Poetry Night planning has begun. This year, my Creative Writing classes will host the 4th annual Poetry Night celebration.
We have a theme--Then & Now, and the kids have some wonderfully lofty goals. We're aiming for district wide participation and attendance!
There will be costumes.
There will be live music and guest performers.
There will be a gallery of poetry written by students grades K-12.
And, my dear friends, family, and colleagues, there will be stress.
It's funny how much an aspect of one's life can surface in another area as time goes by. When I planned my son's Bar Mitzvah three years ago, I was dependent on my mother in so many ways for guidance regarding seating charts, the timing of things, menus, decorations etc.
The following year, I was named a Student Government adviser. Some of the skills I learned from planning my son's event transferred immediately to student government planning-- but a lot of my learning was a result of jumping in and getting it done.
I only lasted in the position for a year (by choice) and have nothing by mad respect for those who can balance their lives and the level of commitment needed to pull off successful year-long student run activities. I will say that by the time I planned my daughter's Bat Mitzvah last March, I had most of the planning skills necessary down pat.
Once again, I'm calling on such skills and those of my students to help move this year's Poetry Night along. One of the best aspects of this event is watching students find their strengths in event organizing. I am responsible for overall facilitation, but it is my students who implement their vision and it is so exciting to witness all of the successes and mishaps that become learning opportunities as the event draws near. It truly is a labor of love, but labor none-the-less.
Look for my upcoming article in The Washington Post that addresses self-care in the busiest of times-- a skill I wish had more of in my life right about now. I'll settle for another cup of coffee instead.