Sunday, August 26, 2007

So you think you can Swiffer

Some very important things have happened in the past few days. School has officially started. Mr. Pete helped to kick off the school year with lots of sugar. For my first days of school I got a donut with sprinkles and an apple cookie.

I wish I was as optimistic as this darn apple is for my first Monday. It's just that it will be the first "real" day of school tomorrow. School days last week were shortened because it was 1,000 degrees in the school building. I don't think any of the other faculty thought it was at all humorous that I was wearing a sweater set both days because of the arctic conditions in my air conditioned room.

OK. So the real news is that I purchased my first Swiffer. First of all, Mr. Pete made the comment that we are now locked into the replacement schedule that comes with purchasing something like this. There's a reason that the mop only costs $9.99 and the little replacement towels are half the price of the actual mop. I can't help but think that I'm mopping the floor with a moist towelette. The second reason this is so important is that I'm actually excited that I bought a Swiffer. It's a mop. It's true. I've become one of those people who gets excited about household cleaners.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer is O-ver

We go back to school tomorrow. It's hard to describe this feeling. Every year I'm sad when the laziness of summer is gone and the craziness that is school begins. I've been reflecting about what waiting for the school year is like. It's almost like when you're driving and you know you're going to hit something and you just brace yourself for the impact. That's generally how the school year begins. I see it coming from miles away and I brace myself for the impact it has on my everyday life.

My friend Susan and I have pledged that we would stop teaching the school year after we weren't excited about returning to school. We both recognize that it's impossible to teach without loving school. It's difficult to return year after year to something you don't enjoy. I wouldn't say this year's return brings apathy, maybe a healthier and more mature desire to teach. This year, teaching won't be who I am. Teaching will be what I do. I'm hoping that will make it a better year for everyone.

I really like this poem by Julia Melor Simpson that is featured in the July 2007 edition of English Journal. She writes

She Left Because

Huck had headed out to the terriotry
one too many times.

She left because she told
students to discover their passions.

She left because of rubrics.

She left becasue Hester Pyrnne wouldn't
and Dimmesdale couldn't.

She left becasue she started planning
her summer vacation in February--
okay, January. Okaay, November.

She left because it was time
to find Kunitz's garden.

She left because Thoreau's distant drum
kept disrupting her classroom.

She left because she still could.

She left because some days
she wanted to give everyone an A--
and some days an F.

She left because the things she carried
were no longer a storyteller's truth.

She left because
it was time to go.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

5 Reasons I Can't Wait to Move

5. Objects stuffed into storage will fall on my head less often.
4. Mr. Pete won't be bitter about always having to do the dishes.
3. I'll be able to open the windows when we sleep (Note the "I" here. Mr. Pete isn't such a light sleeper).
2. The incessant thumping in the AC system will cease (this is "Tell Tale Heart" creepy).
1. I won't wake up to use the restroom with my upstairs neighbor in the middle of the night.