Archive for January 14th, 2014

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

My One Little Word for 2014 is Open. (See my poem about it here.) On Saturday, I was required to be Open to a new idea. I attended Acadiana Wordlab. This week the presenter was Bonny McDonald. Bonny is a PhD. candidate in LSU’s performance studies program. I got the feeling we were guinea pigs. She led us in many weird movement exercises, all new to me. At first we did something she called flocking where we walked the expanse of the room “filling up the empty spaces.” We walked in a variety of unusual ways, such as with your right elbow leading.


All the while I was making strange and new movements with my body, I was thinking about my students and how we rarely get up and move. I wanted to transfer this energizing experience to my classroom. On Monday morning, I told my students we were going to do “Bonny’s weird word association dance.” For this activity, you must think of a word (one you love or one you hate). Say the word and pay attention to what movement your mouth makes. Mimic this movement in a whole body movement. Then flock around the room saying your word and making your movement. OK, yes, we all got a little silly. Then we sat down to write free associations of our chosen word. Following a quick share, I asked my students to spend a little more time with their words and compose a poem. They will be posting this exercise (if they choose) on our kidblog site. If I get permission, I may post some of them for Poetry Friday.

Back to the word Open. When I made the movement I associated with my word, I was surprised by the closed-ness of the ending. O is very open, and my arms wrapped an O shape in the air, but then the ending closed in a clasping of my hands together. I begin with being open, but I must come back to myself and hold it in. Here is my free association with the word Open:

Ginger blossom
Fly in space
Up on my roof
Space stars
Mint leaves in my tea.
Fill my cup to the top.
Open parachute — jump
down! Catch me
little star gently
on soft petals of iris.
Fields open to me as
I walk in space to the place
where I am meant to be.
Let’s sit here a while, you and me.
–Margaret Simon

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