SOLC14: The Voice

March 14, 2016

Monday nights, you can hear laughter, cheers and loud “Ohhhs” coming from the TV room. My husband and I do not always have the same taste in shows. He loves watching sports. I have plenty to do so TV isn’t a priority, unless it’s The Black List. We love that show. Suspenseful, passionate, adventurous.

The Voice is fun. We love the banter between the coaches and laugh. We usually record the show and fast forward the commercials. TV isn’t usually something I write about, but in the moment of watching Adam and Blake, Rick and I laugh and comment back. In a weird way, these moments bond us together. Tim joins in as well, something for the three of us. The Voice brings out our opinions, stories and best ever, laughter – our family voice.


SOLC11: Waiting

March 11, 2016

As a reading interventionist working in kindergarten, first, and second grade, my daily teaching requires persistence and patience. Progress is often slow. I wish I could speed up their learning, but when the moments sparkle, I become excited. My heart races and inside I am jumping up and down. I cheer with the kids, give high fives, fist bumps, and sometimes a “whoohoo”!

I have a couple of kids who I can’t get too excited with. They would clam up, so I usually just smile. One little girl stole my heart the first time she hugged me out of the blue. S is unique. When she came last year, she wouldn’t speak to anyone. Then, she began to whisper to friends. Interventions were put in place and we waited. One day as I returned my interactive writing group to their class, she hugged my legs tight. No smile. No words. Just a hug.

This year, she smiles at me. She hugs me. She shares stories. All in whispers.

Daily working with her, I wait on her. She is gaining decoding skills, but her processing is almost double the time of other first graders. I just have to wait. She doesn’t ask for help and we are working on that. Wait time is hard for me, but it provides her with enough time to be the champion of her learning.

I am waiting. I am waiting to hear her real voice.

 


SOLC9: Rule

March 9, 2016

“I hate that rule!” he yelled, arms folded and face scrunched up. “That’s stupid and everyone is trying to get me in trouble!”

I listened and nodded, motioning for him to follow me. This first grader struggles.

At the beginning of the year, the outbursts happened several times during the day and there was no relationship. Today, he was mad but willing. He yelled, but know I understand. Fewer words needed to be spoken at this moment, but much was being thought. What happened this time? What does he really mean? How can we get him calmed down and back to class? How can he understand school is about everybody, not just him? What happened last night? How can I help him detach the two?

He walked with feet stomping and a kick or two on the lockers. Frustrated. Time never goes quickly in these situations. It seemed to take forever to get to my room, but at least he was walking. We’ve been through this before.

Thirty minutes later, tears, Kleenex, more yelling, more crying, head down. Quiet. Time. Face calm. We talked. I listened. He understood. Apology ready, we headed back. Quick hug and he went settled in to his desk.

I’m a reading interventionist. I teach kids to recognize sounds and how those sounds create words. That process takes time and is rewarding.

I’m a teacher. I teach kids to get along, follow rules, apologize. I’m safe. I parent. I smile. I care.

Tomorrow, he may melt down again. But he may laugh and read and sneak a quick hug. That process takes time and is definitely rewarding.


SOLC8: Hugs

March 8, 2016

“Hi Mrs. Gensch,” a young voice calls, hand waving furiously down the hall. I smile and return the wave. Students are coming into the school, some moving so quickly down the hallway I wonder if their feet touch the floor. Why the hurry? Others mingle around talking to friends.  I continue on to my way, thinking through the last minute items to be completed, my attention not focused on any one place as my legs automatically walk me to my room.

Thwaup! Something has attached itself to my leg. Looking down out of my gaze, my surprise turns to a smile. Two little arms are wrapped tight around me. “Good morning,” the head says looking up at me. I smile. Forget the to do list. This moment is for savoring. “Are you taking me today?” the little one says. I smile and nod in reply. “I will see you this afternoon.” With a wave, she skips off to her kindergarten room.

Best start to the morning!


SOLC7: Laundry

March 7, 2016

Laundry.

Five jeans, three leggings, one pair of legs on the move.

Blue favorite shirt, two sweaters, wrap her up in comfort.

Fashion blouse, cute striped T-shirt, somethings new.

Socks – seven pairs, six singles, where are the missing ones?

One suitcase, three bags, hamper full of clean clothes, cosmetics and purse.

Two shopping trips, evening talks, tens days passed fast.

Snacks. Keys. Hugs.

Four flights of stairs, three roommates, Tweets, and 1000 laughs.

Laundry will come home again and so will her stories.

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men's basketball game. Go Lancers!

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men’s basketball game. Go Lancers!


SOLC5: Celebrations

March 5, 2016

Today I am celebrating BONS. We met a couple of weeks ago and the laughter still warms my heart. I, we, missed Tammy who was sick, but a phone call delighted us all. We are able to be open about life, sharing school snippets that drive us crazy but still make us laugh. We talk about family matters of growth and turmoil. Mostly we celebrate. Life is hard and worthwhile. We capture those moments, some in the sand and others on paper. We celebrate.

Tam adds colorful snacks to the table. That table holds many stories and laughter.

Tam adds colorful snacks to the table. That table holds many stories and laughter.

Ruth M brought the dessert, one that brought smiles to our faces. Delightful!

Ruth M brought the dessert, one that brought smiles to our faces. Delightful!

The night is never without chocolate. The rich brownies sealed our celebrations.

The night is never without chocolate. The rich brownies sealed our celebrations.

We missed Christmas, so gifts were shared. I found this bird whimsical and comforting, a little fun during the cold. Tam happened to display hers on her centerpiece mat. How appropriate among the birds!

We missed Christmas, so gifts were shared. I found this bird whimsical and comforting, a little fun during the cold. Tam happened to display hers on her centerpiece mat. How appropriate among the birds!

Tam treated us to a personalized poem with comforting treats in her Christmas box. A special treat that will be treasured!

Tam treated us to a personalized poem with comforting treats in her Christmas box. A special treat that will be treasured!


SOLC4: Italian

March 4, 2016

Friday night, my husband treated Elizabeth and I to dinner at a new Italian restaurant in town. The restaurant manager had been a coworker of Rick’s and had extended an invitation to try the cuisine. Throughout the school day, I anticipated our evening meal and the conversation to be shared. I was not disappointed. Elizabeth is working at a daycare part time and had stories to share. We laughed hearing about the cute antics kids say. Rick and I enjoyed her company and savored the moment we had. Spring break is almost finished and she will return to college. We savored our time together as well. A restaurant atmosphere slows time down and our focus is narrowed to each other. We shared some of our favorite times in our marriage with Elizabeth, some she had heard and others were new. The cuisine was delightful enriched by conversational spice.

A Mediterranean salad started the meal. I love the colors and different veggies added.

A Mediterranean salad started the meal. I love the colors and different veggies added.

Pollo de Marsala delighted my palate with delicious mushrooms, chicken and sauce.

Pollo de Marsala delighted my palate with delicious mushrooms, chicken and sauce.