Friday, May 10, 2013

Keeping Watch in the Night

Many half-written blog entries have been floating in my head this week.  Some of them might still become essays, but for whatever reason (End-of-the-year fatigue?  Lingering illness?  Back-episodes of How I Met Your Mother?) "my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations" (to quote John Green).  Still, I want to post something with more substance than a weather report, so here are some pinholes of light:

1.  This week is full of rain, which makes me happy.

2.  The joy that rain brings me makes me even more certain that I would have loved living in England for a year.

3.  The Fulbright people released the contact information for our not-to-be matches this week, and I had been matched with a teacher in NW London.  Not the gritty, unromantic, Billy Elliot-esque, obscure English town I was bracing myself for; but a lovely, upper-class, Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane, take-the-metro-to-the-West-End-every-weekend placement.  

Stupid sequester.

4.  While disappointed at this lost opportunity, I have had a couple gentle reminders of the pleasures of my own workplace this week, including a surprising detail on my teacher evaluation.  I work for and with good people, and that's a remarkable thing.

5.  Speaking of which, it was Teacher Appreciation Week.  I got a mass-emailed story about how a teacher helped someone who later became some Olympian athlete (yawn) and a piece of a sheet cake (eh).

6.  Also in honor of the "holiday," this cartoon showed up in a few places online:
By Jim Benton
It really, really bugs me.

7.  My voice made it through the week!

It was touch-and-go a few nights, but I made it to Friday without going totally hoarse.

I still have a painfully sore throat and a cough that keeps me up at night, but at least I stopped having coughing fits that end with me vomiting in the school parking lot.  Win!

8.  Another win: my health improved enough AND I didn't have any after-school duties, so I got to go to Book Club last night.  Always a treat to visit/argue with those delightful ladies.

9.  At Book Club I got to bring up this fascinating challenge Maureen Johnson threw together on Twitter this week.  Ever a critic of gendered writing labels (and rightly so), she inspired her followers to "flip" a book cover's perceived gender-oriented design.  Here's a link to the Huffington Post article, which includes a slideshow of some of the entries.  I especially enjoyed the ones for Game of Thrones,  The Marriage Plot, and Before I Fall.  

10.  Speaking of design, my summer is shaping up to be an artistic one.  With only one or two shorter trips, I have decided to take one or two art classes at one of the nearby community colleges.  They will probably start right after Memorial Day (i.e. right after school lets out), so I won't have more than a day or two of unscheduled vacation time, thank goodness.

Also?  I'm more excited about having a good reason to buy school supplies (Pens!  Mechanical pencils!  Pretty notebooks and binders!  Maybe even a new hole-puncher!) than I am about having a good reason to buy art supplies.  And I'm pretty darn excited about a trip to Meininger's already.

11.  Before settling on art classes, I also considered and then vetoed taking Arabic (not offered in the summer), Yoga (cheaper to do through my rec center), and Geometry (too nerdy, even for me, to take a math class simply because I miss taking math classes).

12.  Not unrelatedly, many of my students are mid-AP tests right now.  Unabashedly jealous of them, I have resorted to recounting the tales of my own honors exams ("Back in my day I took six honors classes at a time!  And they were much harder!  And I had the flu while sitting the four-hour IB English exam!  And I had to walk two miles uphill through the snow both ways!") while they listen politely because I'm they're teacher and they're legally required to be there.

13.  It's weird that one of the best perks of my job is the captivated attention of dozens of youths.



  1. Or yutes, as Vinny would say.

    1. Ha! I actually hunted for some time for a "My Cousin Vinny" gif before settling on a Schmidt one. I knew I had good reasons to like you.

  2. I need to know what book you read for book club and what kind of art classes you'll be taking. Thank you.