BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Procrastination Strikes Again

procrastinator.jpgHere it is, Sunday night, the night that teachers around the world (or at least my world) dread.

Once again the weekend slipped by too quickly and all the things I PLANNED to do are still undone. All the work things, anyway.

Oh, there isn’t that much, only a couple of hours worth.

What? You don’t have a couple of hours of work to do on the weekend? Lucky you.

No worries, though, I’ll get the most critical stuff done and work my way through the rest of it during the week. You see, I’m that kind of teacher. The kind that stays late most nights. The kind that stays up too late so I can enjoy my family. The kind that agonizes over exactly how much detail I’m going to require on a particular assignment. Basically, the average teacher.

This average teacher, however, is a terrible procrastinator, which is why I need to log off of here and go get my work done. After all, school starts in less than twelve hours! Have a good week, everyone.


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June Resolutions

i-love-summer.jpgWho says resolutions have to be made solely in January? I think June is as good a time as any, and for a teacher it’s an excellent time to make resolutions. At least if you’re a teacher in an area where school is out for summer.

Here are my June resolutions, in a nutshell:

  1. Read a little
  2. Write a little
  3. Work a little
  4. Move a little
  5. Clean up a little
  6. Create a little

Those sound pretty good, don’t they? And not too difficult to follow. At least I don’t think so. I’ve been working toward these resolutions for a while now, and oddly I’m finding the last one the most challenging. By using the term “create” I’m allowing myself a great deal of flexibility.

What does it really mean to create? I suppose it means to make something where there was previously nothing. I can create a meal or a menu. I can create a lesson or a teaching unit. I can create a doodle or a painting. I can create a quilt design or a whole quilt. I can create Pinterest boards and newsletters and reading comprehension exercises. I can create systems for checking out books and tracking homework assignments. Maybe creating isn’t as hard as I thought. I just need to allow myself the space in which to do it.

My goal is to do each of those items every day in June, with the exception of “work a little.” That one is for Monday through Friday. In fact, it’s more of a challenge NOT to “work a little” sometimes.

So where do I stand today, June first?

1.Read a little – check

I’ve been Reading Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread strictly for pleasure. She is masterful at painting the picture of old Baltimore, and she’s very skilled at character development. I spent quite a bit of time reading this morning, and I’m looking forward to going back to this book.

2. Write a little – check

Well, here I am. I also recently entered a writing contest, and I’m presenting to my writing group next Monday. I have some work to do, but it’s getting done.

3. Work a little – check

I’ve been working on preparations for the summer writing program I’m teaching. I’m excited about working with these young writers and learning with them and from them.

4. Move a little – check

A morning walk in the park across the street with the dog was just what we both needed to get our day off to a good start.

5. Clean up a little – check

The kitchen is tidy, most of the laundry is done, and overall the house is not a mess. The recycling has been taken out and I hosed out the container that lives in the kitchen. Over time little drips of this and that get in there and it gets sticky, but today I tackled it, and it’s clean as a whistle.

6. Create a little – maybe

Ok, I created a gmail account for the summer writing program and two of the five mailing lists that I need for the newsletters. Does that count? Does a blog post? I don’t think so. I think that’s double-dipping. I feel like I have to create something else! Oh, I’ve got it! I’m creating a delicious dinner tonight. We’re having tortellini with spinach and artichokes in a light cream sauce. Yum!

Yes! I can officially say that day one is a success. Only 29 more to go. What are your June resolutions?

 


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One More Week

welcomebackI have one week left of summer vacation before I head back to school for meetings and planning and classroom setup. One week left to get to the doctor and the dentist. One week left to attend to all the things I was going to do over the summer, but didn’t. One short week.

Maybe instead of focusing on what didn’t get done I should instead take a look at what I have accomplished.

Vacation

First of all, I managed to have a wonderful vacation that really felt like two vacations, since I was in two separate locations. I spent a good amount of time with my family and I got to see several friends. I walked the beach, I ate s’mores, and I swam in several different pools. I laughed until my cheeks hurt and I explored the area where the Pilgrims landed in the new world. I played mini-golf and I went to the movies and I drank wine and ate salsa with jicima and blueberries. I listened to live music and ate from a food truck and buried my toes in the sand. I saw where the Kennedy’s played football on the lawn and I ate peanut butter cup pancakes and I watched fireworks from the beach. I showed my son my university and goofed off with him in a way that just isn’t possible at home. Maybe that was enough. Maybe I didn’t have to do anything else, but I did.

Chores

AibKpyGETI took care of my car, which was an unpleasant task, but what can I do? I need a car. I waited out the air conditioner’s coy way of fooling the repair guys, and restored some cool to our indoor space. I cleared out some items that we no longer need or love and donated them to charity. I also started cooking a little bit more, and began relying on going out a little bit less. Of course that means more trips to the grocery store, more meal prep, and more cleaning up. Oh, and laundry. I must have washed a zillion loads of laundry (that’s a lie… I’m actually boycotting laundry because I’m simply not in the mood for it).

Social Butterfly

If you know me in person and you choked on this heading I apologize. Let me clarify: I was a social butterfly to my way of thinking. I went to a baseball game with my son, I went to a painting party with a couple of friends, and I had a few lunches with friends. It all counts!

Reading

I read quite a bit this summer. Some of the books I loved, others I was less enthusiastic about, but I felt good about reading. In reverse order, I read:

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

A Dog’s Purpose by W Bruce Cameron

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The bolded titles were the ones that really stood out. They were the ones I most hated to put down and the ones that gave me the most to puzzle over. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the others. I did. In fact I enjoyed them all.

Work

Oh yes, I did four weeks of teaching youth, I can’t forget about that. It was an enjoyable four weeks, and I would definitely do it again, should the opportunity arise. Spending my mornings with kids who enjoy creating stories and narratives is a pleasure. Helping them to refine their ideas and turn them into words on a page is remarkable. Being involved in that story telling process is quite an honor.

Rest

I admit it, I slept. I slept in, I took naps, and I went to bed when I felt tired. My body thanks me, but I’m a little bit worried about going back to work. No more nap time!

I’m okay with going back to work. A new school year is always exciting for me. I love meeting my new students and helping them to form a cohesive community of learners. We become a family of sorts, and that’s a beautiful thing. I also love seeing my former students, a few months older, a summer wiser, as they enter the fifth grade. The change in some of them is truly remarkable, and it’s so rewarding to watch those kids as they mature.

Yes, I’m about ready to go back, but before I do I’m going to enjoy one last week of r & r, there’s no need to rush it.