Tag Archives: Slice of Life Story

The Lost Weekend

13 Nov

I went into the weekend with such high hopes:

  • a grading day on Friday
  • the Portland Book Festival on Saturday
  • a Remembrance Day concert on Sunday
  • book club on Monday

But a tickle started in my throat on Thursday morning. By Friday I had sniffles, so I stopped on the way home from school and loaded up on cold meds. I figured that, well-medicated, I could make it to the Portland Book Festival the next morning.

I sprang from bed Saturday morning and optimistically jumped into the shower, then got ready. for the big day. Before the coffee had brewed I knew it was hopeless. Saturday had brought on the facial pain in my sinuses and I knew I shouldn’t be out in public spreading germs – I had just read two books on the 1918 flu pandemic, after all! So, while friends listened to authors, I snuggled on the sofa with my dog, a box of kleenex, and a cup of tea. As colds went, this wasn’t the worst I’d ever had, but it had me feeling so very tired. I just wanted to sleep.

It was a good call because, though still cloudy headed, I made it to the Remembrance Day concert, entitled They Are At Rest. I wasn’t 100%,  but the facial pain was gone. I was tired and the goldfish bowl about my head was still there, but I was able to enjoy the music nonetheless.

Monday was a get-well bonus day. Although I felt even better, I decided to miss book club in order to keep any lingering germs to myself. I still felt super tired and wanted to get a good night’s rest before going back to school this morning.  This was a tough call because I can’t make the December meeting.

So, here I sit, Tuesday morning, battle-scarred but ready to face the challenges of a four-day week at school. Bring it on!

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Time travels

6 Nov

After showering and dressing Sunday morning, I strolled into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. As I reached for the pot, I groaned. It was only 5:30. I’d reset all the clocks the night before, but misread my bedside clock when I woke up. I was sure it had said 6;15.

Feeling tired Sunday afternoon, I got back into bed for an afternoon nap. I fell asleep right away, had a dream, and woke up refreshed. Imagine my surprise when I realized only 25 minutes had passed.

I was on top of things yesterday at school, with clocks still on old time. I sent kids to lunch and their next classes at the right time. And yet, as I neared the end of the day and looked at the clock, I did a double take. The clock read 4:45 and it felt odd to be at school so late with kids.

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All Hallows Eve Eve

30 Oct

I have long disliked Hallowe’en. It is complicated, but let me just say  I still like to include the apostrophe and that the day AFTER Halloween can be hard for teachers. When I taught elementary school, we didn’t dress up – had pyjama day instead.

Middle school is a whole different kettle of fish. It is not as smelly as that implies, but we take Hallowe’en seriously. And I finally have a costume I am excited about.

I found this gem at Macy’s.

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I already had the perfect teacup.

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If you still can’t figure it out, maybe this photo will give you a better idea.

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I’ll post a picture of me in full D.U. regalia tomorrow. I intend to channel her spirit as I teach. I hope the kids enjoy my Halloween hijinx.

Learning on the Go

23 Oct

Driving home last week, a few days after my one-on-one lesson on all the features of my new car, I found myself stuck in traffic. This was no bother, I always have an audiobook on the go and I lost myself in the steampunk world of my book, Arabella, the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine, while I crawled along the Sunset Highway. And then I got distracted.

What would happen if I adjusted my headrest, I wondered as Arabella and Captain Singh led Martians and colonists to independence. I pulled up on the headrest, a device not designed for short drivers like me. Suddenly, the back of my head could fit in the space between the bottom of the headrest and the top of the seatback.

Not ideal, but not as big a problem as Arabella and the Captain were facing. I reached up to push the head rest down, Instead of pushing the headrest back to its original position, my action caused it to tip forward. Now, I was sitting with the headrest perched on top of my head, and, try as I might, I couldn’t get anything to budge.

The traffic crawled along and I knew Arabella wouldn’t be daunted by as small a problem as this. When traffic stopped for a moment, I reached over and grabbed the owner’s manual from the glove compartment. I waited for the next lull to find the right page.

