Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Slice of Life: Pay attention to the big picture!

Every Tuesday,  the inspirational writers of Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

Next week is my vacation week, and for a few months, my daughters and I have been planning out how we are going to have one daughter, a senior, revisit colleges, while another daughter, a junior, visits some schools for the first time. I concocted an elaborate scheme where Clare and I would fly to Atlanta, rent a car, and fly north. Meanwhile, my husband and Julia would head to Virginia, then meet Clare and I in Pennsylvania, give us the car, and get on a plane to go to Emory. They'd fly home, and I'd pick them up. (Are you paying attention to the verb tense? You should be.)

Yesterday, I put up all the games and matches on the family whiteboard. "I can't believe how many games and matches you have over vacation," I said. "There usually aren't any."

"Coach said there were no matches at all over break," Clare said. 

Julia wrinkled her brow. "Mom, we're not off next week. We're off the following week."

She started to laugh. Clare started to laugh too. I started to sweat.

In eight years, our two towns have never had a different April vacation, but somehow, I missed a key detail. We do NOT have the same vacation weeks this year. Yep, we have to have the same vacation in order to figure out the flight details and the rendezvous time frames. 

I share this story because it's funny and it illustrates the mistakes we all make, but also, I got really used to making educational connections last month during the Slice of Life Challenge. How many times do we teach all sorts of details, all sorts of strategy lessons, all sorts of revision and editing skills, but students haven't made the connection of the overall purpose of the unit or the writing piece? It's always important to establish the big picture before spending too much time on the details. 

For me, the good news is the flights were cheap, and I now have a week to catch up on life, which I could actually use. Julia will still make it to revisit schools. And Clare? We'll figure out another week to take a college road trip. 

Happy Slicing,


  1. I hate it when that happens! Actually I hate both when I suddenly realize that I haven't connected the dots and my plan is a major fail, but also when my kids, husband, and I had different spring breaks. I'm glad you've gotten it under control!

  2. Still laughing ... sounds like my life!!! Glad you could laugh it off and make an educational connection. We are all moving so fast... it is hard to slow down to actually see the big picture. Enjoy the week. Also ....first time I am noticing your daughter has the same name and SPELLING as me. I do not know many with our spelling!!!

  3. It's got to be hard keeping track of so many schedules. I don't know how you do it.

    That said, this reminded me of your flight issue last year when Larkin had the flight debacle back from DTW. This proves that, like the rest of us, you are only human.

    BTW: Let me know if you'll be in my part of PA. would love to see you.

  4. It's probably a good thing that you ended up having to cancel the craziness of this schedule -- it was making me dizzy trying to keep track of who was going where, when. I'm glad you could have a good laugh about it. Enjoy your week "off!"

  5. Yup, those tiny details will get you every time. Thanks for the chuckle and glad to know that it's not just me.

  6. You made me laugh - I showed up for a PT appt this morning. They said, "Sorry, you're not on the schedule for today." Yep, supposed to be on Thursday, and the time was different too! I'm blaming it on my phone and the doggone rolling calendar! A week to catch up on life sounds great! Enjoy your found vacation.

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