Make Cycles

Our course is organized by “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. You can find the tasks for each cycle in the drop down menu above.

Google+ Community

We will share most of our work in a Google+ Community. We will upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and “makes” here.

Featured Bloggers Make Cycle 2: Julie, Brittany, Sandra, and Rebecca

Featured Bloggers Make Cycle 2: Julie, Brittany, Sandra, and Rebecca

Julie Lafreniere: 

Last week’s bloggers are this week’s joggers; I’m in the hot seat now! So get in the car, I can’t wait to start our writing adventure together and we can’t go until all our ideas are packed in the 442, and someone screams road trip! It’s clear by our “Makes,” English 333 is on the freeway to learning success! Make Cycle 2 was filled with fuel to get our thoughts moving and writing reved, not to mention the reason we are all here: to encourage our students to drive themselves forward as well. If we are excited for their endless possibilities and capabilities, I know they will want to come. Who’s up for the experience?

Within our Make Cycle we made lists to generate ideas, talked about getting students interested in creating books and enjoyed some mentor texts to get our minds busy.  We read some wonderful mentor examples of purposeful storytelling. My two favorite readings this week were Alexander and The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day and The Ted Talk with Mac Barnett about Randolph the Whale. Mac Barnett explained the wonder of fiction. His talk demonstrated purposeful storytelling to perfection. He explained how truth and fiction meld together and even if a person (or child) knows something is not true, the belief can be powerful and add meaning to their lives. Randolph the Whale was born for my imagination. I reflect that Preschool and Kindergarten teachers use the art of imagination technique often, but somehow many teachers lose the ability to see the benefits within the older crowd. The speaker in our Ted Talk used it as he addressed his audience as well. This Ted Talk could easily be used at a high school level. It was a jump start for creative writing. I know my fifteen year old would’ve enjoyed it.  When he said, “Children have completely different views than adults do. Their imaginations go places that ours may not and by creating this sense of belief, they venture out into a whole new world.” It again made me consider: Wouldn’t a teen enjoy watching this Ted Talk and then write a letter to Randolph (the whale) about oh, I don’t know, whatever? One would have a quick student discussion after the video. The 2 min list would be generated. The scholars have formed ideas, been given mediums to create with (tech or colorful pens and poster board), they formulate ideas, 90 mins fly by for everyone and wham you are a success. Students leave your class feeling smart. If you have this fun, exciting and moving classroom who needs “behavior management”; students are learning and liking the behavior.

Alexander was a personal favorite of mine growing up. Anyone notice the 60’s Beetle that he was smashed into the center of? That was a primo vehicle at the time. I identified with Alexander so because I had undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD. I was in fact reading that book on a kindergarten, everyday, horrible, school day when I was pulled out for my first of 100’s of doctor visits. I remember being very invested in Alexander. I felt sorry for him and hoped his day got better. Sean Gamer can understand what I felt in identifying with Alexander’s character: he wrote, “We have all had an experience or something in our lives that has had an impact on us. Things that have an impact on us usually have a lesson or something to learn from and that is something to write about.” These experiences that you talk about can be positive or extremely negative.

I felt full of ideas and overwhelmed in the beginning of our Make. Some fellow students had some encouraging feedback to my frustrations. Sandra Nyland said to me, “I certainly can relate to you regarding a ‘whirling brain.'”  As an imaginative person, it is hard to focus on one particular concept or thought…especially when you are given so much cool stuff to contemplate!  The possibilities are endless. Chad Lafenhagen said something that was so relatable for me, “My daughter just the other day expressed her dislike of a pair of pants she termed the ‘pants of doom.’ I almost used that as my Make this week, but ended up going a slightly different path.” Thanks Chad. I stole the idea to describe the  administration in my son’s school, whom we did not know and who were saying profoundly upsetting things to him during his ordeal. I used them to make the correlation that my son was meaningless to them.

So here I am thinking about endless possibilities for my make when tragedy happens.  The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Community have had an experience of tragedy like no other.  My heart goes out to everyone and how  these experiences will shape each of these children’s future learning experiences and how we should use this situation as educators to promote change.  I felt I had to write about my son’s attempted suicide in high school to shed light to people’s experiences. It is my firm belief that all our children and families are victims within our public schools, full of blame and wasted spending.  I felt I HAD to write something real and raw and I chose two writings to share that exemplified other people’s tragedy. I reflect on Kellie Cabico who reminded me: “I think others are always going to be affected by your writing.  That’s not a bad thing.  We all have stories that are hard to tell or hard to hear.  That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be told. Follow your heart, Julie. You got this!”

