Friday, November 11, 2011

11 Things

Today is the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year in the century.  Kinda special day today, at least for those mathematically sentimental.  To mark the day, the Friday writing prompt for my class was to make a list of 11 things they are thankful for, telling why they are thankful for each.  It was really surprising to me how the kids struggled to get their lists going!  Many were easily able to list the basics - family, friends, pets, but after that?

The flag that waves to everyone
as they arrive at my school.
Only after our morning discussion, where we talked about the double importance of today - being not only 11/11/11, but also being Veterans Day, a day where we pause to remember and those that fought for our country... being thankful for those that protect what we are so grateful for... Well, after that discussion, it was if their brains unlocked, and I was blown away by their thoughtful thankful lists.  They, once again, showed me that there is nothing like the mind of a child - innocent, naive, yet incredibly observant.

Since I asked my students to celebrate the day with a list of 11 things, I decided to do the same.  So, in no particular order... my list.

1.  My friends.  I might not have a lot of them, but each and every one of them brightens my life.
2.  Technology.  Corny, yes, but thanks to technological wonders, I have learned much, met many, and gained an endless amount of learning that will never run out.  Nor will the joy of digital photography, carrying a computer in my pocket, connecting face to face with those thousands of miles away....
3.  My job.  I love my job.  I love what I do.  I love where I work.  I love who I work with.
4.  Life's challenges.  What doesn't kill me just makes me stronger.  Challenges also help me remember to appreciate the good "stuff" more.
5.  My family.  They've taught me a lot - some great "how to" lessons as well as many "how NOT to" lessons.
6.  Children.  There is nothing more rewarding than watching a child learn, grow, and explore their world on their journey...
7.  Mother Nature.  Her gifts are endless - from the sunrises to the clouds, from the ocean waves to the crunchy autumn leaves... She never ceases to amaze me.
8.  Chocolate.  Life is usually a little easier to handle when it's covered in chocolate.
9.  Peace.  No explanation needed.
10.  Books.  Whether on a kindle or an iPad, or (my personal preference) a good old fashioned page turner, books, like the internet, have opened my eyes to a world of possibilities.  With books in my life, I am never, ever bored.
11.  Hope.  It is because of the hope for a better tomorrow that I often keep going...

"We often take for granted the very things that 
most deserve our gratitude." -- Cynthia Ozick

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