Fun: Alphabiographies!

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Each year my intermediate students, who are primarily 7th graders, do a project for me where use 20 of the 26 letters in the alphabet to title topics about which they wish to write. They think about events, people, relationships, character qualities. You name it. They write about it.

To give them an idea about how to approach the topic I wrote a few for them in class while they watched it show up on the screen. At the end of each entry the students write a LIFE LESSON (main idea). I included one as well.

This is one of my alphabiographies!

L is for LaVilla

LaVilla. The first experience I had with the school was when I heard about an Arts magnet. My kids were both artistic in different ways and I thought I should get them into an elementary school that would feed into LaVilla. I knew their academics would be strong, that they would be good students. However, I also wanted them to have the opportunity to shine in other areas: hence, the arts. My youngest son loved to draw. My oldest son loved music. I hoped LaVilla would be a special place for them in middle school. Middle school is so hard in so many ways.

And they did. Both my boys went to Lavilla, but who knew that I would have the opportunity to teach at their former school, especially AFTER they were gone. The timing was good. They didn’t have to worry about being “Mrs. Lemine’s kids!” Well, the first two years I didn’t do a whole lot. I was what the administration called, “An Artist in Residence.” I helped in Creative Writing and learned the ropes from the teachers there.

And the day came, last year, when I had my OWN classes for the first time! I was excited. Now instead of only 2 kids, I had almost 100 and we got to spend time together writing.

Most mornings when I get for work, I don’t think of it as such. I think, “Wow, I get paid to be with these great young people who have lots to say and I get to help them be even better communicators.”

That’s what LaVilla means to me.

LIFE LESSON: Sometimes when you make choices for others’ best interests, they become important in your life as well.

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Fun: Musical Memories

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This soundtrack started it all.

It all started today when my husband received a TV show soundtack CD in the mail. He’s a sci fi guy so when I saw Battlestar Galatica I was just glad it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong. I like soundtracks – especially from movies.

Next I know we’re talking about them and I tell him my latest idea: to play the Pirates of the Caribbean theme in my middle school writing classes. “The only hitch,” I told him, “is that students will be required to NOT include anything of a pirate nature while writing!”

He gave me a “that should really be fun (not)” look while smiling sweetly.

“Maybe I’ll pick other movie soundtracks – even from old Disney films – from when I was a kid,” I suggested. “They really should hear some of different music styles.”

“Like The Million Dollar Duck?” he asked.

My first date was to see this great movie. I was in 2nd grade.

Ahhhh. The Million Dollar Duck.

My thoughts raced back to Roanoke, Virginia and my very first date. Paul Whitescarver. Paul lived down the street from me. He was a good friend and he asked me to go with him to see The Million Dollar Duck. Each time my mom tells the story – in between bouts of laughter – she says I was so excited that I planned to wear not only a dress, but gloves as well.

Don’t blame me. I was in second grade!

And yes, Paul’s mom drove and accompanied us.

“Girls today think they have the corner market on the whole vampire thing with Twilight,” I told my husband. “Heck, on Friday afternoons after school, Paul and I watched a scary TV show in the basement of his house (and yes, his mother was there!) It was Dark Shadows.

“And then, there was the Christmas that Paul received a science kit. It had a microscope, real glass slides and sharp instruments. I even let him poke my finger so we could look at my blood under the scope!”

Oh, to be in second grade again (not!)

Funny how music makes me reminisce.

Then I fast-forwarded to 6th grade. I was now living in Tucker, Georgia, which is northeast of Atlanta. I was a proud member of The

You should be glad I don't have a picture of me in my drill team costume. Just think about how great the music is. That won't spoil it.

Rolling Bones Drill Team at Brockett Elementary School. We had custom made (by our moms) uniforms and white, knee high go-go boots. My debut in the performing world was our entry into a monthly Parent-Teacher Association meeting (PTA) – to the music of Hawaii Five-O.

Today, my husband and I watch a remake of the show.

Those TV and movie themes. What memories.

Just wondering: What musical memories do you have?