An Unlikely Role Model

One of the first assignments I give my students each year is to write about a role model. It’s two-fold, as it provides a sample of each student’s writing strengths and weaknesses, plus it is an introduction to the Heroes unit which begins with my very good friend, Mr. Beowulf. You know, the guy who eats lunch with Bill Shakespeare and Smitty MacBeth every fall.

As I was reading and assessing the responses turned in this school year, I noticed that a few of my students penned their assignment about someone that I, too, think is pretty fantastic.

I’d like to share my response for this assignment…

When I think about what a role model should be, my first thought is, usually, that it has to be someone older. That’s not the case here…mine is about 17 years my junior. But she is wise beyond her years.

I am more positive this year partly because I am trying to emulate her passion for literature and her dedication to the profession. I admire her carefree demeanor, how she champions fairness and ethics, and how she is REAL.

She used to sit at a desk in my classroom, and here she is, years later, with her own desks and her own students.

She is joyful, always smiling when surrounded by her many friends and her family.

She doesn’t hide her emotions. Instead, she is honest whether she’s happy or sad or angry or worried. In my eyes, wearing her heart on her sleeve is what makes her REAL, which is not a flaw, but a sign of strength.

As I embrace my calling of writing, I look to her for inspiration and guidance. I used to be her teacher, and now, the teacher is truly learning from the student.

We have always connected since the day we met back in the early 2000s. She’s an old soul, and even though she was just a baby and then a toddler, the 1980’s left a lasting impression on her interests and likes. Her two true loves are Bruce and Elvis, and even though she thinks she knows more about Seinfeld than I do, I am the master of the Seinfeld domain. Yeah, that’s right!

There’s nothing more satisfying as an educator than reading about a former student (who once completed this same assignment) who was chosen as a role model by current students.

With one book already published, she received word recently that her second one will be published in the coming year. And if I know anything about her at all, she’s not stopping there. She sets the example I want to follow.

Mandi Bean, the world is a much better place because you are in it, my friend.

808ebed71bbe4a4f3c0dbbfc37fefe4dI wish you a very Happy Birthday.

May today be the first day of the most WONDERFUL year of your life, for you certainly deserve it.

With my utmost admiration and gratitude,

OC1

 

 

 

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 3/12/2016

20160312 Blog Photo New Fonts A

What a beautiful week! We are definitely enjoying an early spring here in NJ, and I am loving every minute of it. We even have pollen on the cars already! Tomorrow we will enjoy an additional hour of daylight, the birds are singing every morning, and I even saw a cabbage white butterfly fluttering around yesterday.  I’m off on an adventure today with my niece, as it’s her birthday mystery trip. She knows the town we will be visiting, but doesn’t know all of the secret places we’ll be stopping.

I’m a bit light on interesting sites this week, as I spent less time online, which is one of my goals for this month. Remember, don’t waste a beautiful day by checking out these links…save them for a rainy day.

Free St. Patrick’s Day Printable – in case you missed my last post, enjoy a free St. Patrick’s Day Printable I made

Treasures of Ireland: The Burren – from The Palladian Traveller

On The Struggle with Technology – from fellow writer and one of my favorite people, Mandi Bean

No Trouble Here: Winter In A Surf Town – from Amanda Whiting, posted on The Inertia

Book Drive: Help Us Give Kids The Gift of Reading – from OpenArms Worldwide, a global charity started by my longtime friend Michael Meyers

How to Stay Excited About Being Alive – Inspiration for Your Soul – from Tower Magazine

Son Surprises Dad at Work After Serving in Afghanistan – I always love these videos

The Pending Coffee – If you know of a place that does this, please let me know.

Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body, and Spirit – it starts on March 21 and it is free

and finally

Tyler’s 50K For Housing in Haiti – Tyler is one of my former students with a lofty and inspirational goal.  Even if you cannot support his cause financially, please consider sharing it via your social media outlets. Many thanks from a proud teacher!

Have a wonderful week!

Jill

 

 

 

 

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 11/7/2015

20151107 Beach Photo

Good morning friends!  The weather here along the Jersey Shore has NOT been November-like so far, and I am not complaining as I’d hold onto summer forever, if it was possible.  The leaves, though, are beautiful and are nearing the end of their color-explosion cycle, and in just days, the trees will be bare.  We are off to a friend’s wedding in Pennsylvania today, and I’m excited to see a new and different place. With the forecast for rain, I’m hoping that this week’s roundup of interesting sites will be a good diversion for you.  Hope you enjoy!

16 Free Thanksgiving Printables – courtesy of SNAP

How a Vacation to Italy Reminded Me of My Purpose – great read by Jeff Goins

Citi Field Overjoyed, Singing Piano Man with Billy Joel – awesome moment from the World Series, despite the Mets’ loss

Aladdin Magic Carpet Prank – impressive video!

How to Send Holiday Cards to the Military (2015) – send your extra cards to someone serving…he/she certainly deserves it

18 of October’s Most Amazing Surf Photos – causing me severe wanderlust!

Remembering Andy Irons, 5 Years Later – still one of my favorites

7 New Non-Traditional Empathy Cards That Say What Others Totally Get Wrong – these are perfect

On time – poignant words from the always inspirational Mandi Bean.  I’m printing this out and taping it in my planner as a reminder to JUST DO IT.

Dying ‘Star Wars’ Fan Sees Movie Early – restores my faith a bit.  May the force be with you, Daniel.

This Man Teaches a Lonely Pelican to Fish – yes, he does

and finally,

THIS is why we celebrate Veterans Day.  PLEASE, please honor those who serve(d) this week and EVERY week.  I will always be thankful for the actions of Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott and Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik, forever my heroes, and for all those I know who serve/served.

THANK YOU.

Jill