Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow we'll return to school. Those of us that aren't graduating in May (some won't actually graduate, but will "complete their eligibility" as my husband says of those that pretend they are receiving a diploma when they walk across that stage, plus underclassmen and us crazy teachers that return year after year : ) have NINE weeks left until summer break.
Nine weeks seems like eternity to me right now, AND it seems like a split second. There are projects to complete, projects to plan for next year, presentations to work on and present, scheduling for next year, spring activities (banquets, track meets, prom, graduation, etc.), and the dreaded "packing of" the lab. And all this has to happen with teenagers that have basically lost their minds!

Similar to the week before Spring Break, the last nine-weeks of the school year is a mixture of trying to "take care of business" while living with anticipation similar to the week before Christmas the WHOLE TIME! I'm looking forward to this time.. but can certainly use your prayers!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Forts in the Living Room

A few weeks ago I got a text from my daughter that said "I remember nothing about the plot of this movie.. I remember lots of forts in the living room though"! (referring to the movie Twister, which was a "scary" movie : ). And it made me warm and fuzzy inside to think of her fond memories. It also helped me put the incident that happened the day before into perspective.

The same darling of mine was involved in a minor car accident. It was her first, but regardless of how many times it happens to you it's scary. She arrived in town after a couple of weeks at school and headed off to our favorite Chinese restaurant to pick up dinner for the family. When turning out of the restaurant across busy traffic, a car she didn't see coming and her car collided. Regardless of blind spots or speeding - the fault would be hers. Fault? Who cares - everyone was uninjured, vehicles barely bumped.. so you won't believe what happened next.

The passenger of the other vehicle - a woman, approached my daughter's window and began calling her vile, filthy things. When my daughter called me, she was obviously shaken, but held it together until she told me about the verbal abuse of this woman. My son and I headed to the scene and that entire LONG 10 minutes I thought about how I would handle myself when I arrived. Oh, I knew she was ok - as were the others involved, but I was MAD. How could anyone talk to a teenage girl like that - how dare her scare MY baby that way! I was out for blood.

My family would probably tell you I don't have the calmest of tempers. The classic red-headed curse - it didn't come from my parents, so it must be that - right? And I would love to deny the inadequacy in my character, but honesty is not something I have a problem with - so I won't. What did come from my parents was a looonnnggg time of trying to teach me to be better. To be better than to react like I wanted, to be better than someone that would scare a young woman like that, to be better than let my emotions get the best of me. Thankfully, most of the time this takes over and keeps the fury of my emotions at bay, and thankfully, that day it did again. The worst thing I did was give a nasty "teacher" look to the woman that was so ugly to my daughter, not perfect, but a lot of control for this red-head out to protect her baby.

Thankfully, my daughter is fine, the people in the other vehicle weren't injured and hopefully my children and I continued to learn the lesson of being better. As a mother, I am so thankful to my parents and so very hopeful that I've taught my children as they taught me. The woman that spoke in such an ugly manner to my daughter was a mother. I pray she learned a lesson - or her children won't have the benefit of learning how to control one's behavior - how to be not just "better", but how to be the kind of human being we all should want to be. So here's my hat off to my parents and all parents out there who have given their children memories of "better" behavior... and of forts in the living room.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I've been a bit lazy today (which is above the REAL lazy I was all weekend). Kitchen, laundry, a bit of cooking.. but mainly playing with my new phone! While I've been researching every free "app" I can find, I've had the pleasure of watching several people say really nasty things about President Obama and the Democratic party on Facebook. Now let me preface this post with this: I've witnessed the same nasty things from folks opposed to Republican agendas. So here's my rant:

WHY do people believe it necessary to say such nasty things about elected officials? And more importantly GROUPS of elected officials? I know, I know - that's a perk of being American. Free Speech. And I believe in free speech - ask anyone that knows me : ) But I'm having a real problem with the not-so-pleasant things people say about INDIVIDUALS because of their jobs... especially when that job serves the public. Think about it - police officers and teachers get a lot of bashing too... and it seems that it doesn't matter how good a person or how good your intentions are if you enter into one of these career fields you'd better be prepared to be judged accordingly.

I don't believe I've ever heard anyone express feelings that computer programmers are wicked (though some programmers write damaging computer viruses), or that real estate agents are evil (though some of us have known one that wasn't completely honest with buyers), or that restaurant servers are thieves (I'm sure there are a few that don't claim all their tips on their tax returns), or... I guess you get my point.

So today, regardless of how you feel about the healthcare reform bill... please pray for ALL our elected officials.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break

Last Tuesday I woke to a fleeting moment of thought that told me it was Friday. It wasn't. UGGGHH - it was TUESDAY! I drug myself out of bed, went through the morning routine and headed off to the sacred halls of Hot Springs High School. As I drove through this quirky town that I love (up and down a few hills, past the horses exercising on the racetrack, through a bit of civilization), I realized it was finally here. Spring.. The re-awakening of the Earth here in the south is something like this: Daffodils bright yellow faces, birds singing happily in the morning, and Tulip trees blooming have that familiarity I can count on every year that means HOME and warm, sunny days that are cool enough you can sit on the deck and soak up all the rays you can stand... and if all that's not enough - there is SPRING BREAK!!

All week - I've counted the days (probably the only thing that kept me positive on that awful Friday morning that turned out to be a TUESDAY). My students have counted the days. We've tried to stay focused and then suddenly we're talking excitedly about what someone's doing over the break. Even those of us that are not traveling - those that are planning mundane tasks for the week such as "spring cleaning", yard work and tending gardens - we're all so excited we want to discuss it with others. We've talked about the closets we'll clean - the seeds we'll plant - the naps in the hammock we'll take... it's a re-newal of sorts. As the Pagans celebrate the end of the lethargy of winter with Ostara (or Eostre) and the farmers (or those of us that play one in the city) prepare their fields for planting - the students young and old REJOICE! An entire week off! No class, no homework, nothing to read but enchanting novels, no alarms to slam, no clothes to iron.. I almost want to schedule the days in my day planner to guarantee every minute is used meaningfully.

My cousin (thanks Stephen) tells me I have the farm families to thank for this incredible week of rejuvenation. That school children in times past needed this week to help their families prepare that years' crops. This makes me curious.. were these families as excited about the week as I am? Were they thankful for the family time they would be spending with their loved ones? Or just looking at the week as the beginning of the hard labor of the season? I am getting some family time this spring break too. My children will both be home, Jeremy has to work - but will be around some. I am looking forward to spending some time with Jordan, and hanging out with both of them in the evenings.. without the pressures my "normal life" (teaching can't really be considered normal by most people - but it's MY normal). I think regardless of what you are DOING with your family time - planting, resting or vacationing, the most important thing is that you're doing it together. So here's to Spring Break and family time - but most importantly to Spring in the SOUTH!!