Saturday, January 30, 2010

drifting snow
a walk by the lake

buried under a day's worth of snow

Maura's friend is a great listener

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mid January
Right after Christmas,we had extended cold and school was cancelled for a few days. On one hand, I was happy because that gave me more time to work on my own projects but on the other, I kept thinking about the time we were losing for class projects. So goes the dilemas for many a teacher.
Once we got back to school, the new classes seemed to be running smoothly except for DI.
I have been so confused about that proccess, I was getting incresingly snippy about the whole thing. It really started to feel above and beyond my pay grade. Luckily, another teacher stepped in today and took most of the headaches away. I'm feeling much better tonight, but I have to be honest and say I was very close to the end of my frustration rope.
Now, I need to focus on the kids being ready by March 6th and the rest will just have to work itself out. I am probably going be a judge and Maura just informed me her friends created a team so I'm feeling a bit better about giving up 3 saturdays and lots of driving time to DI.
That's an important point. When you have kids, there is a certain amount of volunteering that goes on, depending on what they are involved in. If you want any sort of family life and personal time, you really need to stick closely to volunteering only for those events. Even then, there will be extra meetings you have to do that your kids won't. Suddenly, you find yourself overscheduled. It really doesn't matter which organization you are talking about. It happens everywhere. Band, you get booster meetings, DI, judge training, 4-H - project meeting your kids might not be in and judging, PSR- teacher training meetings and child safety classes. It goes on and on. It can eat you alive.
But- I am a believer in the concept of "It takes a villiage" and I do love the kids. I do want to support the kids in everything they do and I'm not talking about just my kids. Today, I couldn't have been prouder of a student to received an award for an essay he wrote than if it was my own kid. I was so proud to have been there. Sometimes I feel so much pain for the kids and some of their situations. I start waking up in the middle of the night with worry for them. That's a dangerous place for me to be. It's one of the reasons I am a substitute instead of a "real" teacher. There's really only two ways I know to deal with their pain. By not getting too close to them or hardening myself to it. I'd prefer not to be hardened. So, I keep my distance. It's just a bit harder to do that when I am there for 4 months.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas 2009-
It slipped my mind to write in my blog until now. This Christmas, I think, was one of my favorites. I don't know why except I thought we did a really good job of getting things the kids were genuinely surprised to get. I didn't feel the pressure I often feel about the holiday "to do" list, maybe because some of those things were done by others this year.
There's no problem with going away for the day to shop, since the kids are all old enough to stay alone. There wasn't the pressure to make cookies... Maura made some and delaney and I made some and a few other treats as well. Even now, Steve is dipping pretzels in chocolate almost every night for an extended treat.
I spent the days following Christmas working on a quilt. I finished the piecing and have most of the quilting done. I probably won't make my (self imposed) deadline of having it compleated by tomorrow, but I'll feel good about having all the quilting done and ready to bind by then.
I had to get the grades in and, even though I was waiting for some kids to send work via email, I had to give up and post their grade as is. I needed help remembering how to post them to the grade cards and called up a friend and then another teacher for the help. Luckily, they didn't seem too upset I bothered them with this on their vacation time.
I'm terrible about sending cards out so, another year went by without sending the news we are alive and still kickin. I always feel guilty about that.
So, New Year's Eve is typically spent at the neighbor's down the street. This year, because people were going to be gone, they moved it up a night. It's one time we socialize with the people on our street, and are concidered the young kids of the group. We're a bit out of step with them all, but it's ok. So, that left New Year's eve as a quiet night at home and, truthfully, not a big deal to me to watch the ball drop at 11:00. I read a book and fell asleep much earlier.
Tonight, Delaney really wanted to go meet up with her friend, Josh, and sing kareoke. Steve passed on the evening, so I drove her down Indian Point to a small place that seems to be a hang out for the locals now that the season is over. When I say locals, I mean the Indian point folks.Everyone seemed to know each other and it was very family friendly. Josh and Delaney begged me to sing, but I assured them it wasn't going to happen and they really didn't want to hear me sing either! I truly hated to call the evening short, but it was snowing and I have a fear of getting caught trying to get up one hill on our road. Luckily, the snow wasn't too bad here.