Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making It Bearable

Now that the weather has taken a turn for the "seasonal," I am struggling with the remaining length of the school year.  The very idea that I have to carry on for another almost-whole month is killing me.  After the long holiday weekend, I couldn't be more done with this educational experience.  I spent most of the past three days trying to ignore the reality

Chiefly, I was trying to ignore the fact that I was going back to a field trip.

I used to think of these little excursions as bonuses, a free way to go out and experience stuff.  I was younger back then and had the energy to find the bright side.  Now I've gone on every field trip known to mankind (some of them five or six times) and I don't get quite so enthused about it.  But, when it's time to go visit the Maine Wildlife Park...it's time to go.  Even if you don't want to get out of bed so you can drive for 45 minutes and then board a bus to drive for another hour and a half with a bunch of kids.

 I forgot to bring my knitting and  the Cheerful Teaching Assistant ended up being too sick to travel, but I like to think I dug deep in order that I might find my inner optimist.  In the end, it really turned out to be a kind of nice sort of experience with the kids.  For one thing, the weather couldn't have been nicer.

And they've really spruced the place up since I was last there as a kid!

The program we were schedule to participate in was called Skulls And Skins.  This, of course, means that there will be skulls.  And skins.  You aren't getting around that.

Some little...

Some bigger...

Some that seem to be looking right at you...

Rest assured, none of these animals were sacrificed specifically for the purposes of entertaining children. They were either naturally relieved of their mortal coils, legally shot in season or confiscated by local authorities after having been poached.  In each case, the hide and bones were saved to use as educational tools rather than go to waste.  Our class got to use them to learn more about identifying animal diets and habitats by studying the skulls and fur.

Then we went off to look at all the critters currently in residence.  There were lots, mostly behind chain link fences which don't always play nicely with my camera.  Sometimes, though, I was pretty happy about the heavy layers of linkage.  Like during feeding time in the mountain lion area.

Mountain lions sort of scare the ever-loving daylights out of me.  Even if they already have a snack to nosh on.

I am not scared of bears, though.  I really like bears.  Bears make me chuckle and kind of coo in their general direction.

Coo!  Coo!

I know that it's not OK to hug bears or even shake hands with them.  They get a little grumpy about that sort of thing.  And I also know that you should never try to take away their pik-a-nik baskets.

Even if they have very gentle eyes...

Yeah...it can sometimes be hard to get through the last few weeks of the school year.  The kids are cranky, the classroom gets hot and no one is particularly interested in being educated once June rolls around.  You gotta find something to cling to lest you go mad with it all.  If waving to bears and examining skinless skulls does the trick, then so be it.  I'm not going to quibble with a good day.  I enjoyed myself far more than I thought I would, all things considered.  That is enough.

At least until I can start living like this guy:


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WNBP: It's TOO Nice!!!

I guess I'm just never happy.  First, I'm all fussy about the five million days of rain and now I'm grousing because the sun is out and it feels too much like summer.  To be fair, I've got a roomful of middle school students who feel the same way and a very long way to go this year, but it still seems wrong to complain.

I should probably just do the Wednesday Night Bullet Post and not draw any further negative attention to myself...

*The sun was so shiny and bright today.  It was like something out of a movie...

*We finished up as much of the work as we could and then took the kids outside to frolic in the bugs and pollen!

*Today's Life Lesson:  If you leave a sock unfinished for months at a time, then a Very Complicated Kitty will come along and gnaw the yarn in half.

*That is Karma.

*Karma likes it when you have to knot the yarn because Karma is a little bit sick...

*Best Conversation Of The Week:

Spunky Girl:  Is that music coming out of your office?

Ms. Sheep:  Yes.  The power has gone out and the Future Farmer cannot bear to live without music.  In fact, he refused to do his math until I provided some tunes.  Without internet access, the best I could do was open up my Itunes for his general entertainment.  Don't worry, though.  I don't put anything inappropriate on my school laptop because I am a very responsible educator.

SG:  That was a very long story.

MS:  They usually are.

SG:  Wait!  Listen...oh no!  I have bad news.  That's not your music!  That is cool music.  I think that The Boy With The Bass Booming Earbuds has been downloading to your computer!!!

