A Special Gift

The gift was a real surprise.

“Open it Ms. Juliette,” V whispered excitedly.

I did not want to guess what it was. As large as an A4 paper, hard to touch, in my mind I knew it was a book but never did I think V would select or suggest a notebook.

Whenever we had a quick write in class, I would get out my notebook and write with my fourth graders. I’m glad I did that, I sometimes read pages of poetry or my episodes to them. I needed my students to realise that I wrote often, if not daily and as a writer I sometimes struggle to begin or find topics to write about.

My course on journalling had a great impact on my teaching, I now have some structure and guidance of what it is about. I am sold into what writing regularly in a note book is and have seen many examples. I now know I am on the right path.

Noticing the interest in my students, and seeing them as writers, I got a few students notebooks and encouraged them to journal as and when they wished. I also made them aware that their notebooks would be personal and they did not need to share them with me. V was gifted one, she adored it, shared some of her writing with me and really cherished her purple flowered notebook. Sometimes she’d hug it and walk quietly beside me with a gratifying smile.

I shared my vulnerability, they also shared theirs. I shared my different genres, they also shared theirs. They added illustrations and sometimes cut pictures related to their topics and wrote reams and reams. There was one occasion when V wrote poems about all the six adults in her grade, using descriptive words, lines and sometimes dialogue, which disclosed exactly who the focus of the piece was.

So, on the last day of school, when the parcel was placed gently on my table and a card pulled directly towards me, I was made to open both the card and the present. This got me quite emotional. Was V expecting that? I remember she came with a friend. They looked directly at my masked face; struggling to read the emotion plastered in my eyes. I was shocked and wide eyed. I tore the wrapping paper off.

Surprised, my open palms cupped my head. I could not shake V’s hands. I was touched by the choice of present. A bound notebook. V knew I would appreciate that, especially because it was covered in an African print and was also unexpected.

A Rush of Rain

Rain Rush

Dashes to us

Beating and banging

Shows it’s anger

Loud thumps of

Pitter Patter

Like music but dissonant

We’ve waited long

You’ve arrived hard

Waving all around

The sturdy building

Forming rivers in minutes

Why the rush?

After the wait

So welcome but wild

Worried about flooding

Praying for a glide

Rather than a stream

You are welcome rain!!!

Is it a climate change or climate rage? We’ve waited many months. Our supposed rainy season expected in April shows its head in June.

“It’s better late that never,” they declare!

For years we have always had rain, tropical rain during the second semester, in April or May. This year we had a couple of drizzles but no rain. I remember many years ago teaching my Pre-kindergarten class when we harvested rain and sang rhymes whilst it was raining, those were memorable times.

Many occasions in my fourth grade class, we experienced moving floods on our playground. Once or twice students were held in their French class because the rain was falling heavily. We have many memories of the effects of heavy rain but this year we have finished the school year with no rain tales to share. There really is a ‘climate change’ raging, if I can put it that way.

After that cacophony caused by the rush of rain a couple of nights ago, we are still waiting for another, many more. We continue to read the signs of tropical rains and not rely on the forecast. I hope I’ll soon have the opportunity to write my rain tales here.