Bloganuary 2023: Jan. 22

Today’s prompt: What was your dream job as a child?

I had lots of big ideas when I was a kid. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a concert pianist. I wanted to write. I wanted to be married and have a family.


So What happened? I did marry and have a family. I have been a teacher. I did learn to play piano–still working on that one. And I do write, just not the novels I used to think I wanted to write.

Then I added a new idea. I went back to school at age 50 to get a master’s degree that would enable me to do private practice counseling, which I did for 18 years before I retired.

I’ve had a very cool life ūüôā

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Lilac Sky

Writing Prompts: for Children

(The sky turns purple)

______________________

Everything about Davie drooped as he came in through the back door. He put his jacket on its hook, then his cap. Lunchbox on the table. And swiped a tear away quickly so Mom wouldn’t see.

But Mom always saw.

“Davie, what’s wrong?”

“Nuttin,” he lied, trying to sound older than he was.

“Okay, Well, when you’re ready to tell me, I’ll be working in the living room. You can grab some fruit for a snack.”

Mom had been through this before, with each of her children. Davie was the youngest of four, and his older brothers were always teasing him about being a baby. He couldn’t help it if he wasn’t as grown-up as they were! The older boys were all in sports, so Davie usually rode home alone on bus. This was a special time for Davie and his Mom, being alone together and not interrupted by more exciting stuff.

Davie finished his snack and wandered into the living room where Mom was doing some knitting. He leaned against her chair. She glanced up, smiling, and said, “Wanna talk?”

Davie paused, trying to think how to ask his question. Finally he said, “Mom, is it okay for a teacher to tease a kid?”

Mom tried never to answer too quickly. She knitted a few stitches. “Well, Davie, that depends on what happened before the teacher teased the kid. Had the kid been misbehaving?”

“Well, not ezackly. I mean, I–HE!–was jus’t kinda daydreaming, y’know?”

Mom smiled. “Yes, Davie, I know. Then what happened?”

“Well, I guess the teacher said my–HIS–name, and, uh, he didn’t hear her. Then she said it again, and this time—–“

“Davie, you can just say it was you, okay? Otherwise, it’s kind of like lying a little bit, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, I guess.” Davie bumped his toe against the carpet, took a deep breath. “Okay, so Miss Hatcher said my name again, and this time I heard her. I looked at her, and she was sort of smiling, but not really, y’know? Like she was a little bit mad at me.”

“And then what?”

“Well, she said, “Davie, what color is the sky in YOUR universe?” and everybody laughed. I did, too, ’cause I’m not a baby, but it made me feel bad, ’cause she wasn’t smiling a real smile.”

“What did you say, Davie?”

“I said, ‘I wish it was purple!'” and they all laughed again, ‘cept for Miss Hatcher, I guess she didn’t think it was funny.”

100+ Purple Sky Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

“Davie, I think sometimes teachers just get really tired, and maybe they don’t always say the kindest thing. I’ll tell you what, though. The sky in your universe can be any color at all that you want it to be! It can change every day, or every minute! Dreaming is okay, but not when you should be paying attention.”

*************

That night, Davie dreamed that his sky WAS purple! It wasn’t too dark, just sort of like Mom’s lilacs. He loved it, and he was sorry when he woke up.

It was the day for art in school, a subject Davie loved. That day, they were given big sheets of soft paper, kind of not white, but not anything else, either. Davie wondered what color it was.

“Class,” said Miss Hatcher, “Today I want you to draw a picture of something you’d like to change from what it is, to what you see in your imagination. It can be anything at all!”

Davie went right to work. He loved color, loved to blend shades together to make more colors than were in his box of crayons. He’d figured out how to do it so it looked really pretty. He closed his eyes, remembering his dream of the purple-lilac sky. Then he went to work. Only he decided to use his big fat pieces of chalk instead of his crayons, and he had a wonderful time making his picture, with a moon, and stars, and some orangey clouds. And he used his purple chalk, but it seemed too dark, so he played around with some other chalks, combining them, and decided to use both red and blue together. Perfect! He scrubbed a fat line of pink, then scrubbed over it with blue, all the way across his paper. He was so excited about his lilac lavender sky!

Miss Hatcher stood beside Davie’s desk, looking at his picture. “Uh-oh,” thought Davie. “I bet she’s going to be mad at me,”

But she wasn’t. Putting her hand on his shoulder, she said, “Well, Davie, I see you found your purple sky. It’s beautiful. What a good artist you are!” And she plopped a big gold star on his paper, right above his moon.

Davie walked into the house later, his shoulders back and his head up. Mom was going to be so proud of him!

Exit Laughing

Disrupt

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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I know this word.  I was a teacher.  All teachers know what it is for a student to at least try to disrupt a classroom. Sometimes they succeed. Usually they at least get something stirring for a few seconds, but a seasoned teacher knows how to squelch the trouble before it takes over.

