About Me

My photo
I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Slice #22 of 31- Struggles With a Snowblower

For the month of March, I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by the community of writers at Two Writing Teachers. Many of my slices are at my personal blog, Just Write, Melanie, but ones that deal specifically with education appear at Two Reflective Teachers. All are welcome to join the slicing party by reading and commenting. People write amazing posts.



Is it bad to admit that I have had a personal goal to NOT learn how to use the snowblower? I mow the lawn, my husband makes lunches, but I'm been pretty happy with the snowday routine of Garth plowing the driveway and me making him coffee. Sometimes, even an omelette. 

Last night, it snowed. And Garth is in Virginia at a soccer tournament with D2. (Daughter #2). He said that snowblowing isn't too tough. I could do it. (He needs to spend a little time reading Peter Johnston or Carol Dweck so that he understands growth mindset. You don't tell someone who is facing a new and daunting task that it will be easy.)

So, this morning, with Garth on the phone, I headed on to try to start the snowblower. 

"Just prime it a few times, shift it to the choke setting, and pull the rope," he said. "It'll start right up.




Is this the right time to admit that I didn't know where the rope was, mistook the primer cord for the starting code, pulled it, and broke it? Maybe I'll have him find that out when he reads the post...

So, I held the broken primer cord together and was able to get the thing started. Proudly, I headed up the driveway. It sort of reminded me of a blank sheet of paper. All mine to make my mark on...

Then, I got into some trouble. See, Garth sent me this text AFTER I came in from the driveway:



Key question in this exchange: did you start in the middle? Nope, I didn't. I think that I might know what having a learning disability could feel like because I am that bad at mechanical things and  So, when I got to about this point, I started to have trouble:


Anywhere I went, I was blowing snow back on to the parts of the driveway I'd already completed. Again, the writing parallel: plan first so you have a sense of what's going to come next. Otherwise, you're going to have a bit of a mess that you can't easily fix.

I went over some of the parts I had already done since I covered them with more snow, reminding myself of the revising process. As the machine roared in front of me, I debated. "How perfect does this driveway really need to be?" See the center strip of snow in the picture below? Is that one worth going after? It would mean more work on the parts around it. Isn't this SO like writing???



The picture that I took of my cup of coffee didn't come out well because it is a black mug, but I found the words on-line:


"Not snowblowing," I thought to myself!

As it turned out, the sun has helped my less than perfect job on the driveway.


 Now, what to do about that broken part? All secrets stay on the blog...



Happy Slicing!


12 comments:

  1. This is a hilarious slice, Melanie! I would have done the exact same thing you did and start at a side, only to realize too late what I had done. Hopefully there will not be any more snow this season for you to use to perfect your new skills.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahaha!!! Oh my goodness! I was laughing so much!! This was a wonderful slice. You got it done. Congratulate yourself. Now the next post will be about when the broken cord is discovered. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the comparison you make to writing, Melanie! I have also avoided learning how to use the snowblower and have a similar arrangement with my husband. Glad the sun helped you out and finished clearing up your driveway!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never touched a snow blower so I would have been just as lost! Your learning curve was amazingly fast! Perhaps this was the last snow of the season?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I actually admire you getting started at all, Melanie. I think I might just get out the shovel. You caught me with a big laugh at ""How perfect does this driveway really need to be?" Now that is what I think my students ask themselves often, "how perfect. . . for Linda"? Love your post, hope the broken part isn't going to be real trouble!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the parallels you made between snowblowing and writing, Melanie. What a great story that came out of snowy event.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I ditto your thought that I have consciously avoided learning the snow blower but also the lawn mower. Right off the bat the technical jargon of prime it and choke setting would have not made sense to me. Loved the text exchange plus the photos to enhance your story. What a fun bit of learning and comparing it to writing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You don't tell someone who is facing a new and daunting task that it will be easy…

    I sure I hope I remember this as I'm raising my daughter (and in any other situation, really)
    What a story! And thank you for reinforcing the idea that I will never move to where I will have to deal with snow ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. One thing about living in the south is that I didn't even know what a snowblower was. Let alone how to use one. I did have a similar experience with a pressure washer last summer. But I just love the way you connected the experience to writing. OMG! How many times have I not started out with a plan. Snow covered my path back up and I had to go back to reveal the true message I wanted to give. Great analogy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One thing about living in the south is that I didn't even know what a snowblower was. Let alone how to use one. I did have a similar experience with a pressure washer last summer. But I just love the way you connected the experience to writing. OMG! How many times have I not started out with a plan. Snow covered my path back up and I had to go back to reveal the true message I wanted to give. Great analogy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You did a really good job! A much better job than I would ever do!! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, please don't ever make me try my hand at snowblowing.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You made me laugh! I don't have a husband so I have to figure out all of this stuff (no snowblower, just a shovel!). My job for next week, during spring break, is to repair the lawnmower, which I broke last year.

    ReplyDelete