Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WITS ... #1 ...

When I was driving a taxicab I read a lot of books - I mean a lot!

Cab driving took me everywhere, and as soon as I pulled the car out of my garage I was at work and very quickly would find myself miles away, not to return (usually) until very late at night. So, early on in my cab driving years I made it my business to locate library branches in those areas of Houston that I frequented the most.

I had three favorite libraries - Jesse Jones (main library, downtown), Jungman branch on Westheimer (not far from the Galleria), and the one on Park Place (close to Hobby Airport). There are two closer to my home, and every once in a while I'd stop at one of those if I was in the area before they closed for the evening.

The downtown location was my very favorite. Underground (paid) parking was available, which was handy during unfavorable weather conditions, and their selection of books was far and away the best in the city. However, they closed for remodeling a few years back, so you would then most often have seen me at the Park Place location.

It was at Park Place that I first noticed 5"x8" (I'm guessing the size here, because I don't have any with me just now) cards of varying colors near the checkout desk.

I picked one up and read what was on it. It was a poem. Written by a child. I thought, "Neat!" I thought these were something the Houston Public Library system must be promoting, and I made a favorable comment to one of the people manning the desk.

I was invited to take one of each to keep and share. I was told that there would be many more to come. I was really impressed with some of these poems, and my already frequent trips to the library became even more frequent as I didn't want to miss a single one!

I read many of them to Marvis, one of my cab-driving friends, and she just loved them! I gave the complete set to my granddaughter one year. They were quite special.

Well, as good luck would have it, I came across this site last week and thought, "Gee, that looks familiar!"

I went to their A Poem a Day location and understood why it had looked so familiar. I immediately called my daughter and asked if she still had that set of poems I had given my granddaughter. She said she did.

Hooray! So, all of you will be treated every now and again to one of these delightful poems. I will make no punctuation changes or corrections. The one for today is by Andrew, 6th grade - published November 18, 2008. Enjoy!!

Ode to the Wall

Thank You for being there
for me and protecting me
and having one near the
bathroom wall if there wasn't
it would be chaotic and if
there wasn't a wall in a house everybody
would say "hey, nice roof."


Tammy said...

"hey, nice roof" ...love it.

That's really cool that you stumbled across one of those poems via the internet. Small world, eh?

Remember Katie sent in those 2 poems for the writing contest? Both of her poems made the finalist "round" if you will. The winners of each account were to have been announced by November 1st. The website says they are STILL waiting for all the responses from the judges. It's become a great lesson in patience, and she is so anxious...she has me checking the website at least 1-2 times daily.

Goldenrod said...

Yeah, it was the "hey, nice roof" that made me include this one, Tammy! Just too much!!

Of course I remember Katie's poems being considered among the finalists ... unbelievable that she hasn't heard back yet!

Love you, Katie! Hang in there, OK? If it were up to me, you'd already have been declared the winner. Seriously!!

Goldenrod said...

My friend Jacky sent me an e-mail this evening that I'd like to share with you.

"WITS, the Writers in the Schools Program that you linked to in your blog, sounds like it would fit very well with the research you did about having the children dictate their stories before they learned to write, etc. I thought you found that the kids who had this early opportunity had more imagination and creativity later on. Did I get this right? Sounds right up your alley!"

Yes, Jacky, you got it right. My class was the experimental group, of which your daughter was a member, and my research culminated in a Master's thesis.

There were three different judges involved from different parts of the country, and I have - more than others, perhaps - a pretty good understanding of some of the problems inherent in such an undertaking.

Wishing you, Al, and the rest of your family and many friends the most joyous of Thanksgivings, Jacky. Thanks for your e-mail.