Thursday, August 8, 2013

Almost Over

   I have already had most of the dreams I have every year before the beginning of the school year. I usually have three different ones that kind of loop around every so often, on no particular schedule. They mainly pertain to someone changing or moving my classrooms into different places, configurations, changing the room number. The one I had the other night had a new twist to it. I came into my classroom, which now looked like a basement room with support pillars spaced around it, and found all the walls bare and the desks stacked up to the ceiling on the far wall. It was 5 minutes before the morning bell and there was nothing to be seen: walls blank, my desk and bookcases bare; like some kind of school locust swarm had come through and eaten their fill. When the bell rang, the kids came in and I had them un-pile the desks and put them into rows. I didn't have enough. Students kept coming in and asking me where they were supposed to sit and what my name was. I decided to have everybody sit on the floor, including me. And then the bell rang, and I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, that 95 minutes went fast! And I didn't get to do my seating chart or play my first-day, M&M game!"
    Today is Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday and so ends the summer for me. Actually it ends today because I have to go in and work for a day, according to our contract, sometime between the beginning of August and the day school starts which is this coming Monday. I picked to do that duty tomorrow; Friday. Nothing like waiting till the last minute!
     Where did the summer go? I always ask this right before school starts. This summer has actually been filled with a ton of stuff. I got a lot of things done. I'm not sure I got all the things that were on my list of "things to do" done, but I did do some of them and also some things that were not on the list.
     I finished one quilt and am half way done with another smaller wall hanging and a purse. I read four books. I tried to perfect a cracker in a gluten free existence. "Tried" being the operative word here: I gave it three shots, with three different recipes and none of them worked. I think it is one of those things like pie crust; either one can make one or not. Me: not. I was able to perfect a protein bar recipe, good to go for lunches and I found and made some great gluten free, dairy free, sugar free cookies. I got two chapters of my book written and have enough material to write a third. Making slow progress, but progress. I got to spend some good times with my daughter and husband; but more Jennifer because she is a teacher, too.
     We went on a two lovely trips. The first started with a trip to San Francisco to visit David and Josc, where we went to the Walt Disney Museum. I finally got to see the wonderful Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sister, OR. We also went to a lavender festival. We went to Albany, OR to see the Carousel the whole town is creating and this week we went to Santa Cruz and played on the Boardwalk. While we were up near SC we took the train ride from the boardwalk to Felton and then back down the mountain (a three hour, round trip journey through beautiful redwoods.) We had a great time! I spent two days with my sister, Lea, shopping and talking. I pruned my roses and did some other up-keep in the yards. I planted some flowers and some new succulents I got. I slept in and took naps. I went, once each, to the dentist and podiatrist and endocrinologist and visited my acupuncturist 4 times. Formatted my common notebook for my classes, and got lanyards put on all the thumb drives the kids use for moving and temporary storage of their essays. I was able to contract a security guard for the Auction my guild is having in September, and created the tickets; got the venue insurance.
     Having gotten all that done, I think I am ready to go back to school. Having the summer off (and three weeks at Christmas, and a week in the spring) is really a blessing. Teachers work hard during the school year and we don't get paid for all the time we spend grading essays at night, researching lesson plans, prepping for projects and emailing counselors, administration and each other for school related business. Often it is an all-consuming job. I am sure that is the reason for the dreams before the first day. No one disturbs my room during the summer. Even the years when they have used my room for summer school, the teacher left it in perfect condition. They sometime do move the desks to clean the carpet, but I must admit, they do a pretty god job of putting things back where they found them.
     I, as a teacher, am not alone in having these dreams. Other teachers I know, including my sister, have them. And they are usually the same ones every year. So I guess I am not any stranger than anyone else in my profession. I'll be glad when they stop (and they will) so I can worry about other things in my a new project for Romeo & Juliet, or better yet, something new to reveal about Catcher in the Rye!   

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