Saturday, March 31, 2012

SOLS #31!!! A Mudder's Love

I can't believe it is the last day of this challenge.  This has gone way better than my exercise plans.  Thank you so much to Stacey and Ruth, Two Writing Teachers, for bringing together this community.  My hope was to establish a writing habit, but more than that I have learned so much from all the participants.  I've learned the world is full of stories, we just have to slow down long enough to capture them.  

What's next?  My plan is to continue to write on Tuesdays by participating in the weekly Slice of Life.  For the month of April I'm going to join Mary Lee Hahn and write a poem a day.  Why not.  

 "Fill your paper with breathings of your heart,"  William Wordsworth.  

It doesn’t seem long ago we dropped our oldest daughter off for college.  Cortney has always had an interest in reading.  Actually to say she has an interest would be a huge understatement.  She is definitely #nerdybookclub material.  When she was a kid I remember sitting for hours reading stacks of books with her from our local library.  I enjoyed having an audience to try out new books for my classroom and getting authentic responses.  I loved all the new books being published, she loved all the old stories.  We both loved spending time together.  
It wasn’t long until she was reading on her own.  It wasn’t anything to find her reading late at night.  Many a morning I had to tell her to put her book down and get ready.  It sounded so foreign coming out of my mouth as later that day I’d be busy trying to entice kids to pick books up to read.  Since she was our first, I thought I’d screen every book before she read it, but by sixth grade it was clear I was not going to be able to keep up with her. 
Cortney has always loved reading and has shown an interest in learning other languages.  I wasn’t too surprised when she told me she was going to major in English, but I was caught off guard when she added the Secondary Education part to it.  It’s not that it should have really surprised me.  Her dad and I are both teachers.  It’s just that I guess I hadn’t really thought about it.  
Though her first love is American Literature she’s finding a fondness for British Literature as she teaches this semester.  I still can’t keep up with her reading or knowledge of literature.  I read “pop literature.”  I am most interested in reading what everyone is talking about --- mostly so I can talk about it.  I’m in love with poetry, but she didn’t find much to love about it until learning to read it in other languages.  I can’t imagine.  I suppose her love of literature comes from her dad.  He is always sitting with a book in his hand and enjoys many of the same genres she does.  
Though it seems only yesterday we first dropped her off at college, it has been four years.  She will graduate in May and is currently completing her student teaching at a high school in North Carolina.  For spring break, I decided to drive down to see her.  I wanted to see her school, meet her cooperating teacher, and check out where she has been staying.  You know, everything needs mom approval.
On Friday I walked into her school after her day of observations and teaching.  The school was full of students exiting for the weekend.  High schools are always so much bigger and busier than elementary schools.  Being an elementary teacher myself I was excited to see desks in groups, sentence strips on the walls, artifacts from technology projects and many examples of visual learning.  There was obviously life in the classroom where she and her cooperating teacher work every day.   
Today we wandered around the city.  We’ve eaten at local restaurants, walked around the area, and been to the zoo.  As we walked by a sign near a North American stream exhibit that read “Stream of Consciousness” she made her high school English joke.  I made a first grade joke as we went by the sign that said “A Mudder’s Love” near a bridge filled with the homes of mud daubers.  It is still fun to spend time with her.
At first, when she told me she was going into education I had mixed feelings.  The climate isn’t the best right now for educators.  I worried that she wouldn’t be treated the way she should be.  I’m her mom after all.  Mostly, however, I was glad to know she’d be joining a profession her father and I have loved so much.  Who else can go to work every day and say they love what they do?  Who else can go to work every day to spend time around such fabulous people?  Who else can go to work every day to talk about learning and books?  I like thinking that someday she might inspire others to enjoy books as much as she does.  


  1. Dear Cathy,
    What a beautiful tribute to your daughter and your family's love of reading. I could just see the two of you sitting together reading that stack of books. Good luck to Courtney as she begins a new leg of her journey!

  2. Very touching. I have a feeling she will inspire future nerdy book clubbers. Good luck with a poem a day in April. I look forward to reading them.

  3. Cathy, that's awesome. Teaching IS the best profession in the world. I pray that your daughter will find as much joy in this profession as you and your husband have.

  4. Wow, Cathy, what a special tribute to your daughter! I can hear the pride in your words & see that you are really happy she's becoming a teacher. I wish her well in her quest, & hope she finds a job she is inspired by. I enjoyed your easy way of moving through your day with her, enjoying the time with her. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Tuesdays, and I guess every day with poetry. I too make the goal of a poem a day, but I'm not sure how I'm going to do that for It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Guess I'll figure it out. Thanks for all the support you've given me. I have noticed & appreciate every word. Cheers for April!

  5. This is a touching tribute to Cortney. There's no doubt she will touch other readers, actually, I am sure she already has!

  6. I love that you finished your slices talking about Cortney. it seems only appropriate that a topic as big as a mom's love for her daughter is how you would wrap up these 31 days. What a wonderful young woman she seems to be! I loved hearing about what you saw in her room at school. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to spend time with her.
    Best of luck with your poetry in April! I will be following your poems with great interest.

  7. Wow Cathy! Having Cort as my neice is a blessing - I love her free spirit and determined mind. That was a beautiful slice about an amazing young woman who will inspire and encourage young learners. What a gift she is.

  8. Cathy,
    So fun to read how Cortney is doing. I remember her love of reading and writing....Power of the I could not wait to read her papers. How fortunate her students are...and will be. Of course, Cortney had great role models. You and Jeff have inspired hundreds of students...and to think that this will continue through Cortney. I look forward to reading your Tuesday entries and also your poetry.


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