Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nurturing The Inner Sheep

In many ways, the past week has been full of the happy.  My new MacBook Pro was finally birthed and given unto me.  There have been many days of joyful play since the baby came home and the few email glitches, while still present, are a minor inconvenience.  The school sweatshirts were also handed out after many weeks of waiting.  With the newly designed logo and vintage style, "N" on the back, they are a delight to behold.  I ordered myself a size large in order that there would be room for both a Sheep and a bulky turtleneck underneath, thus affording myself the ultimate in snuggly comfort.  I know this because I wore it to school yesterday and the snuggle theory bore itself out.  It was, perhaps, a bit overly snuggly given the temperatures, but I didn't care.  It was just nice to be ensconced in cottony, fleecy goodness on a Friday.  And, as the icing on the cake, it was a short week thanks to the Monday holiday.  I do love a short work week!

Yup.  Lots of the happy...

In other ways, though, the week was wretched.  This being the week before a school vacation, there were many students who were less than enthusiastic about all things academic.  In their minds, they were already gone.  My pointing out that I had a cool new sweatshirt did little to make them feel better about having to be trapped with me for 7 or so hours per day.  I hate to admit it, but at times the feeling was mutual.

To make matters worse, we are in the final countdown to the close of the first academic trimester.  This means that there are a plethora of long term projects due.  Many of these, when assigned, seemed to give the impression that there was ample time in which to complete them and we all sort of slacked off a bit.  And not every student is as invested in getting these sorts of things done as I am in seeing them do so.  I work with students in a variety of classrooms and grades so these things tend to come in avalanches.  I have been cajoling, encouraging and downright arguing with kids over what needs to be done for two weeks now  And, by yesterday, we were all feeling the pressure.  One little scholar simply would not believe me when I gave him the list of things that needed to be included in his science presentation.  Our daily stand-offs were becoming the stuff of legend.  Another student was added to my caseload a mere two days before her social studies project was due and had somehow missed the weeks of discussion around this large assignment.  We had two days to pull together a major class presentation.

And, because the universe hates me, the sixth grade planned a large Great American Patriots Day celebration with games and general merriment for those kids who were finished with their work.  I knew that missing this would be a disappointment to the kids and, worse, that they would ultimately find a way to blame me if they didn't make the cut.  This would be unpleasant.  Very unpleasant.

The final scorecard was pretty good, though.  In spite of thinking that I was an utter fool for believing the science teacher's directions, the first student gave in to my bullying and did what I said.  This required that I come in early yesterday to help him re-work his poster and our being late to class, but ended up with his project being displayed in the classroom as a model for others since his was the only one that included all the correct material.  The second student, much to everyone's surprise (mine included) pulled off a class presentation on Rosa Parks that met with the teacher's approval.  In fact, she even included a few details of which I was unaware and her social studies teacher stood before me in utter awe at day's end and pronounced me a miracle worker.

Note: I am not a miracle worker because, if I were, I would invent a pill that makes miracle working less stressful.  And less, "yell-y"  I was, shall we say, "shrill" by Wednesday.  I didn't even enjoy being around me.  

When I posted a few days ago of my calling to spin laceweight and my sincere regret that I would not be able to knit holiday gifts for friends and family this year due to my having to answer that call, I was really only half-kidding.  I've let it all go, people.  I am not good with Assigned Knitting.  Never have been.  I resent the pressure of a deadline, even one that is self-imposed and it only serves to make me more childish about the whole matter.  So, I'm out.  What is done is what is done.  Knitting and spinning are now back to Hobby Status; it is the thing I do to feel good.  And my most favoritest knitting of all is sock knitting.  So.....




I'm knitting a sock.  For me.  I may even make 2 of them.


Yup.  It's all about me now.  I needed a take-along project for next week's two day Teacher Workshop Extravaganza and I decided that my desire for a pair of socks with a little purple in them must be tended to.  These are a bit of an experiment, actually.  I've added a few stitches to the pattern.  I normally knit socks a bit smaller than I think they need to be as I find they stay up better.  But, this can be a problem for those of us who like a longer cuff and who don't have calves as thin as our ankles.  Frankly, these look a bit big to me and the Sockotta's cotton content has me feeling a little skeptical as to whether this is going to be a good fit.  But, I shall persevere.  Because, if nothing else, it is a sock.  And socks make me happy no matter what their size.

