Friday, April 8, 2011

Titania's Baby

Her name is Elisa and she's in third grade.

Elisa is a glass-is-half-full kind of gal. For no good reason, she'll shoot you a smile. You don't need to hand out a compliment, a joke or a "How ya doin', Elisa?" She'll give you a free one anyway. Just that kind of kid.

Elisa is one of the five girls in the Plot People. She gobbles up the little mandarin oranges I bring to our lunch meetings, following that with a handful of oatmeal-raisin cookies, and chases those with a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos.

Elisa's high on life and she dove head-first into the story of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," with its cast of fairies and lovers and goofball mechanicals.

Elisa fills her journal with writings and drawings when I suggest themes.

When we explored William Shakespeare's choice to leave his wife and kids in Stratford for glory in London, Elisa drew a picture of Anne Hathaway at home under a sun and Shakespeare at his desk under a moon.

    Dear William,

    I love if you come home. Everyone miss you. Please come back I hope you get this litter.

    P.S. I love you and the family. I can't wait for you so much.

    Dear Annie,

    I love you to. I'll come home on Friday. I hop I can go home.

    P.S. I will see you soon.

We discussed the play's story of love, and Elisa wrote about her dog, which had recently had pups.

    I like my dog because she likes food when I give her and I pet her pupes but she is looking at the food and when she is in the car some time she see me so she comes and gets made and bite me.

    If I can be everything I will be a puppy and cry for food and toys and live in the mountins and clim as fast as I can for I can eat enthing.

This story was illustrated with a puppy alone at the top of a giant hill.

In Shakespeare's play, Titania, Queen of the Fairies, has adopted a baby fairy after the death of the baby's mother.

"Ms. Ryane, how did that mom die?" asked Tandi, another girl in our group.

"Well, Shakespeare doesn't tell us how she died but sometimes...back in the olden days, moms died when they gave birth to a baby."

"That happened to my mom," Elisa said.

She was sitting to my left. I turned to find her eyes.

"What do you mean, Elisa? Who takes care of you?"

"My grandma and my dad. My mom died when I was a baby. She was holding me for five or eight minutes and then she died. My grandma is going to tell me all about her on my birthday when I turn ten."

The four other girls at the table looked up from their books. Our circle was silent.

"See my hair?" Elisa asked me.

Elisa's hair was braided into two pigtails springing out the sides of her head. Her eyes were bright with the question.

"Yes, I noticed it was a different style today. Did you do that yourself?"

"Yes! I did it special 'cause it's my mom's birthday."

"You did a good job. It looks amazing."

"That's a hard story to tell," Millie offered.

"Yes, it is," I answered, "and I think we're all honored that Elisa shared it with us."

    My Mom

    When I was a baby my mom died for 5 or 8 minutes and I allwase dream about her. I miss you mom so much.

    She is 23 year old. I miss her.

The drawing for this entry was the profile of a huge hospital bed with little wheels for feet. At the head of the bed was an itsy-bitsy mom holding a tiny baby. At the foot of the bed was a large nurse dressed in black.

Sometimes...back in the olden days....

If I had Pucks power I would make everyone be nice to each other. If not I would make everyone say what they feel inside that they might be afraid to say. The last thing I would make every one around the world have enofe food enufe water and enuf shelter, basicly every thing you need to live a nice healthy life.
—Rebecca, 3rd grade

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