Firsts: SOLT September 9, 2013

First, I am writing this post on Monday afternoon because tomorrow Tuvia and I will be in my car at 6:30 AM,( probably 6:15 if Tuvia has his way) to travel from Paramus, NJ to Lenox Hill Hospital on the upper east side of NYC and while we don’t have to be there until 8, he’s actually right to have me up and out early in the darkness, and maybe we will avoid rush hour.

Since his exit from this hospital a few weeks ago, he is returning  as an out patient to take a test he has already taken 3 times since his August 4 bleeding issue began.  Is this a first?  Well yes, this time after he swallows a capsule and it travels through his intestines with its microscopic but limited camera. The data from this amazing technology will be read and studied by his new super star doctor.  Let’s hope he’s a great reader and finds out where the leak is located.  Obama’s daughter urged her father to seal the leak during the oil well’s issue in the gulf.  I’m a version of Melia now.

Shut up the leak, Dr. Haber, will you?

Second first: Two Writing Teachers as we have come to love and know it, is changing.  One of the two is moving to her own space.  Moving can be a great thing.  Change can be a great thing.  Selfishly, working with Stacey and Ruth, I will miss the team I’ve come to know and love but I understand.  Stacey, thank you for sticking with us.  Can you imagine a Tuesday without the opportunity to share a slice  with our community or a March without the TWT Marathon?

While I’m not going to apply to be the new Ruth, I am publicly offering my support to any help Stacey needs from me 🙂

Third First: 

I shared this photo on Facebook with my 750 Friends and once again I was blown away by the attention. So far I have collected 67 Likes and 18 comments since I posted it early this morning.  My friends include: old and new friends, family members  and lots of former students, some  who remember me when I would dress up annually as Janis Joplin to kick off our biography unit.

I used to introduce Janis by  lip-syncing “Me and Bobby Mcgee” as I danced around the classroom.  Believe me, it’s a long song.  Some kids would bury their heads in my arms, embarrassed for me, some would sing along, some would laugh, some would just shake their heads.  Everyone paid attention, and probably remembered the moment.  In fact, the only time kids were embarrassed about my Janis was with their first experience.  By the next year, as I walked around school as Janis, my grads were thrilled to see Janis back visiting for a day.  They connected with their past experience with her in my classroom, with our time together.

How could I do that?
I thought about it a lot today, as most teachers began again.

This was not how I began the school year, but as I posted it and  started receiving supportive  Comments and Likes, I thought about how much I loved  engaging kids, keeping them on the edge of their seats.  So much of my teaching identity began when after my first two years of teaching, my principal Joe Wolfe came to me begging I take over the theater program.  He had two  high school grads in that position and while they could work with kids on stage, they couldn’t control themselves.  Parents of young girls in their cast started calling, complaining that the boys were taking advantage of their positions.

I was taken by surprise.  I loved theater, but I had never directed a play, never even took a class in directing.  But my best friend Steven was a director and I loved the idea of directing and call me, crazy, but why not?

Good thing I said yes.  My teaching and directing merged forever.  The only thing as dramatic, was the transformative experience of becoming a writer and merging that piece of my identity into my teaching life.

I’m not much like Janis Joplin, not until I put on that purple spangled coat,  leased each year from my theater partner, Sharon.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

20 thoughts

  1. Thank you for your e-mail AND for your public offer to help out, Bonnie. I appreciate it.

    TWT is going to look different going-forward, but there’s a lot that is going to stay the same. Like the Challenge, for instance. I cannot imagine Tuesdays without it.

    Good luck at Lenox Hill tomorrow morning. My favorite Chinese restaurant, Tang’s Garden, is a block away from Lenox Hill (on 3rd Ave.). Just thought I’d mention that!

  2. You as Janis Joplin…who could ever forget that?! I have loved reading some of the comments left on your Facebook page – you inspired so many young people!

  3. First, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you navigate the highways into the city this morning and with the doctors who (I hope and pray) learned to read CLOSELY so they could solve problems. Second, you certainly were and continue to be an inspiration to many, not only in this SOL world of Tuesday mornings. I too LOVE, just LOVE that photo of you as it seems to explode with the energy and excitement that learning, problem solving, and teaching all inspire.

    • What a great comment to read first thing in the morning as we sit and wait to leave. Of course Tuvia had the house lights on a 4:30 for we are ready to leave by 6. UGH…But that’s the whole package 🙂

  4. You are one of a kind! What lucky people to have known you through your teaching career. Lucky slicers to know you now. You live life with such gusto! Praying that the test will reveal the source of the bleeding so it can be dealt with properly.

  5. Thank you so much for your friendship, Elise and your kindness. We are home now. I need COFFEE and Tuvia insists on making it even though he can’t drink for another hour. I am rich, really rich 🙂

  6. This is a slice like life is, mixed with worries, hope, gratitude, and memories. Your passion for teaching and writing would have made you a good partner for Stacy on TWT.

  7. Your life is surely rich in so many ways, as you said in your comment above about Tuvia and the coffee. Thanks for sharing with us on Tuesdays- ups, downs, twists and turns- real slices of life.

    • Funny that sharing the life of Janis always kept my students engaged 🙂 but it was a much fun and that photo up on Facebook brought a lot of old students back with wonderful memories.
      Tuvia is feeling great but these tests take so much out of him. I hope he can take a break from them now.
      Thanks for caring so much 🙂

  8. Oh Bonnie, sorry I missed this early this am. I hope the day went well for Tuvia and for you. I saw the Joplin costume-pic this am-know your students loved it. A favorite teacher of my own children was a biology teacher who would get so excited he would jump up on his desk & talk there. They never tired of it. And, Arvie & I saw Janis Joplin in concert once, marvelous & so filled with energy (drug-wise I guess) & music love. Thanks for sharing so much on such a day!

    • I am so loving sharing things on Facebook lately. What a genuine reconnection with so many students who remember my Janis Joplin experiences! I never saw her in concert but I loved her music and she made a powerful character to play.
      Tuvia’s medical visit was as an outpatient but these tests take a lot out of him when he has to stop eating as he preps for it. We are hoping they find the source but he is in a good frame of mind and his new doctor is back from vacation. So lets find a cure.

  9. Bonnie,
    I love how this slice captures so many of life’s emotions. I liked the blend of the three. I also love scrolling down to see all of the amazing pictures on your blog. I hope that your husband’s appointment went well, and I am glad you were able to accompany him.

    • Welcome Amanda,
      Thanks so stopping by and reading my slice. I’m loving my new space, writing a post and then sharing the photos in a powerful way. I think this post reflects my roller coaster life. 🙂

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