This is my 400th blog post celebrating my Lucky 7th year as a slicer! 7 x 31 days = 217 so this shows that I also started slicing every Tuesday along the way. For me, this number – 400 – shows how proud I am to write and proud to read the writing of others.
Yesterday, I figured out how to schedule a zoom celebration meeting. I invited the 14 teachers in my area who sliced this year. I can’t wait for it to be 5pm and see the grid of faces! My writing friends. True friends who I know because I have read their stories and they know me because they have read my stories.
I asked each to come to the party ready to share a reflection on this year’s writing. And I offered sentence stems to help. Here’s my reflection:
I am proud I tried to always make my comments be about the writing craft. Even when I read post and had a strong connection to their story, I avoided a comment that would just sound like a conversation, “The same thing happened to me…” Instead, I tried to say, “Because of your precise details, I could really feel/see and easily make a connection to a similar situation in my life. I am proud of the comments I made.
I was surprised by the comfort I felt writing and reading as the blanket of the coronavirus spread across the world and overtook the slicers’ focus. It surprised me how much it helped me to share feelings and how it equally helped me to read others’ stories and realize I was not alone.
The slice that I wrote that sticks with me is Color. I wrote it on March 23rd, a Thursday. It is a reflection of the color I now associate with the coronavirus.
The slice that I read that sticks with me is Meg’s entitled Teacher Research is the Therapy Every Educator Needs. I read it and immediately wrote to Meg and suggested we co-author an article together, her from the point of view as the teacher researcher and me as the facilitator. I told her how I am terrified too to write a professional journal article but I still want to try. Together, it doesn’t seems as scary.
Together, during March 2020, I wrote every day within a supportive community. Looking across my writing topics, they include stories about my school, my routines, my friends, the current news, poetry, books and color. Looking at my dashboard, I received 285 comments. These comments kept me going every day. I was thrilled to win the Mentor Award!! I love including others in things I like but it does feel good when others notice and appreciate my actions.
My first post took place as our school play was ending and it was in the time “before coronavirus”. On the 13th of March the Governor of VA closed schools for the rest of the year. Then yesterday, March 30th, he ordered all to “shelter-in-place”. I’m grateful this challenge pushed me to write every day during an unprecedented month in the worlds’ history. I can’t thank Stacey and her crew for running this writing challenge all month long. Already I am looking forward to March, 2021.