Loves and Loathings

Years ago, when I was a third grade teacher, I read something by children’s author Mem Fox about what she keeps in her writing notebook.  She shared a page that showed a list of things she loved and things she loathed (I love that word, loathed.  It just sounds so dark and bad and hateful.).  Here is that entry:

I love these things

  • My family and friends
  • World peace
  • A full moon
  • Green paper clips
  • Saturday mornings
  • ABC Radio National
  • Social justice
  • A clean kitchen sink
  • 19th century novels
  • Singing alone in the car

I loathe these things

  • The effect of war on children
  • Untidiness
  • Brown clothes
  • Economic rationalism
  • Cleaning up dog vomit
  • Racial intolerance
  • Identical letters from a class
  • Land mines
  • Mobile phones in airport lounges
  • Right wing newspaper column

I just loved it, so my students and I decided to try it in our notebooks. It led to some pretty good writing.  Kids especially loved writing about the things they hated! Maybe we don’t ask them about what they hate very often.

I thought I’d give it a try for our current pandemic-shut-in-distance learning situation.

I love these things

Waking without an alarm

Being surrounded by my family all day and night

Only concerning myself with my clothes from the waist up

The commute 

Learning new ways to deliver instruction

Not having to run errands

Playing games and watching movies with my family at night

I loathe these things

Sitting at a desk all day long

The absence of student interaction

Not seeing colleagues, friends, and family in person

Hours spent on screens

Everything taking me so long since everything is so new

Missing my dad

The closing of the town parks

Watching the news



What are your loves and loathings?


8 thoughts on “Loves and Loathings”

  1. Isn’t it interesting to share blogs? It gives such an insight into other people’s worlds. We see that so many of us have so much in common. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. I really like this format! I love long walks with my kids, time to be together, not rushing in the morning, cooking; I loathe not knowing what’s coming, being interrupted every 7 minutes or so, not seeing my students. Have you ever seen the picture book “I Loathe You”? My kids loved it!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I so needed this today. I am going to make those lists, concentrating on the loves today!

  4. Perfect timing as I am looking for some new writing ideas! Just remember most of your loathing are only temporary…

  5. I just finished a post that I loathe. I am mad at myself that I didn’t read your post first. I would have written on this topic and felt much more satisfied. Maybe I’ll use it for my next one. I love having my family and my dog near me while I work. I loathe being in the basement working while my family is on the couch watching Brooklyn 9-9 and laughing out loud. Grrr. Thanks for this and for reminding me of why I love Mem Fox.

  6. Yes I love Mem Fox too, as she’s Australian I met her once years ago when my son was young and entered a writing competition and she presented the prizes! Great lists, I’m pretty sure everyone would more or less second most of yours, although my list of loathings might outweigh my loves right now…!

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