My Slice: Is There Something (That Matters) to Write About?

sols_6Tonight I’m sitting in my students’ shoes, I have nothing meaningful to say. Tonight I am a reluctant writer.

I’d much rather read a book and have a cup of tea.

The tea sits beside me. I take a sip and feel a little better.

I pull out my computer. Not charged. Perhaps this is a sign. No one would notice if I didn’t write.

But then thoughts of my students creep in.  Those students who write even when they don’t want to, because I give them the time and space. How can I not write? I plug in the computer.

Perhaps some of my resistance comes from reading my Sunshine Award post to my students today. I had passed the nomination on to them asking them to write random things about themselves and to answer a few questions.  I read my post aloud to model what I wanted them to try.  I think,  yikes, this needs a strong rewrite! Meanwhile students are fascinated by what I had to say, and can’t wait to try it for themselves.

So here I sit with a few finished pieces, tea in hand. I read them looking for seeds — ideas that might evolve into a memoir of a ten-year old. In the past it has been difficult to get students to write something meaningful. The I-have-nothing-to-say or nothing-happens-to-me syndrome stops them short.  Perhaps they aren’t developmentally ready to reflect on moments that matter and have molded them.

Their random responses are heartfelt. They show glimpses of who they are.  Some show their love for all things electronic or their passion for a particular sport; their dreams of what they want to become and things that just say, this is me. All show family ties.

Here are few:

I’m sad because my dad is away.

My mom is there for me no matter what.

I would like to take back being mad at my mom.

I have bright orange shoes for playing indoor soccer.

I love sparring. I am a red belt. 

I’m tired all the time.

I bite my nails when I’m nervous.

 I have a great imagination.

What they choose to share about themselves is telling, and I am honored to read their thoughts. Some make my heart ache; others make me smile. Clearly there are seeds of meaning here. Lots to dig into. Can a ten-year old’s memoir be significant? Can they reflect on moments that matter? We’ll need to dig carefully around these memories that are just peaking through the surface. Unearth them in a way that preserves and protects their hearts as they unravel who they are. Is something meaningful here? Maybe. We’ll have to write to find out.