SJVWP Story, LaLa LaNotte-Hays

I attended the recent SJVWP Reunion Day where I wrote the following poem. I was sitting in the small group that was focusing on metaphors and poetry and this poem just appeared, but prior to the day I had thought a great deal about my time with the writing project, from my Summer Institute in 1995 to doing presentations, coordinating workshops, participating in the Open Program and an Advanced Institute to becoming a Mentoring Director.  I could not imagine my life—and not just my teacher life—without the powerful influence of SJVWP. [Note: we couldn’t get our template to reflect LaLa’s indents. Sorry!]

Why I thought of the mug
I don’t know.
Maybe because I have several sitting around the house,
a few holding pencils and pens.
Or maybe because I remember being one of the last
to be “mugged”
and feeling so proud.

Maybe because
Eventually I got to mug Fellows, touting their unique contributions.

I remember sipping hot coffee or tea
during the quiet times of writing or
listening to someone share,
savoring the flavor of my beverage
and the words that poured from
the Author’s Chair.

I grasped that mug and those lessons from
such creative, enthusiastic teachers-
Never the same after SJVWP—
I was more ME
and so much better for my students,
my learning spilling onto them
so they could soak up
the power of
writing—
My cup runneth over.

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