Tag Archives: basketball

#SOL17: The Story


The ball swishes through the net as the buzzer sounds.  A sigh of relief as the two points are recorded on the scoreboard.  The basket was a buzzer beater.

Final score 25 to 17.

The last second score was icing on the cake.  Another two points in the book for a seventh grade athlete.  Kids who had been running up and down the court chasing and being chased by the opposing team.

Proud Great Aunt.  My great nephew’s team wins again!

A never-ending third quarter that saw each team make only one basket.  So much energy expanded.  WAIT.  Delete that.  Wrong game. Memory mix up. Wrong details supporting the 8th grade B game. Three different games now in my memory bank.  Time to focus.

Visiting with my sister, my niece, my great niece. Receiving a hand-written note from Autumn. Enjoying the ambiance of a junior high gym, whistles blowing, athletes competing, and fans cheering.

Where do I start?  What is the heart of my story?

THE PROCESS TODAY:

I ran through the events in my mind.  I collected ideas without a single keystroke or graphic organizer.  I began to sift the details with mental rehearsal.  Decision made.  The beginning point is the basket that ended the game.

And then doubt sets in . . . And the questioning . . . Do I really want to begin with the end of the game?  The final three seconds?  Then what will be next?

What is the important part of my story? 

The important part is that I write. I write at my keyboard while my coffee is brewing.  Intent on capturing the words that I rehearsed as I hit the snooze alarm.  It’s Tuesday. It’s “Slicer Day”. I need to write a story so I’m rehearsing a story.  Not across my fingers. Not across pages.  But in my head.  Cross-checking the most important facts.

BUT, what about that  note from Autumn?  She’s three.  It’s the first writing she’s given me.  Her name – carefully printed across a small piece of paper.  Written with love. Received with love.

Some days I just HAVE to write!  

The words come pouring out. The screen fills.  Then the doubt and worry arrive.  Delete, fix up, fancy up the piece.  But it all begins with the writing.

How can I teach writing without writing?

How do I understand that there isn’t one perfect prompt?  One perfect process?  One perfect story map?   . . . If I also don’t know the joy, the agony, and the freedom of writing?

Why am I writing?

I want to win the writing game.  I know it takes practice.  I know it takes time.  Writing.  Writing.  Writing. Slicing to continue to improve my narrative writing.  (But while I write I continue to think, to study and reflect on my process. I can’t turn off the teacher side.)

Today.  Flash drafting. Metacognitively reviewing my process. Recording my thinking. And yet sometimes, it’s all about “the doing” – Just writing!

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 14- #OLW


JOY

So, Slicer Friends, we are excited that this IS going to be a repeat . . . but we are hoping for different outcomes this time! I am filled with JOY (#OLW) and so proud of my Iowa Teams!

It’s NCAA BASKETBALL TIME!

IOWA has 3 TEAMS!

AGAIN!

If this sounds vaguely familiar, here’s how it looked last year during the March Challenge!

Our capital city, Des Moines, Iowa, is the site of first round NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Games for the first time.  “Some of the biggest teams including Kansas, Kentucky, and UConn are headed to Iowa.”  Alas, no Iowa teams are playing in Iowa. (Only ISU is considered the home team, but neither UNI nor the Hawkeyes are there!)

Three teams from Iowa dancing.  March Madness.  ISU, #4 seed, is headed to Denver.  UNI, #11  seed is headed to Oklahoma City.  And the Hawkeyes, #7 seed are headed to Brooklyn!

Most recently both Iowa and ISU were out early in their conference championships but UNI went the distance.  What will be the NCAA results this year?  How far will each team go?  How far will your bracket go?

 

If you don’t have basketball brackets, what about book brackets?

litlearnact march madness

These brackets are courtesy of Dana and Sonja, AKA @litlearnact,  and you can read about them here.

Or what about these instructional strategy brackets from Dyan last year?

strategy bracket

You can learn more about Instructional Strategies Brackets here.

What work can you organize with brackets?

Where will you consider using brackets?


Process:  I watched the brackets tonight as well as a statistics professor on the news breaking down the odds of winning (1 in 76 billion chance of winning with a perfect bracket).  The idea was still swirling in my head during the Sunday night “hour long” local news.  Fresh new ideas this year: Des Moines to host Regionals and connecting both Book Brackets and Strategies Brackets.  I went to look for book brackets and immediately found Dana and Sonja’s bracket post from January and then the post from last March about Dyan’s strategies.  I decided to add “Joy” (my #OLW) and then I had my title and focus for the article.  Time to draft.  Revise, edit, preview, tag, grab the photos for the 3 Iowa schools, and “Voila”!  (2nd day in a row that I searched for my photos while still drafting in my head.  Depending on photo/visual selection – narrative could vary so why write until selected?) Post drafted during the last half of the news.  Eureka – post early (after 11 pm CDT)!


 

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 18 – #OLW


March

March Madness?

Where are my teams playing?

What is the schedule?

I’m in a small midwestern state – Iowa. Our most recent claim to fame is the home of this season’s “Bachelor”. But, if you want impressive,  all three of our State Regents’ schools are going to the NCAA tournament.  ALL THREE!  One plays in Louisville (where I just was) and two head to Seattle.  AND THEN the women from two colleges also play.  That’s five teams for NCAA tournament madness!

Aye, here’s the rub. . . I don’t really like basketball.  I wanted to play basketball in high school but we didn’t have a girls team.  Finally, our relentless work to add girls basketball paid off during our senior year.  However, we were destined to have a JV team only.  No seniors could participate as they “built” a team for the next year.  So no, not basketball. .  .  Not that orange pumpkin-pushing sport. Not my favorite sport.

And yet, I will watch any collegiate sports as I know how hard students and athletes as well as the “student athletes” work!  I will cheer for all five teams.  I also appreciate the venue that sports teams provide for musicians to really OWN the field or court.  But I will also have to

word-focus-300x300

Life is full!  Life does not revolve around sports!  AHHH, life also does not solely revolve around sports.  But what a year to enjoy! Time to focus on some of the great athletic teams in our state!

hawkeyes  uni  isu

Go, Iowa!

Facts about Iowa teams and the NCAA Tourney

What teams will YOU be supporting?

Do you have your bracket ready?

slice of life

Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Slice of Life 20: Changing Seasons


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

              Changing Seasons

A pumpkin

Five pumpkin pushers

A net

A court

A tournament bracket

Forty minutes on the clock.

And it’s one of the “First Four”

Where the team

Has to play its way into the NCAA Tournament.

A senior

Leading scorer

Held to two points

In the first half.

Second leading scorer

In the history of the university.

Second only to his father

Must come alive

During the second half.

Down, down,

Down the floor

Basket.

Down, down,

Down the floor

Basket.

Foul.

Missed opportunities.

Swish.

Who will win?

*

Overtime

Injury

Dayton

Dry spell

No baskets

Many fouls

Dashing hopes

Winner advances to Raleigh.

                                                                  New Day Today

But wait,

Grapplers in the wings

NCAA today in Oklahoma

Winners all ten

Ready and primed

Time to shine!

A new day!

*

Hope,

Might have beens and could have beens erased,

Begin Anew!

163 days til the gridiron opens . . . .

The sports cycle continues!

Do changing sports seasons impact your lives? Or are you more interested in SPRING?
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