Goodbye October

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAAs another month wraps up, I can’t help but wonder, “Where in the world did October go?”  I’m fairly certain I’ll feel the same way when the last day of 2010 approaches, at the end of our first year here, and (no doubt) when my two-year Singapore commitment runs out.

Highlights of this month include: a blissful four days in Bali (see previous post), weekend ventures around Singapore (including this afternoon’s prowl around Chinatown), Singapore American School events (most notable was last week’s high school musical production of “Grease” — remarkably talented cast, including a surprise appearance by Tim Stuart, the HS principal singing “Teen Angel”), parent-teacher conferences, and 8th graders’ Halloween costumes.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAMy commitment to get more sleep means I now try to turn out the light by midnight.  I need to make a new resolution for November (light’s out by 11 p.m.?) because the only time I meet this goal is on Friday nights when I’m so exhausted, I can barely keep my eyes open on my MRT ride home from school.

So, in an effort to end October in style — and before midnight turns into November, I’ll blog-out “early” with more “voices” of my 8th graders in their assorted Halloween garb.  Enjoy!
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Bali Bliss

Four restful days in Ubud, Bali . . . just a 2-1/2 hour flight from Singapore, yet a world away.  This was pure, unadulterated bliss!  
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THIS is why I teach . . .

It’s really not cool — not at all — to cry in front of 8th graders.  So I didn’t.  But today I came mighty close.  Today was the last reading of Cynthia Lord’s Touch Blue, a novel I chose carefully as our debut read aloud for the year.  As we gathered on the carpet, Reader’s Notebooks ready for response, I proceeded to read the last two chapters.  It was magically quiet as we stepped inside Tess and Aaron’s world for one last summer day.  I read the last sentence in its brilliant three word simplicity, then closed the book reverently.  Silence — for a good 2-3 seconds (which can seem really long) — followed by spontaneous, heartfelt applause.  Eighth graders generously clapping at the end of a read aloud.  Just because.

It’s a privilege to share story with kids, even “big kids.” And it’s a pleasure when I observe teen readers already picking up Ms. Lord’s Rules because they know and trust this author will deliver a good read.

Silvya already asked what I was going to read next.  I don’t know.  For now, I’ll linger in the afterglow of this book for a few days, knowing the commitment of time for read aloud and response has been rewarded.

Don’t let anyone tell you 8th graders are too old to succumb to story!