Baylee Galloway wrote, “My little eight year old self had no care in the world, except what we were going to have for dinner that night. I remember playing in the freshly cut green grass and seeing my Dad drive off and wave, wondering where he was going but didn’t put too much thought into it.” Baylee’s writing directs the reader to right before and right after learning of the tragedy of her brother’s death. With a set in stone outlook she helps the reader understand how the sudden death of a loved one profoundly changes outlook. “We all pull up outside of the funeral home with a sense of anxiety. To me it felt like as soon as we get out of the car and walk in then it becomes real. It is set in stone that my brother isn’t going to come back and this will have to be the time to make peace with that fact whether you are ready for it or not.” Baylee’s loss is as real to the reader today as it was for her years ago. Thanks Baylee for sharing.

Ruben Mendoza spun a very different tale, but one no less tragic. Ruben identifies with the struggles of his mother and many other undocumented immigrants and shares his current concerns through his mother’s perseverance. He uses what I believe to be propaganda statements by political parties (our president) that incite anger instead of speaking of facts concern to demonstrate true facts of what’s really going on throughout his piece about his mother. Awesome idea Ruben!  Here’s an example:  

While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, many, many, this doesn’t change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower skilled workers with less education, who compete directly against vulnerable American workers, and that these illegal worker draw much more out from the system than they can ever possibly pay back.


Tax revenue received from California’s 3 million undocumented immigrants: 3 billion.

Tax revenue received from the entire US undocumented immigrants: 12 billion.

Her infant brother started to lose consciousness and seemed he had a little time before his time on earth ran out. She broke through the boarded window, and instinctively knew to walk down the hill to search for her mother for help. With torn clothes and bug bites all over her skin, her barefooted self walked tirelessly towards the small town, hoping that there would be life to help her and her hungry siblings.

I reflect on Jillian’s point to Barnett’s comment, “The best readers have an emotional tie to what they’ve read.”  Ruben demonstrates this perfectly. With thoughts in mind for our future students’ success, we teachers will have to speed up with the times. We must be a voice for collaboration, innovation, and creativity. We must help create learners who want to take writing risks and enjoy it!  Thanks to all the support of fellow classmates for Make Cycle 2. I’m ready for my journey through our education system: who’s up for the adventure? If you are coming with me and are from English 333, DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR DOG!

Hi all, my name is Julie Lafreniere. I am returning to Chico State to finish a degree in liberal studies (online because I live in Campbell) that I started back in 1994. My goal is to graduate from Chico State the same year my youngest graduates from high school. 2020 here we come! After graduation I plan to enter the credential program and then on to a K-8 charter school. I can work with any and all ages and am excited to be learning alongside my fellow scholars. I love the outdoors and animals. I am especially fond of my dogs Mickey (Husky/yellow lab) and Milton (Scottish Terrier/Griffon); they seem to appreciate me more than any other two people on earth and tell me every time I leave and come home!

Brittany Walker

Over the last two weeks we have read from About the Authors, watched Mac Barnett’s TED talk, listened to The Dot by Peter H Reynolds and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. We also listened to and read The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg and “Moving Vines” by a 4th grader named Ashley. Lastly, we told a story about ourselves for our second Make. I really liked this Make Cycle and felt that there were many things that I could personally relate to.

During the first week of Make 2, chapter one really stood out to me. One example was “will all the teaching show up in the work [students] are able to do?” I am very excited to make a difference in young children’s lives; however, this is one of my fears of becoming a teacher. Since teachers are the future of their students, I hope to do everything right and make sure I am the reason they are succeeding and not holding anyone back.

Growing up I always looked up to my teachers and always wanted to do my best and was always proud of my work. I hope that I will be a teacher that students look up to and really help them succeed in school. We also watched Mac Barnett’s TED talk. I enjoyed everything about his talk especially when he said, “I want a book to be a secret door that opens and lets the stories out into reality.” Imagination is such a wonderful thing for children to have. It allows you to take your mind off things and go somewhere else. As a kid I loved to read and would imagine myself in the book or as one of the characters. Creativity can take you many places and allowing your mind to open can put you right into a book. Being creative can also allow a person to write stories just like the ones Mac Barnett writes.

