Meatball Shangri-La

Shangri-la       noun\ˌshaŋ-gri-ˈlä\

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!



  1. Darlene, I love your writing voice! No wonder your students did well. :)

  2. Thank you, Pamela! It's funny, but for a long time I felt like I had "lost" my voice. Raising kids and working full time totally emptied me. My kids are a little older now. And I feel like I'm me again!

    Blogging is so much fun, isn't it? And I love your voice too :)

  3. I've checked out your blog Darlene and I second everyone! LOVE your voice! I'm looking foward to readng more.

    FYI - I went to Follow you via Email and it sayd that the function is not enabled. I'll check again later - but just thought you'd like to know!


  4. Got to love those typos...sorry I always post then proof;)

  5. Thank you, Krystal! I figured out I had to go to Feedburner to enable email. It's all so complicated! I feel like I moved from Earth to some strange galaxy in the blogosphere.
    Take care!
    Darlene (talk about proofing- I just almost called myself Darklene)

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Teresa! I'm on my way to your blog right now!

  7. I always find your posts so interesting.... Thanks for sharing!!!


    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  8. Thank you, Alison. And congratulations to you and your fiance! I wish you laughter and blessings.


  9. Hi,Darlene! I just found your blog and am so glad that I did! You have great posts and they are so fun to read. I'm your newest follower, I think, and I'm looking forward to reading more!
    Thank you for sharing -

  10. Thank you for coming by! I'm on my way to your blog right now!