Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shout out to the singletons

I haven't posted in so long, Safari forgot about "blogger" and I had to type in the whole address. Sheesh.

What a week.

Mr. D came down with a persistent and mysterious virus that has kept his temperature just too high for me to feel at all comfortable with him going to school. This virus coincided with the one week EVER since we had kids that M has been out of town for more than 2 nights--he's attending an education conference in Arizona.

This means that for the first time ever I have missed a full week of school. (Or, to be precise, as of tomorrow it will be a full week.)

It's great that I can keep in touch, somewhat, with school via remote access to e-mail, and my publications staffs can talk to me on the phone. But it's isolating, and stressful, to be so needed in two places at once.

So: shout out to the single parents out there. I've been one for three days and that's enough for me.

So--you'd think I'd be knitting during the hours of house arrest, watching over a sickly coughing 101-feverish boy, but alas...duty calls. Instead, I've been commenting on essays, writing lesson plans, and catching up on some professional reading. (OK, I admit to a few loooooooong rows on my becoming-considerably-unwieldy log cabin afghan.)

So here's to a better tomorrow and an end to this endless week...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Feeling Crochety

What a couple of weeks it's been.

For most, January is a time of new beginnings, of fresh starts, of optimism and the return of light.

I realized this year that I don't feel that way about January at all, because I'm a teacher.

My fresh start is in September and that's when I do much of my goal-setting. The cycle of the calendar year is somewhat incidental; it's school years that shape my world.

So, for a high school teacher, January is a mid-point: yearbook deadlines, semester grades (and grading...oy) and writing umpteen letters of recommendation for students' college applications.

This January was busier than I can ever remember.

First off, on the personal front, my darling baby boy turned 7. Though we didn't do a big party, we had a wonderful family weekend of going out to breakfast, bowling, movies, and friends. My mom and dad came over from Spokane (a 400+ mile trip for a weekend--they must really love that little guy) and we had a really fun and relaxing time.

Then came finals. There is a certain amount of teacher amnesia that happens for me each year. You know how the memory of labor fades over time? It's got to be some kind of evolutionary trick to keep us having children. Well, the pain of semester finals grading is always a surprise to me--the professional equivalent of labor--and after collecting exams and papers from every single one of my English students, I settled into a week of 12-14 hour days to simultaneously finish last semester--because the teaching load doesn't change just because there are finals to finish--and begin this one.

I don't like to complain about my job, because I love it. So I hope this doesn't seem like complaining--it's just the facts of the profession. I imagine tax accountants feel the same way about the time from January to April 15th. But my normal routines of life get upset and my boundaries get a bit tweaked...So it's nice to have grades posted and be back to normal.

With normal came a few hours here and there in the evenings to knit (and crochet) and plan out projects. I had bought yarn for a sweater for M in the new year's day sale at my LYS. I'll start it as soon as I finish my Central Park Hoodie (a sadly unblogged project, but both arms are done and the body up to the neck divide. I'm knitting it in the round with steeks because I'm crazy that way). Then will come some sort of vest for my mom, and then three baby blankets (I may do quilts instead) for the three friends I have expecting babies in June; one girl, two boys. Last, but not least, I bought the kit for this vest, which will be the colorwork project I never finished from NaKniSweMoDo.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Ms. Smith, please tell us about your recent...activities.

Well, it all started with a little center loop. I guess it's the way the Japanese do it. And they're a very practical society, so I just thought I could, y'know, handle it.

How did that go?

All right at first. Slow, steady, careful. But then...


It grew. And I kept saying, just one more, just this one, well, maybe another, and another. Before I knew it, it was multiple rounds per day.

And how did you feel?

Well, overwhelmed at first. I wasn't good at it, I didn't have the knack. But then it felt natural. Almost like I couldn't remember life without it. I don't want to give it up. It might be a part of me. I might try more than one color at a time. But first I want to see how far I can take it.

Thank you. We'll take that into consideration. You may go back to your room now, and your...hobbies.