If you’ve been following this blog, I’ve given myself a challenge to write about a word (of my choosing) a day for 50 days. My “rules” are here.
So far, this is fun. Most of the work is in my head and five minutes of writing is quick and interesting. Some of this stuff I didn’t know until I wrote it.
#nerdlution day 5
Today’s word: Extend
I extend my hand and reach out expecting. I am hoping to be met, to not be left alone. I extend and sometimes it hurts. I fear I could fail. The possibility of is frightening. The outcome is unsure. I could be left alone, exposed and vulnerable. But I still want to extend myself to someone else, to reach beyond where I was before. The push to extend to find the possible joy is worth the possible rejection and being left hanging. The pain and risk is worth it. I extend and I receive in return I am enriched and benefit from my stretch.
I am extending into It’s Monday, What are You Reading, a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and Sheila at BookJourney.
I love the title of Karen Harrington’s book Courage for Beginners. It perfectly frames the story of Mysti Murphy, a 12-year old, whose world is filled with problems some typical, and some not so typical. 1) She hates her name. 2) Her “best” (and only) friend has abandoned her in search of a popular girl’s attention, and 3) her father is hospitalized leaving her to contend with troubles at home because her mother is agoraphobic. She faces “nefarious” situations and people with humor and questioning hope that her best friend will return, Dad will be home soon and Mom will get in the car. Mysti makes you laugh out loud and cry inside as she tells her story.
The idea that Mysti believes her best friend will return and all things are going to be ok will have my 5th graders wondering: why doesn’t Mysti see her so-called best friend for what he is, and why is she kidding herself. That is exactly what I want my students to be thinking as they read Courage for Beginners. Wondering and making theories as to why Mysti doesn’t face the realities of her situation. The challenges she faces are extreme in some ways, but her approach to troubles teach great lessons on how to navigate difficult middle grade years.