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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Celebration time is just around the corner. It’s moving in quickly with the cold front.  My dining table is full of gifts and wrapping paper.  Soon the gifts will be under the tree and my dining table will be clean and ready for family to gather.  How will I ever get it all done?  I ask myself this question every year, and every year, I manage to be ready for the celebration.

In our classrooms, the students are anxious and antsy.  They have more difficultly focusing.  When my colleagues and I began planning a field trip for December 16th, I thought we were nuts to do it so close to Christmas break when the weather (literally and figuratively) changes daily.  It turned out to be the perfect time.

On Friday, the weather was cool but not cold, cloudy but not raining as we set out at 6:30 AM on a charter bus heading to St. Francisville, Louisiana to the Myrtles Plantation, one of the top haunted mansions in the US.  The stories of the “little spirits” both intrigued and frightened my students.  I have to admit I was a little unsettled when I heard ticking coming from the old desk I was standing next to.

Our next stop was the cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church.  This cemetery is a beautiful place with draping oaks and old graves.  Our students made gravestone rubbings that we will later use for a research/writing project.

Gravestone rubbings at Grace Episcopal Cemetery, St. Francisville, LA.

Gravestone rubbings at Grace Episcopal Cemetery, St. Francisville, LA.

Grace Episcopal Cemetery

Grace Episcopal Cemetery

Taking students outside the classroom is an effort in planning, making reservations, arranging payment, yet every time we do it, I realize how important it is to get us outside and into the world. We traveled northeast to Natchez, MS. to visit the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, run the mounds, and learn about the ways of the original Americans. We walked the old Natchez Trace and visited an old inn.

Indian mounds at the Grand Village, Natchez, MS.

Indian mounds at the Grand Village, Natchez, MS.

Walking the old Natchez Trace.

Walking the old Natchez Trace.

When we return from our winter break, we will revisit this field trip and turn our learning experience into digital posts and presentations. But, for now, I celebrate the opportunity to take students out of the classroom and into an earlier time and place to learn and play together.

I will be taking a holiday break from DigiLitSunday. Come back on January 8th.

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

 

E Roosevelt quote

 

Teenagers are in the midst of brain development, and sometimes that part that says “This is dangerous” doesn’t work as well as it does in adults.  My sister knows this and embraces it.  My niece, Taylor, wanted to pose a photo shoot on an old historical road near my parents’ home in Mississippi.

I said, “How do you take a picture on a road without getting hit by a car?”

Taylor responded with complete confidence, “You wait until there are no cars.  Then you run out into the street and snap a picture.  It’s exhilarating!”

I actually think my sister is a brilliant mother.  She encourages this dangerous behavior.  She told me outside of Taylor’s earshot, “If that’s the most dangerous thing she wants to do, and she chooses to do it with me, I’m all in!”

I had to admit I wanted to be a part of it, too.  So we set out to find Old Agency Rd.  Luckily, a high school is located on the same road, so we found a safe place to park.

Old Agency Rd. sign

Traffic was light, so we got out and hiked through the brush on the side of the road.

 

Old Agency Rd. 1

Taylor has a GoPro camera that she used to take her road selfie.  The rest of us were on lookout duty.

Taylor road 2

A nice young mother-type stopped her SUV next to me and rolled down her window.  She wanted to warn me about the dangers of this road.  “I’ve seen many cars run off the road.  I live around here.  You could get hit in seconds.”

“I know, we know.”  I explained my niece’s idea and that we wouldn’t be long.  She felt compelled to tell us.  I understand.  I’m a mother, too.

We survived.  Taylor got her shot.  And we did something that scared us that day.  Actually, it was just. plain. fun.

Taylor Road pic

Seize the day!

 

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