The middle event of my lucky streak was the best
and the one I celebrate the most.
It was bookended by two mailbox events:
the prize book that
arrived in my real mailbox
and the notice in my email box
that I'd won the commenting challenge.
I know you want to know, right?
What was the middle part of my lucky streak?
It was a box!
Yes, an ordinary cardboard box
in the bottom of a closet
turned sideways with the lid
pushed against the wall.
The dirty laundry basket sits on top of it.
But the treasures it held?
And the time I've spent looking for them?
Lately, I've eyed the boxes in the garage,
wondering when it might be warm enough
to launch a full scale search out there.
It was one of those lost things
that lives just at the edge of consciousness,
and every once in awhile I would wonder
where those quilt square notebooks had gone.
Every time I noticed a large white notebook,
my heart would leap and I would think,
"There they are!"
And then my heart would sink as I opened the binder
to daughter's Management Communication handbook
(the most intensive coursework I've ever seen on grammar),
or the binder filled with pictures for church classes.
I'm not sure what made me look
in the boxes in the bottom of the closet.
But when I checked, I discovered
one box filled with daughter's journals and
the next box filled with doll Tess and her birth story.
And then inside the third box,
I was elated to discover the long lost
notebooks of 6th graders' quilt squares
and the third graders' getting to know me pages.
When I taught 3rd grade my co-teacher
and job sharing partner always took pics
on the first day of school
and asked students to complete a
getting to know me page.
We would spiral bind these pages to make a book
and leave them out for the students to peruse
throughout the year.
When I began teaching 6th grade,
I wanted a similar project and
the getting to know me paper quilt square was born.
Students filled out four sections with information
about themselves and the student picture
(taken on the first day of school) graced the center.
It was always a race to get the squares completed
and the bulletin board assembled before open house,
but I loved watching
students, friends, and family pore over this display.
I talked to my students about the unique qualities
possessed by each of them and
how each contributed to our classroom quilt.
So I know you're wondering why I still
have these quilt squares from my students
and why almost five years into retirement
I was looking for the quilt square notebooks.
Whenever I bump into former students
or chat with their parents
(as often happens when you live in a small town),
I like to come home and look up their quilt square.
It's a wonderful glimpse of their 11 year old self.
Flipping through those pages
reminds me of each group and
the mosaic of personalities that were stitched
together to create each year's unique quilt,
and I love remembering them!