Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Day at Hampton Middle

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day at Hampton Middle School. Mrs. Graham welcomed me warmly the moment I arrived and all the staff was very friendly. I first met with the theatre full of grade seven students and they were very attentive, respectful and engaged in my presentation. I was very impressed with the thoughtful questions they asked and their insightful observations. As always it is challenging to share such a personal journey with a large group of unknown people but I was well rewarded for doing so. Next I faced a large group of active , pre Christmas break, grade eight students. At first glance I expected it to be daunting trying to keep this percolating group still. On the contrary though overall they were equally attentive, respectful and engaged. I came away from the group feeling very warmly received. At lunch time I was treated to a lovely stir-fry meal, salad and desert made by HMS EA Mrs. Freeze. Her generous attention to detail was very much appreciated and together with Mrs. Ketchum Boudreau ,Mrs. Jensen,Mrs. MacEachern and Mrs. Freeze (the district Literacy Specialist)I had a delicious and relaxing lunch.In the afternoon I had 21 eager students for a Writers Workshop and the enthusiasm and skill they showed was wonderful. Hampton Middle definitely has some budding writers.So all in all I had another very successful WISP visit and look forward to a few more this year. I am always reminded how much I loved being a teacher, how much I love being retired and how much I love being an author.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Get Me Through December

Here we are nine days into December. December for me has always been full of wonderful things.Thirty four years ago on December 5th Burton and I became parents for the first time to a beautiful baby boy Zachary Leverett White 8lbs 14ozs. What joy that baby brought with him. For years afterwards his birthday started off a month of family , friends and celebration filled with traditions that became so important to our growing family. Those traditions became more important but so challenging in 1999 when we had to face our first Christmas without Zac. Some of the following years, December was excruciating and we carefully negotiated our way around some of those traditions changing some and letting some go.I remember the feeling of holding my breath and determinedly getting through the season with relief coming after all the hype was over on January 2nd. Now thirteen years later I face the month with a quiet melancholy ,fervently hanging on to the memories and being very careful to concentrate on the parts of the celebration that fill me up . I don't feel the same desperation to get it over with. I will take each December day and enjoy what I have been given. I will enjoy my warm and cosy home,my health,the people I am blessed to have in my life, the gift of my office and writing time. I look forward to editing my third book and getting it ready for a May release.I will celebrate getting another year older on Boxing day.Listening this morning to Stephanie Mainville's rendition of Gordie Sampson's song Get me Through December I am extremely grateful that getting through December is something I look forward to not something I dread.