Blog Archive

Sunday, May 28, 2017


I wrote this a few days ago, and just hadn't gotten
around to posting it.

It still resonates.

I gave a stranger a ride today.

Here it comes. Wait for it.

The barrage of safety concerns.

Read on, then decide to chide.

This afternoon, I stopped by the store on my way home.

Not for any particular reason.

Marshall's is fun and the grocery is next door.

I wanted junk for dinner.

While I was at Marshall's it started to rain in a pretty unpleasant way.

You know, cold, gray, splatty.

I carried my bag of purchases to the grocery.

It was easier, faster, and drier than making a trip to the car.

At the store, I picked up some tomatoes, chocolate, and frozen pizza.

Neither practical nor healthy.

I checked out and got ready to leave.

As I was getting my things together, the girl in line behind me asked if it was raining.

I said it had been a few minutes ago when I arrived.

She looked down at the sleeping baby strapped to her chest and sighed.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A tree fell

Friday morning, we were hit by awful storms.

My power went out for a second, then came back on immediately.

One of the middle schools in my district lost power and sent everyone home.

Some of my colleagues were out for 36 hours.

Kids came with all kinds of crazy stories of local damage.

It was crazy.

Now, obviously, these storms aren't a good thing.

But there was one thing.

At seven in the morning, an hour before school started, I got an email.

It was from one of my freshmen girls.

It was simple and to the point.

It said, "Ms. Hirsch, Can I please turn in my project Monday? A tree fell on our house and my mom's car so I won't be at school today. If not, it's ok, I'll take the late penalty."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Room Switch!

A few weeks ago, I realized its time for a change.

Not because I'm unhappy or anything.

I just like change.

Usually, I move or get a new car.

Neither of those is options right now.

I've talked to a few of my colleagues about this.

One of them had an excellent suggestion:

Change classrooms.

At first, I was a little reluctant.

That is, after all, a lot of work.

Especially for someone like me with mountains of books.

But the idea has grown on me.

I kept thinking I had been in my current room for 7 years.

Then it dawned on me how inaccurate that was.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Salt instead of sugar.

I got a delivery in class last week.

A junior, who I had as a freshman, stopped by.

He handed me an orange certificate and a piece of chocolate pie.

It was so sweet of him.

He's a quiet kid.

Not a kid who I would suspect held me in any particular esteem.

As a freshman, he did what he was supposed to.

And not much more mostly.

As a sophomore, he a locker right down the hall from my room.

Every morning, I would see him and say Good Morning or Hi.

I try to say hi to every kid I know, every time I see them.

If I can, I try to use their names.

It makes them feel special.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chapter books.

This too is a NaNo-story of sorts. Fair warning.

I introduced Storybird today.

Not like talked about it and had kids sign up.

Like actually got them started using it.

It was epic.

Some kids whine about the art selection.

They'd rather use their own artwork.

Maybe another year we can do something with that.

Not this year.

A few kids got really frustrated.

Mostly those who are intensely literal and want pictures of exactly what they wrote about.

They need help thinking a little more symbolically.

Or sometimes, just with searching well.

We learned a few things.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Put up or shut up.

Sometimes you just gotta grade.

Today was one of those days.

I hate sitting down in my classroom.

So much so that I use a standing desk 99% of the time.

On the other hand, finals start in 8 days.

My students need to get their butts in gear.

Many still need to finish reading their novels.

There are six task sheets to complete.

A final project is required.

And then there's NaNoWriMo.

It is time for them to put up or shut up.

Using our time well is absolutely NOT optional.

At this point in the year, a little extra push is required.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I'm chasing it.

I have been writing with my students.

We all engaged in NaNoWriMo, with various degrees of success.

Now, we are preparing to publish our work.

My story is a tangled mess.

At least, I think it is.

I've been meandering towards an ending for thousands of words.

It's like when you are driving.

There is a landmark off in the distance.

It should get closer as your drive towards it.

Instead, it seems to recede.

For what seems like forever, you never get any closer to your goal.

That is the end of my story.

I keep writing, and the end of my story keeps not getting any closer.