MS:  No.  He can't do that.  It's my account.  That is my music.

SG:  Oh, I don't think so.

MS:  Is too!!!

(the boy who is) Dark & Disturbed:  Hey, is that The Black Eyed Peas?  Where the heck is that coming from???

MS:  It's my computer.

D&D:  Yeah, right.  Seriously...where is it coming from?

The Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage:  Is the power back on?  I hear music and it sounds like it's coming from Ms. Sheep's computer.  How are you getting internet radio without power?

MS:  Oh, come ON!!!

*I can't be cool?  Really?  How fair is that???

*And The Black Eyed Peas are, like, totally old news!!!

*The power was out for well over an hour today and that was a problem since we are doing our annual progress assessments.

*Which are done online.

*Which isn't exactly possible if there is nothing to power the interwebs.

*My kids were already done testing so no harm/no foul.

*Plenty of time to justify my Itunes ownership.

*I had to buy a new blender yesterday.

*Blew up the last one a couple of weeks ago.

*Lots of stuff has blown up here over the past year.

*Lots.  Blowing stuff up is now like a second career to me.

*Don't stand too close, especially if you have a pacemaker or anything like that.

*The Cheerful Teaching Assistant finally tired of watching me limp around or walk on tippy-toes to avoid allowing my right heel to touch the earth.

*Right heel hurts.  Right heel does want to touch the earth.  Right heel screams in pain if it touches the earth.

*Except when it doesn't, but then my ankle hurts so it's really a limp-along no matter how you look at it.

*Since the CTA's husband also suffers from Plantar Fasciitis, she recognized that oh-so-special limp that comes from a heel spur.

*She went online to get pictures of the stretches I am supposed to be doing but forgot about because it has been fifteen years since my foot has bothered me to this degree and who remembers that stuff anyway?

*Ice and stretching.  Things were much improved today.

*Still hurts...but I can walk and that is kind of nice.

*You know how sometimes you are reading a book and you think, "Meh...I can take this or leave it,"  but it's a series and you kind of have to keep going with it?

*Then you are suddenly rather taken with the story and the character and love the whole thing more than you thought you did?

*It was sort of like that with Dead To Me.

*And Deader Still.

*And I'm still feeling it with Dead Matter.

*What can I say?  The very concept of working for a paranormal investigation agency that relies heavily on the use of pamphlets to keep staff trained appeals to me.

*I like a good pamphlet...

*And am looking forward to Dead Waters just as soon as I can get to it.

In fact, there should be ample time for that soon.  There is a long, holiday weekend in my immediate future and then I can kick up my heels.  Well...I can carefully kick up my heels since it is not a good idea to be kicking too much when the heels hurt.  However, I don't suppose reading will do much to cause me pain if I take it easy.  I'm just worried about the one thing:  I hope the weather's not too nice.

I've got to go back to school on Tuesday and it's a very long way to go until the end of the year.  Can't afford to be thinking summery thoughts just yet...


Monday, May 23, 2011

There Wasn't...Was There?

I had mixed feelings when I heard about The Rapture bearing down upon us.  On one hand, I hated the idea of losing half my weekend, not to mention the angst a person goes through wondering if she made the final cut.  On the other hand, it might be a nice way to get out of the five million plans I've made for the month of May.  I couldn't help but feel that I was overbooked and the end of days might make for a handy excuse...

It didn't come to pass, though, and that pretty much solved the whole dilemma for me.  I resigned myself to having plans on Saturday even though I wasn't completely thrilled about going out again.

Monday morning rolled around soon enough and, with no Rapture to close school, I had to head in to teach the children.  I blearily made my way into the classroom and prepared myself for another day just like all the pre-Rapture ones.

The kids filed in, most looking as unenthused as I.  There was one exception, though.  (the boy who is) Dark & Disturbed seemed unusually perky for a Monday morning. Or any morning, for that matter.  I'd figured he'd be all bummed out about the total lack of apocalypse this weekend.  This was weird...maybe I was misinterpreting things.

