My Favorite Thing About Elementary School Was…

In my attempt to better use the gifts God has given me, it seems I stumbled onto two blog series this past week. One is “Mastering the Habits of Great Writers” by Jeff Goins. I love writing and so I’ve jumped into his challenge for the next couple of weeks to try to bring a little discipline to my erratic habits. If you’re a writer and you are interested then you can click the link above and jump in.

The other blog is by Kelly Chadwick, whom I also know from my time around Adventures in Missions. She has started a blog called Uncaging Creativity and is in the middle of a project that gives some exercise in creativity each day because God created us in His image so we are all creative people. That’s where the rest of this post stems from. Today is writing prompt day… so following is what came out of my 15 minutes of writing (an exercise that I think I should do more often… now if I could start working on the physical exercise part…)  So if you want to stretch your creativity too, then I encourage you to check out her blog.

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My favorite thing about elementary school was. . .    BOOKS!

You could give me a stack of books over a television set any day and I would be content. Unless it was time for Punky Brewster or Garfield and Friends.

In third grade my teacher had a bookshelf of books that she checked out from the library. Each month she changed the selection and whenever you finished your work you were allowed to go and read. The problem was that I would finish my work quickly so that I could take in all the beautiful words between those sometimes tattered and worn works. This meant that I finished the bookshelf collection before the end of the month. Before the year ended my teacher got wise and started getting more difficult books like Moby Dick to keep me entertained.

The book I remember the most though was called Born Free. It had a hard-backed mustard yellow cover. It told the story of a rescued lion cub by a lady in Kenya. They had a wonderful relationship but as the cub grew, her rescuer realized that the lion was meant to be free in the wild and, if I remember correctly, took the steps to distance herself and introduce the lion back into the wild. Now that I think about it, it’s probably one of the books that first made me want to travel. It was also probably the catalyst behind organizing one of my classes to raise money and “adopt” a whale named Cat’s Paw a couple of years later.

Then there was the bookmobile. Whoever thought of a mobile library was pure genius in my eyes. I was happier than any kid in a candy store could be. I mean, they brought the library to you, it really doesn’t get much better.

We had a program called Accelerated Reading (do they still do that??) and it only fueled my need to read anything I could get my hands on. In sixth grade I was in a neck and neck race for first place, and honestly I think I’m still harboring a little resentment that I didn’t get to take a test on the last book I read because I’m certain that Ashley wouldn’t have beaten me given that chance. I should probably get over that at some point.

My love for reading helped with a love for spelling too. I still remember winning the Spelling Bee and as my teacher, Mrs. Whitehead, and I drove to the county Spelling Bee the song “Hero” was playing. She told me that I was her hero that day. Funny that I’ve never forgotten that and some days I cannot remember what floor my apartment is on or what my telephone number is.

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Photo taken from http://www.co.nash.nc.us/Departments/PublicUtilities.aspx