Monday, June 10, 2013

Supporting Student Writers, Graduation & Cake!

Take a look at this cool cake I had made for one of my students. It's a  photo transferred on a cake of a pencil drawing he made of a barn. Early on in the semester I asked students to bring in a photograph of something they love or care about and then write a narrative essay based on their connection to what's in the picture.

One student brought in this drawing that reflects his passion for barns. He wrote a beautiful essay reflecting on his life growing up in Vermont and his interest in preserving the simple yet special architecture found in an American treasure-an old barn.

I encouraged him to submit his essay to our campus journal Turning Tides and when it was accepted for publication I wanted to show him I was proud of his efforts to write and to write well. I wasn't only celebrating him but the class as a whole. They worked hard and it took dedication throughout the entire semester to put together final portfolios. Portfolios they could feel proud of.

As for the photo of the butterfly cake my oldest son graduated this past weekend from high school. I felt that strange dichotomy of emotion where my deep happiness and pride in his accomplishments rubbed right up against my intense sadness for what will no longer be. So, I shed a whole lot of tears this weekend.

The reality is the turning tide of his life is that he's no longer in High School. And I'll never get to make his lunch for school or wake him up to get to class in the same way as  I have been since he first went off to kindergarten.

People tell me it will get easier and our relationship will grow and change in unexpected ways. I have faith this is possible. For now, I think I'm just going to need a little more time to get used to the idea.

In the meantime, I've been baking for parties and celebrations for both end of semester and graduation. I baked a few butterfly cakes dipped in ganache to remind the graduating seniors that they now can open their wings and fly.