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 🙂
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.