Matchbox Car Memory

This week, I am back to commuting to work. It’s a very short drive from my house to my school. Just five traffic lights. Just three right turns and a left. A total of 2.2 miles. But I still have the radio on as I drive and it is always tuned to my local NRP station, WAMU 88.5.

This morning, as I waited at the 2nd traffic light, the singer- songwriter, Kat Edmonson, was being interviewed by NPR Morning Edition host, Rachel Martin about her Song Project entry, “If You’re Scared”. (You can hear it HERE).”

As the light turned green, I heard her say, “this is harkening back to when I was a little kid, you know? Adults would come over to the house and I would make an announcement: ‘There will be a show in five minutes!'”

I don’t remember anything else from the interview because her childhood announcement took me back to visits to my mother-in-law’s home. My husband, the youngest of five, our two girls and a whole day playing with their six cousins while the adults sat in the living room and chatted. Day after Christimas, Easter, a Saturday in July. The go-to game was setting up the runs and loops of the circa 1950 matchbox track in the basement. Then it would happen, just like in the radio story. The grandkids would trample up the stairs and announce “There will be a car race in five minutes!”

As I made my last right hand turn and pulled into my parking space, I found myself wiping my wet eyes. I guess I miss those matchbox car performances, two dozen years ago now. I guess I miss family gatherings. Period. My mind also started thinking of my niece, the oldest girl cousin, now expecting her own baby girl. As I shifted the car into park, I vowed to myself to buy some matchbox cars for her baby shower gift!

NPR and my day!

Most days I walk the mile to my Middle School but today I drove due to my heavy backpack. My car radio is always set to WAMU 88.5 and as I drove the 5 minutes to work, I listened to NPR’s Morning Edition. As I listened to this segment, I realized I could use it while teaching today. I’m getting ready to introduce my students to the Social Issue Book Club Unit. During all my classes, I shared the definition of a Social Issues: a problem, the problem involves many people, and the solution to this problem that can’t easily be solved by just one individual. As I played the 3-minute segment for all my classes, I asked them to listen and decide if this segment was about a Social Issue. After listening, I asked them in table groups of 3-5, to discuss what they thought. Lively discussions occurred in each class! Thank you, NPR. 

At lunch, I checked my email and saw my daily email from Larry Ferlazzo (if you don’t already get his daily emails, I recommend you do!) His first tip today was sharing a story called: NPR Wants Students to Tell It What Love Is.  I loved listening to one of my favorite authors, Kwame Alexandere talk on NPR about love. He asks for kids to send in their writing to the prompt, Love is… I immediately shared the link with my writing friends. (I’m planning next week to write to that prompt.) Thank you, NPR!

Before lunch ended, I headed over to facebook to check out “Jays Wintery Mix” posting. He’s a local guy who predicts the weather pretty well and already school was closing 2 hours early due to afternoon weather and I wanted to read his prediction. As I checked, I saw that Fran had commented on a post in the Units of Study in Writing TCRWP so I clicked and saw a link to another NPR article called HOw Teenage Sisters Pushed Bali to Say ‘Bye-Bye’ to Plastic Bags  .  There was also a photo of 2 older looking faces of the Bali sisters who I learned about as I taught my students how to give a Tedtalk. Their Tedtalk was my mentor text last year! (I wrote about it HERE). So for a third time today, I clicked and enjoyed listening to a story. Thank you, NPR!

I’m glad NPR was part of my teaching day, today.
I bet you have stories involving NPR, too!