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Harry Potter Classroom

Why couldn’t my teachers be this epic?

There’s a middle school teacher who decorated his classroom into a “Harry Potter wonderland” for his incoming students. Having that dedication to a book series is just amazing, but to share that passion with students is wonderful.

Most of the decorations seem to be trinkets that the teacher had for years since he was a teen himself and reading the books, so it wasn’t that pricey for him to splurge on decorations. It’s incredibly heartwarming to me for a book series to touch someone enough to want to share that with others, especially students. It shows his passion for not only Harry Potter but for reading in general, and his decorating skills are going to forge such a special connection with his students that I’m a little envious about. I can only hope that the teacher’s passion will shine through enough to inspire the students to show their passion about something just as much.

Here’s to everyone who has that special book or series or television show or song that they can gush about just enough to bond with another!

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Home

 

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Best Writing Advice

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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Home

 

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A Good Pace

One of our friends works in a school system that was looking for runners for the SAT testing. You know, those people that collect the attendance and give the proctors breaks and all that jazz. Figured we may as well volunteer and get a little extra spending money for our time, right?

I started remembering the time that I took my SATs nearly ten years ago. One of my friends was freaking out before the test and was totally fine afterwards, while another friend was cool and collected before the test, then started worrying when it was over. The pair spoke of how they studied the night before for this completely randomized comprehensive test while I stood there thinking about how I had spent my time playing video games with Rachel.

In all honesty, at that point in my school career, I had already made the decision to at least start out my college years at a community college, which didn’t factor in the SATs. Tests never tended to worry me, and I brought that same approach to the SATs, despite how important they are.

Thinking back on it, I bring the same approach to my writing. While I do stress about my progress sometimes, especially when working around my day job, I tend to be relaxed about it. After all, writing is supposed to be a fun, creative outlet, and it is so deliciously satisfying when all the words start to come together.

While being too lax can bring complications, I think it’s important to be a bit chill in life. Once you find a good pace that allows you to make progress without stressing you out, stick with it.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Home

 

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Right Direction

I first started writing actual stories when I was probably about thirteen or fourteen. It was in a green-covered composition notebook with an extremely cringe-worthy The Legend of Zelda fanfiction. I still have the notebook, having continued writing in it a few years ago when I realized it was only half-full. Little fanfiction-y snippets are still what fill my composition notebooks and journals, small stories that help me wind down at the end of the night and satisfy my need to mold those certain universes to my liking.

Back then, writing was just something fun to let my imagination run wild. I was around the age where high school teachers were drilling overwhelming college information into our brains.

Take those SATs. Get those essays ready. Join half a dozen clubs so your college applications will shine. All the while, make sure you’re well-rested for the school day with all of your backbreaking homework complete.

I always did very well in school, and many friends (and family) thought it was a given that I would go to a university for a nice degree. At that point, though, I was aware of the fact that I’d just started driving — how the hell was I supposed to know what to do with the rest of my life?

Not only that, but the economy wasn’t kind to my generation — jobs were scarce for college graduates and I wasn’t keen on paying tens of thousands of dollars for a degree. I opted to focus on working, earning skills (and thick skin) in the world of retail, while going to a nearby community college for my Associate’s.

I changed my major a couple of times while at that community college, from computer science and information technology to computer forensics to add in a bit of criminal justice. My interests were all over the place, and they refused to be pinned down.

I suppose it didn’t help that I’m not the type to enjoy a classroom setting. I enjoy learning, but on my own time, researching what I wanted to know and getting hands-on experience rather than sitting at a desk staring at a textbook. I wrote more and more on my own time to escape the classroom drudgery.

One day I started drafting up an original novel, a first for me. I think it was that point that the idea of being a writer took root in my mind.

Since then, I’ve been trying to focus on pursuing what would make me happy. I switched jobs from a clothing store to a day camp for dogs to get my puppy-fix for a while before being able to take a year off to determine what creative pursuits I wanted out of life.

I have a great government job now that’ll pay the bills with a steady schedule to allow me to continue going after writing and gaming and puppy-sitting. After floundering around and getting lost on detours for a while, I’m finally taking a step in the right direction for my life.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in Home

 

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Sunday Scribble – “Fall”

The names George and Lilah were randomly borrowed from one of Rachel’s current WIPs.

Fall

No one wanted to be awake at this time, not even super-powered teens. Not that Roy could blame them – it took him an embarrassingly long time to get used to the early morning school schedule, too.