How?¬† Well, it’s hard to explain.¬† There is no hard-and-fast formula.

Having a sense of humor helps. If the teacher can laugh when some kid pulls a prank, then it won’t take the class long to settle down.

I had a kid who was a senior when I had him in class for the first time.¬† I knew he had a reputation for pulling silly stunts, but he seemed fairly quiet and subdued in my class–until, one morning, we were standing to say the pledge to the flag. I turned to the flag and started to say,¬† “I pledge. . . . . Vincent?¬† Take them down.¬† Now.”¬† I was laughing. It was funny.

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There was a beverage distributor on the property next to the school, and Vincent had gone and asked for a couple of tap handles. He’d put the m over the end of the sticks that held the flags.

Come on.  It was funny.  And because I laughed, so did everyone else. We got past it, he took them down, and nothing more was said.

There was another boy, maybe a sophomore, who loved to tease me about being short.¬† I walked into my classroom after lunch one day and found him on his hands and knees.¬† !¬† He had taken wide masking tape and created a highway on the floor.¬† It must have taken him the entire lunch period. He’d made a dividing line on his road with¬† an ink pen, and he’d brought Matchbox cars that he’d distributed¬† along the road.¬† When I came in, he was yelling, “No, no!¬† Look out, Mrs. K. There’s a truck coming!¬† Stop!¬† ¬†STOP!!¬† Oh,¬† NOOOOOoooooo!”

I could always count on him to be entertaining, for sure.¬† Those kinds of disruptions are not meant to be rebellious.¬† They’re just normal kids having fun, and it’s important to remember that people don’t tease you if they don’t like you.

Then there was the kid who always ate two bean burritos at lunch, then went out and played football or soccer.  By the time he settled into his desk, his digestive system was working overtime. The odor was horrible, but he seemed to be completely oblivious.

After a couple of days of putting up with this incredibly rude and obnoxious behavior, I decided to hit it openly.¬† I said, “If any of you know who is creating this nasty stink, I want you to take him out behind the maintenance shed and smack him around for a while. I certainly won’t tell on you.”

They were astonished, because fighting was a BIG no-no.¬† ¬†Must have scared the offender, because he came to me after class and told me he was the culprit, but that he couldn’t help it—besides, in his home, everyone did it. It was just normal.

There were eight kids in the family.¬† Minnesota has very cold winters.¬† You don’t open your windows.¬† I’m glad they never invited me to dinner.¬† I think I would have fainted.

Well,¬† I let him know quite succinctly that if he didn’t find a way to deal with his problem outdoors, I would get the other boys to hang his behind out an open window until he was gas-free.¬† It seemed to cure him, because there was never another odor in that classroom.

Sometimes peer pressure is the perfect tool to use to stop disruption.  That, and a sense of humor.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disrupt/

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Waiting

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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“We’re always waiting for someone or something, aren’t we? ” Miss Grady looked at her students’ faces, ¬†which showed her a variety of reaction. ¬†Dread, nerves, ¬†a little fear, expectation, hope, acceptance. ¬†They knew there was going to be a writing assignment. Most of them would do a half-hearted job. ¬†They disliked writing, except to text their friends. There were a few, though, who always turned in papers that were original, thoughtful, funny, serious–depending on the assignment.

“So here’s what I want you to do. ¬†On a blank sheet of paper, no name, please, ¬†write the words¬†I am waiting for¬† and then leave the page blank. Send your papers to the front, where I will collect them and redistribute them randomly around the room. You will not know whose paper you have.

“There are some things that are forbidden. Once you have a paper in front of you, ¬†write a short sentence that explains something you are waiting for. ¬†The things that are disallowed are Christmas, your birthday, Thanksgiving, and the last day of school. ¬†Also, you may not write anything that has already been written, and you may not write the same thing over and over on all ten papers. ¬†Stretch your mind. Be creative.

“When you have written your sentence, exchange¬†¬†your paper with someone else who has finished. Number your own response so that it is easy to tell when you get to ten. ¬†When you have reached ten, raise your hand and I will collect the papers.

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“Remember, you are to write only one sentence. The second person ¬†to get each paper does the same, until each of you has completed ¬†10¬†papers. Lucky for you, this is a small class! When you are all finished, we’re going to compile all your answers and see how many of you wrote the same things. Does everyone understand? ¬†Okay, then let’s get started. “

Miss Grady watched as the students began to write, ¬†She could almost hear some of them thinking, “Finally, a short assignment we can finish in a hurry.”

