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Showing posts with label victory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label victory. Show all posts

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#AtoZ : W for Winning

"We're going to the tournament to have fun. 
The way you have fun is you win!"
                                             ~Richard Bute    
Memphis Futbol Club Soccer Coach

Every year our city celebrates Memphis in May where we honor a country and teach students about a foreign land. This year the country of honor is Panama. I attended a teacher's conference and presented my students with interesting facts about Panama so that they could enter the Memphis in May writer's contest. Not to brag, but I typically have a winner of this contest each year. This year, I was blessed with two winners! 

Second Prize went to Lauren for her story about painting the golden altar in Panama black to keep
pirate Captain Henry Morgan from stealing it from the church. Her story was rich with historic detail and smoothly written; however, other than giving her the background information, I can't take credit for her writing ability. She entered my class a few months ago, so I have not had a lot of time to develop her writing.

Santiago, my first place winner, came to my class close to the beginning of the year and was not the writer he is now, so I'll take credit for his success. His early writing was cluttered with boring "be" verbs that he has learned to replace with his rich vocabulary. This is a kid who reads constantly, and as a result, his vocabulary is better than that of most adults. He has also learned to use multiple senses in his writing and strong descriptive nouns. I am kicking myself for not saving his early work because it would be a great artifact for my professional development evaluation. 

Here is the first paragraph from his winning entry. It's hard to believe that this was written by a fifth grader.

The Hunt

     Crawling close to the ground, I stalked my prey. I got as close as I could. Then I lunged and with a quick snap of my jaws, the bird was dead. It tasted as sweet as the juice that came from a monkey's meat. I padded my way back to my home, a rocky overhang curtained with leaves; my prize hanging from my mouth. As I sprinted my way back home, my spotted coat blended in the shadows caused by the leafy canopy. The sweet fragrance of the star-shaped flowers wafted around me. The meaty taste of prey filled my hunger. I was home.

We enter contests for fun, but it is most fun to win!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Theme Thursday: Recollections of a Runner

As I watch the Olympic track stars, I recall my brief brush with victory in an elementary school field day foot race. We gathered at the start of the cross country course at Shaw Park while the gym teacher pointed to the various trees we were to pass. As an active listener, I took careful note of the course then quickly fell into my usual spot of DFL. (For those who are not runners, DFL stands for D%mn  F*cking  Last).

As the race progressed, I didn't understand why all the other kids were sprinting to the wrong tree. The PE teacher clearly showed us the course, but the girls weren't running it, so I hot footed it to the tree as instructed earlier.

Apparently, the adult at one tree didn't listen as well as I had. He told the lead runner to head to the wrong tree and all the athletes followed her... except for me. I found myself in the lead when the others had to backtrack to the tree they'd skipped. Unfortunately my lack of running skill didn't hold up on a steep hill right before the finish line. The former lead runner, a true athlete, passed me and took first. But hey, I received a second place red ribbon which is more than I'd ever gotten in my turtle-like existence.

In 1972, Dave Wottle was not the only runner to win after starting out in last place!