Day in a Sentence: Happy Holidays

It’s started out as another slow week here at the Day in a Sentence front office. I was thinking the writers were on strike, just like in Hollywood, or maybe they were just taking a well-deserved break from the action. Then, the words came pouring in and my bin was overflowing with treats. In any event, I want to wish everyone a peaceful holiday (if you are on one) and a wonderful New Year.

Here are the entries for this week:

First up is my friend, Joe, who has just joined me and some others in the Youth Radio network and he posted some of his students’ personal narratives this weekend. Joe had a bit of a pleasant surprise this week: “Contemporary medicine said it wasn’t possible, but mother nature proved them wrong: my wife is expecting.” (Big huge congrats to you and your wife, Joe).

The Mindful Teacher is ready to relax. “Survival is my goal this week of parties and pinatas and 2nd Grade buddies and holiday crafts and parties and . . . thank God it’s Friday and we all get a break!

Eric reminds us that family is most important and also (speaking as a father of three little boys, including one with an ear infection) that putting out fires comes day and night. “I have not left the house so far this week except to shovel snow for an hour, go to the pediatrician and a short refuge of yoga, due to the illness competition between my two girls, which is clearly being dominated at night by the older (7) and by day by the younger (3).”

Matt (who will be our first guest host for Day in a Sentence in the 2008) has a laundry list of things he hopes to do, although I notice that laundry is not on the list — but a new computer is (lucky man). “Vacation is a chance for teachers to catch up with old friends, play tennis, play the guitar, fix the car, visit the doctor, clean up the house, reflect on the year behind and the one ahead, read a book, straighten the virtual desktop, and buy a new 24-inch iMac.

Mary had many challenges before her this week (including writing her sentence, she notes) but I think she passed them all with flying colors. At the very least, she fine-tuned her sentence to capture her week. “Brevity was the key word for this week, and although trying to be more concise has been a challenge, it has allowed me to connect with others in new ways: I struggled with Twitter and its character limit of 140; revised my ‘Week in a Sentence’ contribution multiple times; and finally passed the challenge to my EFL students who wrote story pyramids (instead of more lengthy and detailed paragraphs) about their favorite graded readers, movies, and Japanese folk tales.

Alice may be exhausted but she is also rejuvenated by the efforts of the students. Maybe that is a sentence that can sum up the various weeks for most of us. Thanks to Alice for sharing. “As the week progresses (and I find myself recovering from short sleep, migraines, etc.) I start the day focusing on survival, but I am amazed by the amount of writing, and the effort my ELD students are continuing to put into their work–it’s made my week.”

Bonnie‘s love for the movies comes through in her sentence, as does her compassion for others. “I am filled with movies at the moment, seeing them, writing about them on my blog and planning how I can fit more in and last night Charlie Wilson’s War was outstanding, and in the midst of everything movies, I made time for contributing to charities, so it’s not just about my pleasure.

Karen thought she missed my deadline but I will always try to flex any deadlines for her. She just posted some very cool information about digital portfolios at her site. “The semester is over, my house is clean, and my children are home for the holidays so I am ready to start the one week of the year when I do little work; instead I pay close attention to my life, savor it, and give thanks for it.

Nancy is moving on (maybe to my neck of the woods? She was considering it at one time and even did some scouting of Western Massachusetts) and I hope she stays connected and doesn’t have too many “misadventures” out there. “It’s been a wild ride but on January 29th, it all comes to an end as I hang up my teacher hat and seek new misadventures.

Larry must have spent much of Saturday scouring his resources because he came up with some fantastic Top Ten lists that all of us could bookmark for future references. Thanks, Larry, for doing the work for us. I particularly like the ELL sites and they are something I will be sharing through my teaching networks. “It’s been fun, and helpful for my own planning, compiling lists of the year’s best websites of the year in various categories — Best Online Learning Games, Best Web 2.0 Applications, Best Internet Sites for English Language Learners.

Gail got caught reading (good for her) and then did some writing (good for her, too). “Started reading Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and couldn’t put it down – not to worry, there’s still one more day to finish Christmas shopping.”

Christina had food on her mind and invites us into a virtual festive feast.”My sister and I had a phone conversation about how our Christmas plans have changed now that our kids are grown and we don’t have to jump through hoops: she’s making French toast with sausage ‘n gravy and watching videos, and I’m having a Marie Callender’s turkey dinner and working on my website with YouTube music videos playing in the background!

And Mr. Murphy continues to find faith in his student’s ability to learn and demonstrate learning. “Don’t know how long it’ll be till I return to blogging, but what I’ve found via my new online class is that students can churn out some impressive work — one of whom weaved a magical web tying Ayn Rand’s anthem to an analysis of our culture — and that they’re happy to show up for class.

Cynthia longs for her family at this time of year (and I had the pleasure of meeting her son last month in NYC). “The trauma of giving and grading exams and the glory of the school-wide Christmas program were all mixed up the last week of school before at school Christmas vacation, but the best part of my week happened on Wednesday and Thursday when Adair, Tommy, and Tommy LaRue and Win arrived home for a long visit; family at home is what my week was all about.”

Cheryl is knee-deep in technology, helping others find a path from one platform to another. “My last week of work for the year 2007 found me reflecting on the monumental changes that have occurred in my district, namely 170 moodle pages were developed since August 2007, 50 HS teachers migrated to using Macbooks from PC without too many tears and this brings me to say have a great winter holiday break, see you in 2008.”

And Lynn sums up everything with one word: “Peace.”

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Peace (in partnerships),

  1. Hi Kevin – I clicked on each of the links and learned a little about each teacher. What a nice collection of folks. Each site has a different look and take. You wrote some great copy for the introductions, too. Thanks for hosting this. Blogging is a lot of work.

    Happy Holidays to All!

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