Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SOL - When It's My Turn

When it’s my turn,
sit beside me in candlelight
in a quiet rocking chair.

Hold my hand
whether it be cold or sweaty or shaky.
Squeeze it once in a while
(even if you are a stranger)
just so I can be sure I’m not alone.

                                                        Welcome fresh flowers, warm bread, baked apple pie;
                                      expel the stale air.

Let there be peace in flowing water, wind chimes, singing bowls
and occasional whispers of reassurance.

Sprinkle glitter fairy dust over my blankets
and wish me a safe flight.

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ldcross/2164848567/">Denise Cross Photography</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Monday, April 14, 2014

SOL--The Car Show Parade

It was the last day of a three-day conference in Phoenix.  The final sessions ran at least thirty minutes over and I was in desperate need of a real meal; the snacks that had held me over until dinner during the past two days were finally unappealing.  I met up with my team mates and we headed to our minivan.  It would be a ten minute ride back to our hotel where we’d have a working dinner together. 

As my teammates and I were driving along Central Blvd, Karen said, “Huh. It looks like people are getting ready for a parade.”  Sure enough, we noticed the sidewalks were lined with people setting up their folding chairs. 

“It might be a car show,” I suggest. “Look at all the cars in the lots behind them.”  Old cars, sports cars, classic cars had their doors open, hoods up. 

Traffic slowed down.  “What do you want to do for dinner?” Terri asked.
“Let’s order take-out from Fez again,” Katie suggested.

Then we noticed an old car in front of us.  And an old car behind us.  In fact, there were old cars all around our light blue Chevy minivan. 

“I think we are in the parade!” I exclaimed and slapped Karen’s knee.  The five of us women laughed and practiced our princess waves.

Finally we made it to our hotel room, freshened up and called Fez for take-out.  We decided on take-out to avoid the $5 delivery fee and decided to drive there because Katie was ordering ice cream for dessert.  Walking would have felt fantastic after sitting in the convention center all day, but it would have certainly melted the ice cream in the 80+ degrees outside.

Terri and I ventured out to find Fez.  We relied on her phone’s GPS to get us there.  We were both exhausted, overwhelmed and very hungry.  Immediately, we realized we had turned the wrong way out of the parking garage.  That was our first U-turn.  Once we got to the main street, Fez was only 0.2 miles away and not too hard to find. 

After picking up the dinner and driving a few minutes, Terri said, “I think we missed our turn.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “it feels like we’ve gone too far.”  But I’m holding the phone with the directions on it and it is telling me to continue on. 
“When do we turn?” Terri asked.
“Left on Osborn,” I said. And then we notice the traffic.  “Maybe it just feels like we’ve gone too far because we’re going so slowly.”

“Oh no! We’re in the parade again!” Terri said.  She grabbed her cell phone to reset the GPS directions.  Surely it wasn’t giving us accurate directions.  “Yup, we’ve gone too far,” she confirms.  She handed the phone back to me.  I can see that we went  ONE MILE too far.  There’s a classic car in front of us, an old sports car behind us and people on the sidewalk waving to us.  One car in the next lane has its doors open and they angle way up like wings. 

We finally made a U-turn but remained at 5 mph in the parade loop. By the time we got back to the hotel, we’d been gone for 35 minutes!  Thirty five minutes for what should have been a 0.4-mile trip.  

The ice cream was melted.  We should have just walked!

Red car photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7552532@N07/4194457898/">ATOMIC Hot Links</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

SOL - Sub Plans

I’ll never forget how difficult it was to leave my first sub plans.  During my first year of teaching, I arrived at school at 6am most days to figure out how I would spend my time with my class.  I felt totally incompetent and unprepared!  How in the world could I figure out IN ADVANCE what SOMEONE else might do with my class for SEVEN HOURS?!  Obviously, I taught in a district that did not have mandated curriculum.  Oh, how I longed to have a teacher’s manual and a class set of textbooks.  Maybe even a movie!  No, I was in a poor rural district and all the resources I had I either made or found in the one file cabinet in my room.  In the long run, that was a blessing: I learned to write my own engaging curriculum.  But that first year was certainly long.

Now I have a few tricks to making sub plans less cumbersome for my classroom, but for the first time I am leaving my preschooler behind as I attend a 3-day conference.  I am faced with leaving sub plans for home.  One student: my preschooler.  Two cats, one aging. 

I’ve been resisting the urge to write detailed plans for both my husband and my parents.  But I finally caved.  I sent an email to my parents with information about the brushing teeth routine, the bath routine and a plea to feed her vegetables.  I’ve written a list for my husband of items to be sure to pack in Clara’s overnight bag as well as a note to remind him to feed and water the cats.

The difference between this absence and my first missed day of teaching is that I won’t be so nervous once I’ve left.  Of course I’ll think about Clara and Max and the cats and my parents and I might even call, but I won’t be sitting in conference sessions with a pounding heart, looking at my watch every 15 minutes and reviewing what, exactly, they all are doing at that very moment.  Thankfully, I have learned to enjoy my time away!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SOL - To the Mountains

Leave at 9:00? Maybe 10:00?
Clara wants peanut butter and jelly for breakfast
And an apple.
   Her biggest breakfast ever.

Pack toothbrush.
Which shoes?
Check the weather report
    check email while I'm there.
    "I want to send a message to Grandma Jill!"
     Set Clara up on email.

Take a shower, dry my hair.
      "Let me do it!" Clara demands.
           Sit on the floor, let her dry my hair. 
           It takes twice as long and looks twice as bad.
Pack the comb, the brush and Clara's alarm clock.

Grab a grocery bag and stuff with
     bananas, apples, cucumber, popcorn...
     what else might Clara eat?
Clara wants to eat popcorn now. Give her the bowl.
Wash the dishes, take out the trash.

Load the bags in the car
      (so glad I packed last night!)
Throw in the Sorel snow boots and extra thick socks.
I haven't eaten breakfast yet.  Am I hungry?
Make a smoothie to go.

Daffodils in the yard,
   might be gone soon with the predicted snow.
   Let's get a photo of Clara in the flowers!
Where's the camera?
Is the battery charged?
Where's the bluetooth? Is it charged?
I better grab the checkbook, put toys in the car...

"I want to draw on that!" Clara saw the art book
    Give her the book. She sits in her car seat
as if that's the only place to be artistic.
    NO, she doesn't want to see the daffodils.

Fill the water bottles, swallow my vitamins,
blend the smoothie, start the dishwasher.

On the road at 10:00.
"Let's listen to Frog & Toad," Clara suggests.
OK, only until Starbucks.

Driving into grey clouds
looking for snow to start falling on us.
On the look out for deer,
Spot big horn sheep grazing.
Children's museum this afternoon
Sledding tomorrow morning
Skiing the next day;
it's going to be great!

"Did you bring Clara's winter coat?"

Email photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/4632633277/">Robert Scoble</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Fruit photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanec/484603274/">[Crewe]</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Daffodils photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hindrik/7060857657/">Hindrik S</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

mountains photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmiers2/6125779338/">blmiers2</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>