Nope.  The lad looked me right in the eye and said, "Hey, Ms. Sheep!  You know what happened to me this weekend?  It was really wild!  I was...wait for it....HAPPY!  I thought it was a stroke or something but then I remembered 'happy' from that time when I was three and got an ice cream cone."

It seemed that D&D went to visit a friend and ended up meeting some "cool new people."  This led to the aforementioned happiness.  I congratulated him upon this new state, weird as it was.  In fact, I saw this as an opportunity to share my own experience.  This could only add to his happiness, after all.

"Yes, my lad!  It is so easy to sit around in our own comfort zones and miss out on happiness.  I, too, almost passed up a chance for fun this weekend because I didn't want to venture out amongst the humans.  When The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach asked me to spend a day with her, I cursed the day I ever knit her a scarf and crossed that delicate line between professional and personal relationships.  In the end, though, I sucked it up and got to go out for Thai food. I had the best time ever! Isn't that nice?"

He looked confused regarding the speed with which this conversation turned to Ms. Sheep's life, but it didn't diminish his happiness.  In fact, the joy fairly bubbled out of him all day long.  It was almost 1:00 in the afternoon before he was able to tell us the whole truth.  He didn't just meet "some cool new people."  He met one cool person.  One cool person who happened to also be a very cute female with an appreciation for Dark, Disturbed Types.

Yes, the boy was smitten and there was no dealing with him.  Instead of drawing flaming skulls on the board, he sketched out happy faces.  He did his math without once calling upon the dark forces to take this burden from him.  I swear to you, I even heard him humming at one point and not his usual rage-against-the-machine type tunes either.  Truth be told, it was a little bit creepy.  I mean...he's Dark & Disturbed!  He wears all black!  The only reason he wasn't sporting his usual black sweatshirt with the skeleton on it was because his new paramour was in possession of it.  He was a whole different person that the one who left us on Friday for his weekend of brooding.

So maybe there wasn't a real Rapture, but I think it is safe to say that something happened to disturb the force.  Don't try to tell me there wasn't.  It's the power of Middle School Love, people.  Dark & Disturbed is now Bright 'n Chipper.

That is bigger than any Rapture...


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dark 'n Dreary

The rain...dear God, the rain!  How long can a person live under such dark and dismal conditions before going utterly mad with the lack of sunlight?  If my own experience is any indication, I'm guessing it's not very long.  In fact, I think I passed the point of demarcation a few days ago.

Let's see if doing the Wednesday Night Bullet Post helps at all...

*I think the overcast conditions are getting to everyone.

*Spunky Girl marched into the classroom today and announced that it was high time we did something about all this gray, gloomy weather.

*She then produced a box of donut holes for the class and I think I may love this girl more than any I might have ever produced on my own.

*Thanks to those who expressed birthday wishes yesterday in personal and on-line formats.  Much appreciated!

*I don't really celebrate my birthday much anymore so don't worry if you missed it.

*It's not that I'm sensitive about my age.  I couldn't care less about that.

*I'm 46.

*It's just that there seems to be an awful lot of pressure around birthdays.

*People always ask things like "what are your plans?" Or "what did you do to celebrate the big day?"

*When I tell them I went home and ate a piece of cake by myself where it was nice and quiet and I didn't have to share, they look at me with Sad Face.

*Worse, they feel they should "do something about this" and then there is every reason to believe they are going to make a fuss.

*I am not a fan of fussing.

*My birthday plans never seem to measure up to what people think they should be so I tend to keep the whole thing to myself until it's well over.

*I am not a person who is kind to coffee makers.  I burn through them at an alarming rate.

*I need a new coffee maker.

*Purchasing new coffee makers is just what I do.

*Student input on this matter went as follows:

Ms. Sheep:  I need a new coffee maker.  Everyone needs to drop what they are doing and help me decide what I want.  Yes, that means you.  I don't care if your math isn't done.  This is important and affects you directly since coffee equals a much more pleasant teacher.

The Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage:  A coffee maker?  Really?  Oh and I suppose you think you are getting one of those really fancy ones, too.  Well, let me ask you this!  Have you replaced those tires yet?  You know...the ones you haven't replaced in months and that I keep reminding you about?  The ones I mention three times a week?  And then you tell me how traction is for wimps?

