Monday, March 7, 2016

Something You Can't Tell By Looking At Me

Today is Day 7 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by  Two Writing Teachers

Something You Can't Tell By Looking At Me

One of my favorite lessons to do with my students comes from our social competency curriculum. The activity begins with a conversation about recognizing differences and that some of the differences we can see, while some we can not. The lesson continues as each student shares their answer to the prompt: Something you can’t tell by looking at me is… Usually the answers are simple such as: I like the color blue, or I play the piano every night, but sometimes a student will share something so deep and profound you almost fall backwards off your chair and you are left asking why didn’t I know this?  This 10 minute lesson typically leaves a lasting impression as I ponder the new insights into my students seemingly hidden lives.

After a week of the Slice of Life Story Challenge I think I am ready to share my something you can’t tell about me by looking at me story.  As I sit and type this slice I feel hesitant.  How much should I share?  How vulnerable should I be?  But then I realize that this is me. I took on this challenge because I wanted to share, to write, to be reflective and if I did not share this side of me I would feel like a sham and a fake.

Three years ago I lost the love of my life, the father to my children, my best friend, soul mate and confidant.  I am now a widow.  No one should be a widow at 54, but here I am coping and trying to find my way. I am not sharing this part of me looking for pity or sympathy, rather I am sharing this because it is my story and it impacts everything I think, do and write.  It is more than my slice of life, rather it is my life so it comes as no surprise that every slice of life will somehow reflect that fact.

It is hard to share this fact with you my readers. I feel emotional and hesitant.  I want to take back these words and not post this slice. I am left wondering if my students felt this emotional after sharing their deep thoughts.  Did they wish they could take back the words they spoke?  Were they hesitant before sharing?  I think creating a safe classroom environment where we valued open and honest communication allowed for that kind of sharing to happen.  I feel that kind of environment in this writing community.  Thank you!  Thank you for creating a space where I do feel safe to be open and vulnerable enough to share my something you can’t tell by looking at me.  

12 comments:

  1. What a great exercise to do with students and with yourself. I'm might attempt this too. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. What a great exercise to do with students and with yourself. I'm might attempt this too. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Thank you for being authentic and vulnerable. This is definitely something I'd like to try with my staff.
    My blog site is aggiekesler.wordpress.com

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  4. This is an amazing piece of writing. You are very brave. In my opinion, this is how we grow as writers. We are honest. Fully and completely honest. We do not censor, we do not pretend.

    This is how my writing got better - I started writing from the heart.

    I am sorry for your loss and admire you for sharing your story here. Thank you.

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  5. " I am not sharing this part of me looking for pity or sympathy, rather I am sharing this because it is my story and it impacts everything I think, do and write. It is more than my slice of life, rather it is my life so it comes as no surprise that every slice of life will somehow reflect that fact."
    I love and feel so very well this line. I know how hard it is to write, share, and come to terms with your fact, your loss, but I hope writing can be some kind of healing for you as well. It has for me.

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  6. Thank you for sharing who you are. I am sorry for your loss. Your idea and words have inspired me, and this idea has been jotted into my notebook for future slices! <3

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  7. This is what I love most about this community, and about writing in general: having the courage to share real pieces of ourselves so we can all discover what it means to be human. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. What a great activity for your students! I'm glad you felt comfortable to share part of your life story with us. May you feel free to share more about yourself and family with this community. We all virtually have your back!

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  9. Thank you for showing a glimpse into your life! When I read your slice I have an inkling of the loss you are coping with. I am reminded of the Phoenix rising from the ashes. I am glad you shared this activity. It is very powerful. windows2mylife.blogspot.com

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  10. So glad you did not take it back and so glad something brought me back to SOL this evening. I am a morning dweller. I was about to go to bed since I rise at 4:30. My computer was calling. Your name popped out. I am so glad you shared your story. I am so glad you joined this community. We need to trust and be vulnerable in order to connect and live a full life. Your post reflects all of these qualities. Thank you for trusting us with your story - your words have touched my heart.
    Clare

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  11. Even when I was doubtful, I found other bloggers to be totally receptive and kind. It takes guts, but what a wonderful thing to try the very same activity you ask your students to be brave enough to do. I hope that you continue to find writing to be an outlet for helping to cope with the great loss.

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  12. I'm so glad you took the risk and shared this. My mother who married at 16, was widowed at 20 and left to raise 2 daughters. Fortunately, she met my dad and had three more children, including me, and had 61 years of marriage to my dad, who passed away in August. She never talked much about her first husband, although I was raised to call his parents, who took her in after he died, my grandparents. It sometimes takes time to feel comfortable sharing a deep part of yourself, but this is a very safe place.

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