The Things I Carry

One of the things I love about our faculty meetings is that we often begin with a writing prompt based on a poem, story, or a passage from a longer piece.  We take about 10 minutes to write down our reflections or to begin a piece of our own.

Last year a colleague read to us from Tim O'Brien's Vietnam memoir (fictional memoir?) The Things They Carried.  She then posed the question to us:  As teachers, what are the things we carry?  

Here is what I wrote, a bit edited and revised and also not limited to my life as teacher (because I'm not just that).  I found it a fun exercise and might do it again, just to practice.  There are so many ways one could go with this question.

What do I carry?

I carry children, lunch boxes, school bags
File folders, papers, paper clips
Lip gloss, Legos, tiny swords
Pennies, lots of quarters (oh please let me have quarters!)
Water bottles, cleats ,sticks, rocks, shells
Crumbled leaves
Candy wrappers, lollipop sticks
Apple cores long-forgotten
Science projects
Shoes, newspapers
Worries within, fears without
Thanks and gratitude
Children's questions, maybe a few answers
Calvin & Hobbes, Tintin
Bewilderment and yet hope
The True Light that enlightens every one.

joining with Emily for Imperfect Prose on Thursdays


  1. O, I like this. I'm going to give it a try. Have a great day.

  2. how cool! that you work in a place where you can start the day with imagination... i love this list; yes, bewilderment, hope, and the true light. kit, you bless me. xo

  3. What a great exercise! I love your list, and I love how you transitioned from the mundane to the very deep. I'd like to do my own but I'm a little scared what it would turn up - I hate clutter and I probably have more than I want to fess up to.

  4. Glad to get to know you as well, my fellow New England hymn-loving Presbyterian blogging friend! Worries within, fear without. Yep, you've been influenced by a hymn writer or two! Wish I could stop carrying those things around. Blessings.

  5. So beautiful. Lists like this help us all think. Thank you! I once was a teacher and it is a very honorable and full calling. Blessings to you!


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