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Ralph Fletcher Writing Workshop Sesson

January 10, 2015

Today in this great workshop, we were discussing how much structures help us begin writing…not because we need to copy, but because we sometimes need those mentor texts to get ideas from. Ralph showed us a poem he’d written about his childhood and asked us to write our own. It began, “Sometimes I remember the good old days…” As I sat there in the banked lecture hall, balancing my notebook on my designed-for-right-handers desk just like in college, in an audience of teachers, with winter sunshine pouring in the tall windows set in the ivy-covered walls of Jordan Hall, I wrote this:

Sometimes I remember the good old days
Thirty pairs of expectant eyes watching me start class
Praying I have something to give them that will be both fun and life-changing

Murmur of voices talking about stories
Scratch of over-sharpened pencils skimming across lined pages on scarred desks

Snow falls outside and I walk gently through the aisles
Soaking in the quiet satisfaction of being a teacher

Stopping to read and talk and hug
Letting them creep into and take over my heart

I still can’t imagine anything better than that.

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