Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Knock Down Drag Out Fight

Today I am experiencing the dreaded "writer's block".  No, not quite totally true.  I am experiencing positive writer's block.  Everything that I can think to write about is negative.  My annoyances and frustrations with the world, my life, etc.  I decided when I started the Slice of Life experience that I didn't want it to be a place for complaining.  Expressing my emotions about sad or tough topics is one thing but not complaining.

I am also feeling overwhelmed.  Maybe it is because I am sick but I'm overwhelmed by choosing.  What should I write about?  What experiences?  Maybe I can't write.  Maybe it isn't any good.  Darn it. . . negative.

In my sixth grade ELA class today we discussed internal and external conflicts.  We also discussed how it is some people's nature to have more of one kind of conflict than the other.  I, you might have guessed, am prone to internal conflict.  I had fun with this because I asked students to raise their hand if they had had a conflict today.  Then I told them that I had a MAJOR conflict this morning from about 5:30 am to 5:45.  I really built it up with lines like "it was a knock down drag out fight" and "my conflict lasted a long time".  By the end of my build up they were feverish.  They wanted to know who I was fighting.  I am a mild mannered person and probably the least likely person they know to get into a fight.  I finally dropped it on them, "Do you know who I was fighting with?  MYSELF!"  It went like this.

"Beep.  Beep.  Beep."

"Don't get out of bed.  It is so comfortable.

"You have to get up and get ready for work."

"No you don't."

"I'll get in trouble if I just don't show up."

"So what.  You have a cold.  You need the sleep."

"I also need a job."

"Who cares.  The bed is comfortable, the pillow is just right and it is going to be a long day.  Might as well not start."

Eventually the rational side of me won out and I pulled back the covers and forced myself out of my cocoon.  By the time that I get to this point in the story the students think it is hilarious and they understand internal conflict.  Now if only I could conquer my own conflicts that easily.


  1. Oh, I have that same conflict every morning! What a great way to illustrate internal conflict to your students.

  2. I always enjoy sharing who I REALLY am with my students. They sure do enjoy knowing our very human side. Feel Better.

  3. Fabulous example for your students to hear! I have no doubt they really "got it." I, too, wrestle with "positive writer's block" and I love the way you phrased that! You just got a real positive out of a negative...that's pretty awesome!

  4. Marie, this is wonderful. No wonder you inspire and inform my teaching!