Day 1 of the Slice of Life Challenge. Nervousness? Yes. Trepidation? Yes. Why so worried? After all isn't writing just taking 26 letters and forming words and ideas? Sounds easy-- but why does it seem so hard to think of doing this every day for a month. There's something different about that, isn't it? That's why I like the title, Slice of LIfe CHALLENGE. A challenge is just that, kind of like a double dog dare, and I love challenges.
Another major reason I am going to try this challenge is because of the encouragement of my daughter, Jennifer, who is a third-year veteran of the challenge. She is a beautiful writer, teacher, daughter, and wife, who passionately and positively enjoys life. I love reading her blogs, and it has given us many additional opportunities to connect and converse.
This summer she also encouraged me to be a blogger, and that was a major step for me. I have always loved writing and reading, having spent half of my educational career as a middle and high school language arts teacher. A Caulkins reading and writing disciple, I loved reading and writing with my students, especially the ones who when they entered my class room had already decided they hated reading and writing. What a joy it was to see them find something they loved about reading and writing!
Now as a high school principal for 14 years, I have always continued to foster my love of reading, but writing has taken a back seat to 27 varsity sports, 150 staff members and 1415 students. Although my limited career in blogging since the summer has not been as prolific as I would have liked, it has rekindled my desire and love of writing also. And so the Challenge will really be a challenge for someone who has only produced the average of about one blog post per month, little alone one blog post per day.
I read a wonderful article in today's Columbus Dispatch about a woman who at age 64 had initiated a new tradition on her birthday every year the past few years. However old she is, she engages in that many new things in that year. This year her goal is to try 64 new things.
I really like this idea, and so perhaps in addition to being caught up in my daughter's enthusiasm and love for this project, I am also intrigued to add this to my own personal goal of continuing to try as many new things as possible.
In addition, I also believe and hope that this Challenge will provide an opportunity for introspection and self-awakening. I love learning, and I hope I will learn from the other writers, with the other writers, and also learn a great deal about myself. Self-reflective by nature, I don't always take time or believe I have time to pause, think and write. I am hoping that by engaging in this Challenge, it will provide the structure and motivation to engage in the metacognition that we encourage our students to do.
And so it begins. What will I think about it at the end of March? I don't know but I am excited to try. What will I write? "Aye there's the rub," as Hamlet would say. I love quotes, and I love poetry and I imagine I will include some of my favorites of those. I love motivational books, and I would imagine those will also come to play. And I am a high school principal, and for those of you in education, you know how varied a day in a high school can be. Oh-- we could write a book . . .
And so, just like that-- Day 1. I've done it! Why such trepidation? It's only 26 letters in different combinations, isn't it? Wasn't it Maya Angelou who said, "Nothing will work unless you do." Let the Challenge begin!