Thursday, November 15, 2012

When was the last time someone was thankful for D'Nealian?

Tuesday thanks: Tuesday, as I do on many days, I went for a walk at the park across the street from my building. While my building may be slowly sinking into oblivion (for real - our chairs have to be bungied to things to keep them from rolling around on the slanted floor), the beauty of the Discovery Center and Kauffman Legacy Park just steps away offers welcome respite. Frogs and turtles in the spring and summer, rabbits and squirrels in the fall and winter. I give thanks for the beauty that is nature, and that it's so close at hand on a daily basis.

P.S. How spectacular has this autumn been? Mother Nature completely nailed it this year. Good show!

Wednesday thanks: It was so hard to get out of bed on Wednesday. I give thanks for heated mattress covers, memory foam mattress toppers, Tempurpedic pillows and luxuriously soft sheets (held on by an object of previous thanks).

Thursday thanks: Today, I am thankful for the quality public school education I received courtesy of the North Kansas City School District, followed by a first-rate college education at UMKC. That I can and very much enjoy reading, can and like to write (in D'Nealian, no less!), that I can think critically, study effectively, organize my ideas and generally entertain a thought without having to accept it are in large part attributable to my education at these institutions. And to my mom. And oatmeal.

And just for fun - here's the manuscript for D'Nealian. Though I now write in a freakish amalgamation of D'Nealian, printed letters and something that resembles Arabic, I still like to write this out as a doodle during especially boring work meetings.

I think it's rather beautiful, and reminds me of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Sheri Coffman. While she's currently the director of the award-winning Theater department at Winnetonka High School, I was a first-grader in the first class she led as a new teacher.

She brought a Tessie Talk ventriloquism doll to class and sang "You Are My Sunshine." I loved it so much I demanded a Tessie Talk for Christmas and spent the next year learning that I wasn't cut out for ventriloquism.

Her and her husband introduced us to melodrama via a production in the school cafeteria, and she gave me my first acting gig as the narrator angel in The Littlest Angel.

Mrs. Coffman didn't mind when, as the boys all chose to be Indians and the girls chose to be Pilgrims in a Thanksgiving hat-making activity, I decided to be an Indian because I wanted to make a headdress out of construction paper feathers and call myself "Little Bear" rather than make a dumb hat with a buckle on it and call myself  "Charity."

Shirt Tales stickers, pinatas, Christmas pageants - I loved first grade and I loved Mrs. Coffman. So I suppose I'm thankful for her influence, too.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

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