Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And Now....Day Two!!!

This morning's schedule was a little more conducive to getting out the door for my school district's annual Fall Forum in a timely sort of manner.  I'd like to take the credit, but it really boiled down to a whopper of a storm going on outside and my waking up in the wee hours to the sound of shrieking winds.  I couldn't get back to sleep.  Which was a drag.

But very good for a second cup of coffee.

I made it to the high school in plenty of time to snag a good parking spot and find my first workshop session.  I even had a minute to grab yet another cup of coffee in the cafeteria before having to sit for 90 minutes of training.  As was the case yesterday, I learned a great deal.  Although it probably wasn't exactly what the school district had in mind when planning this educational extravaganza.  Here's a sampling of the knowledge that followed me home today:

Never Believe The Stereotype:  I chose to go with the science teachers for the breakout sessions on refining the Maine State Learning Results.  Yesterday, when I was still all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I had high hopes for their being the more focused of the groups.  Science teachers are very process oriented.  Surely they would use this tendency to make short work of the tasks we'd been given.  I felt so very lucky to be able to choose my group!

Science teachers, it turns out, are not so much process oriented.  In fact, they are so committed to the belief that all the learning standards within their discipline are vital, that they are incapable of giving anything lower priority.  They also like to use big words and argue about stuff.  They don't get much done.  Hence, I will be labeled as being part of the group that did not finish their assigned task.  

The High School Has Incredible Rain Acoustics:  Today's weather is bordering on apocalyptic.  There is rain.  There is wind.  There is more of the rain.  And all of it could be heard clearly no matter where you were in the building.  Everywhere I went, all I could hear was the sound of rushing, flowing water.

I had to go to the bathroom 47 times.   

There Are Limits To The Amount Of Talent A Person Can Take:  The whole event wrapped up with a brief talent show, featuring none other than our very own colleagues.  I'll admit that there are an awful lot of talented people working in our school district.  I was rather impressed.  

However, when the principal of one of the schools took the stage with his guitar in hand and joked about how he'd like to do twelve songs for us, I began to sense that I was reaching my limit with this Fall Forum.  He then commented on how, as the closing act, he was the only thing standing between us and our loved ones.  Thanksgiving break was within our grasp and this guy was going to do folk songs.  Worse, he was going to do it as a sing-along.  

I had every reason to believe that I was going to take my own life with whatever I happened to have handy in my purse.  I leaned forward to where my Former Cheerful Teaching Assistant was sitting and whispered to her that this was exactly like one of those Circles Of Hell you hear so much about.  

She agreed.  

I Have Mad Weaving Skillz:  It appears that I am capable of not only finishing a mitten whilst listening to scientists argue and having to run to the bathroom every ten minutes, but that I can also weave the tip closed under extreme duress.  While Mr. Bojangles was strumming merrily away on his guitar and coaxing us all to join in, I sat in the dark and finished up a mitten.  I couldn't really be certain that I'd done it right until I got home and could see it under better lighting.  I also needed to wait until my jaw unclenched a bit because that was painful and very distracting.  

But all was well.  I picked up some thumb stitches and suddenly:

There were mittens!

There was some unfortunate fraying of the yarn that I failed to notice until I was already knitting it and that has left one of the thumbs looking a bit ragged.  But it's not so bad.  There are also one or two (or ten) ends to be deal with.  But, all in all, I'm calling these, "done."

I have to admit that this was a pattern that I sort of pulled together from a variety of sources.  To say that I was winging it would be an understatement.  I didn't want to deal with thumb gussets while at the workshops so I just put the thumb stitches on waste yarn somewhere around where I thought thumbs ought to be.  Thumbs were then knit at home.  While this necessitated making a "left" and a "right" mitten and lining up the fingertip decreases accordingly, it was actually a pretty simple way to make a mitten happen without needing to pay much attention.  And they do fit as a mitten should fit.  They are big for me, but the beauty of a mitten is that it will always fit someone.  Everybody needs a mitten every now and again, right?

And so ended the 6th Annual Fall Forum.  There was all sorts of knowledge dragged home and I even found a minute to listen to that audio book I downloaded over the weekend.  All in all, I'd say it was a success.  But the part I liked best was when I pulled the car into the driveway at that place I call home.  Soggy from the driving rain and chilled to the bone, I was grateful to slip into something more flannel-y.  And what will I do with all that knowledge I collected over the past two days?

Nothing.  Not a darned thing.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  I am now on Thanksgiving Break and do not plan on thinking again until Monday.



Donna Lee said...

Sounds like a lot of larnin' was going on there. I have to get up tomorrow and go to work but I will make it a short day and then I am on Thanksgiving break and plan to indulge myself and not think either. Except when I'm cooking the dinner. That may require some thought.

trek said...

Woo-hoo: a five day weekend!!

PS - My Word Verification is verigra. Is that a typo? ;o)

Kath said...

Several years ago my boss put one of those "mood" fountains in his office, it had the pretty changing colors to go along with the trickling water. After two days I told him either he had to take it home or have the IT department run phone lines and network cables into the ladies room so I could at least get some work done while I was there! (He had a good sense of humor and thought it was funny - but he did take it home)

Congrats on NOT leading the charge to have Mr. Bojangles tarred and feathered and enjoy your long weekend!

crzjane said...

Lucky you, done for the week. But you did have to put in some challenging hours there.
I get Thursday off, that's it, one day. But I don't have to deal with other people's children. I guess it all works out.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

At least you have a pair of lovely mittens to enjoy from two mind numbing days of talks! Great color, also.

Karen said...

Lovely mittens. Every time you see them you will have fond memories of the fall forum. Just try not to think about the rain sounds.

April said...

So are you calling these your "If I Had A Hammer Hand Warmers?"