MS:  Er...

TBFWATWAS:  That is what I thought.  And don't think I haven't been keeping track of your oil changes either.  I have.  We won't even discuss that chip in your windshield but I can't help but wonder if you've given any thought to new wiper blades.  It is raining, after all!  I'll bet you can't see anything when you drive to work!!!

MS:  How did you...

TBFWATWAS:  I know everything.  It's what I do.

*After some tough negotiations and a reminder that yesterday was my birthday, I have been given permission to indulge myself in a new coffee maker.

*I am getting the fancy one, but I'm not telling him that.

*This story has been consuming everyone in my area for days.

*Not a happy ending, but at least now the poor little guy has a name.

*I don't know about anyone else, but the day they put up the picture of his little shoes to see if anyone could identify them, I just about lost it.

*Not knitting a lot these days.

*That's not news, but I still consider this a knitting blog so I have to mention it.

*Plus, the socks-in-progress are right beside me and they will know if I try to pretend they aren't there.

*I've been reading, though.

*Also not news, but I like a nice segue.

*I finished I Don't Want to Kill You.

*Arguably the weakest book of the series.  I think the author pulled his punches a little bit at the end.

*Almost like he wanted to just get past the hard parts.  Understandable...he goes for a pretty rough ending to the whole thing.

*But I think there should have been more of an emotional cost for the reader.

*Still...a pretty decent series of books if you like the horror genre.

*Then I figured I'd read Avalon Revisited.

*It sounded like a good way to pass the time until Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate) comes out.

*It was.  Not as good...but still a nice diversion.

*Then I was out of stuff to read so I downloaded Dead To Me.

*Haven't started it yet.  I'll get back to you...

*Also need to recharge the ereader because I often forget to do that and then it gets all mad at me.

*What can I say?  It's been dark 'n dreary and I was avoiding my birthday and that means I stayed in and read a lot!!!

*I won't be made to feel inferior by my devices!!

*I think it's good that Spunky Girl brought donuts today.

*I might be getting a little loopy from the lack of light.

*Can't imagine my state had she not provided that little bit of sugary sunshine...

That should cover it.  To summarize, it is raining and won't stop so things just look dark.  With any luck, the forecast will change and that bright burning ball that used to be up in the sky will make another appearance.  If not, I can only hope that someone thinks to bring the donuts.

I have a bad feeling that I'll be about fifty pounds heavier by the time this stretch of weather ends...


Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting To The Point

There comes a point in every school year where a teacher says, "By golly, I think I'm done!"  Hopefully, that point arrives on the last day of classes because it is mighty inconvenient when it happens beforehand.  I've had it play out both ways.  Sometimes I make it to the finish line, breathe a sigh of relief and wave a merry goodbye to my colleagues.  Other times...not so much.

This is one of the "other" years.  I think it hit me last Tuesday when I stayed home for a doctor's appointment.  The fact that this impromptu holiday was taken at the request of my staff should probably be an indicator of my doneness, but that didn't occur to me at the time.  Mostly I was just kind of giddy to be home all snuggled up and knitting for most of the day.

It all got me to thinking about being "done" for the year and that was it for me.  Now I have to go in for another month of school, all the while thinking about being done and how unfair it is that I am expected to go to work each day and fulfill the contract I signed.  I am filled with the bitter taste of resentment at the injustice of it all.

And it's not just me.  I could see how someone might think that I'm being overly eager to end this educational nightmare and send these kids on their way, but it honestly isn't my issue alone.  I know this for a fact.  Kids ask me every day how much longer they have until summer vacation.  They ask me while they are not doing their work or kicking back for a nice snack instead of listening to me tell them all about geography.  They all feel as though things have gotten overwhelming.  When they can't find the words, they tell me by falling asleep in the middle of one of my brilliant lectures.

One student has been proving this point with enough force to leave emotional scars upon me lately.  Every morning, this usually kind-hearted lad is spewing enough venom to kill a small army and following it up with few verbal gut punches aimed right at his teacher's self-esteem.  Because he is a good kid almost all the time, we are trying to bear up under the assault knowing that there has to be a good reason for why he's lashing out these days.

