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Falling Down a Rabbit Hole Near You…

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

Let’s talk about some other things.

I read Alice in Wonderland when I was an adult, long after seeing the Disney animated version (though it was first released in 1951, I saw it years later). I don’t know that much about Lewis Caroll, admittedly, but I do know Alice  works as a dream, as a fantasy, a stream of consciousness. It’s crazy as a Mad Hatter, and as mysteriousas a hookah-smoking caterpillar.

Before the new movie comes out, I highly recommend you read Carroll’s version of Alice, and some of his other writing. Judge for yourself whether or not a dream-like, nutty as a fruitcake story still holds up after all this time, and under Tim Burton’s masterful visionary film making (well, my opinion anyway).

Really, now you ask me,’ said Alice, very much confused, `I don’t think–‘

`Then you shouldn’t talk,’ said the Hatter.

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I am…

Last year, one of the first things we did were “I Am” poems. All of you did a fantastic job; the poems were heartfelt, funny, real, and creative. If you’re looking for something to do this summer, try your hand at writing another one, or even mixing up characters or people you know.

The format goes something like this:


I am (two special characteristics you have, you are)

I wonder

I hear

I see

I want

I am (repeat the first line or alter it slightly)

I pretend

I feel

I touch

I worry

I cry

I am (repeat)

I understand

I say

I dream

I try

I hope

I am (repeat)


Here’s one I wrote today:

I am sweet and sour

I wonder if I will ever be able to save

I hear a telephone ringing

I see the mess and chaos of creativity

I want to get it all done

I am sweet and sour


I pretend I’m in control

I feel the tide coming in

I touch my sore back

I cry when I’m frustrated

I am sweet and sour


I understand I need to be more patient

I say patience is overrated

I dream of school bells and noise

I try to breathe

I hope my sword stays sharp

I am sweet and sour


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Wrapping Up a Year…My Gift to You

As I begin to write out the last two weeks’ worth of lesson plans and agendas, it strikes me that I really don’t want this to be quite over. Yes, I can hear you all now, that you can’t WAIT to get out for summer vacation, not have to worry about a darn thing, and mentally and emotionally prepare yourselves for high school. Well, I’m looking forward to summer break, too. But it shouldn’t feel like this permanent boundary, that once crossed, you can never return. I haven’t taught 8th grade students before, and while I was teaching 7th grade, I had a pretty good idea that I would see most of you again. Now that you’re off to high school, this is when you will really need a friend, a mentor–I just wanted to let you all know I’m still here for you, so please email me, let me know how you are, and ask questions.

Some of the things we’ll be finishing up are:

  • Writer’s Portfolio: In my overly ambitious attempt, I don’t think it will be possible to bind and laminate your writer’s resource guides, but you will have your Writer’s Portfolios, and those are still heavily graded.
  • Make sure all missing assignments (blue sentence packet, set 1 and set 2 of the grammar vocabulary words, your burning questions summer reading list) are all completed by June 12. Grading begins then, and I must have my grades done before school is out.
  • We will conference over the Writer’s Portfolios:
  • We still need to add poetry
  • We still need to add a small expository piece

So, write, write, write! Get your assignments done! Don’t worry, be happy!