10 Things About Today: 3/31 #sol23

  1. I lounged in bed with my second favorite cat just long enough to find a slice to write. A short slice, a slice with exactly the right amount of constraint to support my writing.
  2. I was nearly late to work. That short slice took far longer to write than I thought it would–an hour for just a few lines! (When I say I’m a slow writer, I mean that I am a s-l-o-w writer.) I lost track of time, and suddenly it was 7:12. I’m supposed to leave by 7:12! Instead, I was still sitting in my pajamas, covered in cat, playing with arrangement and the tone of the final line.
  3. The person in front of me at Starbucks paid for my order. It felt like Teacher Appreciation Day came early. (Yes, I still went to Starbucks even though I was running very late).
  4. My school director supported my request to develop a new unit for Quarter 4. I had 3 ideas for units; he had one; we combined 2 of mine plus his into a Franken-unit that’s actually streamlined and straightforward: Graduation Speeches. I’ve already started collecting mentor texts.
  5. I accidentally swore in class. My ADHD brain was struggling to stay organized and remember and do all the things, and I forgot to send a document to a student when he’d asked for it twice. He gently prompted me a third time, and I blurted an F-bomb. Oops! (ADHD blurting: also a thing!) At least I teach seniors.
  6. My amazing teacher friends texted extra hard and fast in our group chat, supporting me through sticky assessment work, processing some difficult meetings and emails we’ve all had this week, and sharing cat photos and memes when things got too heavy.
  7. My last block of the day, which is usually a bit low energy (me included), needed some re-teaching to prepare for a high-stakes assessment. Yes, there were a lot of tangents, and they did require a snack break in the middle. But they showed serious stamina sticking with poem analysis for nearly 70 minutes of review, close reading and questioning (all the while, Billy Collins’s line about tying the poem to a chair and torturing a confession out of it rolled around my head.)
  8. I had been dreading my after work task: getting a feral cat out of a kennel and into a container for transport without harming either one of us. My first idea didn’t work at all, but then I realized the cardboard box she was hiding in was technically big enough for transport. I gently folded the flaps around her and held on tight.
  9. My husband and I had one episode left of our current show, the original BBC version of Ghosts, which is simply perfection. We told ourselves we’d watch just half of it and save the other half for tomorrow, but once started, we had to finish.
  10. I ended the day with my first favorite cat curled in my lap, snoring peacefully.


Once again, my theme for the March 2023 Slicing Challenge is finding inspiration in the words, ideas, and forms of others. Each day I will write in community and conversation with another slicer and link to the post that inspired me. Today, I was inspired by Amy’s 10 Things About Today.






28 responses to “10 Things About Today: 3/31 #sol23”

  1. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Any day that starts and ends with cats curled in your lap can’t be too too terrible. I appreciate how this post acknowledges the ups and downs of a day, how things are tough and good and hard and extended all in 10 moments. This is what days are, really, and as I head into a day where I’m already anticipating some rough patches, I appreciate the straightforward honesty here.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Well. There was a lot more I could say about sticky assessment work and difficult emails and meetings and torturing a poem for the sake of high-stakes assessment, but I’m pretty sure all my teacher friends know all of it all too well themselves! But yes, plenty of ups and good moments to enjoy. And so much laughter in my classroom, even while prepping for the unexpected high stakes assessment. Maybe it was hysterical laughter, but I think we had fun.

  2. Jennifer Floyd, Ed.D. Avatar

    I love this format and will have to remember to use it in my writing. While you had a very full day, it sounds as though the end of the day was perfect and a great reward!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I wish I could use this format every day! It’s so productive for thinking through and organizing the day in your mind!

  3. Terje Avatar

    This was a long day. I am glad it started with writing and ended with a captivating TV show and a cat curled up on a lap. Thank you for sharing another mentor text with us.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It’s been a long week! But glad it included plenty of joyful and contented moments.

  4. Trish Avatar

    Each one of these could be its own slice. What an inspiration for us, Elizabeth. Been there with the cursing (and I only teach eighth graders.Fortunately—or unfortunately—they are not shocked.) I love the Starbucks serendipity, game-changer random kindness, and that Billy Collins poem line from “Introduction to Poetry” springs to mind often, (that and lines from “On Turning Ten”). Thanks for a terrific Slice.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Ha! My students weren’t shocked either–I’m not sure any of them even looked up from their work. As I was reading Amy’s mentor text, I was thinking of how each numbered item could be its own little slice. Lists are always among my favorite mentor texts!

  5. arjeha Avatar

    If you start and end the day with a cat what happens in between doesn’t matter. I tend to start each day with 3 cats in bed and end with the same 3 in bed again.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Yes!!! Of COURSE my day has to start and end with cats! How wonderful to have your three companions with you in the morning and at night!

  6. edifiedlistener Avatar

    Here for the cats, the unintended but likely necessary swear word, the ebb and flow of a real life day. Thank you, Elisabeth, good on you for responding to your needs (Starbucks) which perhaps helped you weather the rougher parts (difficult emails, etc.).

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That venti iced coffee most definitely helped me weather my morning–as it always does!

  7. amyilene Avatar

    What a day!! I love how you set it up and folded it back in where you began.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      The best days are bookended with cats!

  8. Trina Avatar

    I love how your day is bookended with cats! (However, the part in between the cats sounds SO busy.) We teachers have such full lives, don’t we?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      We really do! When I come home from work, I do not want to be asked a single question or have to make a single decision–because I’ve answered 10K questions and make at least that many decisions already!

      1. Trina Avatar

        I understand that! Teaching is so emotionally exhausting!

  9. margaretsmn Avatar

    This list has so much truth in it. A vision of your day. But also the universality that we all have around all the things on the list.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That’s one thing I love about slicing this month–seeing the universality we all share around the types of things we write about on these lists!

  10. karpenglish Avatar

    Aha, the famous Billy Collins’ Introduction to Poetry poem! I used to make my AP Lit students analyze that one. The savvy ones would always ask if there was something ironic about us analyzing a poem about tying a poem to a chair and torturing it, to which I answered, “Yes, of course” and applauded their understanding of irony. I’m glad your tough day was bracketed with your second favorite cat!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think I’m going to start the first AP poetry unit next year with the Billy Collins poem. I have a feeling my students will enjoy referring to it every time we spend 85 minutes analyzing a single poem!

      1. karpenglish Avatar

        Mine were always happy to point out when they felt we were “tying the poem to the chair” or “beating it with a hose.” 😂

  11. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
    Leigh Anne Eck

    I have tried leaving you comments every day, but I could not figure out how to post them until tonight…and quite by accident. The post button doesn’t show up unless you hover over it! Insert facepalm! I feel so stupid and I hope I am not the only one to do this!

    We read the Collins poem and I always tell them if it wasn’t for standardized testing, we wouldn’t have to beat a confession out of them!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Leigh Anne, I have been having trouble leaving comments on my comments too! Something seems off in the WordPress template. I decided to update to a new blog theme to see if that helps. YES: if it weren’t for the high stakes assessment essay we need to write next week, we would not be torturing this poem!

  12. Book Dragon Avatar

    Thank you for the cat tax!
    (It sure can be challenging to get going in the morning when your feline friend demands attention)

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      If a post mentions a cat, you have to pay the cat tax!! So glad you understand!

      1. Book Dragon Avatar
        Book Dragon

        I am so glad you understand the unwritten rule about cat tax!

  13. Celia Fisher Avatar

    I am jealous because neither of our cats are lapcats, but we still appreciate them being around (some of the time) and as you reveal, they make the day so much better. Sounds like a busy day!

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