1. An imaginary remote paradise on earth; utopia.
Don't tell me it's imaginary. Because I am there right now. Thank you very much.
Yesterday I found out that five of my students won the grade-level PTA Reflections contest in our school! Actually, these five students were the ONLY grade-level winners! Shangri-la Baby!
We had just started the Reflections poems when a feisty little gal by the name of Ms. Sandy (first name: Superstorm) came to town, plunging the East Coast into darkness and misery. There was no school for over a week. And when we did go back to school...well, let's just say everybody was pretty grumpy. Or homeless. Or without electricity for two weeks. Or all of the above and more. But that's another blog post.
Our poetry writing had started out really strong. The kids were so enthusiastic that a couple of parents even contacted me to ask me about it. But when we got back to it things just didn't feel the same. So when the results came back yesterday, I was truly surprised.
For anyone who doesn't know, the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association in the US) sponsors the Reflections contest every year. They give us a theme to work with, and the kids write poems or stories to reflect the theme. In recent years the themes have been pretty good. Refreshing, I say, because it wasn't always that way. I seem to remember a time when the theme was Sasquatch I Have Known or something like that. (Now if there are any ardent PTA folk out there, don't contact me. I think we all know I'm kidding.)
This year the theme was FANTASTIC: The Magic of a Moment. As soon as I heard it I knew that a unit I wrote over the summer, Photograph Poetry Made Easy, would be perfect. And it was. Despite Sandy, that little vixen.
Photograph Poetry Made Easy
. Meatball Shangri-la to All!