Another beginning

When I walked into the staff lounge on the first day of school,

my principal had written,

“Happy first day of school!  

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint

so train accordingly.

I felt like it was meant for me.

One, because I’m training for a marathon,

and two, because it was the perfect reminder to remember to take time

for the little things that matter most.

Like getting to know the “real” kiddos that are in my class.

I call this activity “5 Things in a  Bag”

taken from Pinterest.

It’s a quick and easy way to bring that

Joy Factor to your classroom, while getting to know your students.

It’s as easy at the title makes it sound.

Basically you pick 5 things that represent you and put them in the bag.

Only rules:

-Any item chosen needs to be able to fit in the bag.

-If it can’t, draw or take a picture of it, and put the picture in the bag.

-No electronics. (I made this rule up, for fear I would see iPods,

DSs, cell phones, etc make it into the bag.)

Here are mine…

My running bib book.

I tried to explain how runners wear bibs during races.

I related it to the Olympics, since I figured many had seen

the track and field events on TV.

“You were in the Olympics?” one boy asked.

Ha! No… but it was a sweet thought!

Ahhhh. Summer Sisters.  This was my favorite book in high school.

My friend Jana and I read it together and would compare

ourselves to the best friends in this book.

Well, this summer, I was pleasantly surprised when Jana

mailed me a copy.  Signed by Judy Blume.

It was totally unexpected, as she and I haven’t spoken in months!

My ticket box.

I keep most tickets from events, movies, and games that I attend.

Mainly the Sacramento Kings games I go to with my dad.

Watching basketball with my dad has always been a treasured  pastime.

I’ve been going to Kings games for as long as I can remember.

Arco Arena is where I learned a lot of my basketball knowledge,

but it’s actually a bigger place to me.

It’s my favorite place to hang out with my dad.

Because one of the rules states that you can bring a picture

if something you want to bring is too big to fit in the bag.

So I chose this picture.

It represents my love for the American River.

Whether it was chasing the ducks, riding bikes,

or learning to skip rocks,

a ton of my childhood memories include being around this river.

Nowdays I spend time running on the American River Parkway

or floating down it in a raft during the hot summers.

But to this day, this river holds a special place in my heart.

And last, but not least, there’s Dennis the Menace.

The comic strip that gave me my name.

See that girl with the brown hair?  That’s Gina.

When my parents were deciding on my name,

my mother gave my dad two ideas – Regina and Janelle.

Well, my dad always enjoyed reading this comic as a kid,

so he went with Regina, and decided that they’d call me “Gina.”

Then he wrote a letter to Hank Ketcham

to tell him about me and how he chose my name.

Well, a few weeks later, Hank Ketcham sent my dad a letter.

And inside was an original comic, just for me.

I wish I had a picture of it to display it here,

but it has the best quote.

“The world needs more Ginas.”

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