INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY
By Josie Whitehead
International Dot Day is exactly as you will have read on the above link, but 'Dot Day' is a day that everyone will meet (or almost everyone) sometime in your lifetime, and it isn't just for the young, by all means.
It is a day when inside of yourself you feel that something is different. You feel that you know what you would like to do with your life, ie the direction that you want to take. Oh yes, you'll meet people who will tell you that they have not experienced it. Perhaps they have but the feeling was not strong enough to have made an impression. When you feel your own 'Dot Day' you will recognize it for certain but act on it - use that first dot to get things moving!!
So many do act on it and they are on a good road in their life. Good. Keep going I say!!!
Don't forget that there is the opposite of Dot Day too. I would say that it is the day when you know you are going in the wrong direction in life and you feel this very clearly. Get off that path and do something in life that you enjoy because if you enjoy what you are doing life is a lot happier and healthier for you too. However, let's concentrate on 'Dot Day'.
INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY FOR MYSELF
My 'Dot Day' came at an early age for me, ie my first day at school. In my young life you mainly only met a school classroom when you went to primary school aged 5 years because usually there were no playschools or nursery schools beforehand. So the school classroom was a very new place to enter. Even when you have been to playschool etc, the first day of school makes an impression on you doesn't it? My teacher, Miss Molyneaux, must have impressed me because I came home from this first day at school and announced that I wanted to be a teacher, and even today, aged 82, I don't think it was a mistake. I've done many things in my life but teaching young people was and still is exactly my dot on the page. There were no teachers in my family so my new teacher must have impressed me a lot,
My setback along my path to becoming a teacher was when I failed the 11-plus examination and went to a secondary modern school where I was told to put the idea of teaching completely out of my mind because failing this examination was an indication of a low IQ
(ie not having the intelligence or brains to be a teacher). But they were wrong. I started my National Dot Day when I was 5 years old and I wasn't going to cancel this. I taught teenagers happily for many years and wouldn't have changed those days at all.
My second National Dot Day came when I was 'retired' but volunteered an hour a week to my local primary school. Here, some weeks into the term, I met a class of 'fed up' young eight to nine year olds. The cause of their problem, they said, was 'POETRY' - much to my surprise because I loved the poetry I'd read, especially in my childhood years. They showed me a sentence spiralling down a page which did nothing to arouse their love of poetry. They asked me to write for them and I guess my National Dot Day came when I tried to write only the second poem in my life - Mickeldy-Me. The first poem I ever wrote was called 'My Garden'
and actually both of these poems were chosen by children to be published along with almost 400 poems in 2010 by an educational publisher. Perhaps I am the only poet to have had this happen to me? Little did I think, when I wrote 'Mickledy-Me' that this would ever lead me on to writing almost 1,500 poems, but it was my own Dot Day. I love writing for you and I hope you love reading what I've written. I'm not influenced by other writers of today and I know I write in the classic style and indent under the 3rd letter above on the rhyming lines and am careful with my metre, capitalization and punctuation. Children are learning from what I've written and punctuation etc is important. I love to write story poems and hope I do not write poetry that leaves you wondering whatever you've read. I paint pictures with my words whether it is a word-painting of a particular thing or it is a story.
So to all of you, do continue to enjoy my work and, as a former teacher, I'd love love love to come into your classroom via skype or equivalent. This way I travel all over the world and so I am in very many classrooms. As I write this, I've just left a class in Buenos Aires (Argentina) where I've met the young people in this class many times. I even have a picture of the caterpillar and butterfly in my poem 'A Little Green Caterpillar' on my wall which their teacher brought to me from Buenos Aires. Isn't that wonderful? Yes, she travelled across the world to bring this to me!!! Really! Before this, I visited Shanghai. Thank God for the internet!!
Well, I hope to see you soon hopefully, for you're on my National Dot Day list and also National Poetry Day/Month list too. I'll always be a teacher I guess.