Sunday, February 12, 2012


So I had this great AP Language and Composition class three years ago. This class of students took AP English because they loved to read and write and wanted a challenge.

Perhaps you will understand better why they were great if you consider the reasons they did NOT have for taking AP. They were not in my class in order to boost their GPAs, nor were they there to have an AP on their college transcripts.

It was awesome.

We read and wrote and discussed and wrote and read and wrote some more. We began to form an identity as a group. We had inside jokes. One involved a hobo and a knife. If you were in that APE class, you remember what I'm talking about. (In case you forgot, a clue: Lockdown).

The students called themselves APEs. There is a photo of us making monkey faces.

It was awesome.

It was one of those classes that a teacher remembers for the students' pure academic courage. These students loved to learn. They had positive attitudes. They were supportive of one another. They were fearless in their writing and in their expression of ideas. They all passed the AP exam with high scores and I wasn't even surprised. Of course they did. They were the APEs.

I'm still in touch with several of these students. And their moms, dads, aunts, sisters. A class like that can only occur in a school that fosters true community. True community spreads and creates lasting friendships and wonderful memories. I'll always be grateful that I had that time.

For Emily S., Emily L., Caitlin, Megan, Hannah, Stephanie, Grace, April, Abbie, Melissa, Annie, Mercedes, Morgan, Whitney, Nora, Brianna, Halie, Adrianna, Diana, Sophia and all of you beautiful, goddess APEs, here is (on request) the journal we used to do to make magic:

The Law of Attraction Journal Game

WARNING: Where focus goes, energy flows, as my yoga teacher says. This works so be careful what you wish for.

Step 1: Number your journal page down towards the bottom 1-20.

Step 2: Write I am so happy and grateful across the top.

Step 3: For 1-10, write down ten things that are already manifested for which you are happy and grateful. These things can be big or small, it doesn't matter. They just have to make you really glad and happy to think about.

Step 4: For 11-20, write down ten things that you wish to have manifested but have not yet arrived. Do not skip a beat from the 1-10 happy things that have already happened. Use present or past tense as though the 11-20 items have already happened.

Step 5: For each thing on 11-20, meditate for a moment and pretend in your mind that it already happened. Feel how happy and grateful you are about it. In class I used to encourage a few people to share one of their 11-20 items, and then I would spend a moment talking to each person in congratulatory terms.

"I'm so happy for you that you got into that college that you always wanted. How wonderful!"

See? It happened, didn't it? Look back in your old journals and see how powerful this is. Reflect for a moment on how Mrs. Wanket is always right.

Remember to always use positive language. Say "I am happy and grateful that I am in excellent health", rather than "I'm grateful I'm not sick."

Say "I am happy that I am free" not "I'm happy that I'm not in jail."

(Not that this would apply to you.)

Say "I am so happy that I am gorgeous and brilliant and brave and good."

Because you are. You always were. I am so happy and grateful to have known you.