Moving on to week two, the two books I found myself relating to were The Dot and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In The Dot, I loved how the teacher handled the drawing situation with Vashti. Instead of getting mad or disciplining her for not doing the assignment, she gave Vashti advice:

“just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

This made Vashti use her creativity and then when the teacher hung her work on the wall, she really liked it and it allowed her to create her own masterpiece. I also liked that Vashti even helped other students who thought they couldn’t draw. Since her teacher was kind to her and helped her discover what she could do with art, it allowed her to pass on her knowledge on to others and I think that is very important in the classroom. After listening to the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I thought this would be a great book to share with a younger group of kids. Sometimes people just have bad days, and no matter how hard you try, it seems like it won’t ever get better. I think it’s important to for kids to know that it will get better, but sometimes it takes patience. Also, if kids notice that someone is having a bad day, suggest they are extra helpful or nice to that person. Another thing I would also want to relay to my class is that even though they might be having a bad day, there is always something to be grateful for. Teachers help bring positivity to students’ lives and can help their bad days get better.

Now it was time for our Make 2. For our second make, we were assigned to try writing our own story inspired from an event in school like Vashti in The Dot, or inspired by our troubles and fears like Alexander, or inspired by an image, photo, or drawing. I love how what we have done during the previous week or two relates back to the Make. I think this is a great way to apply what you have already learned and turn it into something even greater. I thought that everyone did such a great job making their own stories and it was difficult only picking a few to share.

Dana C shared:

“Reality hit me and I realized the picture that was once painted for me was not exactly how things were going to happen. I had already taken out a loan for the college I was attending and becoming a resident seemed highly unlikely. I had two and a half years left at ASU which would cost me one hundred thousand dollars. CRAZY! Although it was my dream, I knew I could get that same education back home. I applied to Chico State and took two online classes at Yuba college Fall 2017. I spent months being sad once I moved home and I felt like a failure. It took me a while, but I realized I was not a failure. I had people from high school tell me I was one of the few to take that leap and venture out. I had family telling they were proud of me because that was something I always wanted to do. I was not a failure just because I could not afford that kind of tuition. I was not a failure because I had to move back home. I promised myself that I would join one of their Master’s programs in the future and possibly settle in Arizona. I fell in love with Arizona even more after living there those six months. It does upset me from time to time, but I smile looking back at all of the things I experienced and learned on my short journey.”

I loved the detail of this story and I think many people can relate to it; I know I can. What really stood out to me was when she said, “but I realized I was not a failure.” Sometimes in life things don’t go as planned, but we can learn from everything we do whether it went how we wanted or was different. I also think it is great to pursue your dreams and to set goals for yourself. Things that happen in our lives shape who we are and it is up to us to make the most of it.

Kayla Blaylock:

You’re packing up your last few boxes of pictures and memories ready to start a new beginning for yourself

You look around your now empty childhood bedroom wondering where the past 18 years went

You think about how different it will be living on your own without your parents attached to your hip

You realize now that you can’t just yell their name from across the room when you need something anymore

Ten steps away turns into a hundred miles away

You wonder what it will be like to share a box sized bedroom with someone you’ve never met before

You look at your dad’s silver Toyota truck full of flashbacks from day trips to week long vacations, now filled with more Tupperware bins than you can count on your fingers

You take one last look around your house like it’s the last time you’ll ever see it again

You hug your dog for thirty minutes wishing you could somehow sneak her into your dorm without anyone finding out about it

You go from living in a small town where you know everyone to a town full of fresh new faces

You say bye to your parents and your little sister as they drive away

You can see your mom crying from the front seat of that silver Toyota truck

You look down at your phone, it’s a text from mom saying “Miss you already honey”

It’s a month later now and you find yourself adjusting to this new life style

You’ve met a solid group of friends. You’ve gotten used to the community showers and walking through the hallway with just a towel on. You eventually got used to the dining hall food even though it will never compare to a home cooked meal. You’ve managed to find all of your classes, and this new town is finally starting to feel like your new home.

I really enjoyed Kayla’s “Freshman Year” story. I liked how the descriptions really painted a picture of what was going on. I think stories that people can relate to are great and I’m sure most people in this class can relate to this one. For younger students when they can relate to a story I think it helps them understand it better. Becoming a future teacher, I hope to find books that students can picture themselves in or books that they are excited about because a similar thing happened to them.

