SOLSC: Rising to the Surface

“The poem about the whale reminds me of…”

I am modeling how good readers make connections. I am remembering a baby grey whale, which used to swim alongside the ferry on our daily commute.

From beneath the dark, turbulent waters a pale blue shape emerges.  I smell tar and seaweed.

“What’s the Puget Sound?” someone asks, and Google has the answer. It is a place on a map.  It is the home of orca whales, river otters, squids and (apparently) the world’s largest octopus.

I point to the island where I grew up. They want to see my childhood home, and I zoom into Google Earth.  “Where is it?” V asks.  I point to the house that raised my sisters and I. “Oh,” she says, “I thought it was a big rock.”

I look again, but I see frog catching, tree climbing, barbecuing and fireworks.


10 responses to “SOLSC: Rising to the Surface

  1. Things I noticed about my writing process/style:
    – I adore drafting on paper
    – I edit as I go, but when I get really stuck I remind myself to “just write”
    – I revise a lot! I revise on paper. I revise while typing. I revise after previewing.
    – Reading aloud is part of my revision process = checking for fluency / readability (what do you call that?)
    – Word choice is important to me – each word has layers of meaning, emotions and connotations.

  2. Your modeling example is excellent. Your last line is fantastic. I sense your affectionate connection to your home. I’m putting it in my notebook. 🙂

    • Mary Helen,
      Thank you for your kind and specific feedback. I was trying out how to convey an emotion, without telling the emotion. Thanks for noticing.
      Have a great weekend,

  3. Love seeing the reference to the Puget Sound (where I live) and how you have now helped those children make connections with a time and place that is meaningful to you.

  4. I can tell word choice is important to you. Your words make the visualization so clear. Love the sentence with dark, turbulent waters . . .

  5. Thank you for bringing me home too. I just moved from the Puget Sound area and your description was perfect. I miss the skies on a clear day and the white crested mountains gleaming from my window. The last line was my favorite though. A house is a house, but the memories make it home.

  6. Dear Ms. M,
    I like how you have your memories alternating with the classroom situation. The tone of voice is clearly different. Thanks to the carefully chosen words you have packed so much emotion to the short memory sentences. The sentence with dark, turbulent waters… is my favorite also. I can feel the longing. The last sentence sounds like a beginning of a list poem to me.

  7. What I loved: the way you ended this slice – your heart memories.

  8. What a great example of “explode the moment”. I loved reading this and could imagine what it all looked like while it was taking place.

  9. Oh-it’s such a lovely piece of description-honing down to the just right words. I love it.

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