It is time to celebrate the week with Ruth Ayers on her blog. Thank you Ruth, for inspiring this weekly practice, that acknowledges the big and little things that are worth celebrating.
This week I celebrate being nerdy.
I’ve been working on things for school, at home. I never really stop thinking about school stuff, but the thought process is a little more reflective and relaxed in the summer. Once I set foot in the classroom, I’m back in school mode, so I have avoided my classroom. .
I’ve been working on a classroom website I’d started at the end of last year. I was intimidated, but the tools turned out to be really easy to use and fun to play with. I sat at the dinning room table, next to my oldest who was busily typing up something. Looking over at him, I decided to ask him if he wouldn’t mind reading through the site. I knew what I was in for. He’s a kid who discusses the nuances of words and has to explain his reasoning for every editing choice. I decided this would be a good thing for me and my site — to have the benefit of a very critical eye.
He takes my computer, and I sit, a little nervous.
“Mom I think this paragraph should go first because it gives the purpose of the page.Then it flows into the next one with the actual nuts and bolts of what this means..”
“This edit… I can’t really explain why I like it this way, I just do.”
“This is really great. I love this part.”
“Could we change this word to …”
“Ok, let me read it one last time.” He starts from the beginning, reading it aloud, with expression. Some more edits. Then re reads again. He must have read three more times. We talked, discussed my reasoning. Considered ideas. Sometimes I went with his idea. Sometimes I defended mine. The nerdy thing about this was that we had such a good time doing it.
“Thanks so much for helping me with this,” I said.
“Oh, I knew what I was getting into,” he responds, “this is what I do.”
We continued on for another hour. It was getting late, past noon. I had promised myself to go in to school to start on the library. I was close to publishing the website, but not quite.
“Why don’t you just finish it, and then go in tomorrow,” he says.
That was all I needed. I was having way too much fun fiddling around with words and pictures.
By dinnertime I published it. Check it out. Hopefully parents and kids will use it, and I’ll keep it up to date.
Flash forward to the next day. My room is calling, and my book-loving son agrees to come with me to help.
I have this shelf, actually three shelves, that have become the home for all books that I don’t know what to do with. The ones that I’ll deal with, later. I decide later is now and my son can deal with them. “Just sort them by genre,” I tell him. “Use the tables.”
He gets music going and starts in.
“Oh l Poppy, I loved this book.” Time passes. He holds up the Walter Dean Myers biography of Muhammed Ali. “This was a great book.”
“I remember when you read that. Did you know Myers died in June?” I say..
“No! Man! First Maya Angelou and now Walter Dean Myers.”
“It’s kind of unbelievable.”
Sorting continues. “This is the girls-who-love-animals pile, and this is the I’m-having-a-terrible-summer-but-I-find-a-true-friend pile.”
I laugh. He is micro categorizing by theme and topic. (What a great activity for students!) He remembers books. When he read them, the parts he loved, or why he didn’t care for certain ones. He stays for about three hours then takes off to spend time with a friend.
Flash forward to the evening. I’m sitting at home and he walks in. “I got the job at the library!”
“Well they would have been crazy not to hire you,” I tell him.
“Yeah, I suppose.”
Today I celebrate my nerdy book-loving son who believes re reading books is the best part because, “How else are you going to remember the best quotes.”