5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu

celebrate link up

I’m joining the weekly celebration hosted by Ruth Ayres on her blog.

1. The semester ended! Summer reading, here I come! I still have grading to do, but I took a day mostly off on Thursday to read. It was a cold, rainy day, and the cats were in search of warmth. My lap became the bed for a rotating series of cats, sometimes more than one at a time:

ferguslo fr ab

2. For our final in Contemporary Lit class, students presented their original creative work–short stories, 6-word stories, collages, drawings, multimedia projects, and even a rap video. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect in terms of quality–I mean, this is the end of the semester, everyone is tired and busy, and I wasn’t sure how much time and effort students would really put into their work. I needn’t have worried, because they did phenomenal work. I was blown away. I especially enjoyed Jaycie‘s comics of the short stories we read, done in the style of Lev Yilmaz’s Sunny Side Down. This is Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer”:

aimee bender

This is George Saunders’s “Sticks”:

saunders3. My work on my department’s search committee for a Writing Specialist concluded with an excellent candidate accepting the position this week. I’m excited to work with and learn from our new colleague!

4. The last papers I have to grade are learning reflections from students in three of my courses. I love reading about what my students learned. Because these papers are graded on completion rather than content, students have a tendency to be very honest. I love the opportunity their reflections provide for me to reflect on what worked and what I can improve on for next time. I have only read about half the papers from Children’s Lit, but I think 100% of students so far have listed One and Only Ivan as their favorite book of the semester.

5. It’s been another tough parenting week here–some really great moments, and some really, really rough ones. Healing kids from hard places and hard backgrounds is not easy. To put it mildly. But I celebrate anything and everything that helps my son get unstuck and move toward healing. I certainly do love this kid:










11 responses to “5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    Love that so many of your students adore The One and Only Ivan. That is our current read aloud and it is so so powerful. I think possibly the adults in the room are even more impressed by it. That boy of yours – he is blessed to have you for his Mom. I imagine you are both learning so much from this journey. Love the photo!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It was so challenging to find “readalikes” for Ivan–because all anybody wanted to read after that was another book like Ivan! A little help from my Twitter PLN alerted me to another of Applegate’s novels, Home of the Brave, which I ordered a few copies of. Students loved that book too–I’m looking forward to reading it now that I have a copy back in my possession. Summer reading! I haven’t been able to find another animal story that seems to connect as well with a whole class. But I’ll keep reading and looking. It is definitely a journey with my son–hard, hard mental, emotional, and physical work for both of us–but incredibly interesting and rewarding.

  2. nerdybookgirl Avatar

    What a wonderfully positive end to the week. Cheers!

  3. Holly M @muellerholly Avatar
    Holly M @muellerholly

    Those cat pictures are precious. I also love the picture of your son! Great job on your students’ final projects. They look wonderful!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Holly. I love taking photos of my cats! My son is very camera shy, but he allows his teacher to take pictures of him, so some of my best photos of him have come from school.

  4. Linda Baie Avatar

    Terrific to see both your cats and your handsome son, Elisabeth. There were ups & downs in my parenting life too. Best wishes to you on that road! I also enjoyed hearing about your classes, what they did and what they liked. The One and Only Ivan is going to be a tough one to replace, if ever! Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I agree with you about Ivan! I wish I had a list of books to recommend for readers who love Ivan, but it’s a unique story. I hope to do a post next week reflecting on my Children’s and Adolescent Lit classes. Lots of things I want to improve upon for next time, but I’m very happy with how a few key changes worked out this semester. Everything in my life is so easy compared to parenting my older son, but on the flip side, nothing is as rewarding. Happy Mother’s Day to you too! My husband has been very amused by my son’s ideas for Mother’s Day treats for me, since they all involve ME making a special meal for HIM.

  5. Elizabeth Avatar

    Wow, T looks so much older! And he’s truly stunning.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      He is a beautiful kid! And yes, he’s probably grown 7 years in the 3 that he’s been here.

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