#SOLSC21: Depending on when you met me

I’ve returned to this invitation three times, so it literally is time to act. Leigh Ann Eck issued an invitation to a party with an ID required here and in Margaret’s post here. This is my fourth draft. I’m not ready to call it a final copy yet.

Depending on when you met me, I might have been: that kindergarten student hiding in the classroom during reading class as I devoured the books; that first grade student who read all the books on the single first grade shelf who wasn’t allowed to read books from other shelves; that first grade artist with a purple sky, red sun, and green and purple blooming flowers who watched her teacher tear up her paper, that third grade student who recopied her “When I Grow Up” story in red ink so the teacher could not red ink the page, that middle school reader who read Alcott, Hemingway, Henry James, and Tolstoy (to name a few) as I read my way alphabetically through the fiction stacks, that sophomore in high school who wrote “To Wear or Not to Wear” to question the school dress code; that college student who questioned authority and arbitrary rules; that special ed teacher who questioned rule exceptions that had 28 students in my resource room program (limit was 18); or that adult who continues to ask WHY?

Draft # 1 As I read it for at least the tenth time, I reflected again on the job roles that were a great portion of the list. I felt it lacked “interest” and any real coherence for the reader (Boring list) or the writer (icky list)!

Depending on when you met me I might have been: a middle child, a child with her nose in a book, an egg gatherer, a tree waterer, a bike rider, a knitter, a teacher of religion classes, a cousin, a bass player, an international traveler, a student desperately trying to fit in balancing school and work, and work, and work, a transfer student, a marching band afficiando, a teacher, a researcher, an inquisitive soul who craved deeper understanding, a cross stitcher, a professional development provider, a teacher, a college instructor, a mom a learner, a principal, a consultant, a speaker, a listener, a writer, a grandmother, and a quilter.

Which version did you prefer and why?

When and where do you share writing drafts and finished product? How do you model revisions for your students?

_______________________________________________________________________________ Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March. Check out the writers and readers here.
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25 responses

  1. I’m glad you included both drafts. They each reveal something different about you. Your reading life shows your strong will and intelligence. I admire this. I was not a strong reader growing up and I hesitate to reveal that because most of the people I admire were and are strong readers. There, I said it. Thanks for sharing.
    FYI: The link to this post didn’t work. I had to go to your blog home page to find it.

    1. Ah, but Margaret, I was never a strong writer. And as a reader, I spent decades as a plot junkie! It was never about deep thinking . . . more about wide reading! ❤

    2. Margaret, it takes courage to say, “I was not a strong reader growing up.” We’re told to show our vulnerability as educators, but when we do the reaction can be cruel. I bet your reading experiences have made you a more empathetic teacher.

      1. So very true, Glenda!

  2. I love the ref ink memory in your “final,” not so final version. I also love reading the specific authors you read and your sharing your rebellious side. The first draft leaves us asking more about each item. The second is more fully developed in terms of a few items but also suggests lots is missing. Really, the identification could go on and on. It’s a writer’s choice.

    1. Definitely a writer’s choice and yes, my rebellious, nonconformist side was revealed!

  3. I have been contemplating this invitation myself. I agree with Margaret that each draft reveals something different about you. I appreciate the detail of the reading draft in knowing a bit about your reading life. I see your academic journey and strong stance to make sense of the world. The other draft really gives me a picture of who you are and the many hats you wear. I honestly like them both. One seems like a magnifying glass and the other a panoramic photograph.

    1. Cathy, I felt like the final was more focused and the first was too listy but I like your “One seems like a magnifying glass and the other a panoramic photograph.”

  4. Our drafts reveal so much about it as writers. It this case, you reveal your writing and so much more about who you are. A wonderful exercise. I’m tucking it away for future.

    1. Thanks, Susan. So much is found in what we say and what we leave out in the revisions!

  5. The first one had details that made me laugh and shake my head, thinking – that’s Fran! I would add a friend, a person you can always count on, a person who takes on a challenge with a smile … so glad I met you.

    1. I am so glad that you found me in that draft. Not shocking that I would question so many things in life! LOL

      I’m still working on the fluidity of a reader/writer identity. How much does it shift during the year? Across years? Across decades?

  6. I did enjoy the first draft that spoke of writing with red ink so the teacher could not red ink your piece and the purple and green flowers and red sun with purple sky. Your courage to be different – be yourself. and your love for reading. But I loved the second list and learned more about you there. So both pieces were helpful – almost like a picture book with words and pictures to tell the story. I loved reading and thinking about both pieces. Love the revision work!

    1. Thanks, Lynne. I’m still comparing the eight more detailed and literacy-focused in the first to the list of 27 in the second. Hmm. In some instances, more is better and perhaps a list is not always bad.

  7. I get a sense of professional growth in you first draft whereas the second draft gives a more rounded picture of your likes and interests. Two parts of the same person – me the learner and me the individual.

  8. Leigh Anne Eck | Reply

    Welcome to the party! Both drafts are so different but also wonderful. The first one says more about your strong personality – the red ink! Love that! And dress code questioner! And of course always asking why! Thanks for joining and sharing both of your IDs!

    1. Leigh Anne,
      I loved this opportunity to learn more about so many folks. As I reread tonight, it felt pretty sassy! LOL! ❤

  9. Your courage and rebellion and creativity! I loved this so much. I, too, claimed mine as a draft. I’m interested in going back and continuing to draft, so fun.

    1. Britt,
      Right now I am wondering if I would write the same thing every month! So interesting that time, reflection, and focus shifts the whole piece.

      1. It truly does; I felt I had to stick with one angle in order to craft one of an appropriate length ha!

      2. Britt,
        Length was never my concern. LOL

  10. I love this way to write a memoir. I can’t say what I like best, but it was good to read the first draft second. The specifics of the later draft give me so much, but I love the exploratory feel of the first draft.

    1. It took me awhile to believe, in my head, that it was okay for the drafts to be so different!

  11. Each draft reveals a different part of you in a very complete way, so it is hard to prefer one over the other. Obviously the first concentrates on the love of books and reading and being a non-conformist, while the second is more overall view of your life in general. They both give fascinating insights into you, so it’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think no. 1 offers more of the core of who you are perhaps?

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