Today, however, I perhaps got around to remembering that I was "done."  When the young man fell apart during his tour of the high school, refused to eat anything at a time when he really needed to, almost made himself sick and then returned to class to loudly blame everyone for his morning, I think we'd all had enough.  There was a marked lack of sympathy to be found in the classroom after the past couple of weeks.  Things got better after that, but I still felt a little miffed over his inability to sense my being "done."

Before he left for the day, he mentioned that he was hungry and looking forward to getting a snack.  He had, after all, missed lunch.  I ask you, how much more was I to take?  I had to speak up again.

"You know, no fewer than three people offered to help you out with that.  You could have eaten if you wanted to."

Without missing a beat, he shot back, "No I couldn't.  I was too full of righteous indignation at the time."

We laughed for five minutes straight and now I'm starting to think I'm going to survive being "done" even if I'm not exactly "finished." Maybe there are a few good moments left in this school year.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WNBP: May Madness

No...seriously?  It's been a week???  That just can't be right!  Well...I guess maybe it can.  Even if I didn't mean to wander away from the blog for a whole week, I guess it's possible.  I've been busy at school and had to change a doctor's appointment at the last minute to account for a dwindling supply of medication.  Oh, and let's not forget Mother's Day being thrown in there!

I've been a busy, busy girl.  And, if anyone happens to notice that I've not been any busier this month than I have during a few of the others, I'm just going to move faster and faster until they believe me.  I will also start flinging Wednesday Night Bullet Points around because those tend to be really confusing and are good for deflecting people from other things.

Here's a few now:

*We decided to cook for Mother's Day this year instead of taking Mom out.

*SIL Sheep and I rocked the kitchen and I briefly gave some thought to us opening our own restaurant.

*Then I got over it because cooking is a lot of work and not as much fun once you're past the part where you get to beat up on a chicken with a mallet.

*I realized last Friday that my medication supply wasn't going to last until the 20th.

*Why the doc's office decided to schedule my next visit so late, I know not.  I only know that it would not do...

*At the suggestion of my staff, I took yesterday off to go to the doctor.  Not an hour.  Not the morning.

*The whole day.

*The words, "you should also probably take a nap or something..." were used.

*Ms. Sheep is maybe a little bit over this school year right about now.  

*And maybe showing it more than she intends...

*I wanted to bring my sock-in-progress with me to the appointment, but the yarn is all safely contained in a plastic yarn holder-thingie and it's not exactly portable.

*What was I thinking?????

*I read while I waited instead.

*I finished Nekropolis: A Matt Richter Novel (Matt Richter Novels) the other day.

*Which meant that I had Dead Streets: A Matt Richter Novel (Matt Richter Novels) cued up and ready to rock.  

*Zombie detective fighting the good fight in the bad streets of Nekropolis...always good for a long wait at the doctor's office.

*Or in the car.  Doctor accidentally locked the door behind her when she came in and we, the patients, were all stuck outside for half an hour.

*We tried to show some patience as good patients should.

*But it was raining and that didn't do much for our collective mood.

*Monday's Conversation With The Cheerful Teaching Assistant:

Cheerful Teaching Assistant:  I hate you so much.

Ms. Sheep:  Really?  Why now?

CTA:  Because you had to go and tell me about My Blood Approves.

MS:  What's wrong with that?

CTA:  I told you I didn't want to read it.  I told you it was probably just some clone of all the other stupid, wannabe vampire books.  But could you just accept that?  Nooooo...you had to go and keep talking about it!

MS:  I'm pretty sure I just mentioned it once or twice...

CTA:  You know how Amanda Hocking gets into my head!  You know how hard it is when I read her stuff and how I can't sleep what with all the worrying about the characters.  I've told you this about a million times but you don't care.  Now I'm almost to the end of the series and I'm barely awake right now because you just had to go and ruin my life!!!

MS:  Er...at the risk of making you more hateful, I kinda need to point out that you were the one who told me you were reading Hollowland.  I didn't want to read a zombie book.  You convinced me.  In fact, I'd never even heard of Amanda Hocking until you brought it up.

CTA:  Don't change the subject.  You know what you've done.  Just live with your guilt.