Alma Rosa Lopez:

Summer of junior year is when I went out to the tennis courts and gave tennis a try. However, I had no clue how tennis is played or what I needed to play tennis. After this vibe of not having a clue, I felt like I would just embarrass myself. At first, I struggled, but with four hours of practice five days a week I was feeling like the next Serena Williams. This year made me realize that tennis is my new sport and the sport that suites me. Who knew I would be ranked four in my first year playing tennis. At the end of the season, a tournament took place and that’s when I won league in my singles match and almost took league in my doubles match with my partner. However, most importantly our whole team won sections. This was a good year! Best of all, senior year was the same thing as junior year, instead, I moved up a rank. I didn’t win league again but our team did win sections and were pretty close to going to state. I’m bummed that I wasted my time trying to get on the soccer team, but I’m happy that I got to find my sport. Despite all the rejections and disappointments, in the end, I found my sport and proved others that I could not know a thing about a sport and still be able to succeed.”

I also liked this story and think it would be a good one to share with students because it shows them that trying a new sport that they may be skeptical of or never thought of trying can be a great thing. Hearing a positive story like Alma’s could help other students feel comfortable trying a new sport or club at school. I thought her story was really great, showing that sometimes things are meant to be but they can lead you to something else.

Overall, I enjoyed this Make Cycle and reading everyone’s stories. Many of them had great detail and I had a vivid image of what was going on. It’s great when you can feel the emotions from a story someone has written. After reading these stories it also gave me insight on how to incorporate feeling and strong detail into my own writings. I also found that adding dialog really brings the story to life. I thought it was inspiring that reading a few children’s books allowed others to either relate to a story or make their own similar one. As a future teacher, I can’t wait to take some of these ideas such as having the students reflect on readings and creating their own stories.

My name is Brittany and this is my second semester at Chico State. I hope to become an elementary school teacher and improve the minds of our future generations. I go to school fully online and love the atmosphere that teachers have created to allow myself to be involved with other students. I spend my free time with my family, going on hikes, and going on trips.


Sandra Nyland

Wow!  We have such a wealth of creative literary talent in our group.  It’s amazing and wonderful how we can get such a sense of connectedness through our stories and writing. 

The first week of this cycle we focused on “purposeful storytelling” and ventured in to our professional book About the Authors, “Writing Workshop: A Happy Place Where We Make Stuff” and also read literary works created by children in these workshops.  Children were learning to use language to craft literature and making something.  We saw the depth of knowledge, emotion and creativity of these works. There is always so much going on in young minds and we could sense how exciting and fulfilling it will be as an instructor to elicit these ideas from our students.  A quote from About the Authors states, “The curious exploration children do when they are trying to make something, the trial and error, the joyful messiness of it all…” really sums up this segment and how learning to write shouldn’t be exclusive of this. 

We also made lists this first week to generate ideas for writing. We were given a slide deck to use to start the process, which was helpful for those of us that need a bit of structure to get the neurons firing for effective brainstorming.  A suggestion was given to set a timer for two minutes and that proved to be effective and a good way to allow ideas and words to flow more easily.  We learned so much about each other through this fun list-making exercise!

Finally, this week we watched Mac Barnett’s TED talk…simply awesome! His talk about creativity and wonder showed us how we as adults can be more like children where imaginations are set free to explore and create.  We could imagine being in that place in the middle of the Venn diagram, the place that is wonder and where it is so much harder for adults to get to than children.  That place where we could cast aside rigidity of thought aside where imagination, creativity and wonder can thrive.  A place where we can set up “secret doors” in a classroom where children can go to visit a pirate ship, circus or sit around a make-believe campfire and share stories.  We need not place limits on our creative selves.  

The second week in this cycle, we explored The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. These stories gave us wonderful examples of grumpy children that are dealing with real childhood problems and real childhood feelings and exemplify how a bit of encouragement can go a very long way in finding resolution to a particular challenge or struggle.  Vashti in The Dot, learned so much about herself and her capabilities just by the supportive gestures of her teacher.  The beauty of this story is the full circle effect of positive encouragement as Vashti then in turn, encourages a little boy to have confidence in his abilities. One simple gesture can have such a ripple effect. As educators and storytellers, we are reminded to keep the positive ripples going. Alexander, in the Judith Viorst story, receives encouragement in a subtler way. In his mind, he truly is having a horrible, terrible day, but he can express these feelings without anyone else in the story invalidating them. The repeating of the desired land of “Australia” throughout the book was effective as it is likely each one of us has that idealistic place in our mind where we would run-away to and life would be so much better. Also, it was a humorous way to break up the story line while we wait for more musings by Alexander. We find at the end of the story, in the encouraging words of his mom, that even in our idealistic place we are going still going to have bad days sometimes.

