So far, by God's grace

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

“It wasn’t on the lesson plan”

I posted this on instagram late last night. I guess it qualifies for my writing challenge -day 2 with a few edits in place. 

If you did not know this, I am a teacher. This means that I am still perfecting the art of fitting my base into furniture meant for growing humans. I don't think it's a skill I will ever master, but I'm getting better. My classroom is a flexible seating classroom. This means that students don't have assigned spots and that they have a variety of furniture options to choose from - floor cushions on low tables, poufs, standing tables and swivel chairs with desks. 

Yesterday, I was sitting on one of those wobbly stools that are great for fidgety kids, engrossed in a math lesson, when I leaned across to reach the other end of the easel. Before I knew it, I had toppled over, almost somersaulting across the carpet, my slippers flying across the room. 

There was a collective gasp from my students, followed by stunned silence. You should have seen the looks on their faces! Eighteen worried pairs of eyes all staring at me, their mouths wide open. That's when I burst out laughing, picking myself and my slippers up. 

And then it began... waves upon waves of laughter. All of us rolling on the carpet laughing and bonding over a shared experience that I hope will never be repeated!

The opportunistic teacher in me seized the moment to remind kids of our "responsible use of furniture" agreements. But as a friend reminded me, I hope they learned through this that it is good to laugh at yourself too! 
The high points of my teaching career have mostly been these kind  - unplanned, unscripted moments that should be embarrassing but instead lead to enriching experiences! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

50 day writing challenge

It's been a long time since I wrote anything here. My friend Ruth is doing a 50 day writing challenge and invited me to join.
So here goes. I don't know if the everyday busy-ness of my life will allow me to write something everyday. I don't even know if I will go public or anonymous with this challenge, but I am glad I'm doing this.

My identity as a writer truly began in 8th grade. I owe it all to my best friend at that time - Riya. Until then, I was only interested in reading comic books. Writing was something I considered a chore.  But Riya changed that for me. She and I sat next to each other in the middle of a long wooden bench. There were 2 more girls on our bench, but we had the coveted space right in the middle.  In my school all the boys sat on the left of the classroom and the girls sat on the right.  We had the most boring teachers for Math, Physics Geography and Tamil and so, instead of reading our textbooks in class we would read and re-read storybooks. Since chapter books are easier to camouflage  under a textbook than comic books, I began to read those. And boy, did I fall in love! Anytime we had writing work to do, we’d rush through it and then Riya and I would write stories that we would read out to each other. We both began diary writing around then too!

I’d be embarrassed to share some of the stories and diary entries we wrote back then, and as a teacher now, I’m appalled that none of my teachers caught us being so sneaky! But I’m happy for that time. Riya moved away from our little town after 8th grade. But we continued to write long, elaborate letters full of descriptive language to each other! 

Riya went on to study dentistry while I studied English literature and communication. Somehow studying literature ruined my love for reading. But I still loved writing. In college, I made new friends. My best friend in college Roxie was a great writer too! I’d recognise her curly, confident penmanship anywhere! We loved our creative writing classes together. I felt like I’d found my kindred spirit!  I remember once our professor gave us a few words as a prompt and had us write a poem. Mine and Roxie’s were so eerily similar you would have thought they were copied! Fortunately, we were sitting beside each other, in the first row, right under the professor’s nose!! 

After that, for a long time, I kept my writing to journaling. When blogs became popular in 2007 I began writing this blog. If you go through the archives, you will see how I’ve grown from an immature writer, trying to figure out this whole blogging thing, to a new mother who considered becoming a mommy blogger, and the to someone who pretty much gave up blogging. I mostly gave up blogging because I was finding it hard to find the balance between being authentic and sharing my life with the whole world.

This 50 day challenge is an attempt to revive my identity as a writer. At this point I am not committing to anything. I just want to get back to writing, and I hope I find that balance!