MS:  Okay.

*Good teaching assistants are very, very hard to find.

*Teaching assistants who want to talk about books for an hour a day are even harder to find.

*I'll own the guilt.  Even if I know she'd have eventually gotten around to reading these books anyway...

*She's ahead of me in the series now.  I'm going to have to pick up Wisdom (My Blood Approves, #4) pretty soon lest she have to live with the whole plot line alone.

*Can't right now, though.

*Need to finish what I'm reading and then get started on I Don't Want to Kill You.

*I like it when people don't want to kill me.  That seems like a nice attitude.

*May is, all kidding aside, a very busy month for me.  I have "something" every single weekend.

*I don't know how I keep up with everything.

*It's all stuff I want to do.  But it's also the sort of thing that fills up a calendar.

*Here's hoping I don't lose track and miss a week of blog time again, but let's face it.

*It isn't outside the realm of possibility.

*I'll apologize in advance and own the guilt like the CTA says.

And now I'm off!  Both of Da Boyz are giving me the stink eye and this would indicate that they feel mealtime is overdue.  The fact that it is not seems to mean nothing to them.  While I have no intention of feeding them right now, I do think I should be watching my back.

It's just something else to add to the madness that is May!


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

WNBP: It Rains

Well, I have somehow managed to make it through three work days and am thinking that a weekend might just be in sight if I play my cards right.  That, in an of itself, is something of a triumph during these rainy, chilly days.  I think I shall simply sally forth and plunge right into the Wednesday Night Bullet Post before something takes the wind out of my sails.

*I think I have mentioned the rain already but it has kind of overshadowed this whole week and it bears noting it again.

*I am sticking to sandals, though.  May is upon us and I'm not going back.

*Plus they can't figure out how to shut the heat off in my classroom and it is like a sauna in there.

*Wait.  I have an auto-dial call from my school district.  Gotta see what's up.

*It's the superintendent.  He's my Big Boss.  Should really listen to his recording because I am sure he will know if I don't...

*He wants me to remind me that the district budget vote is tomorrow and that voting is important.  

*Good to know.

*Of course, I don't actually live in that district and can't vote but it's always nice to be included.

*Where was I?

*Oh, yeah.  Heat won't turn off.  Probably taking up a great deal of our building's oil budget...

*Wanna know how dedicated I am to making a point?

*I took two kids outside today for the last period because they'd finished their Science worksheets.

*And because there was this other kid who was being a puke and who wouldn't do anything but lie on the floor and argue with me over the validity of this choice.

*Yeah.  I took kids out to play in the rain just so one could stay inside and continue not doing his work in overheated misery while my hair deflated and my mascara ran freely like the wild buffalo.

*I am that dedicated to making a point.  Don't mess with me.

*I sort of regretted the sandal decision just then and would have killed for a nice pair of warm wool socks, but not so much that I didn't rhapsodize about how delightful a time we had in the great outdoors.

*My flat hair and wandering mascara sort of detracted from my words, but no one was brave enough to say anything about it.

*Here's a little life lesson:  If you are in a staff meeting on a rainy afternoon when no one can keep their eyes open and someone says, "I want to raise a point, but it's not anything I think we need to discuss right here and now; I'm just planting a seed." please be prepared.

*It will be a hot button topic and we will be discussing it.

*I hated the point-maker until she added another thought:  "Also, could we please remind the students that the bathrooms marked as staff only are for the adults?"

*There was an awkward pause and then...

*"I'm sorry, but I prefer to fart in peace."

*Now I think the point-maker is like a god who speaks that which no one else has the nerve to utter.

*Query:  When did I become the kind of person whose ankles swell up by day's end?

*Just curious.  I never used to be that person.  I'm fairly certain I'd have noticed.

*I'm also fairly certain that they aren't supposed to do that.

*Several people responded when I mentioned that I was at a loss for what to read next.  Yay!

*However, it was Elaine who did it first.

*This coincided with that crucial and horrific moment when I had nothing and was getting a little panicked.

*That's how I ended up purchasing Midnight Riot.

*I've been trying to think of a good way to describe this book and the best I can come up with is "charming."