The final text we read this week was The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg and the related “Moving Vines” by 4th grader, Ashley.  This story nicely related to the concepts we discussed last week. The drawings were so intriguing and gave rise to much imaginative thought – just a wealth of writing material.  Ashley’s vine story is compelling in that one can surmise she used the one line “He warned her about the book, now it was too late,” as impetus to tell a story where there is not a happy ending.  We can just imagine all the ideas that were floating around in her author’s head and appreciate her ability to pull everything together so effectively.  Children in a supportive environment can be so creative and insightful.

The culminating Makes this week were incredible in both depth and breadth.  Impressive.  Literary creations ranging from the poignant, heartfelt true stories to the imaginative children’s short stories, I am grateful to be able to be able to learn, share and connect in this community. 

It was a real challenge to narrow my focus down to a few to comment on here.  Truly. 

Salina’s writing that was inspired by The Dot, very much resonated with me.  I have a sentimental heart so her story about the drawing made when she was 5 years old really impacted me on several levels.  First, that her detailed and vibrantly colored picture still hangs in her dining room is awesome. Secondly, that Salina writes her story in such a way eloquent, yet simple, manner to convey the meaning behind the painting starting from her initial happiness with her painting then spiraling down to discouragement, embarrassment and self-doubt about the work of art.  Then some encouragement comes to the rescue from her Mom. Great use of this make’s cycle material.  

I know personally, that it can be challenging, if not impossible, to share personal stories.  The ones that are so deeply personal to us that letting them out is like a delicate bubble being let go and we need to have trust that they will go where they are most needed.  Although difficult, we need to tell these stories…especially as educators.   Julie’s, A Smart Owl Life’s Research, does just this.  She took an incredible leap of faith to share a very profoundly personal story on a subject that is not easy to convey.  Her prose was very effectively broken up with specific quotes to transition the written thoughts and give emphasis to the reader.  The use of capital letters for emphasis and the creative descriptions of people such as “medic pants” and “bubbling sports pants” added additional character to an intense story.   

Me, My Best Friend by Jamie was told a huge life story in a graphically simple, eye-pleasing way.  I love the graphic of “the best friend” and how it is shown with her as an infant and as she grows up and gains confidence with herself and the world around her, her best friend gets smaller and smaller until Jamie realizes her best friend is inside her. Powerful in it simplicity. 

I truly could on and on about the stories we shared this week.  I’m in awe as we are in our fifth week of class…looking forward to more learning, growing and sharing!

Mom of three and “G” of two

Senior at Chico State University majoring in Liberal Studies in hopes of making a career change from banker to teacher – has accumulated approximately 190 college credits over the past 40 years on this extended and adventurous journey toward a bachelor’s degree

Longtime resident of Salinas, CA

Resilient, empowered by learning, believes in laughter and a positive attitude, loyal friend, and appreciates the beauty of sunrises that give hope for a new day

Rebecca Lee

As a class, we began our second make cycle exploring About the Author by Katie Wood Ray and Lisa B. Cleaveland, watching Mac Barnett’s Ted Talk, and creating lists to gather ideas for writing. Chapter one of About the Authors had us analyzing Josh’s story about Mammoths. At first reading, several of us noticed his varied spelling of the word “mammoth,” his love of mammoths shown through detail, and his dedication to writing through his research of mammoths and his varying fonts. Upon further reading and analysis we discovered that Josh’s writing had many hidden examples that we had overlooked. This was due to our lack of understanding all that Josh had learned in his writing class. As the chapter continued we learned that students get many of their ideas from other books they have read. For example, Josh took an idea from some books he read where they had two title pages, Maggie and Larke created a series books based on their friendship like the Frog and Toad book, and another boy took an idea from Fred Asch where he drew a picture in a circle on the back of his book. After chapter one we read studies A and B where we learned how effective it is to just tell the kids we are going to make stuff and show them their supplies. This gets the students excited, it gets them thinking, and eventually it makes them see themselves as writers. We also learned techniques to help keep ideas flowing and to encourage the students even if their stories are a little different or their writing isn’t the best. As Dr. Jaxon said, “If the first thing a child sees on her writing is lots of corrections and red pen marks, she’ll stop writing so much. It’s all about picking the things to correct and knowing that over time you’ll see growth.” Keeping this in mind I believe we will take all that we learned in our readings this week and let it guide us as we begin our careers teaching writing to children. As our week continued we watched Mac Barnett’s Ted Talk and learned to inspire children’s sense of wonder through made up stories, humor, and even a sneak store bought melon. As we inspire children and help them embrace their imagination and creativity, they begin to see themselves grow and develop as writers and dreamers and they have fun during the process. Lastly, to wrap up our first week of our 2nd Make Cycle, we created many lists based on topics from the “Finding Ideas to Write About” slide deck. Some of our lists were things we think everyone should do before they die, things about our family and friends, and most commonly, things we like to do. With these lists we thought of ways to use them in writing and discovered how creating lists can inspire and lead to new ideas and scenarios to write about.

