Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WNBP: I Had A Plan. And That Was My First Mistake.

There.  School is finally over for the year and summer vacation is upon me.  We can now look forward to more carefully crafted posts that follow the predictable format.  No more of those random mushy reminiscences about students long gone from my care or quickly dashed notes explaining in excruciating detail all the things I must do as opposed to a proper blog post.

Note:  You've all been very kind in not mentioning the obvious.  The excuse-laden posts were longer than the regular ones I suspect...

So here is your first Wednesday Night Bullet Post of Summer '13.  Grant you, it is as full of excuses and self-absorbed angst as any I've ever written, but I like to think it at least sticks to the general theme of the blog...

*School officially ended for me last Thursday.

*I am losing two of my students:  Little Einstein and Jolly Boy.  They will be traveling up to their new 8th grade classrooms located at the high school.  I will be remaining behind to pick up about forty-seven new kids next September.

*It's been a long two-year journey with these guys.  I am not normally one given to huge displays, but I figured I should give them a farewell befitting the end of out time together.  Nothing fancy, just a few heartfelt words of appreciation for all their hard work and blessings upon their little heads as they continued along the winding road of public education.

*I decided to wait until right before they were dismissed to make sure the whole thing didn't get too mushy.  Teenaged boys do not appreciate mush.

*And then I had to take a phone call from a parent.  This parent is a talker.  And she had some concerns.

*To be fair, her concerns were valid and she had every right to want some reassurances.  Plus, I'm one of the few people who can talk to this particular mother without things getting...heated.

*I'm the Parent Whisperer.

*My lovely planned Bon Voyage to my "graduating" students ended up being no more than me covering the phone long enough to shriek, "Dudes!  That's your bus!!!  Move it or start your summer later than you planned!!!"

*The last I saw of them were the backs of their sweatshirts and the fluttering of the plastic shopping bags I'd handed out so they could bring home all the crap they'd brought in over the course of the school year.

*They made their bus, though.  That was good.  Just not what I'd planned, is all.

*On Father's Day, while we were all at my parent's house, SIL Sheep mentioned that she had no oregano plants.

*Nary a one.

*She did, however, long for the day when oregano plants might grace her garden.

*"Long" might be a strong word here, but I feel that this story works better if she is, for reasons best left unexplored, really desperate for some oregano.

*The next day, a colleague sent out an email saying she had oregano literally taking over her garden and that she was bringing in plants for anyone who might like them.  I emailed back enthusiastically!

*And texted my sister-in-law triumphantly because there is no herbal issue I cannot solve within mere days!!!

*I missed the oregano train.  The plants had found new homes.  However, my colleague had lots more to share and said she would bring me some the following day.

*I returned to my classroom, arms raised in a victory salute and proclaimed myself The Best Sister-In-Law EVER.

*No, seriously.  I said that.  Out loud.

*Here's the thing about saying things where others can read or hear them...

*Emails about free oregano mean that people will assume the plants are there for the taking and won't consider for a second that there is SIL pride on the line here.

*And people who make loud pronouncements about being the best of anything will get quick lessons in that whole Pride Goeth Before A Fall thing.

*I missed the oregano train.  Again.

*Oregano plants became my obsession.  My white whale.  My...I dunno.  Pick your own cliche.  Just know I had to make this thing happen.

*I did, however, turn off my phone for a little while there.  My intent to follow through wasn't exactly backed up with a clear plan of action.  No need to risk sudden calls/texts/emails from the SIL.

*School officially ended for me at 1:00 last Thursday.

*I actually snuck out at 12:45 after throwing boxes of movie candy at the secretaries to cover my tracks.

*When you get fifteen emails about school ending at 1:00 for staff, they probably mean 1:00.

*But I'd run out of things to do and I needed to clean out the Student Bribes drawer anyway.

*Besides, I was really tired.  Crazily tired.  And I needed to buy oregano plants.

*I drove by three garden centers on the way home.  I was too tired to process the steps necessary for stopping somewhere other than my own driveway.

*It was only Thursday.  Vacation was upon me.  There was all the time in the world.

*I arrived home to find that it had warned up enough for the window fan to kick on.  And it surely must have blown in a goodly amount of pollen because I suddenly felt the urge to sneeze until my head popped off.

