Sunday, August 19, 2018

Unicorn Feed and Supply

If you have a child at home between the ages of six and ten, chances are unicorns have taken over your life.  They have in ours. Because, well, I have an eight year old. She lives in a world of unicorns, glitter, rainbows, and all things happy. She has already started planning for her next Entrepreneur Night at school. Her table will be decorated with unicorn cards, unicorn tears, unicorn skin, and anything else unicorn that she can think of. It isn't until February.

I recently came across a friend's post on facebook. She had visited a store in downtown Ypsilanti called Unicorn Feed and Supply. I showed it to my unicorn obsessed daughter and right then we decided to start planning for a special trip to visit this place.

And last Wednesday we went. Adorned in their unicorn garb, my two daughters (the younger more unicorn obsessed than the older) were more than excited to visit this magical place. My son, not so much, but he didn't really have a choice. After having lunch with my father and step mom at one of the best places I have eaten in a while (Beezy's Cafe), we made the two block trek to a store that is every unicorn lovers dream.

When you first enter, you are greeted by this large white unicorn that has yet to be named. Then, you look around. Unicorns, unicorns, unicorns. Unicorn pencils and markers and lights and decorations and this and that. The store is a modest size and the owner, Jen, has done a nice job with the space. There is a little something for everyone. Funny little cards for adults, metal art, facial supplies, little trinkets, Mrs. Grossman's stickers. It was these stickers that brought me back to my childhood. I had found my happy place. You could even purchase them by the sheet!

Since we were the only ones in the store at that time, I talked with the owner. I asked her how this store came to be. She quickly reached under the counter and pulled out her sticker book from her past. It was almost identical to the one I had. She opened it up and there I saw the puffy stickers I had saved my money to buy, the smelly ones that  never lost their scent, and the gel type ones that I so badly wanted but was never able to purchase. I was instantly jealous of that sticker book. What a reminder of my youth.

Jen continued to talk and told me that this sticker book was the only thing she had saved from her childhood and questioned herself why. She remembered buying Mrs. Grossman's stickers by the sheet and wanted that for other children. So the idea of this store came to be and she put her idea into action. The rest is history.

I only find it fitting that as I type up this blog post my two daughters are outside riding scooters in the rain looking for rainbows because that is what happens when the sun is shining and rain falls out of the sky. And they, are happy.

Unicorns Galore in Downtown Ypsilanti

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Power of Asking Questions

I spent the last two days at new teacher training with my new district. This is not my first year teaching. In fact, this is year 22 for me. And I was so appreciative for having the opportunity to come together with all the other new teachers, some truly new to teaching, because I had a lot of questions.

And I wasn't afraid to ask them.

Growing up I never asked questions, especially in school.  I didn't want to appear as though I had no idea about what was going on with the lesson. I listened and tried hard to understand the content, but I just didn't get it. And this became routine. In each class, I sat trying to make sense of what my teachers were teaching me. It didn't work. No one bothered me though because I was quiet and well behaved. I was good at looking the part of a confident high school student, but inside, I was a ball of confusion.

Eventually, I fell through the cracks.


Good grades and test scores did not get me into college but rather a recommendation letter written by my high school math teacher. I know this because I asked the admission's counselor during my visit to Albion why I was accepted.  This was the  start of my question asking. For so long I had remained silent and decided that day I wanted to hear my voice. So I asked another question: May I read the letter? In my mind the worst thing he could tell me was no, and no really wasn't that bad. He showed it to me. My high school math teacher saw me for who I truly was. Fierce, competitive, and extremely hard working.

Today, I am a go getter, doer, maker, writer, and athlete. I continue to be hard working. and I ask questions.  A lot.

I ask questions because sometimes I am confused.

I ask questions because there are a lot of things I don't know how to do.

I ask questions because I need help.

I ask questions because I want to grow as a person.

I ask questions because I need to know what is going on in the lives of my children.

I ask questions because if I didn't, then I wouldn't be the teacher I am today.