here is my small moment for the day:

Exercise is a pretty regular thing around my house. We are all interested in being socially, environmentally and health-consciouse. So, L and I decided to go on a bike ride to start our day. We have many different paths and routes that let us explore our wonderful G-town. Today we took a familiar one down the Mill Race to the dam. Once we get to the dam, I love to latch onto the fence, balance on my bike, and watch the water spill over the edge and foam at the bottom in celebration of the trip. Today was particularly joyful because the clouds were shielding us from the hot sun, and the ducks were out feasting on the algae and bugs.
It was peaceful, isolated, and serene. Maybe a little too peaceful.
I am sure most people have experienced and heard of the "calm before the storm". Well, we should have taken note that the clouds were not just guarding us from pre-mature wrinkles, but also growing in size and darkness.
It was inevitable, though. We were too far from home and the clouds were rolling too quickly. It started to storm. L has a fear of tornadoes, so that was an immediate source of conversation. I don't love the idea of being on a metal bike when lightening is present. Thus, we opted for an abandoned office building to take cover for a few minutes. The rain came down in sheets of drops. It was beautiful to watch them sweep over the land before us. It was like watching a time-elapsed video of rain. Eventually, the lightening subsided and the sheets became just steady drops. We started again, pedalling toward the house. We eventually made it home, soaked from pink hat to green shoe.
On our way back, I remarked that I don't think I have been out in the rain, on my bike since I was 10 years old. We both smiled. It wasn't what we had expected on our morning trip, but it sure was an experience!

I hope to collect, remember, and cherish small moments like these. More importantly, I hope to cultivate this kind of thinking in my first graders. Writing isn't just about the mechanics. It is a process, an art, a love.


  1. I am really proud of you, Lauren. You are holding true to your goal and doing a great job. I'm loving reading your posts every day - keep them coming!

  2. Wow--your reflections on what you've learned so far are so insightful I hope you share them with others. Or let me do it. :)
    The thought that some stories or ideas are not yet ripe made me say "yes! That's what it is!" Thank you for articulating it so well.
    Also loved reading the bike story almost as much as I enjoyed hearing it in person. You and L have a great story to share with students that they will totally relate to.