Lovely sunset

Lovely sunset

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just Not Ready Yet

I have a great friend and colleague who is wonderfully talented. She is a great teacher, friend, and a diligent writer. She is a lifelong learner and constantly is sharing books--( our newest find) Blended Learning , and ideas with me. I find her to be a great co-worker because we truly complement each other. When we work together, magical things happen. The ideas begin to pop and bubble up and we run around trying to catch them so we can paste them into our notebooks to use at a later time. Sometimes, we sit and laugh at how simply the ideas come when we aren't even trying.

So, you may wonder, why the title of my post? She has been peppering me with texts, phone calls, fb messages and even a few tweets with ideas to use this fall in our classroom, ideas for a blog we need to write, ideas for books we can write (and when I say 'we' I mean "she will write!"). I am trying, trying, trying to get there with her. I really want to be excited and ready to go again as we tackle the new year and its challenges. I simply am not there yet. And, I wonder what got her there so quickly? We have only been out of school for about three weeks. We worked long into the month of June. Then it was the 4th of July and there was much to do with that. I have truly been on vacation for real only about 2 weeks.

I just need a little more time. Maybe I am starting to feel my age. (what?!) I usually have read at least 5 books by now. Truth? only 1. The Matchmaker by Elin Hildebrand and that I read in an afternoon last Friday. I seriously need to get moving!

What is slowing me down? Could it be the college search I am earnestly trying to get my daughter involved in? She wants to go to college. I know that. She just isn't all that excited about getting involved in the selection process. We have visited a few colleges already:Westchester University, Millersville University, Shippensburg University, all in PA. Last week we visited Lemoyne University, outside of Syracuse, N.Y. None of these really are where she wants to go. We have two more visits to schedule for this week: St. Bonaventure University and SUNY Albany. I am not thrilled about all the hours in the car. I used to love the car rides, now not so much.

These are the things taking up the creative space in my brain. I am trying to make room for thoughts about the upcoming school year but can't. Not yet. I just need to get my daughter situated and THEN I think I will be ready. Here's hoping it will happen before summer is over!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

We Really Must Shop, It's Our Duty.

Just came back from a little bit of shopping therapy. Took my daughter, Ally, to the mall to buy a pair of running shoes for her. Well, one thing led to another.. picked up a few things in addition to the running shoes at that store and it just seemed to early to go home. We turned away from the doors and ventured deeper into the mall.

Shopping is different nowadays. The malls are not very full, at least not in Rochester. It helps you navigate all the stores more quickly but I worry if this trend continues.  If all the malls are gone and we have to shop exclusively on-line, I am in big trouble. Wouldn't most women care that there is no way to try things on before purchasing?

I shopped last week for a dress for a wedding. I brought easily 20 dresses into the dressing room to try. I did end up buying 4 (will return one) but I would have had a much harder time managing that all on-line. Imagine the ordeal of returning/shipping back everything that didn't fit?

I tried to explain this to my husband the other day. We are hoping to help out his little sister with clothing purchases this summer. I told him that on the day I shopped I tried on dresses in 3 different sizes and depending on the style all three sizes fit. He stared and me as if I was speaking in a different language. He offered to take his sister shopping but would need to know her size. Not so easy, I assured him. She has to try things on. Once you find a style that works then we can purchase several of the same size in different colors but she is not a typical size. She is very short, (less than 5 ft) and not a typical petite frame. Recently she borrowed a pair of my dress capris. They were actually the correct length for her and looked like full length pants.

I think I totally discouraged him from shopping solo without me to help. This is a complicated process. Even today shopping with my Allygirl, we discovered that she needed a different size in something quite simple to purchase.

 But it just proves we need to be able to try things on. I hope the malls can survive the internet era. "Going Shopping" but just sitting at the computer is just not the same. I will do my part this summer to keep the malls happy. Perhaps we all should!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July is my time to rest!

Finally, finally feel like I might be on vacation now. This year we worked until June 26th. That was a long month of June both for teachers and kids! Consider when we had our beloved state tests. (April/May). Our kiddos started checking out shortly after completing them. Such a challenge trying to explain to them that we were not done learning yet!

Then family graduations, a few last soccer trips for my own daughter and, before you knew it,  JULY 4th!

Lots of driving -- family members looking to purchase property on beautiful Keuka Lake,
my brother's cottage on scenic Port Bay. No trips shorter than an hour. Top it off with my husband also being on vacation the same week!

So, I have had two amazing days in a row where I could sleep in as long as I wanted and can decide when I am ready to be productive. For sure, I have a coffee appointment at 2ish. Think I will just about be ready by then.

Teachers -- well, at least, this teacher -- needs this time to rest from always being "on". You can flip your classroom all you want, make the students in charge, get rid of your desk etc, etc. It won't change the fact that we are ultimately on duty until the end of the day with a few brief breaks. A planning period (eaten up by responding to e-mails, bathroom breaks, delivering various and sundry items, reading required texts, grading papers, making copies...) and a lunch break (always less than 30 min.) are the only times you feel the sense of urgency diminish at all.

So just having a little time in July to do nothing is really ok. Being busy is great but our human soul does need time to slow down a bit and feel the peace. Yes, I am only too aware of all the house cleaning that is beckoning. I am quite aware that I need to schedule college visits for this summer. I need to shop for a dress for my son's wedding in October. There is much to be done but yesterday, today and tomorrow I will be focusing on breathing, thinking, planning, reading, and resting. This is my  vacation. I need this. I worked as hard as I can remember this year. I have earned a few days to reboot. Cheers!