As we began our second week of the Make cycle we got to listen/read mentor texts starting with The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, then Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, and concluding with The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg and Moving Vines by Ashley, a 4th grader. One of our biggest realizations with The Dot was how much the teacher helped Vashti by just being positive and not getting angry with her. The teachers actions taught us that when we are teachers in the future we need to decipher different situation and realize which ones require a positive helping hand and which ones need a corrective behavior discussion. Next, as we listened to Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, many of us came to the realization that if you keep reminding yourself that you are having a bad day your going to continue to have a bad day. Instead you need to have positive thoughts and turn your day around. The connection was made that both Vashti and Alexander needed a change of thought and perspective. Vashti accomplished this and eventually even changed someone else’s perspective whereas Alexander continued to be miserable all day long. As we continued the stories seemed to take a dramatic turn but perspective really was still the main focus. With The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, the class was fascinated and intrigued about Harris’ disappearance. We scrolled through drawings with titles and captions created by Harris Burdick and learned that these pictures have inspired many many people to write their own stories based on them. One of these stories was Moving Vines by a 4th grader named Ashley: in this story Ashley uses her incredible imagination and creative details to write a compelling mystery that gave me chills. After reading and listening to all these interesting stories, many members of the class were inspired and anxious to see what the use of encouragement and providing pictures to write stories about could do for their future students. Many of us are so excited to see the potential in out writing students.

To conclude our second Make Cycle we created stories. Everyone’s stories were so wonderful and unique and I chose a few of my favorites to share in excerpts and links below.

“Joy of laughing and smiling to the point that your cheeks feel sore. Joy of finally sneezing after you’ve felt the urge to do it ALL day. Joy of compliments. Joy of seeing the blue sky after a stormy week because the sun somehow makes you happier and energetic, whereas cloudy days make you want to curl up in bed and listen to Adele on repeat. Joy of getting a decent grade on an exam that you were almost one hundred percent sure you failed. Joy of flipping your pillow over after one side gets too hot. Joy of listening to music.” –by Adia Munoz

Adia was inspired to write her story by “The Fears of Your Life” by Michael Bernard Loggins. The reason I chose Adia’s story to feature is because I can truly relate to all that she says and many parts of the story made me laugh out loud. I also love that she took her inspiration and flipped it around to be the joys instead of fears in life.

The next story I chose was “On an Island” by Chelsea Peterson.

I chose Chelsea’s story because it made me laugh out loud and reminded me of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I also liked that she wrote this story based on her own family experiences and used the writing idea lists from last week to create it.


Last but not least, I chose Kellie Cabico’s story about her grandpa’s last day because it was so very personal and filled me with so many emotions. Her story was very well written with breaks throughout filled with memories of her grandpa. I also liked that she was inspired to write the story after seeing the picture of her grandpa, which is similar to what Harris Burdick wanted from his drawings.

“I knew he was sick when he came to live with us last year.  Dad had said that the doctors had only given him a couple of months to live.  But he’d felt so much better when he came home with us.  His spirits had immediately improved and he’d regained some of his old vim and vigor.  He resumed his daily walks, joking that he walked all the way to Barcelona (which was actually just the name of the street two blocks over).  He taught Chris and me how to make all of his favorite dishes, and told us stories about coming from France with his siblings near the turn of the century with bags of French bread because they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to get it in America.  He’d taken to watching wrestling and roller derby and he’d shake his cane at the TV whenever he didn’t like the ref’s calls.  He was just so damn feisty and cute.”

Throughout our second Make Cycle I believe we learned so much about ourselves and each other. We shared our excitement and worries about teaching writing to children and shared personal stories inspired by all the great things we learned these last two weeks. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the semester had in store for our incredible class.

I am a junior at Chico State; this is my second semester as a distance learner. Before I started at Chico, I graduated from Lassen Community College in Susanville, CA with my AA in social science. I am attending Chico State in hopes of getting my BA in Liberal Studies then going on to get my multi-subject credential and hopefully begin teaching by fall of 2019 at just 22 years old. Currently, I am a paraeducator at a middle school in Susanville where I work specifically with special education students. When I’m not working, I can usually be found spending time with my family and two amazing dogs, or reading.

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