“Where’s Lilah?” Roy asked, his eyes gazing from the empty seat to the rest of the class, trying to pinpoint someone who would answer him.

“I saw her at breakfast,” George offered. Roy thanked him, certain that if Roy had been a student with George, he’d be irritated at George’s goody-two-shoes behavior. As a teacher, though, Roy knew he could depend on George for information.

“So, she didn’t sleep through her alarm,” Roy muttered, looking at the clock on the wall above the door. He marked Lilah as absent. “Well, she can deal with Ms. Parker later, then.”

Out of his peripheral vision, Roy saw a few students fidget and he tried not to smirk. Sierra Parker, while he was used to her now, had always been a little frightening with her stern expressions and powerful electric-based abilities.

“So.” Roy snapped the attendance book shut. “Who wants to summarize section four of chapter one?” No one volunteered. Roy continued in a drawl, “You know, from your homework last night…?”

Unsurprisingly to Roy, George eventually raised his hand and began summarizing. While George was in the middle of speaking, a sudden gale of laughter soared through the open window, capturing everyone’s attention, including Roy’s. In fact, Roy was one of the first to look out the window.

There was Willow with her morning biology class, the group gathered around one of the estate’s many deciduous trees. A student was using her wind powers to make the leaves swirl in a flurry of red, orange, and yellow.

Wait…

Roy cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “Wrong class, Lilah!”

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago I was a sophomore in high school and had been one of twenty (or so) students who won the school’s annual essay contest. Being picked meant that you would get the opportunity to follow around and be a city official for the day.

As a student back then, no one really wanted to “win.” The majority of us weren’t too concerned with politics and government just yet, but we understood it was a great opportunity. We would have just preferred for someone else to get that opportunity.

Aside from missing classes and the student government day dinner that night taking over the time that I would have spent doing homework (I remember being grouchy about how late I was up trying to catch up on the work), it wasn’t a bad day at all. Since the police chief himself was away, I hung out with the police captain and then the head detective let me practice in the shooting range. I signed a document that allowed the officers to change their shirt colors for a day, and they gave me a little badge and t-shirt during the dinner that night.

I’m not sure if ironic is the right word to use when one considers that I am a city worker now.

Back then, though, I remember when my English teacher called myself and another student up to his desk to inform us that he was submitting our essays for the contest. I had balked at the idea considering that I did not try very hard at all on my essay, with my sarcasm shining through on sections of it. My teacher apparently loved it and, lo and behold, I was a winner.

Although I had dabbled in writing even ten years ago, most if not all of which was fanfiction for my beloved video games, being a writer wasn’t something that really crossed my mind. Teachers had always enjoyed my writing, if my mother’s recollection of my elementary teachers is anything to go by, and the thought of actually doing something with writing took root in my mind and continued to grow.

My eleventh grade English teacher point-blank told me that I should be writing for the school newspaper after reading a creative writing assignment. In my senior year, my teacher praised how real my writing was for a personal essay assignment.

Throughout the school years, students learn all about the technical rules of writing, but my best grades came from ignoring them and writing like me. My best grades, my best writing, came from using my own voice.

And I think that’s how all writers should write.

What about you? Where were you in your writing ten years ago?

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Home

 

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Of Diaries and Journals

In my last year of high school, one of my good friends had gifted me with a notebook.

The notebook was light blue in color and featured a simple little cat with a fish. The cat (and, subsequently, the notebook) was fondly called, “Jeffury,” and it was always with me for the rest of the school year where I scribbled in it during every free moment I had. For the next few years, the name Jeffury was attached to every journal I had written in.

These journals consisted of stories, fanfiction and original, and just everyday rambles about school, work, family. I would always find the time to write in them while in school, both high school and during college.

However, when I left college behind, so too did I seem to leave journal writing. Jeffury VI has been half full for years now. I’ve continued writing, of course, both typing and longhand, but for some reason, writing journal-style has become lost to me.

I wonder, has anyone else simply grown out of certain ways or styles of writing? We all improve the more we practice and write, of course, but to see how one’s style changed like evokes both awe and a bittersweet nostalgia. I have bins full of notebooks, some full, some empty, some in varying degrees of in between. It’s always nice to take the time every once in a while to relax and write longhand, isn’t it?

How about you? What do your notebooks look like?

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in Home

 

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