Friday, April 20, 2018

Scholastic Spotlight: Autumn Vote


Honorable Mention

Author: Autumn Vote
10th Grade
Educator: Caitlin Johnson

Well, if I’m remembering correctly, my Mom was placed on an oxygen tank when I was only 5 years old.  I don’t ever recall seeing my mom without an oxygen tank growing up.  When I was 6 years old, I had experienced seeing my mom not wake in the morning plenty of times that I actually lost count.  As I recall my childhood memories, I remember getting off the bus and noticing there would be an ambulance up at my house getting ready to take my mom to the hospital.  I would see that when I’d get off the bus on a regular basis. I would say maybe three times about every two weeks.
Every time my mom was in the hospital, the doctors would always tell her “you have to quit your smoking,” but she had never listened. However, one time when she went to the hospital, it was pretty serious and that had made her realize that she had to quit smoking. But it wasn’t that easy.  My mom was born with some kind of disease where she wasn’t even supposed to live to even reach the age of 30, but somehow (miraculously) she had survived to see the age of 30 and kept living.  But like I said before, she was on an oxygen tank, which was basically keeping her alive. 
There wasn’t much the doctors could do to stop my mom from being as sick as she was, there wasn’t anything they could do to stop her from dying in her sleep at times, but they wouldn’t stop trying to keep her alive as long as they could. My mom was a strong woman, she had to fight a tough battle just to keep herself alive. She had suffered so much because of just a sickness she had throughout her life. When I turned seven years old, my mom was in the hospital again, because she had not woken up two days before.  As she was in the hospital, my sister Tara called the hospital so could talk to her, and so as I was talking to her she said “Happy birthday my baby. I’m sorry momma’s not there with you.” She started telling me how much she missed me and that I was going to be able to see her soon.
 Two weeks later, she was still in the hospital in Minot, ND.  My whole family went down to Minot, ND to visit my mom.  When I got there, I gave her a big hug and I laid down with her as the some of the family was out in the hall, and some were in the other lounge. As I was laying with my mom in her hospital bed, she had started to lose her breath very slowly. It seemed like everything was in slow motion.  I just keep asking what was wrong, because I didn’t know what was going on when she kept losing her breath.  As five minutes (I think) went by, I had heard her last breath, the heart beat machine go flat, and then I think I knew she was gone.  I remember I started to cry and my dad or one of my brothers came got me off my mom and brought me to the hall and hugged me.
After my mom took her last breaths, the doctors asked us if we wanted to go in and see her on the bed one last time, so we did.  While doing so, I started crying more along with my family, then we went back home with a sadness spread across our family.  My aunties and uncles started arranging when the wake and funeral would take place. August 27th, 2009 was the day she died, the funeral and wake took place like 5 days after that.
Losing my mom made me realize that what you love the most won’t always be around.  It also taught me to make sure to tell your parents how much you love them while you can, because I never got the chance to.  It makes me feel bad.  I never had the opportunity to get to know her or really spend time with her, because I lost her at such a young age.  I took what little time that I had with her for granted.  It makes me sad that she won’t ever be here to watch me grow up, she won’t be able to see me graduate, get married, or have kids.  In the end, I get some satisfaction from the feeling that my mom is watching her youngest child grow up to become a good man from heaven. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Do you have a Goodreads account?

I'm wondering how many RRVWP teachers have Goodreads accounts? I would be interested to read about the books that you find helpful in your classroom teaching. Here is my latest post about a book I pre-ordered because the author will be at the NDCTE conference this summer (and also because he is one of my favorite YA authors):

Please add a link to your reviews in the comments section below!
-Kelly Sassi

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Starting down this path

Start with this sentence: I really didn’t want to walk down that path, but I did it anyway.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Scholastic Spotlight: Athalia Haghton


Silver Key

Author: Athalia Haghton
8th Grade
Educator: David St. Peter

I like to talk about things that make people uncomfortable.
Like endangered species and our corrupt government,
How we’re killing our planet and all anyone seems to care about is money,
I ask: how can one person be worth so much when so many people have so little?
Not so many people like to talk with me,
People think I’m a downer; always being so gloomy.
See I like to talk about slave trades still going on in our world,
How refugees are trying to get away from war zones,
About how we close our minds and our borders to them,
How we trade so many lives for our own feeble idea of safety.
Maybe we could be more helpful if we redefined ourselves,
What if instead of sitting on a couch or looking at a screen our idea of fun was to help?
To put our efforts towards dying things,
Not just people, but everything?
Dying people, dying breeds, dying plants, dying ideas of love and compassion.
Our dying planet.
The more I talk the deeper I like to go,
Like peeling the layers of an onion,
The further I go the worse it smells,
The more you start to cry.
Not because I’m a downer,
But because I’m only 13,
My next few years of life will swamped and busy,
All about me and those few around me.
I like to talk about all this because it’s the least I could do,
Five minutes where my life isn’t all me,
Five minutes given to those who have so few,
Five minutes to inspire someone else.
Because I keep hoping,
Hoping that if I talk about it,
If we talk about it maybe, just maybe, we can change it,
If we can change it maybe, just maybe, we will.
Yes, I like to talk about things that make people uncomfortable.