Tilt the head restraint once as far forward as it can go. The head restraint will automatically return to the fully upright position.

I did and it did. Success!

The next part was trickier.

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As I stopped and started through traffic, I tried to find the little button the manual assured me was there. Poke and prod as I might, I couldn’t find that darned button. I continued the drive home with my head nestled in the space between the seat and the headrest.

Once home, I jumped out of the car and could see the button immediately. One push and Presto! the headrest was back to normal and I was happy. I had to wait a few more days to finish the audiobook, in which Arabella returned Mars to a new normal – independence from the British Empire. Arabella and I were both satisfied with that happy ending.

 

Handwriting

16 Oct

In the 24 conferences I had last week, several parents brought up their child’s handwriting. A few asked, “Do you teach cursive?”

I gave them our standard 6th grade answer: Yes, their work should be neat. No, we don’t teach cursive – we ask that they use whichever form of writing is neatest.

During one conference I had a sudden realization. The papers each of the three Core teachers had prepared perfectly illustrated my point. The Math teacher printed his comments by hand, in red pen. The Science teacher wrote hers on the computer, in Apple Chancery, a friendly font. My comments were written in cursive, green ink on green paper. They perfectly illustrated the point I was trying to make.

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Driving like a 6th grader

9 Oct

The move from elementary to middle school can be confusing. One of the things I love most about teaching 6th grade is showing the students how to navigate a new way of going to school. In the first week, many students are confused and have that “deer in the headlights” glazed look. Little by little, that look fades and is replaced by each students’ normal mien.

My new car has me feeling like a sixth grader in the first week of school.

The last car I bought was a 2005 Toyota Corolla. I now own a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek.  Boy, have cars changed since! It’s not just the high-tech things that have given me that “deer in the headlights” glazed look. I reach my hand out to adjust my mirrors and find open air. I had to pull over two minutes from home yesterday to read the manual and learn how to defog the windshield.

The Subaru  dealership has an interesting way to help out. When I took possession of the car, I got a quick lesson in how to sync my phone and work a few buttons. I was shown the slimmest of the four (!!!) manuals and encouraged to read it. And, I was told that, in about a week, after I’d had a chance to figure things out on my own, I’d get an appointment with a new car specialist who will help me figure out the aspects of my new car that I haven’t yet. He sent me an email yesterday telling me I should keep a journal to jot down any questions I have.

I think I made a good decision!

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OFFF and on

25 Sep

Rain Friday night did not bode well for Saturday morning. But the sun made a valiant effort and rain turned to light showers as the sun rose. By the time I was ready to get in the car to drive to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, the sun was beginning to shine through the clouds and my heart was aglow.

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The clouds dissipated as I drove the 30 miles south of Portland to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, Oregon. I had a finite amount of cash and a camera- when the cash ran out, I knew it would be time to go home.

I started out by walking through the vendor displays to get a sense of what was there – everything from yarn and soap, to baskets and fleece.

Once oriented to the vendors, I ventured to the real stars of the festival: the animals. <y first stop was the bunny barn. Okay, the sign said RABBITS, but angoras are just so darned cute! And fluffy!

The rabbit on the right was getting a blowout as I entered the barn. He was a good sport through the whole thing and his handler was clearly enjoying herself.

The festival featured lots of animal judging and 4-Hers abounded. I was feeling a bit peckish so bought a nice slice of pear walnut bread from a 4-H stand and enjoyed it while I watched some goat judging.

Feeling restored, I did some yarn shopping. There were yarn people from all over Oregon, and from as far away as California and Utah. And then I was off to the sheep and goat barn. I laughed a lot at their funny faces.

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A little more shopping, then I visited the llamas and alpacas.

My final purchase was some lovely goat cheese, which I carefully packed into my bag, nestling it amongst the skeins of yarn.

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As I drove out of town,  the sun was shining. Just after I hit the Interstate, drops of rain began to fall. Within 5 minutes, it was a downpour and the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. I had timed my day perfectly.

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