Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sharing Shakespeare

Last night I finished the book Mistress Shakespeare, by Karen Harper. I cried.

This first person narrative told the life story of Anne Whately, who some believe to have been William Shakespeare's secret first wife. It was very well written, and an extensive look at Shakespeare's life through the eyes of a woman who loved him in secret and supported him and his writings in public.

The author did a wonderful job of bringing her characters and settings to life. She took me through poverty, the plague, Queen Elizabeth's palace, and the Globe theatre. I saw Shakespeare as a person, with flaws in the midst of his genius...and may even henceforth think of him as "Will" in my mind.

It renewed in me a desire to read (and reread) the works of this most famous playwright. I had recently purchased Hamlet, and simply had to begin reading it as soon as I finished Harper's book.

I would recommend this story to anyone who has a love for writing that includes historical figures.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Educators Live For

As many of you know, I teach fourth grade Reading Intervention. Last week we worked on creating keynote presentations of famous people. Each student chose a biography of a famous person, read the book, took notes, created a storyboard, then transferred their information to keynote on the MacBooks.

At the end of the week, students shared what they had learned with each other. Students seemed to enjoy the process, most especially because they had the opportunity to use MacBooks. I ended the week wondering if they had actually learned anything...because of the lack of information (or wrong information) that had ended up in some of the presentations.

Maggie chose to research Louisa May Alcott. We talked throughout the week about her most famous book, "Little Women", and how it made an impact on so many young girls. This morning she proudly showed me a book she had checked out of the library. It was a picture book taken from "Little Women" (I think the title was "Marmie's Christmas Surprise".) She was so excited to let me know she had found "the book she wrote"....and I was thrilled to know at least one child was still thinking about our little project!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lesson Learned...Hopefully

God used my son to show me a lesson this morning.

For the past five days Jordan has had to take an antibiotic. I neglected to ask for it in liquid form when the doctor called it in. So we, his father and I, decided now was as good a time as any to learn to swallow a pill.

The first three times he swallowed them with very little difficulty. Hallelujah. But for some reason I still can’t explain, he suddenly began to have problems. He would sit and sit…and sit. No amount of cajoling, pleading, screaming or threatening could get him to swallow them easily or quickly.

I dreaded the morning and evenings with a passion. We began to pray before each time that the Lord would help Jordan to have the confidence to swallow easily and without any difficulty.

This week I had morning duty at school, meaning I was responsible for being there at 7:00am. We had also run out of breakfast food, so I had planned to make a quick stop at McDonald’s on the way to school. I woke Jordan up earlier than usual in hopes we would have plenty of time.

He started with the first pill at 7:10. At 7:30 all patience was gone. We finally pulled out of the driveway at 7:40, both of us at our wits’ end. I tried to tell Jordan that even though it made me so frustrated when he chose not to swallow, I still loved him. I went into another explanation of how important it was for him to take all of these pills because it was an antibiotic, and how I couldn’t take the pill for him—he had to do it himself. And the lecture went on all the way to the restaurant.

He finally looked at me and said, “Mom, would you just please forgive me.”

I took a breath, really wanting to say, “Yes, but….” and go into how if he was really sorry he would change his behavior and try harder. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

My son was asking my forgiveness.

I knew the likelihood that our pill-swallowing episodes were finished was slim to none. But in that instance, all he wanted—what he needed— was to know I would forgive him.

How many times have I gone to God with the same bad habit, the same mistake, and asked him to forgive me—again? Let me assure you they are too numerous to count.

And yet, He forgives—every time, even knowing He will most likely hear the same plea from me very soon.

So, I turned to my son and told him, “I forgive you.”

And I told him I loved him, and we wouldn’t talk about our bad morning any more. It was over and in the past—just like our heavenly father does for us, over and over and over again.