What have you been writing lately? Are you working on anything? Those are questions I hear frequently. I’m always writing something, even if it’s a gratitude list, some journal entries, a blog post, or a reply to a student’s discussion post. But then, there are times that I get more involved with something, a project that consumes my time and thinking.
In my last post I wrote about some advice shared in my writing group a couple of weeks ago. The gist of it came from Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks, and my writer friend who shared the information encouraged all of us to take moments each day and record them later. Moments can be turned into stories, or they might simply have gotten your attention because of an inherent lesson.
After hearing this advice, I ordered the book and have been jotting down key words to help me recall memories later. The author suggests creating an Excel sheet with the date and a few key words. I tried this but soon fell off the bandwagon. It’s easier for me to journal about events than to store them in Excel. The point is to get them down.
For the past week, I’ve been diligently working on a booklet (14 pages) titled Reflections. In it are seventy things I’ve learned from living almost seventy years (gulp) and many of the items on the list have a moment I’ve experienced beside them.
Here are two:
#24. Education is the ticket for a better life. This is true not only in terms of more job choices but also in exposure to ideas and people you might never have known.
As I’m writing this, I’m remembering one day a couple of decades or more ago when I stood washing my hands in a restroom at HGTC (Horry-Georgetown Technical College). One of my former students rushed in and excitedly began to tell me that because of a new program we had begun at the college (Early Childhood Education), she was at last going to make her dream of becoming a teacher come true.
I reached behind her to grab a paper towel, and as I dried my hands, I explained that the program was a two-year one. It was a good thing, yes, but it would not quality her to be an elementary school teacher. She’d need to transfer to CCU (Coastal Carolina University) after graduation and then take the PRAXIS to make that happen.
Her reaction was a combination of anger, distrust, and disappointment when she said, “That’s can’t be true! And if it is, I’m not doing it. That’ll take forever!” Decades later, I still remember that moment and wonder what happened to her and to others unwilling to go the distance.
#40. Suffer the children to come unto you. You can learn a lot from little ones. One evening I was dining with Paul and Amanda and their children, and as Olivia and Ethan told us about their busy day at school, three-year-old Amelia sat quietly listening. She then said she had a booboo on her tummy.
“Really?” I asked. In reply, she pulled up her shirt and showed me her belly button and gave me a look that dared me to call her out on it. When I asked her how it happened, she said she fell down on the ground and hurt her tummy. I can’t remember my reply, probably something like, “Oh my goodness!” I know that little children have vivid imaginations and are trying to figure things out. I also know that they too want to be noticed and included.
It’s mind boggling to consider how many moments we all have, moments that are lost forever unless we take the time to jot them down. What’s a moment you could share that occurred today?