Saturday, October 4, 2014

Birthday Wishes....

Margaret Berg: birthday/celebrate
Yesterday I gave my annual birthday quiz to my students.  It's a fun little quiz that gives the kids a few extra credit points and is a quick formative test to see how closely they read the questions.  I mean, when the kids have problems answering "What is my sister Heather's name?" they obviously are not reading the question very carefully.

I even give a "guessing list" for the 15 questions.  And I still have students confused as to which animal is my favorite (mountain lion) and who my favorite singer is (Frank Sinatra) because they don't want to read through the list at the bottom of the page of the offline version or the drop down box in the online version.  

Why is it that we want to rush through everything?  That's what those who were frustrated were doing, after all.  The students who didn't know my sister's name (even though it was right there in the question) or the name of my favorite animal/singer/whatever other topic I asked about (even though the answers were right there on the page) were rushing through the quiz instead of taking their time.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons we celebrate birthdays: to slow down the year that seems to be just flying by.

It is always fun, though, too, to get all the birthday greetings from the students.  I heard "Happy Birthday a day early!" many times yesterday.  It brings back memories of bringing in cupcakes or treats with my sister to elementary school on our birthday.  I didn't bring treats to all my students, but I like to think that the extra credit points more than made up for the lack of frosted cupcakes (and were more nutritiously sound, too).

Yes, you read that right: our birthday.  I'm a twin.  My sister is a blessing in my life, and I wish her a happy birthday today.  I wrote a poem about her in another blog post (So I had to write a poem about twins...), but I wanted to share another poem I wrote about her on this, our birthday.

The Sister I Love                                                                  

Her laughter and tears                                                                           
Complete me as if they’re                                                                         
Happy Birthday Heather!  Love you!
Left over parts of myself
That I lent to her and never
Got back after we left, prematurely,
The shared room inside our mother.
I see her smile on my face and hear
Her voice in my throat—and
Me in her likewise. She shares
A bit of my soul, too, as we
Can know each other’s
Thoughts with just a glance. She is
A lifetime of shared amusements
And trials and worries and joys
All wrapped up in a package
Only two minutes older and yet
Infinitely wiser than I. My mirror,
My other self, if I were married and
Had a son and lived by crunching
Numbers instead of building cathedrals.


  1. Excellent, love the poem and you. Happy Birthday to my second first-born daughter ;)