*I should probably have done a little dusting.  Maybe run the vacuum a bit.  That could have cut a swath through the yellow haze.  But I didn't.

*"First things first," I thought.  "A nice, relaxing late lunch on a Thursday that doesn't involve answering the questions of children.  And then, I believe, a nap!"

*So that's what I did.  And I sneezed a couple more times before nodding off, but that's a small price to pay for napping midday on a Thursday.

*I woke up sick.  Full on, shivering, hacking, coughing, sneezing sick.  I gamely kept trying to blame the pollen.  I am nothing if not hopeful in the face of disaster.

*Two hours into vacation and I was sick.  It's a new record.

*I did not go oregano shopping on Friday.  I barely made it to the grocery store to replenish my tissue supply.

*I did go on Saturday, though.  I was eventually going to have to turn my phone back on, after all.

*It took me until Tuesday to actually deliver the foolish plants but, by God, there is now oregano at my SIL's house.

*I'm sort of demoted to Not Quite The Greatest SIL In The World, but I am pretty sure I got some bonus points for going out whilst sick.

*And, in case anyone is wondering, I've been sick for almost a week now.  I'm not exactly sure of the time frame because the days are blurring a bit.  I can't sleep very well because lying down causes coughing fits that wake the entire neighborhood and cause local canines to chew through their leashes in order to find the interloper infringing upon their territory.

*But I think it's been about a week...

*I'm better, though.  Much better than I was a few days ago.  I even managed to sleep a few hours last night so I have hope I might actually start enjoying summer vacation soon.

*It doesn't feel like vacation.  It feels like sick days...

*In light of my sickly state and the horrible twists of fate that were smacking me upside the head with alarming regularity, I decided I deserved a new release book instead of something from the bargain bin like I'd been planning.

*Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas) sports a price tag in the double digits.  I generally do not purchase ebooks for that amount.

*But Odd Thomas is one of my all-time favorite characters and I love the series.  

*The latter books don't have the same emotional impact for me as the first three did.  

*The first actually brought a tear to my jaded eyes...

*But I see the series coming to something big, something that might even encompass a few other books that Mr. Koontz has written.  In fact, it kind of already has...

*And I just love the way Odd talks.  I could listen to him ramble for days and days.

*Except he probably wouldn't have time what with everyone trying to kill him all the the livelong day and whatnot...

Yes, it has been an "interesting" finish to the school year and start of summer vacation.  On the plus side, all that coughing has been quite the ab workout.  Perhaps, if I ever recover, I can produce a fitness DVD called, "The Lungbuster: Swimsuit Ready In Just Seven Days Of Non-Stop Hacking!"

Or maybe I'll write a best-selling self-help novel entitled Be The Oregano: Your Inner Journey To Inflated Self-Esteem.

Failing any of that, one good night's sleep would also be kind of nice.

The sky's the limit, right?  It is summer vacation and I could do any of those things.  The trick, I think, is to not plan on doing them...



trek said...

I was going to say something clever and healing and all of that and mention that I was given an oregano plant today but then I saw the first word of my captcha and it all went out of my head: pubescent. How appropriate.

=Tamar said...

For what it's worth, Mercury is now retrograde and usually stays that way for a month. We are advised to be extremely careful to double-check and triple-check all communications. Your idea of not planning things is probably a good one.

Donna Lee said...

Happy Summer Vacation!

I liked (what I think of as)the original Odd books, too. I read most of Odd Apocalypse and kind of lost interest and then my library loan ran out and I have to get on the waiting list again. He's one of my favorite characters. The guy who reads the audio has the perfect voice for Odd and when I read them, I hear his voice in my head.

I hope you feel better. I'm sitting here with a head full of snot trying to convince myself it's allergies.....

kmkat said...

Pollen here, too, plus more mold that you can sneeze at. That's what happens when it (seems to) rains every day for a month.

Happy vacation!

Julia G said...

Well, the rest of your vacation has got to improve! We like the Odd Thomas series too. It's weird how every year there's some herb or flower that was ubiquitous the year before and this year you can't find anywhere - usually I have basil coming out of my ears, but this year I couldn't find any seedlings, and had to plant my own seeds. I will probably accidentally weed the poor little things. Hope you feel better!