5 Things I Loved About Last Week 6/28/14 #celebratelu

celebrate link up

Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to find positives at the end of the week.

finbag

I almost skipped posting today. It’s been a very tough week, and when I sat down this morning to think about what I could celebrate, nothing came to mind. Even in the toughest week, there are plenty are small moments to enjoy and be grateful for, and I had my share of those. But I didn’t want to blog about any of them. I wanted to resist the whole notion of celebrating. And then I thought about the purpose of this weekly meme and decided that a day when I don’t feel like celebrating is exactly the day I need to celebrate.

1. I am so grateful for my husband. He manages the extreme roller coaster of our parenting lives with grace, perspective, and infinite good humor. And he knows just when I need for him to point out the window and say, “Look! Sparkle ponies!” (I really needed some sparkle ponies this morning.)

2. I love that on Saturdays, I wake up to find my RSS feed filled with Celebration posts. Reading today’s posts gave me a much-needed lift this morning.

3. Carrie‘s reminder about the upcoming #MustReadin2014 check-in next week motivated me to finish two more books from my list, and they were both excellent. Is there time to read a third before Tuesday??

4. I’m teaching an eight-week online Composition II course right now and I’m actually liking it. This is big news, because Comp II is BY FAR my least favorite class to teach. It’s a course in “the research process” and “the research paper,” and I never feel that the course has any connection to writing as I practice it myself. It is difficult to feel good about teaching a curriculum that doesn’t reflect my beliefs about learning or writing. My students are bored doing their assignments, I’m bored reading their assignments; they jump through my hoops for eight weeks and we call it course credit. But I can’t really call it learning.Fourteen hours before the term officially started three weeks ago, I chucked the whole course and created something new. My students are blogging and tweeting and writing collaboratively, and the course now comes so much closer to reflecting my beliefs as a teacher and my practices as a writer. An added benefit: instead of dreading the work load, I look forward to reading and commenting on their blog posts. I am lucky to be able to do work that I love, work that inspires me to create and to learn and to grow.

5. There has been more gardening progress. Yesterday, I got twelve shrubs planted, so the giant empty space that was my front yard is now filling up. I also got a big section by the road weeded.

garden3 - Copy

And the coreopsis is blooming:

flowersObligatory cat in box photo:
catsinbox

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13 thoughts on “5 Things I Loved About Last Week 6/28/14 #celebratelu

  1. Hi Elisabeth. I hear you on needing to write this blog post most of all when it is the hardest to think of what to celebrate. I started waking up at 5 a.m. wondering what the heck I might write about after being on some sort of job action for over a month and two weeks of full scale strike . . . But, wow, does it feel better to post. Those cats in the box – makes me smile every time! Congrats on your gardening progress! I want to wade deep into my weeds this week and win the battle of the month – less weeds, more happy plants! Hope your next week is full of celebratory moments! Best 🙂

    • You’re right, Carrie: it does feel better to post, to stay committed to our routines and the structures that give our lives focus and enable us to have some perspective. For me, writing and blogging certainly do that. And the community I’ve found through blogging and Twitter is very important to me too. How do the weeds take over so quickly?! Hope you find some time to get out into your garden this week. I’m surprised by how replenishing I find gardening.

  2. Sorry to hear you had a rough week. We all have though, and I have been gently reminding our 24-year old son to embrace the positives in his life even through the struggles. I have always been one to have a difficult time with that concept, but I have been working really hard at seeing my glass as half-full rather than half-empty. However, I find that the more I look to the positives in my day, the easier it gets.

    As far as teaching goes, I totally agree with you. There are district mandates that require teachers to cover certain material in a particular way which becomes drudgery for both teacher and student. I am so glad that you were able to find a way to alter the curriculum to better suit everyone’s needs. Keep plugging along! Life’s struggles help us to see the true joys in the world. 🙂

    • Sometimes it really IS work to see the glass as half full! I agree with you that the more we notice and appreciate the positives, the more we see them. I taught a class on Happiness with the philosophy professor at CSC last semester, and we read some interesting research on how much happier people say they are when they make a regular practice of gratitude, especially when they take the time to write down what they’re grateful for. Thanks for your comment–I truly appreciate it this week!

  3. Love the cat in bag and cat in box photos! Sorry to hear you had a tough week. It is so true that these posts are probably most needed in weeks like this. I could feel how inspired you feel by the new course structure. It is always difficult to make a decision to change things in a drastic way, but it sounds like this was a good change and will lift the teaching and learning in your course.

    • Thanks, Andrea. Parenting is tough stuff–some weeks more than others. I love to tinker with my courses, though I wish I had given myself an extra couple of days to work on the redesign. But deadlines are very motivating!

  4. Sometimes the days when I don’t want to blog are the exact days I need it the most. Love how you revamped your course. Sounds like your students do too.

    • Course redesign is very energizing for me: one thing I love about teaching is how I can always do it differently! I’m still learning how best to incorporate blogs and Twitter in my courses, but I think it’s so important for students to be writing, sharing, and collaborating in these spaces.

  5. Love the cat photos and seeing the gardening progress. This weekly celebration keeps me on my toes and searching for the good things. I think Ruth calls these weeks the times that we celebrate with grit. Hope you have a better week ahead!

    • The weekly celebration does the same for me–I certainly reflect more throughout the week on those good moments, especially the small ones that I might otherwise overlook or take for granted. Celebrating with grit–I do like that!

  6. I think these “Celebrate” posts are truly a little piece of heaven – a blessing – in this busy blogging world. Beautiful reprieve and reminder to just be grateful for the little things. It’s always the little things. 🙂

  7. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/30/14 #imwayr | the dirigible plum

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