Tag Archives: perseverance

#SOL21: Habits

Tulips in Iowa – April 19, 2021

Will they survive? Will they flourish?

Three nights of freeze warnings and this view in the daytime.

It’s spring. A time of growth. A time for blooming. And yet, a time for snow and freezing temperatures.

Do we let Mother Nature take her course? Do we try to mitigate the results? Plants, flowers, pleasing to the eye. What’s our response?

In our schools, it’s the season of standardized tests. Tests in the midst of the pandemic that continues on. A year+ like no other. What are the options?

What’s the cost? Check out Tim Wheeler’s blog.

What are our goals? What are the habits that we want students to develop.

Melanie Meehan and Kelsey Sorum have this gorgeous new book. We featured it on our #G2Great chat March 25th and Val Kimmel’s blog post is here. It was featured on TWT here.

One of my favorite resources in this book is Chart 1.9. It speaks to me of reasons why I write daily. It speaks to me of why students need to write daily. And it speaks to me of things that are not so easily counted. Not so easily measured. But habits that I want all students to have. In their writerly lives. In their daily lives. In their student lives. In their adult lives.

To name just a few habits:




What habits in life are you willing to identify today? What habits will you nurture today? What habits do you actively support? How do you do that?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Slice of Life 26: Try it, You WILL LIKE it!

(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 .


Do you remember sitting at the dinner table with a plate in front of you with some completely un-recognizable stinky food?  And what did the responsible parent say, “Try it, you will like it.”  What was that food for you?  Something exotic like caviar or escargot?  Or something simpler like kohlrabis or asparagus?

Picture this:  my older sister is home from nurses’ training. The first “boy friend” is due for lunch.  We’re a family of six kids so there is no special menu much to my dismay.  “Why can’t we cook more than one chicken? Rats, Spanish rice. Why can’t we have a special meal?” are just a few of the questions rattling around inside my brain.  I know enough to not ask it out loud because silly questions at the table could mean more chores to do.

The table is crowded.  The skillet of Spanish rice is in the center.  We take turns scooping up portions.  “No heathens here.  We are polite.”  A vegetable bowl is passed.  Quiet descends as we clear our plates.  Then the visitor, the new boy friend says, “Pass the green beans, please.  Those are really good.”

Startled, I look at my sister. She looks down.  I look at Mom and she just shakes her head.  So I look down.  I want to say, “They aren’t green beans, buddy!” but I know if I do there will be consequences.

We are almost finished when Dad gets home and joins us at the table.  He asks for the vegetable, “Pass the asparagus, please.”

I wince.  Will he laugh?  Did he even hear?  Who is this city slicker who doesn’t know the difference between green beans and asparagus?  Then we hear, “You know, they did taste a bit different.  But I’m color blind, and they look just like green beans to me.”  We still thought he was a “rube.”

Asparagus is/was a favorite food for many at our house.  I loved the Minneapolis IRA conference a few years ago because every restaurant we went to had asparagus on the menu.  A co-worker hated every restaurant we went to because every dinner included asparagus.  She saw no redeeming qualities in asparagus.  She has moved on, but I am thinking of sending her this recipe to see if she wants another “go” at asparagus.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425 oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Do Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries sound good to you?
This story lives on . . .

I couldn’t type this story without laughing.  It’s a favorite story that is recounted every time “anyone” in the family brings a new person to “meet” the family. The details vary according to the memories of that particular sibling.  When my younger sister emailed this recipe, one response was, “Maybe we should call them ‘Crispy Baked Green Bean Fries'” and another sibling responded with,  “Then – – – – -, (brother-in-law) would eat them!”

Poor guy. Still being picked on decades later!


Do you remember being “told” that you would like something, but the romance quickly fizzled and you really didn’t even like whatever the something was?

Does that happen to our children?   Are they told, “Here, read this story today! You will love it, because I loved it when I was a student!”

Or even worse, “I STILL love it, but I haven’t really read it during the last five years.”

(And if you are lucky, the student ONLY thinks and does not shout out loud, “WOW! This is so lame.  There is no way that I will ever like this story!”)

When have you been told to “try it, you will like it?”  Was it really that simple? Did you like it?

Slice of Life 12: Tenacity

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

Last month marked the 85th anniversary of my father’s birth day. He wasn’t physically with us for Evan’s graduation or wedding, but I have been thinking of him a lot as I consider how to honor his memory.


Dad hated that we had to make the house “handicapped accessible” with bars in the bathroom and a walk-in shower, but those accommodations meant that he was able to be independent at home. Dignity.  Self-sufficiency.

Why was that important?

Dad fell and broke his hip.  With his diabetes and his myopathy (and heart problems including a pacemaker), his recovery was slow. He needed therapy and care beyond what Mom could provide.  Entering a nursing home was totally out of the question, but it was also the only solution.  Dad’s goal was to work his way out as quickly as possible.  He wasn’t always the “happiest camper” but he was willing to do “anything” that would get him out of there and back on his own two feet.




Absolutely, but also willing to work through the pain to meet his goal!

As I reflect on his life, I have even greater admiration for the way he achieved the goals that he desired.  Thanks for your tenacity, Dad!

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 .

Slice of Life 11: Challenges

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

So life happens to you.

Challenges in life are pretty common and often fit into these descriptors.

1. Problems are inevitable.  If you don’t encounter problems, check your pulse.  Are you alive?

2. Problems are unpredictable.  If you could plan for that flat tire, it would NOT be during a blizzard.

3.  Problems in life come in all sizes and shapes.  You may have a big problem today and three little problems tomorrow.  It varies.

You will be remembered for your response to the challenges that face you!

What is your response to adversity?

A. Do you turtle up?

Pull your head and your legs inside your shell.  Protect yourself by withdrawing inside yourself.  Leave a calm expression on your face while every muscle is itching to “run” somewhere.  .  .  anywhere!

B.  Do you say, “Thank You for this Wonderful Opportunity to show the world what I am made of!”

Hold your head up high.  Make a plan in order to be better prepared for similar events in the future.  Plan to “learn” from this event.  Be thankful that you have your “mistake” for the day and plan for a better rest of the day.

C.  Do you make a list of pros and cons and then carefully consider your actions?

Thoughtful. Considering multiple possibilities. Consulting others.  Allowing emotions to subside so hasty decisions are not made that end up backing someone into a corner.  The ability to ask:  Is this really that big of an issue?  Sure it is annoying, but does it really matter in the bigger scheme of life?

Which response is the most like you?

Your response shows your level of perseverance and endurance and includes:

    • The ability to stay until the purpose is accomplished.
    • The ability to stay under pressure.
    • The ability to keep on keeping on.
    • The ability to hang in there.
What does this look like at home?  at work?  in the world?  What would be the evidence of your perseverance?

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 .

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