Tag Archives: reading

Split Down the Middle


Today I asked my students to respond the quote: “Experience teaches only the teachable,” by Aldous Huxley. Only the high school class decided that they were both teachable and not teachable. Then my best middle school student said that she was not teachable. I have to say this made me laugh a little. Mostly everyone misunderstood the meaning of the word teachable, which is fine, but created an interesting array of answers from the classes, so far.

Now during my third period class I have my students quietly reading the short story ‘Split Cherry Tree’ and with that there have also been mixed reviews. Mostly though I have discovered that they are listening when I teach them about grammar, and that you aren’t supposed to write the way you speak unless it is in dialogue. They, in the first line of the story, found a point where this didn’t happen, and they all spoke up about it.

While at first I was annoyed with the 6th grade class all speaking up saying “Ms. Flynn this is written wrong,” but then I realized that they understood something I had been fighting to sink into their brains for 12 weeks now. It was a great moment. It reaffirmed me, it is a reason to be here and that has made my day.

And the update on the other teacher who is insane.  She has continued on her awkward war path against me. She is fighting harder to find fault with me and interrupting my class to track down student who have not yet come to my class today. She will eventually go away, or get into trouble for this. In the mean time, I’m going to bask in the brilliance of my students who have learned despite the fact that they have pretended not to.

Embrace the crazy, sometimes it surprises you!

Lack of Inspiration


You would think with all the stress in my life, and a job that I hate I would have more than enough inspiration to write. However, I seem to not want to write about the horrors of my job, or the stress of my life and I’m not sure what that leaves me with. I haven’t had many recent brushes with my own mental health, not in any interesting or majorly problematic ways. I haven’t even been doing anything especially interesting with my time. Mostly I just sit at my house and read. In fact, if I don’t have someone to drag me out of my house for some reason or other, that is mostly all I have done for the past few months. This is with the exception of forcing myself to try to go to work when I’m not physically ill, which I have been often as well in the past few months.

I’m not sure why, but all I can seem to do is to crawl into a book and stay there for long periods of time. Now, when most people say they read for long periods of time, they tend to mean, or at least in my experience, that they read for a few hours a day. I however, tend on average when my son is not home, to read for at least 8 hours straight. I do not even pause for bathroom breaks. I will get so involved in a plot or a chapter that I take my book with me to the bathroom. I have been so entrenched in reading for the past few months that I have, on last count, read 30 books. My last count was over two weeks ago though, and I have read at least another 6-8 since then.

While this binge reading isn’t so much an unhealthy activity in and of itself, it means also that I have managed to very thoroughly take myself out of reality. I ignore most phone calls, though I still answer texts and any call which might be a job I applied to. I don’t leave my couch, I hardly eat, not that I generally eat much, and I don’t move or do anything during these reading hours past smoking an occasional cigarette and drinking water or soda. It is a thoroughly boring, and somewhat satisfying thing. However, it has now grown old. I enjoy reading, and it does help with my anxiety, but my love of the written word has taken the place of socialization, and of course literary pursuits of my own.

The books I have read recently, while rekindling my love of fantasy, have not given me any inspiration of what I might like to write on my own. While in the past I might have been inspired by an author’s use of folklore in their writings, now I just am happy to see the folklore come into a piece of work and retain its origins. So while I keep reading, and I enjoy what I read, I have started to spend entirely too much of my time crawling inside of books and staying there until the words of the author sputter out. While in the past this would at least give me an idea of a story I would like to write on my own, it now just leaves me empty and uninspired. The saddest part of this is that I not only love reading, but I love writing.

I love when the plot bunny comes to visit and bounces around my head making me narrate small parts of the story in my head as I try to fall asleep each night until, I figure out the characters names and can begin to write about them. However, there have been no visits from the plot bunny, or any other kind of bunny or rabbit for that matter. I would be happy with a chocolate Easter bunny, if it would give me an idea of something, anything, new to write about. I don’t even have many stories I have written in the past that I want to go back and work on, and not so many stories of my past that I feel like reliving in words right now, much less in thought.

So I am stuck inside the minds of other authors, who seem to have a never ending supply of things for their characters to do. I suppose their brains must be filled with strawberries to attract so many plot bunnies. My brain is however, filled with brain material and this seems to be unattractive to both the plot bunnies and the muses at this time. I’m not writing fiction, non-fiction, or music right now. The only thing I can seem to write about is my lack of ability to find something I would like to write about.

I don’t know where all my stories went. Perhaps, I need to take my own advice. Perhaps I need to embrace the crazy, in a more meaningful way and see if that will make my brain grow the wild strawberries which seem to attract the bunnies, who I use to hate yet now miss. I long for a sleepless night because I can’t get my own plot out of my head, and not for one caused by an inability to stop reading someone else’s stories

If anyone has a spare plot bunny torturing them, please feel free to send them my way.