Friday, May 14, 2010

A Way With Words

A brown envelope addressed to me came from the elementary school where I did my artist-residency back in January. Remember January?

Jane, secretary-turned-friend of mine, had stuck a note on the stack of papers tucked inside; the post-it read, Hi Betsy! It's amazing what you find when you clean off your desk. Yup.

I relaxed in the comfy dragonfly chair in the living room and read twenty-five notes from second graders, hand written back on January 15, 2010. All but one, were cheerful and upbeat. That's why I like second graders so much. And that's why when I have a speaking engagement, I imagine all the people as second graders. I've never done the imagine everyone in their underwear strategy. Nope.

So I thought I'd share a few notes for this Friday. Second graders have a way with words, as well as spelling. This is from a little girl named Montana.

I did not know that you can jest think of wrods and then trun it in to a interesting sentence. I loved playing the sound making game it was one of my favriet things.

Here's one from Jonathan who seems to have the Buddhist thing happening.

I enjoyed playing games. I enjoyed writing, I enjoyed acting. But most of all I enjoyed being their. I can't wait until next year to do it again.

After I finished reading, I remembered a love letter I had saved from one of my second graders back in 1994. I've held onto it all these years because she was so sincere and well, that spelling thing lights up the whole piece. I wish I could figure out how to scan it but I've transcribed it exactly how Kristen wrote it...

to ms. jacson
you are the best techer I ever had. you are wonderfull trific fantastic,
I like your nekclis
I like your scert
I like your shirt
I like your tits
I like your shoes
I like your earings
I like you your
studint Kristen

Here's to giving kids permission to "jest think of wrods" and find their own voice. And you too!

ps. if you need help translating, sweet Kristen was referring to my tights. I must've been dressed up that day!


  1. Oh mom
    your writing is so beautiful
    your writing makes me laugh,smile , and cry(But only triers of happyness)

  2. Well, thanks so much, "Anonymous" daughter of mine. How wonderful to read your comment! I feel so lucky to have a reader like you!!!
    Mom xoxo