Monday, March 6, 2017

OLW so far

My One Little Word is bridge. I picked it because it is a word with many possibilities. Since January when I chose it, I have seen so many connections, so many opportunities, and so many questions. Where am I now with my OLW?

I have been working all year to help my students build bridges reaching to each other in kindness and understanding. We had a boy-girl split that threatened to infiltrate every part of our school day. We built our bridge with class meetings, partner activities and a read-aloud about a rocky boy-girl friendship. Things are better, but the bridge is still fragile.

My class and I went on Twitter and began building thin bridges to other classes all over the United States and the world. We have chatted in 140 characters with some of them. Some of them are so very different than we are in suburban Chicago.

I am enabling my daughter to visit her grandmother, who she hasn't seen in over a year, by paying for a phone ticket. A bridge between generations.

One of my personal goals was to build bridges to others by conversing, by having those little conversations with strangers that enhance your day, that make a connection. I don't remember this all the time, but I have struck up conversations more than I ever have. I had a short talk with the young man in the deli making my sandwich about the weather and what he was planning to do on Saturday. I had a longer conversation with another woman in the very long line for the ladies' room at the Civic Opera House. It was interesting enough that I told my husband about it, though I don't remember what we talked about anymore! I say hello to people walking their dogs, sometimes they answer, sometimes not. Either way, it's fine.

My bridge is a work in progress.


  1. Checking in with your OLW is a good idea. This reflection gives me the sense of "bridge" having multiple meanings.
    The kindness to bridge moments with conversation is delightful. My OLW is love and I think love my make friendly remarks in passing in a grocery store line, eh?

    1. Thank you! Definitely, friendly remarks in the store line count! Have you read the little book "When Strangers Meet"? I haven't finished it, but it's about that very thing -- short chance encounters with strangers that enhance our lives.