I’ve written this twice, first a pretty pessimistic piece, and we’ll try the positive side and see which one goes up.

It’s hard to describe this year’s slicing. On one hand, my scheduling of posts was horrible. I missed my first post right off the bat, then didn’t post on our band/choir trip, and didn’t blog another day as well. I watched as friends walked out of their classrooms to protest their treatment and lack of pay. I watched friends struggle with family problems, student problems, and school problems.

On the other hand, many of my slices would have been multiple posts, many struck nerves, both good and bad with readers, and many required stretching of my own thinking.

I know people at school roll their eyes with I email them with Slice information and I know kids roll their eyes when I trot this out to them. However, it’s comments like this, from a student in their last blog of the challenge:

I think it is nice to look at the things around that are happening to us.

There’s a number of students who’ve written tonight about their enjoyment of this activity, how they weren’t sure of writing for 30 days in a row, but as they got into it, that there was a joy in letting their voice out to the world. This I know first hand, how good it feels to let the words flow, whether about the day or about a problem or about a joy.

It takes courage to write. It takes courage to let others read your writing. And it takes courage to come back and do it all over again. I’m hopeful those students who did complete the challenge have found the courage to go forward with their own voice, to continue to share, and to feel that freedom.

It was a hard month of Slicing, but thanks to you 16 readers and the students out their who’ve participated in the Challenge and who’ve grown because of (and in spite of) this Challenge, thank you. You are the ones who inspire me to keep writing, to keep sharing, and to keep myself tuned into what matters.