Monday, June 22, 2009

Home: The Place I'm Needed Most Of All

There were many things that all happened in an unprecedented sequence over the last few weeks. I don't think this is the sort of thing that happens but once in a lifetime, really. I've been teaching for a long time now and I've never had it happen before. It was kind of like that perfect storm...

Some of these were good things, like 8th grade students getting promoted to 9th grade and not having to come on the last day of school. There was also that kid who was hanging by a thread last year, but who made enough of a comeback this year to be promoted with his class instead of remaining with me for another year. There were field trips scattered in there, too.

Other things were not so good and caused some students to leave me a bit earlier than planned. Some will be back. Some...maybe not.

With my class numbers dwindling rapidly, I found myself with more time on my hands than I usually have. I was able to get most of the classroom packed up with little in the way of interruptions. I was even able to wrangle a kid or two for some help. The paperwork was done during movie days and the last few meetings ended up being the kind that don't result in more paperwork at a time when you really don't need it.

It all just sort of fell together.

Today, I found myself sans children. There was nary a student in sight. For a variety of reasons, they were all out. It was just me and my teaching assistants. This is normally a good thing because, although the presence of students justifies our existence, they sometimes make us very tired. This is not what you want on the last day of school...

On the other hand, there was nothing left for us to do. I'd already done it all. Sure, I could find some busy-work, but there was really only enough for me and I didn't want to waste it. They decided to go get coffee and then find "people to bother." I muddled though my busy-work and then did the same.

I suppose I could have knit. But I left my "big bag" at home today because I didn't really need it what with everything being done and all. The sticks and string were sitting at home. I didn't even have that.

It was kind of a mixed blessing. I enjoyed the lack of stress, but I have to say that I felt a bit useless. It seemed a shame to be putting in time at school when I could have just gone home. By the time the buses pulled out and carried the other people's students away, I was ready to leave and start summer vacation.

But I couldn't. That wouldn't be professional. You have to at least make the last staff meeting, right? There was free food in there, for heaven's sake!

The fact that it was Chinese food didn't help matters, though. I was dozing off by 1:00 and good for nothing. I managed to scavenge a few textbooks for next year from the "discard" pile in the hallway and got a reimbursement check due me for student supplies I'd purchased. Mostly, though, I just hung around in the hallway with my Closing Day Check-Off Sheet waiting for an administrator to come by and sign it so I could be done for the school year. You can't leave until everyone signs off on all the stuff you are supposed to do...

I was probably a little aggressive with the assistant principal when I found him lurking in the hallways, but I got that last signature. With that, I decided to end my Day Of Doing Nothing, did my Good-bye For The Summer Tour through the building and exited at 1:45.

I was beginning to wonder if I had any purpose in this life whatsoever. Who am I? Why am I here? These were the questions whirling about in my Chinese food numbed noggin as I put my key in the door.

And, just like that, my world view changed. There, right in my kitchen, was my Life's Purpose.

The cabinet under the sink stood open and a variety of things normally stowed out of view were scattered all across my kitchen floor. Standing in the middle of this disaster was my Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty. He was chirping and trilling happily, clearly thrilled to the core with his day's work.

He's followed me around ever since I walked in the door. He rubbed and clucked while I cleaned up his attempt at redecorating. He sang to me while I took an afternoon nap. He has helped me to play computer games and cheered whenever he thought things were going particularly well for us. When I sit on the couch, he lays on my feet or puts his forepaws on my knee so he can howl for head rubs.

How he knew it was the last day of school is beyond me. But I think he did. He has been in full Celebratory Mode for hours now. Should I take my eyes off his handsome visage for so much as a second, he does something to bring the focus right back. The spinning wheel, a spider sitting innocently on the wall, his hapless sister, a dangling bit of yarn...all of it is fair game.

I am not useless just because my teaching duties ended early. My existence on this planet has meaning. I belong to an Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty. And he has plans for me this summer, I think.



I can haz my Mama home just for ME!!!


Let the summer vacation begin!

SA

14 comments:

trek said...

Hey, AGK, you have to share mommy with the BFK!

scienceprincess said...

Congrats on surviving the last day!

And pet the AGK for me, although I doubt he's giving you a choice.

Donna Lee said...

Looks like you might be a little busy this summer!

Kath said...

Yup! He owns you. Not that I errr...know anything at all about being the possession of a four-legged furry beastie. Nope, not me!

Lynne said...

Aaaawwwww! How can you resist that oh-so-cute face?

Enjoy your summer vacation!

Julie said...

Congratulations on surviving the school year! AGK looks like he has some serious plans for you this summer :-)

Betsy said...

Sounds like contentment on both your parts! Enjoy! You earned it...

Bob & Phyllis said...

How do they know? The same way they know when they are going to the V-E-T, even though you have not said a word.

Enjoy your summer!
:)
Phyllis

Karen said...

And you thought a classroom full of kids was work! AGK has plans for you. Good luck!

Cursing Mama said...

I wonder what the BFK has in store for you....surely she is plotting too.

Knitting Linguist said...

Be afraid, be very afraid. Plans, indeed!

Yarnhog said...

Happy summer vacation!

Should his antics prove insufficient in making you feel you have a purpose this summer, I'll be happy to send you my sons to keep you busy. No charge. Because I'm just that kind of gal.

Anne said...

Um. I think he needs a summer job.... that pays... outside of the home. You'll be too exhausted to return to teaching in the fall otherwise, I fear.

Beth said...

He looks so innocent there...