Friday, November 4, 2011

never mind TGIF...CIPBFA?

I lament "the TGIF mentality" and the way we teach our young people that what we do during the week--our work--is distastefully less worthy than anything we might do during the weekend (like grocery shopping, laundry and yard work).  I think it's especially sad in the context of early childhood education, where every day is Today and every day's work can be thrilling and important (cf. the spontaneous burst of cheering and clapping in my class when we reached the 40th day of school and were able to make another bundle of 10 popsicle sticks!)

Of course, if I were in the position of having to do a job I didn't enjoy, TGIF might make a lot more sense to me.  I take this moment to be grateful that through a constellation of circumstances within and beyond my control, I get to spend Monday through Friday doing the work I was born to do.

This blessing may be also why I woke this morning thinking not "TGIF" but "CIPBFA?"  Can It Possibly Be Friday Again?  Where do the weeks go?  Did I use all those six days since last Friday well enough?  Can I even remember their quality, the highlights and challenges, the quips and quirks of this particular fraction of my life?   Do I think too much?

And now I go searching for a poem that delicately wraps a muscled hand around these thoughts and feelings, molds them into a more pleasing shape and holds them outstretched on its palm for me (and you) to observe, consider, admire.  In three minutes I have several options (and I take this moment to be grateful for the World Wide Web).  Here's one that slows the day down and turns the idea of weekdays vs. weekends inside out.

Friday Snow

Something needs to be done—like dragging a big black plastic sack through the upstairs rooms, emptying into it each waste basket, the trash of three lives for a week or so. I am careful and slow about it, so that this little chore will banish the big ones. But I leave the bag lying on the floor and I go into my daughter’s bedroom, into the north morning light from her windows, and while this minute she is at school counting or spelling a first useful word I sit down on her unmade bed and I look out the windows at nothing for a while, the unmoving buildings—houses and a church—in the cold street...... 

continued at moving length here

by Reginald Gibbons

Poetry Friday continues at the new and improved Writing the World for Kids with Laura Purdie Salas, and if you write as well as enjoy poetry, don't forget to stop by here every Tuesday evening for the "Overheard in Kindergarten" poetry tickle.


  1. The piggy bank and I see only the able young man whose straight back nobody needs.

    Although this poem is from 1986, the above line is relevant today. So many willing to work, but no jobs. What a world...

  2. Beautiful poem, Heidi. Thank you for sharing it. I'm always curious about the prose poem form -- what would have been undone if the poet had used poetic line rather than tight prose?

  3. Love your post and attitude, Heidi! I'm not a fan of prose poems, but there were some lovely moments in this one, I have to admit:>)

  4. Thanks for slowing me down. It was good to sit on the bed and look out the window with the speaker...

  5. Your students are lucky to have you. Although I write, teaching is my "day job," and I can recognize someone who loves the profession!


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