Already the third block of stories focusing on the O’Malley family (I seem to use these the most), these are the first stories to take an ‘adult focus.’ Nothing sexy happens in them, but these focus more on the parents’ lives — specifically, the mom’s — than on the kids. After all, my students aren’t all parents, but none of them are children…
These continue the story that the block of stories “kids and school” left off.
- Setting up the story: A short worksheet starting up the topic of family reunions and the idea that parents often sacrifice for their children. I don’t usually give these worksheets as homework. Instead, we go through the questions in class, using it as a way of setting up the story and connecting the reading to what happens in the class.
- No money for a reunion. The arc of this story begins with Melissa O’Malley receiving an invitation to her 20-year class reunion. Unfortunately, they simply don’t have money for her to make the trip back to Pittsburgh.
- A princess bed. It would be a short block of stories if Melissa didn’t go. A friend of hers invites her to stay in her home during the reunion, reducing the cost of the trip.
- Time to go. It’s time for Melissa to go. Sticking with my ‘strength’ of writing scenes that many people have experienced or can imagine, it’s just a bit of dialogue between a mom and the kids who don’t want her to leave.
- Arrival. Melissa lands in Pittsburgh and finds that her friends Melinda and Mary Margaret are looking forward to reliving their hard-partying high school days again.
- Breakfast. It is the day of the reunion and Melissa learns that she is too old to stay up drinking without having some consequences.
- The reunion. The supposed ‘high point’ of the stories, the reunion is probably the page of text that I’m least proud of in this series. If you have tips on how you could make it better, let me know.
- Back home. The end of this arc, and the beginning of the next. Melissa is back home, but it seems like there is something wrong with Pat Jr…