The Short Story Behind a Photograph

Sometimes a forgotten memory sparks joy.


This September, “back to school” in 2020 may be chaotic, but today I’m reflecting on a school snapshot from 1979.

Since reconnecting with Ms Watson (my Grade 3 teacher) last fall, we’ve been communicating on and off through social media. She sent me this message last June.

“Going through an old album today – and there you were (wearing my hat, I think).”

My teacher had written this “short story” beside the photograph (1979):

“Little Mary Chang – a real sweetie.

Wouldn’t speak or smile for the first 3 days – but not now!”

LW

I don’t remember being photographed, but I do remember my favourite t-shirt and I can imagine the delightfulness of that sunny day.

You can read the full story about my reconnection with LW here at: https://marychangstorywriter.com/2020/01/09/reconnecting-with-my-1979-grade-3-teacher-featured-in-teacher-magazine/

To make a comment or to contact the writer, please visit the
"About the Writer" page or leave a comment below.

“The Learning Village: Six Word Stories by Our Children”


My brother-in-law, “Mr. B” volunteered to teach the children of our families educational lessons during the pandemic. “The Learning Village” (our online school, named by his 9 year old daughter) is comprised of Mr. B’s mindful curriculum and nine students (cousins and friends) ranging in age from 6 to 12 years.

For one of the lessons, after discussing the Corona virus, students were asked to draw a character or comic of  a “virus” and talk about what people need to do to stay safe. Other lessons focused on music, emotions, mindfulness and meditation. The students look forward to their lessons with Mr. B, get a chance to see the faces of their friends online and parents get a 60-90 minute break from their kids, three afternoons a week. It serves as an meaningful practice and an introduction to what future organized online learning with our teachers and school districts might look like during this time.

Mr. B asked me to teach a lesson on “Six Word Stories”. Our class had a thoughtful discussion about the legendary “first six word story” written by Ernest Hemingway, “For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn” and then I asked the kids to create their own six word stories inspired by the above photograph featured on this post.

Here’s what the children of “The Learning Village” wrote.

 
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“I could hear the calm water.” By Dylan, Age 9.
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“Sits on a rock with peace.”  By JB, Age 10
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“Dylan sat on a wet rock.”  By MB, Age 10.
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“Baseball is enjoyable in the sun.”  (a player who misses the pitch) By CB, Age 12
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“Many years passed, so did he.” (The photo triggered a memory about the writer’s family cat who passed away. The cat loved playing in the forest.)  By EM, Age 12.
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“Many tears, many people, many flowers.” (a funeral memory) By NM, Age 9.
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“I will never let you go.”  By AJ, Age 9
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“A frog that looks like Dylan.”  By TJ, Age 6.
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“Discovered some thing on a rock.”  By NMB, Age 9
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If you have a question, request or wish to comment about this posting "SIX WORD STORIES BY OUR CHILDREN" (or any previous postings), please visit the About the Writer page.

Reconnecting with my 1979 Grade 3 teacher featured in “Teacher Magazine” By Mary Chang


This is a story of how I reconnected with my 1979 elementary school teacher after four decades. It describes the emotional connection that transpires between a student and teacher and how it empowers a child to believe in herself, nurture her creativity and follow her dreams into adulthood.

“Reconnecting with my 1979 Grade 3 Teacher, Lindsay Watson” is now published in Teacher Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020 issue. It’s dedicated to L.W. with a nod to the students of Ms Watson’s classroom.

Reconnecting with my Grade 3 teacher

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“Taking Steps”  Photo by Natalie McMillan

After you’ve read the above story “Reconnecting with my Grade 3 teacher”, I welcome you to take a step back into the past with me to read:

1-Lindsay Watson current
“Lindsay Watson”  Photo by Billy Woods Photography.

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“Flashback into 1979 – title page”

If you would like to make a comment about the story “Reconnecting with my Grade 3 Teacher, Lindsay Watson”, please submit it under the “About the Writer” page. You may also send a Letter to the Editor at Teacher Magazine at: teachermag@bctf.ca.

Version 2
“Words a writer loves to hear”: Handmade and received from L.W. after she read my story, February 2020