Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MRI Thoughts

What do YOU Think of When you Have an MRI? My Small Moment Story

If you've ever had an MRI you know it can be quite stressful. Today I had my third one ever, the first two being about six years ago. So, I knew what I was in for. Noise, endless noise. Trying to be still despite distracting twitches and itches. While my foot was being bombarded by magnetic pulses, I strove to  keep my mind occupied.

To do this I decided to imagine how I wanted my classroom to look when my students returned in the fall. And a funny thing happened! I was able to block everything out and just let my imagination run wild. The endless jack hammering and forte staccato beat of  the MRI not only blocked out the other sounds in the room, but the other whirling thoughts in my brain which normally intrude, and are an impediment to clear thought.

Since I've been involved with @Twitter a lot, I've been learning about different ways to connect classrooms. As I will be teaching writing to three sections of 5th grade, I imagined what I want my connected, writing classroom to look like. In my new room, the back of my wall will have more board space than I am used to. This is a good thing.

It's a good thing because I am planning to put up a column in the back that looks like a twitter feed. I will have a couple of tweets posted as models, and then I plan to let the kids post their thoughts. Maybe we'll have discussions about interesting, engaging tweets from other classrooms and post them, too. Of course, we'll have a real classroom twitter page running, but the one in the back will keep it in the forefront of everyone's mind.

I also want a blog board. We'll look for exemplar writing from around the world, and display it along with a few of our comments. We'll also display our own writing. It will say something like, "Great Writing From Around the World and In Our Own Back Yard!"

As we connect with others we'll keep track of our virtual travel on a map. We'll have a weekly Wordle of writing vocabulary or terms - hey a Wordle could be an assessment... There will be a special board for our GRA (Global Read Aloud) book along with students' thoughts/questions and comments.

While I calculated whether I  would have enough space to implement all my ideas, the MRI droned on, stopping and starting without any coherent pattern I could recognize. I knew the technician was keeping me informed of how much time remained, but I could hardly hear her over the noise and my earplugs. Finally, the cacophony ended, and I felt the sterile slab I was lying on begin to ease out of the Star Trek-like cylinder the lower half of my body had been encased in.

The technician removed the brace holding my foot in place, and told me I was free to go.  Amazingly, I had felt not one twitch, not one itch, nor an urge to move around. As I sat up, I actually felt relaxed and like I had accomplished something!  While I am not ready to make noisy MRI's part of my daily diet, I think I WILL try listening to some classical music the next time I feel the urge to block everything out and be creative.

1 comment:

  1. Colleen,
    I haven't had a MRI, but I have to say I've never equated the thought with relaxation. I had to smile at the way you were able to think about school and block out the whirring noises around you; proof that teachers really do love their work.

    You so seamlessly wove the story of the MRI with the thinking about your classroom. I could hear the noises of the machine, but also consider your ideas for your students.

    I think I'll hope I can still stay away from the MRI machine, but you make me think it might not be so bad after all.