15 on the Fives, no. 4


C-Loo begins her chemo treatments today. This has been a fast and furious change of events for her and for the entire family, as this cancer is much more aggressive than the lymphoma she had in 1990. She lives in Orlando, and here I am in Baltimore.

When she battled cancer the first time, I was able to move in with her and help her handle the boys (they were so young, then) and just be there for support and for love. I can’t do that now. I’ve got my own family now, and the distance is too great to just drive down route 29 and be at her doorstep an hour later.

Still, it makes no sense to not be with her in every other capacity. And, I plan on making a trip down to see her before the end of July. I just want to be with her.

My colleague C and I will be planning curriculum all morning. We’re both teaching English 12 Honors next year, and we are de-and then re-constructing our existing curriculum to better prepare students for the AP exam.

Now, anybody who knows me is fully aware that I am not a teach-to-the-test kind of guy. But this reading apprenticeship program that C has turned me on to is so valuable, and it is the perfect setup for the AP exams. So….why not? I’ve always said that the goal of my teaching is to lead the students to a path of autonomous, lifelong learning, and they should be able to apply these skills to tests like the AP, SAT, and others without too much thought.

I think that’s the real goal in preparing students for college and beyond. If they are aware of their learning styles and know how to apply them in any given situation, then there really isn’t an evaluation that they can’t face without a certain degree of confidence.

After that, it’s home to celebrate HG’s 10th birthday. Double digits. I can’t believe it. She’s acted this age for so, so long, though, so it seems more of a ceremonial rite of passage than anything else. Happy Birthday, HG…I love you!

An interesting thing about HG’s birthday. A friend of hers tried to have a party, but another, more popular student scheduled a party on the same day. No surprise: everybody wanted to go to the more popular girl’s party, and the other girl was left with nobody attending her party (some even cancelled to go to the other party). Well, the girl rescheduled her party, but it’s tonight, on Holland’s birthday.

HG felt so bad about this girl’s situation that she chose to attend this party in lieu of celebrating her own birthday at home this evening. So, we’ll be celebrating from 2 to 7 at home, and then driving her over to her friend’s house till about 10.

Pretty mature decision for a pre-teen (her term, by the way), in my opinion.

Like I said, HG: WE LOVE YOU. 🙂


A note to my readers: 15 on the Fives is posted twice-daily at 5:16 a.m. and 5:16 p.m. These entries are what I call “vomit” or discovery drafts, where I write uninhibited for 15 minutes. There are no rules about topics, content, form, grammar, or spelling. The only rule is that I don’t stop writing. By following this one rule, I almost always discover something new in my writing, and more often than not, I find a seed or two for future pieces I feel I can take to publication. Give it a whirl; there’s nothing to lose (but 15 minutes, of course!).