Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pick Me Ups

I've had a couple of bad days at work. Reeeeally bad days. Which happen to have nothing to do with my students, or my classes. And, in full disclosure, it's not been a very good month for me to begin with. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and that means every day this month, at least once a day, I have seen something pink and/or heard a news story that reminds me of Donna. More specifically I am reminded of the fact that we lost Donna despite the ribbons and walks and everything pink. Not that I don't think of her a lot anyway. I have my own set of known triggers that make me miss her terribly; I'm fine without any more.

But back to the last couple of days that left me in need of some retail therapy.

I would have gone last night, but all I could do was cry--meaning I could not stop crying and was not fit for being in public. (Even this morning I could have used a couple of extra hours with cold compresses.) But today, after making it through the day without crying, I rewarded myself with a few simple things.

dish towels that make me happy

new fuzzy socks
and cold sesame noodles that are better than any I make

 Now I'm just left to wonder what to make of this fortune that came with them...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photo Journal: Fall Football Sunday

fuzzy socks required

vodka sauce with sausage

enjoyed while watching the Patriots...win!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Little Variety

When I started teaching I thought I had found a perfect situation: autonomy in my classroom and a boss who didn’t micromanage. Who couldn’t really, right? Alas, school is not much different from business after all these days: teachers are being asked to do more and more with less time, resources or rewards; leadership lacks and so, as is often the case, micromanagement abounds. It’s only October and already I’ve been frustrated enough at school to engage in blood pressure-raising conversations and vitriolic exchanges with Amy, and to wonder with her in calmer moments what other jobs we could do that would pay about the same so we can maintain our lifestyle (which is by no means lavish, but what we are comfortable with). The other day I said to her, “if I could stand other people’s bodily fluids I’d register for a nursing program right now.”

Without any other employment plans in place, and too early to pray for snow days for temporary reprieve, we do what we can to feel better about things. Recently, this meant joining a few other colleagues to support the drama program at our school and our friend Bill who runs it. We agreed to be involved in a teacher variety show. Bill and I wrote a skita hysterical classroom parody, if I may say so myselfthat other teacher-friends, including Amy, acted. Other teachers shared their musical talents—playing instruments or singing—or their good nature and were simply willing to get on stage for a laugh. Some students spoofed teachers; others ran the technical aspects of the show.

For a few afternoons I left my classroom and escaped to the auditorium where I spent a few hours laughing, observing, and being a part of something creative and positive. I experienced a camaraderie that was uplifting. I walked away with newfound or rejuvenated respect for some of my colleagues and students. I came to understand better the pull of the stage that so many of our students feel. And I was inspired—again—by Bill’s commitment to his program and to those kids who shine on stage.

So Friday night, when I joined a full house of students and parents and teachers (some retired) and spouses of teachers, who came to show their support and were entertained for an evening (were we ever!) in exchange, those hours I laughed and applauded were only a bonus.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

[Heart] Note...to Michaels

In the world of arts and crafts, I consider myself more arts than crafts, but I suppose that’s parsing words. Whether artsy or crafty, there’s no place like Michaels to wake up my creative side.

I’ve gone in for a frame and come out with the makings for a centerpiece. I’ve gone in for a candle and come out with beads for bracelet. Once I went in for a basket and came out with fuzzy socks. You get the idea: you name it, they’ve got it—from mats and frames to vases and baskets and candles and beads and silk flowers and ornaments and stocking stuffers. Sometimes they even have spa socks.

Michaels inspires me to celebrate the seasons and make my house look prettier, to be more thoughtful and generous and creative and alive.

Obviously, I’ve been secretly in love with Michaels for a while, but last time I was there I saw a big sign out front announcing a 15 % Teacher Discount. Bonus! And yesterday I found out they are partnering with The Ellen DeGeneres show to donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure during Breast Cancer Awareness month. Well, the secret’s out now. There’s no turning back. I [heart] Michaels loud and proud.
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