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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slide1

Magnolia, magnolia
Open
My one little word
finds me;
open your eyes
to your own heart;
listen
to what she loves.

I painted a magnolia
in cadmium blue and crimson red.
Do you see the red and blue?
To make good art,
first you must see.

I saw the perfect magnolia
hanging in my neighbor’s tree,
the one ravaged by a hurricane,
yet today,this tree sings
its magnolia hymn to heaven.

Now I see, magnolia to magnolia,
critical eye turned off,
yes, beauty, art.
Make this art.
Who cares about appreciation,
glorification, success (whatever that means),
just create.

I see magnolia to magnolia–happiness.
This is all I need.

–Margaret Simon, written at Acadiana Wordlab May 17, 2014

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Discover. Play. Build.

This was my last week with my students for this school year. I always get reflective at this time of year, wondering if I’ve done enough for my students. So yesterday, our last day together, I asked them to write me a letter. I asked 1. What do you remember about our school year? 2. What was your favorite activity? and 3. What was your greatest lesson? For the most part, I was touched by their letters. I just want to share a few quotes and celebrate them.

This year we got to meet Caroline Starr Rose and Greg Pincus! We went to Mississippi! We saw a haunted house! But most of all, we bonded like a family. That was my favorite activity. My greatest lesson is that you don’t have to be famous, or super smart, or handsome, or even popular to be loved. Matthew

My greatest lesson I’ve learned from being here is to not be afraid to make mistakes as a writer and in life. Mistakes will help you to become a better person. No one is perfect and sometimes all of us forget that. Brooklyn

My students finished their poetry projects. They made altered books out of discarded books. They illustrated and glued in their own poems and some favorite poems by other authors. Vannisa put in a collection of some her favorites from the school year, a bookmark from Margarita Engle, A bookmark from Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, and “Keep Calm and Write Poetry.”

Vannisa's poetry book

Brooklyn's poetry book cover.  Gotta Love Poetry!

Brooklyn’s poetry book cover. Gotta Love Poetry!


Today, I am also celebrating magnolias. They are in full bloom, our state flower, and I went to a watercolor workshop this morning and painted one. I am posting a picture of a real one from my neighbor’s yard and the one I painted. Wish I could also post the scent.

Watercolor magnolia by Margaret Simon.

Watercolor magnolia by Margaret Simon.

Magnolia, the Louisiana state flower.

Magnolia, the Louisiana state flower.

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