This is good.  Because, when school resumes after Thanksgiving, there is one week to the close of grades.  I'm going to need all the happy I can summon...

SA

17 comments:

Future SIL said...

Did you know that purple is my Fav color? Can't wait to see those socks. Looks like I will be dining with the sheep-in-law family on Thursday. Methinks that baby brother sheep will be home. Keeping my hoofs crossed. Do sheep have hoofs? And can they be crossed? Something to ponder on.

Leah said...

Yay! Another no-knits-for-xmas knitter! I have long had an indefinite moratorium on xmas knitting that is not in any danger of being lifted. Shall we form a club?

Oh, and socks are my favorite knits too! Happy, happy!!

Alwen said...

Knit two socks? What an idea. (One my feet seem to like, however, since the sockless foot tends to get jealous and pick fights with the socky foot.)

Marianne said...

...I could be a member of the no-knits-for-xmas club....it just ain't gonna happen this year...
Here's to happy short weeks!

Jeanne said...

I'm boycotting Xmas Knitting, too. It isn't worth the stress. (May I join the club?) It is, however, perfectly OK to knit for ones' self without guilt. Enjoy. I say we start a Knit For Myself club. The Selfish Stitcher's Society (or something).

kmkat said...

I'm thinking anything that produces The Happy is something that should be encouraged. If knitting a pair of socks with purple is what does it, go for it. No knitted Christmas gifts for others? That's what stores and gift certificates and shopping are for, silly sheepie.

mehitabel said...

I'll join the no-holiday-knits club, too! I can't even keep up with the stuff I want to knit--so if there are knitted goodies to be given, they shall be given and not wrapped in holiday paper. (I hate wrapping gifts; luckily, The Daughter-in-Residence adores the task.) I say, give a scarf to warm a neck, don't make the recipient wait for a month with a cold neck!

Lorraine said...

LOL - your "cajoling" attitude sounds incredibly familiar. That tone is used in our homeschool on a regular basis. Of course, mine is used almost exclusively for a 14 yo who isn't quite convinced of the value of a mother's wisdom anymore.

Enjoy your holiday - spinning lace weight, of course.

Bobbi said...

Socks make everything better.

trek said...

I don't like knitting to a deadline either.

Very radical idea - that knitting two of something ;o)

Congrats on the science and social studies projects.

Anonymous said...

Love the sock.
Knitting for others is overrated.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Donna Lee said...

I am a 'no holiday knitting' club member as well. I don't like deadlines and there is enough to do around the holidays without adding to the pressure. I give handknits where and when they will be appreciated all year and that has to be enough. I am knitting for me, what a novel concept!

G said...

Your sock looks VERY pretty, I look forward to more progress photos. BTW, I am REALLY enjoying the 'feel' of having handmade socks on my paws, so special. Corny but true.

I did send an email or three will await your reply!!!

Huggs...

Teri S. said...

Wow...you accomplished a lot this week. To have both of your students present exemplary projects in the end is truly bordering on miraculous. Excellent job, despite the shrillness at the end.

And those socks? I don't know; they look quite tiny to me. The socks that I knit from Sockotta Cotton stay up, although the foot tends to stretch out a tiny bit. Given that I wear them with Birkenstocks, that's not a bit problem. It would be a problem with regular shoes, though.

April said...

I'm a bona fide member of the no knitted gifts for Christmas club. But that might be because I have no one to give presents to. I think that's a good thing. Isn't it?

Bells said...

that's gonna be a nice looking sock.

Isn't it funny how we're all a bit different on the knitting to a deadline thing. I love a deadline. I'm more productive knowing I have a christmas deadline to meet. if not for deadlines, I tend to faff about and not do much at all.

Yarnhog said...

Happy vacation. You clearly deserve it. I'm with you on the holiday knitting. I decided not to knit any gifts this year--except for myself, since I will not only love and appreciate them, but will also coo over the clever cables and lovely yarns and will handwash them lovingly and block them to dry and they will be my special pets forever and ever--and not one of them will end up at the bottom of a drawer or lining a pet bed. Everyone else gets gift cards, and we will all be happy.