*I'm fairly certain that this is not what the author was going for, but I mean it as a compliment all the same.

*Well written, witty and featuring a main character you can't help but fall in love with.

*Who doesn't love a wizard-in-training, after all?  

*Also doesn't hurt that the author seems to have a very clear understanding of British police procedure and the ability to work it in seamlessly.

*Had to immediately get Moon Over Soho.  There was just nothing else to be done at that point.

*It's raining, I have to go outside with kids in bad weather and my ankles are fat.  Are you going to try and tell me that I don't deserve a sequel?  Really?

*And it's just as good as the first whether I deserve it or not.

And that's that for this week's bullet points.  I'm going to kick up my feet and read a bit while the raindrops patter outside and my ankles return to their former, youthful state.  It's all about the relaxing and basking in the triumph of a week half done.  I'm hoping for a few breaks of sun at some point this week, though.  The kids are getting grumpy.

I'm probably going to have to take a few more outside just to prove a point or two over the next couple of days, after all...


Monday, May 02, 2011

My Inspiration

I woke up tired this morning.

I can tell by the puzzled looks and murmurs that a few of you might not comprehend what I mean by this.  "Of course you were a little sleepy.  It was 4:45 in the morning.  Worse, it was 4:45 on a Monday morning which is always going to compound the problem, Sheepie.  And yet, even if we take that out of the equation, who among us doesn't awaken a little bit out of sorts?  We all take a moment to orient ourselves as we transition from the sleeping to the waking state."

I can understand how this might be confusing.  I, myself, didn't quite realize the true nature of the problem. After giving the snooze button a few heartfelt smacks, I lay abed waiting for the transition period to end.  Soon, I felt sure, I'd shake off the Morning Fuzzy-Wuzzems and be ready to face the day.

When that didn't happen, I decided that a nice shower would do the trick.  Surely, the very act of standing would help, if nothing else.  I kicked myself free of the blankets, retrieved the handknit socks that always seem to fall from my feet during the night and staggered off to find some coffee.  The last bit of inspiration was a sure-fire way to get the old blood pumping!

Nope.  I was no less awake at the end of my morning beautification ritual that I was when I started.  Nothing helped.  All I could do was hope that my eyes worked their way up from half-mast before I got onto the highway.

I was rather surprised when I pulled into the teacher's parking area.  I know I drove there, but it's mostly a blur.  Since a parade of emergency vehicles didn't follow me to my space, I can only assume that it was an uneventful commute, but who really knows?  There very well may be a squirrel or two cursing my name somewhere out there...

This, I fee,l should help to illustrate the difference between "Morning Transition Period" and "Waking Up Tired."  Tired doesn't go away.  Tired, no matter how well you've slept, lingers.

The whole day was like that.  Sadly, my students weren't exactly on board with the whole "Ms. Sheep is very tired today and we should not spend the day being horrible in shifts so that she cannot get so much as a moment to yawn" plan.  In fact, they could not have been more coordinated in their efforts to make the most of my fatigue.  Even the kids who are normally pretty kind when they see I am a bit off my game, were snappish and ill-tempered.  This is not helpful.  This takes "tired" to a whole new level, specifically the one that involves shrieking and making empty threats.

I am tired.  The only thing I could focus on with any degree of clarity was that I wanted something.  I couldn't recall just what, but I knew there was something I'd seen recently that fit the bill.  Something...

And then, when I was loading some photos from the weekend onto the laptop, I got it.  I knew what I wanted.


I want to be able to say, "Gee, I think I might be tired," and flop down wherever I might be.  I want to drop into a heavy sleep without regard for such petty things as location or relative comfort.  I want to not care who might be around or what they might think of my choice in napping spots.  I want to sleep like that.

Maybe crack one eye open when the camera flash goes off, but still not care so much...

The Very Complicated Kitty has it all together, I think.  I feel that I should study him and perhaps even write a grant which will allow me to monitor his sleepy cycles full time.  I could write a book and maybe get a special on one of those nature channels.  I'd be famous.

I'm too tired to do any of that right now, though.  I'll just sit here and be inspired by him for a while and see where we are with this tomorrow...