Holy cow. I’m exhausted. I slept for 10 hours last night and it. was. GLORIOUS. For you teachers out there, you know that first-week-is-over exhaustion. And since I’m brilliant (or not), I volunteered to help sell tickets at my high school’s first Friday night home football game (while school is in session). I didn’t really think that one over before signing up. Or maybe I just figured I’d feel all refreshed and invigorated at the end of the first week of school. Click here. Right.
But now that I actually do feel better after sleeping so well for so long (finally!) I can write again. All is well with my students and my classes. I haven’t jumped into the actual content in my classes yet, but I’m glad for that. We are working on developing personal mission statements and other beginning-of-school stuff, and it is helping me get to know my kids on a personal level and is opening my eyes to the levels they are on.
So you know a while ago how I told you about my totes brill plan about the TedTalk video clip of Amy Purdy (the woman who lost her legs to meningitis and THEN became a professional snowboarder)? Well, I did that…with some modification, of course. I showed the video, and then- because I wanted a sample of their writing that would tie into mission statements and goal setting but wasn’t strictly academic writing- I gave them the quote that she starts out with and told them to answer that question.
If your life were a book, and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?
You guys. I got some FANTASTIC stuff from them! Especially my 11th graders! Some of them struggled, so I rephrased it and asked them that if they were writing their autobiography in 50 years, what would they want to be able to write about? It was so telling. And in 12 years, I don’t think I’ve ever found out so much about my students in one single activity. I learned about one student’s history with mental health issues, one student’s history with abuse and how he now wants to become a reverend to help kids like him and give them hope. I learned that one student’s ultimate dream is to open up his own mechanic shop. And these answers were coming from students who haven’t said a word so far, or students I have had in the past and, as it turns out, I hadn’t known them as well as I thought I did. Now, on the flip side, I also learned that one student’s greatest fears in life include getting wrinkles and having split ends. She was completely serious. But hey, they are teenagers, after all.
But then I thought about that topic. If I had to write my autobiography about my life so far, would I be able to write what I would have wanted to write? Would it be boring? Inspirational? Poignant? Lackluster? Exciting? Super lame? And what can I do to make sure my life would be worth writing about? Can/do people say about me what I would want them to say about me? Am I living my life with purpose and meaning, or simply existing? I have been reflecting on this all week.
So I pose this question to you: If your life were a book, and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?
PS- I’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on this? Would you be happy with your autobiography?