Sunday, April 7, 2013

Free To Be--You and Me. Well...Maybe Just You.

I'm not going to lie. I know exactly how much time has passed since I was here last and believe it or not I don't feel like a total scrub for my neglectful blogginess. Not like I used to when I felt as though I'd let people down because I wasn't writing. Nope. I seemed to have scissored my way through that particular veil of tears and now I'm feeling pretty good. Not exactly Tony Robbins good. More like Liza Minnelli after a couple of dirty martinis and a muscle relaxer. Just like mom. (Hers--not mine, naturally) I'll give you the Reader's Digest version of what I've been up to of late and in no particular order. You can decide if it was worthwhile to jot down:

1) Got myself on the transfer list for my school district.  Sent in my surprisingly impressive resume to the high school of my dreams. Went in for an interview with the principal and then got a call-back for a second interview. I must have done pretty well because one of the department heads had a particular slot in mind for me (Sophomore English) and then just I was confident enough to celebrate with some diabetes-flavored cupcakes and a box of Albertson's finest chardonnay, the would-be retiree whose place I would be taking changed her mind about leaving. I'm not exactly dead man walking just yet. There are still some possibilities in that department. I'm somewhat hopeful.

2) Went to see an acupuncturist about my metabolism which--without telling me--retired and went to live in Florida. The experience itself was a total kick in the pants. Part counseling session, part medical advice and part out-of-body experience. I even cried a little highly recommend it.

3) Spent part of my Spring Break in New York with my husband. Walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Saw some awesome art at the Frick. Spent part of a rainy afternoon at the Strand Bookstore. Sat and read in luxurious silence in the same New York Public Library reading room that Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard were in when they filmed "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Stayed and drank at the Algonquin. Had a liverwurst and onion sandwich and (full disclosure) four beers at McSorley's in the East Village and then accidentally walked into the men's bathroom. Fell back in love with my husband. Not in the bathroom, though.

4) Administered two four-hour major standardized tests on consecutive days last week where my job was to 'actively monitor' for test irregularities. Roughly translated, active monitoring means walking slowly for four hours around a room that has been stripped of any posters or anchor charts or words of any kind. The teacher is completely alone inside his/her head. Walk quickly enough not to freak anyone out but not so slowly that I fall over. In other words...I couldn't sit down. Watched to make sure a student was progressing in his/her answering process, but not actually SEE or mentally register what they are writing down. Notice shit...but not actually recognize what it is. Because that would mean I might have some idea what was on the test. All I can say is that, if presented with the chance, I would rather be kidnapped by Somali pirates than locked in another airless room full of testing 5th graders. Panic and failure stink when mixed. You'll just have to trust me on this.

5) Participated in one too many parent/teacher conferences where I feared one of us was going to leave the room in a body bag. I used to think a burnout was nothing more complicated than the glue-sniffing (but harmless) homeless alcoholic who occasionally enjoys directing traffic down by the zoo. I mean...I might need a judge's ruling on this, but I'm pretty sure I now see a burnout every time I look in the mirror. It's not teaching that weighs me down. It's teaching in the 'hood, which is less about education and more about filling in the cracks for the gaps left by children who had children and then dropped them off at the school's curb at 8:15, which is sad and frustrating because school starts at 8:00.

6) Had a tarot card reading today for the first time in my life. Something tells me that drawing both the devil card and the hangman card is not a good thing. I mean, you should have seen the terrified expression on the medium's face. I've always been a "glass half empty" kind of girl, but the guy looking at my cards made the probability of personal happiness for me seem as likely as obtaining Keyser Soze's cell phone number.

7) Discovered the joyful hilarity of The Honest Toddler blog. Seriously. Do yourself a favor and go there. Now.

8) Toyed with the idea of shutting down this blog. Still considering it. It's not about getting anyone to persuade me against the idea. It's just me. Nothing's definite yet.

9) Went to hear writer Anne Lamott speak. Moved beyond words. So much so that I was inspired to put down a few of my own. Life, despite my whining, is good.

What's new with you?


  1. The NYC part sounded great, but when I got to the TAKS part, I felt a cold chill run down my spine. It's been 2 years since I've had to administer a TAKS test, and the only thing worse than watching the second-hand move in slow-motion for 7000 hours is having to be a scribe for a kid who's taking a modified TAKS test. It's bad enough to be in the room while drivel's being written, but much worse to have to write down something that you know is so wrong it doesn't make any sense. Crossing my fingers that the retiree changes her mind again. I think they read The Wife of Bath's Tale in 10th grade. How much fun would that be?
    PS. I vote you keep blogging. I'd rather read you quarterly than not at all.

  2. I've only just discovered this blog! I hope you don't shut it down, even if you post infrequently.
    I love The Honest Toddler's twitter. Haven't read the blog yet. Acupuncture for metabolic issues sounds interesting.

  3. Sigh. I had the same thing happen to me: a retiree changed her mind, and I was mired in jr. high. Ugh. Fate.

    Test proctoring is soul-killing at any level, and I did it for decades. I once had to give up my planning period and proctor a special needs group while a counselor read the test IN A THICK ROMANIAN ACCENT. She mispronounced everything. I implored the other counselors to LET. ME. READ. They said, "Well, Delia likes to be the one to read it."

    How you don't have the acupuncturist put one of those needles into both eyes is beyond me. Good for you--staying strong!

  4. I printed this out and highlighted passages like I haven't done since college. I also made marginal notes, because I have more follow-up questions than Helen Thomas. We have soooo much to talk about when I see you.

  5. You saw Anne LaMott speak in person? What fun!

  6. I love Honest Toddler.

    And Anne Lamott, too, come to think of it.

    Good to hear from you!

  7. I hope you get a job teaching where you want to teach--what a life-changer that would be for you.

    NYC sounds amazing.

  8. There is no guilt in Blogland! Write when it's right. Live your 3-D life.

  9. High School English...swoon. Your life sounds rich and wonderful. Perhaps you needed to take a break and live in order to be inspired to sit down and write. I always enjoy reading you!


Be nice. It's not as hard as it sounds.