As the papers traveled, ¬†Miss Grady saw smiles, raised eyebrows, ¬†surprise, puzzlement. She was looking forward to seeing these papers herself, wondering if any of them would reflect her own “waiting for.” ¬† At the end of this exercise, each student would have written ten complete sentences. ¬†As the papers filled up, it was going to become harder to think up something new.

https://dailypost,wordpress,com/prompts/waiting

Nothing New

Original

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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“I want you to write a one-page original story on any topic you wish. ¬†You know what the rules are as far as content. Don’t use bad language, and so forth. ¬†If you have a question, you may come to my desk.”

Tired, Miss  Trumbull sat down at her desk, knowing there would be students who would come, knowing who they would be, knowing what their questions would be. The same routine took place  every time she gave a writing assignment. They were only into the third week of the school year, though, and some of them just took a bit longer than others to know what she expected.

teacher-sitting-at-desk

Sure enough, here came ¬†Missy. “Mrs. Trumbull, is that handwritten or typed? Because-“

“Typed, Missy. ¬†Just like last week and the week before. Every assignment I give you will be in terms of typed, not handwritten. ¬†If you must write by hand, then make it two pages.”

“Well, because, see—–“

“Missy. ¬†Asked and answered. Go sit down and do the assignment. “

Bryan was next. He at least had something interesting, most of the time. He was a sharp kid, intelligent and well-mannered but definitely full of beans. “Mrs. Trumbull, I have a question.”

She waited, holding his gaze with her own.

“Well, the thing is, in the Bible ¬†it says that there’s nothing new under the sun, right?”

The kid would be a great lawyer someday. ¬†He always set the trap before he went in for the kill. “So, like, it’s impossible for us to write anything original then, right?”

“Okay, Bryan. ¬†If want to take a biblical direction, how about this? ¬†Take one of your favorite Bible stories and ¬†give it a new setting, a new conflict, different characters, and a different ending. ¬†And no, you’re not going to be guilty of changing the words in the Bible, because you’re not presenting it as if it were true. ¬†If you’re not comfortable with that, take a different direction. Rewrite the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, for example.”

She counted in her head, knowing he wasn’t done. He never would be. When she reached five seconds and he hadn’t said anything yet, she smiled and told him to go sit down and get started. “But—-“

“Don’t ‘but’ me, Bryan. You know better. ¬†This is non-negotiable.” They had another stare-down, and finally he turned and walked back to his desk.

“One thing for sure,” she thought. “The nature of kids will never change. It’s going to be fun when Bryan hits his junior or senior year. ¬†He won’t be so easy to deflect.” ¬†And she smiled as Jared approached her desk.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/original/

I Love my Job!

Money for Nothing

If you‚Äôre like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you‚Äôre in your dream job, tell us all about it ‚ÄĒ what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you‚Äôre not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

*************

First, I have to say the title of this prompt doesn’t make much sense to me.

Now, jobs and satisfaction.

My first official job was being a cashier at a grocery store. ¬†I paid my own way through college, so the job was good because the schedule was flexible. ¬†That’s about the only positive thing I can think of to say about it.

Moving along, I got married, had four kids. ¬†That was my main career for a long time. ¬†I did some substitute teaching and tutoring during those years, and I was very satisfied to be mostly a stay-at-home mom. ¬†I wouldn’t do it any differently. ¬†It was hard, because there wasn’t a lot of money. ¬†I kept house in such a way that every penny got pinched at least three times. ¬†Terry has always done all our car upkeep and household repairs. ¬†We lived on very little.

When my youngest was 10, I started teaching full time. ¬†Loved the classroom. ¬†Loved seeing those “Aha!” moments in my students. ¬†Loved my subjects, loved the whole scene. ¬†Even parent-teacher conferences weren’t so bad. Some were, but most were fine. ¬†I about wore myself out during those years. ¬†Terry was trucking and away from home a lot. All the kids were in extracurriculars. ¬†I was the yearbook supervisor, taught the elementary school music for a couple of years, plus an eight or nine class daily schedule. ¬†Crazy.

Then we moved, and my life changed dramatically. Fast forward to now. ¬†I got a master’s degree, and for 15 years I’ve been working as a therapist in a Christian counseling office. There’s a big story behind all that which I’ve probably already written about.

(Because of what I do, I think this is hilarious. And true!)

I love my work. Sometimes I come home completely drained, but usually there’s been a victory somewhere during the day. ¬†I’m an independent contractor, so I can work as much or as little as I please. At my age, that’s a nice perk. The satisfaction of being able to use the Word of God to help people find their way out of their pain is priceless.

And I’m blogging. ¬†That’s not a career, but it’s important to me,¬†a¬† wannabe writer all my life. Blogging has encouraged me to actually do some writing.

I’m very content. I’m not wealthy;¬† money has never really been my motivation. I have been blessed to do everything I’ve done. God is good. And even if I hadn’t been so blessed, God is still good. ūüôā

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/money-for-nothing/

Alright!

