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Aloha Followers of Tennis, Trisomy 21 and Taking in Life Together,

My last post about poetry ended with my high school students pushing through a Friday and then being jolted away from their phones and texting by their middle-aged teacher plucking a poem from memory and reciting it for them. They were surprised and even smiled!

My eight-year-old daughter spent most of last week with her fathers at work. She participated in the workshop and talked about it much of the day. Later, that evening, she drafted a poem.

Da kommt ein Sturm!What I hope to give to my students and daughter, who has Trisomy 21, are truths that are pretty universal: discover what you love, be grateful if it becomes a lifelong friend, embrace the highs and lows of that friendship, be patient, steadfast and attentive to the friendship. Those friendships for me have been tennis, training for marathons, reading, and poetry.

I recently learned that I’ll be teaching the workshop all year at the school in Hawaii where I have worked for five years, a wonderful coaching opportunity for a guy who spends most of his working days as an administrator. I love stepping into a classroom even when teenagers are counting down the hours to the weekend.

And I love when my daughter is excited about writing her own poems. This morning, we finished her second draft.

The Train Ride

A train drives on its wheels, in curves and straight lines.
The train’s conductor decides how he feels.
Will he hold steady or make the train swerve?

Sometimes I like a ride where I don’t quite know
exactly where the train will go.

Written by Ellen on 20 October 2018

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