Slice of Life – Take #1

I had a moment of weakness today, and a revelation.
I lost my composure with my students.
I was desperately frustrated. Is there even such a thing? If there is, then that’s what I was.
I had a grand plan: to ignite an explosion of writing in our class.
I thought my students would jump at the chance to write about snippets of their lives for at least 25 days.
I wasn’t prepared for the backlash.
My students didn’t buy it. They kept pushing back and no matter how hard I tried, they didn’t seem to understand the instructions.
And. I. Slowly. Became. Frustrated. Then. Angry.
But because I had faith in my plan, I persevered. I was certain I could convince them that slicing every day was going to be fun.
I was wrong.
Here’s a dirty little secret: my students don’t like writing personal narrative. They don’t like to write about themselves.  And, if you don’t like to write about yourself then the Slice of Life Challenge will be ineffective as a way to encourage more excitement around writing.
So, I don’t know where to go from here.
I’ll be thinking of possible solutions.

Your ideas are welcome.

Carnival Weekend

This is a short week for schools here in the mountains of Ecuador. We just celebrated Carnival weekend, a four-day holiday that looks nothing like the famed Rio celebration or New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Even though there are parades in many cities, this is primarily a time when people head to the beach. We too made our way to the coast but rather than go straight to the beach, we stopped in the port city of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.
Although our trip got off on the wrong foot – we missed our flight and instead of the typical 6 ½ hour drive, it took us nine hours in total because there was bumper to bumper traffic on the Andes mountain range, something I’ve never experienced in all my years of living here – the rest of our time in my husband’s birth city went well. Fortunately Guayaquil was relatively empty. Driving around was a breeze. No lines for anything. Well, actually, that’s not true. There was an hour-long line for a special make-it-yourself popular ice cream bar, Magnum, that we decided wasn’t all that special after all. But, other than that, it felt peaceful and relaxed.
In Guayaquil my son got to spend time with his cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents. His grandmother helped him draw and paint on a canvas. He amazed us all with two incredible drawings. It’s time to go to the art store for some supplies!
Finally, we celebrated my husband’s uncle’s 80th birthday. It was a lovely celebration with time to reminisce, laugh, and enjoy good food.

So, when’s the next holiday?