Exhale

Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong ‚ÄĒ and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright.¬†

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I dreamed I lived in a perfect world where everyone knows that it’s “all right,” ¬†not “alright.”

Think of it this way. ¬†“All is right.” ¬†Everything is all right, instead of being all wrong.

This ranks right up there with “There’s alot of incorrect spelling out there.”

No. ¬†It’s “a lot.” ¬†I promise. ¬†Every single time.

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So there’s my silly, nitpicking beef for the day. ¬†I hope none of you are offended. ¬†I’m not being terribly serious here. ¬†I have to admit, though, that the ubiquitous use of “alright” is starting to make me worry that it will soon be accepted as correct, because language is like that. ¬†It changes. ¬†It’s elastic. ¬†It’s just sad that the changes are usually a step downward from standard, formal English rather than a step ¬†upward.

It has even affected me. ¬†The other day I told someone to chew his mouth empty. ¬†Good grief. ¬†That’s a Pennsylvania Dutchism that I have never used on purpose. Right up there with “outen ¬†the lights,” ¬† “I left my kids go to the store,” ¬† “I’m done my homework,” and “I seen a deer.”

Sorry. ¬†I can’t help it. ¬†It’s the grammar teacher in me.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/exhale/

Matters of Faith

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality ‚ÄĒ or lack of ‚ÄĒ for the first time.

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I have heard many people say, “I grew up in a Christian home,” and then go on to describe some aspect of their childhood that influenced their lives later on. ¬†It is true for me. ¬†I did grow up in a Christian home, but I need to define that statement.

My dad came home from World War II having decided that God and faith and church were all useless. ¬†He’d learned to be a weekend beer-drunk, and he’d tossed his own upbringing into the deep blue sea when it came to matters of faith. My mom, on the other hand, had been introduced to Jesus Christ after Dad left for his war service, and she was thrilled and excited to share that experience with him. ¬†He wanted none of it.

Skipping over the intervening years, when he was maybe 27 or 28 my dad’s own heart was softened by my mom’s faithfulness, the kindness of caring believers, and a persistent pastor who became a lifelong friend. ¬†Dad renewed his faltering relationship with God and felt the call of God on his life to go into the ministry.

I was five when Dad moved us to Minneapolis so he could attend Bible college and earn a degree that would start him on a journey that makes a great story.  Of course, it started the rest of us on that same journey, all in our different ways.

Those caring believers that helped get my dad back on track with the Lord became lifelong family friends, more like relatives. We visited them as often as limited funds and time would allow. ¬†When I was still about five years old, we were there one Sunday. I don’t remember why. ¬†There may have been some special event going on. ¬†It doesn’t really matter.

I remember that the weather was warm enough for me to wear a pretty sleeveless dress my mom had made, and that I loved. ¬†It wasn’t a hand-me-down; I was the first and only wearer of that dress. ¬†We went off to Sunday school, and I loved it. ¬†I loved the singing, the stories, and the little papers we got to take home.¬†

On this particular Sunday, one of the family members that had taken us into their hearts was my teacher.  I loved her.  I thought she was pretty, and she was kind and gentle.  As she told us the story of Jesus, her words sank into my heart. All these years later, I still remember her telling us how Jesus came from heaven just to take the penalty of our sin on Himself so that we could go to heaven to be with Him.

I had good parents. ¬†I already knew I did wrong things. I understood very clearly that I wasn’t perfect in any way, but that God loved me and sent His own Son to die for me. ¬†When my teacher asked us if any of us would like to stay after class and to ask Jesus to forgive our sin and come into our hearts to live, I immediately raised my hand. ¬†I remember very clearly kneeling on that basement floor and praying with my teacher. ¬†I remember feeling such a sense of gladness, knowing that I was on my way to heaven because Jesus loved me so much.

I’m 67 now, and I’m still filled with gratitude, wonder, joy, and peace at the knowledge that I have a Savior Who was willing to give His life for mine. That one moment, when I was only five, has influenced and affected my entire life.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-good-faith/

Student, Teacher

(Daily Post: This week, teach us something‚ÄĒor share something you‚Äôve been taught with the class.)

What is teaching, anyway? ¬†Doesn’t the teacher have to learn before he can teach?

How do you prepare to teach anyone anything? ¬†Must you be an expert yourself, at whatever you’re teaching, before you can effectively teach others?

What is the point of teaching? ¬†What is the point of learning? ¬†Do we need teachers in order to learn? ¬†Can’t learning be independently done without the guidance of a teacher?

And when does the student become the tImageeacher, and the teacher the student?

Aren’t we all teachers? ¬†Don’t we all teach someone something during every moment that we interact with others? ¬†And even in our solitude, we are both learning and teaching. How are we learning? ¬†How are we teaching?

Is not life just a journey to knowledge and understanding of life itself?

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/student-teacher/