When I was a 7th grade language arts teacher (yes, small bit of trivia about me–I am, or at least was in the state of Texas, certified to teach English/language arts and history/all social studies subjects–including ones I don’t really understand like economics–in grades 6-12…I also have a B.A. in English with a minor in history–I went back later to get my teaching certifications through a master’s program–should I mention the summa cum laude? SHUT UP, SUZANNE–but what good IS IT if I never mention it?? cuz, like no one cares otherwise–NO ONE CARES STILL, SUZANNE–sheesh, all that studying….), I used to give an assignment called Fortunately, Unfortunately. The goal was for the students to write a good thing, then a bad thing, then a good thing, and so on. (I seriously cannot remember the point of this exercise. But it was always fun.) I saved a few of my favorite student samples. This one was written by a girl named Lauren.
Kensey just got a new hair cut and she fixed it perfect for school. Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because after gym it was sweaty and messy.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because she had a few minutes after gym to take a shower.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because the bell rang while she was still in the shower.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because she was able to pull it into a quick ponytail.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because when she was in the hall, someone yelled, “Your clothes are soaking wet!” and Kensey was so embarrassed.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because when she looked in her locker, she found a jacket to put on.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s GREAT!
Thirteen-year-olds crack me up.
I thought about this assignment yesterday when I was enduring what seemed to be an endless series of (mostly trivial) ups and downs. And maybe that is at least one point of that assignment, if not the actual academic point. There’s a good life point to it.
I bake bread at least every other day, sometimes daily. Yesterday, I had just put two loaves of bread into loaf pans for the second rise when I had to leave the house for a few minutes to pick up Morgan.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because I have a pretty good instinct after all these years of bread-baking about how long it will take to rise, taking into account that day’s temperature in the house. I know if I have time to go somewhere while it’s rising and get back before it’s over-risen.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because on my way to pick her up, my car broke down.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because I had my new cell phone with me.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because my phone was dead. I forgot to charge it and I don’t have a car charger.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because there was a house right across the road.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because they weren’t home and it’s a hike to the next house on this road.
Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because at least this was a main road. Two men stopped and offered to go to their house where they could call 52 for me and get help.
Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because by the time I got help, got Morgan, and got back home (without my vehicle, which was still sitting back there by the side of the road), my two loaves of bread looked like this:
Oh, that’s bad! I KNOW. See what it looked like when I moved the loaf pans:
But–no, that’s good! It was a perfect opportunity to conduct a baking experiment to see if this bread could be saved–punch the loaves down, reshape them, and attempt to give the dough a not-what-I-would-recommend third rise.
Oh, that’s good!
……GREAT. Look how these two loaves of bread turned out! (Nice and tall, good texture and everything. Yes, this bread could be saved!)
P.S. Morgan’s middle school team (Walton) won the CWVAC volleyball championship! Go, girls! First time in 13 years for this school. (It’s hard to be a small school and compete with larger schools. These girls have all learned to be fabulously cheerful losers, but this weekend they got to win!)
P.P.S. My cousin is going to fix my car today, which is also GREAT. (What happened was that the belt broke. Like I know what I’m talking about.)
P.P.P.S. The October Chickens in the Road Newsletter will be going out in a few days. If you’re not on the list, go here for information on how to subscribe and you can also take a dip into the newsletter archives to see what you’re signing up for.
P.P.P.P.S. Over a thousand of you participated in the poll (wow!) and our little bottle cap (fainting goat buckling) has a name! See what it is here.