Slice of Life Tuesday: So far away and so close by

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers 

On Saturday morning I unloaded four book bags from my van and hauled them up to my office.  I made neat piles, fixed myself a cup of coffee, and then got to work.


It was slow going. Every once in a while I glanced out of the window and took in the same old view of a dreary winter day in New Jersey.  A neighbor’s cat sauntered onto our patio and paused for a bit to clean his paws and survey the scene. With not a bird or squirrel in sight to provide entertainment, even he looked bored.  Turning back to my journals, I heard my phone  “ping” – incoming message! It was my daughter, Elizabeth, first a photograph:

and then a message: “I’m in a cafe right now, working on my paper. Sooo cool…It was a big folk place back in the 60’s and 70’s. Bob Dylan played here! I so hope you can come so that I can show you all these places I’ve discovered!”  My mind wandered to this wonderful looking place somewhere in London. I could just picture Elizabeth, all her books and papers spread out on a big, pub-like table, having her coffee, too, and working away.  Just like I was.  So…I went back to it.
Within the hour, my phone “pinged” again.  This time it was my son Ben, finally responding to a text message I had sent early that morning asking how he was.  In typical Ben fashion, the message was succinct and to the point: “Great!”  Followed by the reason why:

So there he was, hiking somewhere in the Marin headlands above San Francisco – and I could momentarily feel a part of his life as well.  
How strange to be so far apart and yet so connected. Strange, and beautiful, too.

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14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: So far away and so close by

  1. What a wonderful piece of multimodal writing… we had wonderful text that can stand on its own, but with the photos…wow! We are so there. I was thinking too as I have been listening to the Bill Gates approach to ed reform in contrast to Chris Lehman, how do we include the work you've done for you students as you gave up your Saturday to do justice to their efforts. Measurement is just so narrow and simplistic, don't you think?

  2. Thank you for sharing your "ping" moments. I am so thankful for iPhones for that specific reason because we're so far apart but I always feel connected. As for your Saturday morning, again we were on the same page as I brought home my students readers' NB to read their thoughts about Wonder such a valuable time to connect with our students.

  3. I felt the anticipation when your phone went 'ping'. I am far away from two of my children, but technology is such a blessing. I think today I would love to be hiking, but it is such a tough choice…love the cafe too. It is amazing that with technology we can virtually be in both places ! XO

  4. Being connected to your children, being part of their lives, through technology – gives your heart and mind peace to focus on your students' work and being connected to their lives. Alone, yet not alone.

  5. Thank goodness for technology that allows us to stay in touch when the miles are so far! I loved this glimpse into your Saturday, especially when I can put it into the context of what I was doing on that day too.

  6. What a wonderful post on so many levels. You were working (as a teacher) and it was Saturday!!!!!! Yet, you were trying to connect and be a mom at the same time! So many challenges for teachers and moms as we try to connect with them all – all the time. your post made me think of / remember responding to journals at HS baseball games and grading papers at college football games. We have multiple intersecting identies…..but our teacher-roles take lots of time – to do it right!

  7. Such a simple Saturday, but with a powerful message. Connections and relationships. And maybe, a reminder that upgrading to a smart phone could bring more joys to my Saturdays:-)

  8. I love that in this day and age we can get pictures and texts so quickly and be transformed to another place. My daughter is in Chicago, so I've gotten some cold looking snow scenes. And there are always the pet pictures of my grand-pets. Thanks for sharing! I came by to check on the status of Poetry Friday and seeing that you are in New Jersey, I'm now wondering if you will be posting due to the blizzard. I'll check back in the morning. Stay warm and safe!

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