September 04, 2006
last chance

Well. Here we are: the last day of summer vacation.

I am humming with anxiety about tomorrow. Not to worry; if 4 years ago my anxiety was at a 10 (no sleep, no food, continual looped despair), I’m only at a 4 now. I expect to crest at levels 6-7 tomorrow, when I see my class lists for the first time.

This is going to be a very different year for me. In previous years I’ve always had a burrow, a classroom of my own to mess up or cosy up or anything in between. This year I’m floating without my posters, without my shelves of books, without my cupboard and filing cabinet, without my desk, without my bulletin and notice boards, without my sign on the door. I have a prep room desk to call my own, but no personal bulletin board to cover with sentimental pictures of my family. I have no space in this prep to build walls around my desk of instructional and inspirational materials.

I have no nest.

I think this will be good for me. When I came back after my maternity leave, I had to deal with the fact that there was no overhead or tv at my disposal. My lessons became less about prepared visuals and more about the board. This year I’m going to have to shed any sort of sense that I have a safe room. This year the room is going to be fragile, temporary, subject to sudden change. I can’t count on anything, and I can’t count on a sense of reasonable outrage if my stuff gets lost or jumbled. None of it is mine anymore. I’ll be exactly like one of the students.

Oh yeah, this is going to be good for me. One of those painful, searing, good-for-me’s. Can I expect anything less?

Final Report on Crazy Summer Goals:

Goal #1: Have an excellent time at StanFest, without wigging out very often despite aggravations or privations.

An excellent time was had by all. Now you can even see the pictures!

Goal #2: Toilet Train Blake.

Grr. He is clearly smart enough to know what he’s about, but he doesn’t yet choose to be toilet trained. Again I say with frustration: grr.

Goal #3: Give up nursing.

Done before the list was written.

Goal #4: Convert Blake’s crib into a bed, and train him to stay in bed all night long.

This has gone swimmingly. He was clearly ready for this before we were.

Goal #5: Spend a lot of time with my friends, especially Scherezade who’s back from Sierra Leone this week.

It’s hard to hang out when no one returns my calls & emails. (And when I stop calling or emailing because of this.) My birthday tea was great, though.

Goal #6: Knit a cardigan for Theresa and baby booties for another co-worker in time for fall.

Although I found the yarn I needed for Theresa’s cardi, I have yet to cast on. And I discovered that I didn’t like that co-worker, so no booties for her & her spawn.

Goal #7: Keep the basement clean.

Not. Even. Close. It may be dirtier than before, what with all the fabric lying around.

Goal #8: Read all the books I’ll be teaching next fall.

I read the introduction for Life of Pi, does that count?

Goal #9: Journal as much as possible.

I’m happy with the amount of writing I did this summer. This was the easiest vacation to recount, as I wrote most of it en route. I had no idea that StanFest was such a good place to write.

Goal #10: Spend every spare moment with my family, enjoying them and acting in a way that allows them to enjoy me.

I think I made some good choices this summer, and I think we had some excellent time together. We can always do better, but this is a good thing to build on.

I leave you with my original postscript:

If StSt don’t like them goals, he’s going to get a kick in the shins. And then I’m going to poke him with my needles for good measure. Or maybe I'll just congratulate him on his special day. Who can say?

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*