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Thursday
Nov292007

Memes Galore

I've been tagged twice in the interim period of not having any internet service at home and, for the record, I'm not upset about it at all, no I'm not. There is no rash forming on my upper arms from it. I have no new twitch in my left upper eyelid. I'm not experiencing the shakes or any other form of withdrawl. Nope. Not at all.

Since my mom fed me great winter soup (something homemade and concocted by her after having chowder in a restaurant and proclaiming I can make a soup better than THIS and actually doing it) and is allowing me to use her computer and internet, I'll knock out two at once with the promise of a Mondo Beyondo list soon. I can tell you right now that this will be a mental exercise for me that will tax my brain. If I sprain it, will ice help?

Susan proposed that I write down people who had a big influence in my life that affected the direction of my life and career.

My friend, Dhana (that's Donna but she had really creative parents who were enamored with Ghana at the time when their daughter was born) who asked me for a ride during my senior year in college so that she could do observation hours at a school. I was an English Lit major who wanted to stay on for graduate school right away and my goal was to be a professor in college. Since her car was broken at the time I drove her there and sat in the back of the classroom with her while she completed her hours for her Elem. Ed. degree and my jaw was on the floor the entire time while the same thing went round and round in my head: OHMYGODIWANTTODOTHIS. I WANT TO BE A TEACHER. Had she never asked me or walked around in complete joy of working with students I may have never decided to pursue secondary education and spend another year and a half in college.

My first principal at the school where I did my student teaching named Dean who taught me that everyone learns differently and many of them through stories. "Remember," he said, "that even Jesus was a teacher who taught things through parables. If you think your students will absorb everything you simply SAY to them absent some real life exampled, you are in for disappointment." If it weren't for him, I would try teaching everyone the same way. I also wouldn't have this little gem he gave: "People overuse commas. Commas and sex eduation have the same rule: when in doubt keep it out." (And see? Just now I wanted to type "when in doubt (COMMA), keep it out" and I'm second guessing myself.)

My amazing teacher in the classroom I student taught in, Dr. Wiseman. She lived up to her name. When I started she told me that the honor students I would have wouldn't be as bright as I would hope, so don't have high expectations until I meet them. She was right. I was coming out of a college classroom where everyone was intellectually driven (and these were English Lit and British Lit classrooms, so come on) and I had to remember that they wouldn't all be like that. She let me teach James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain and let me cry when I chose a book too advanced and culturally different from them. I hadn't given them enough background information so that they could appreciate it. "Start again," she said. "You can start over and do it better. It's ok. Be honest about how you didn't prepare them and have enough humility to start again." She also had one of these in the classroom which I later got to use in my own. When I put their homework up on the electronic signboard THEY ALL WATCHED IT AND WROTE IT DOWN. My homework return rate was darn high.

Finally, 7 Random Things that Daisy tagged me with so long ago that she's probably no longer interested.

1. I am allergic to so many things that when my allergist tested me he poked about 120 things into my arms and was to wait for 15 minutes to see which affected me most but after 2 minutes he said, "Holy crap! You're allergic to a metric ton of stuff!" I like to think he didn't tell any other patient that but me.

2. Our administration team at school has eight members and we're all still getting to know one another. One of the other deans wants us to do a team building activity at her daughter's gymnastic studio where we use harnesses and mats and spot one another. I emphatically told them that I loved gymnastics and couldn't wait to do this and they laughed at me so I stood up from my chair and did a walkover in front of the rest of the admin staff. They think I'm weird. And flexible.

3. I have some Spanish tongue twisters memorized from childhood. Don't ask me what they mean or why I remember them, but they flow out of my gray matter with a strangeness that mystifies me. Whenever people ask me to say something in Spanish I usually choose one of them or I recite John 3:16 to them. That's Juan tres diez y seis.

4. Sometimes I go to the movie theatre just for the popcorn. I might not want to even see anything, but the popcorn calls to me. (August Rush wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Lots of closeups and slow acting from that naturally pretty Keri Russell, but I'd watch that Freddie Highmore and Terrence Howard in just about anything.) Once, while pregnant with Mason, I pulled up outside a theatre and forced my older sister to go in for just popcorn. She tells the story differently but since this is my blog I can say that I did NOT hold her at gunpoint.

5. Speaking of weird pregnancy related cravings, each time I was pregnant I had different things I wanted. With Mallory, it was coffee. Color me shocked when she was 4 years old and sipping the dregs out of my cup. With Mason, it was bologna. Again, I paid a girlfriend $5 to go out at 2 a.m. to get a pound of it. With Morgan, it was EVERYTHING. He isn't picky at all when it comes to food.

6. I'm completely grossed out when people use tissues and visible PICK THEIR NOSE while talking to me. Like it's a normal thing to do in the company of other people. Lately, I've gotten bold and told them how disgusting they are.

7. My mother cooked Thanksgiving dinner in a black "Sopranos" apron that she found on the sidewalk when she lived in California. She is so freaking awesome. Now, I want to cook in one all the time. I won't feel inspired unless I can imagine Tony Soprano whacking someone. Who wants pecan pie?
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Reader Comments (11)

It is GLORIOUS having you back up and running. I am so moved by how God directed you to become a teacher...yes it was divine intervention that put you in that place at that time. I knew from a few posts back that your Mom was/is cool! Glorious...indeed.

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLovebabz

Loved this post. I had one teacher like you when I was in grade school, and I still keep in touch with her almost 30 years later. Through her I discovered art, architecture, newspapers, politics...the very things that have shaped my professional life for years now. And believe me, I was chief of the knuckleheads back then.

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLee

Great post. I just knew you'd have some great stories about how you ended up in your career.

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Getgood

No longer interested? Who, me? I'm a teacher, too; I never lose interest.

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

I have a friend's husband who does #4. BUT they regularly go to movie theaters JUST to get the popcorn...and then they leave. Weird.

December 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

When in doubt, keep it out! Fantastic! But I admit I'm an excessive user of commas - no comment on what that may or may not say about my sex habits.

December 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMommyWithAttitude

You come up with the best in random and interesting.

December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Hey-

Just been missing your words.

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

"Who wants pecan pie?"
Me! Me! (Is it made with bourbon??) ;)

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

hey-just checking in, hope you have been off doing something fun with your blog break!

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterali

Where are you? What's going on? Give us a hint. Please.

December 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKay

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