Friday, April 22, 2005

First times. Not the kind you're thinking about.

The semester is almost over and soon summer school will begin. This will be the first time I've ever taught summer school and I feel really lucky to get my three classes. There are bills to be paid, and Bruester's Ice Cream to be savored. Move out of the way, you undisciplined troupe of Girl Scouts; I want my ice cream. It's summer. On Thursday nights, if you bring your own banana, the banana splits are half price.

You've not seen 'funny' till you've seen a big long line of old people, all holding a banana. From across the parking lot, in the silhouettes of dusk, it's almost pornographic.

Well, after I get all those pansies planted, it will be officially summer for me. And the impatiens for the planter under the hickory tree; those will be beautiful, too.

This past year has been a long unpleasant list of first times. I've said this before but in the mood I'm in, it bears repeating. "I hate taking the consequences of someone else's actions. " There. I feel a little better now. I'll never be the same, but I feel a little better.

Sometimes I think that misjudging people and making assumptions are two of the worst things people do to each other. In a way, it's a kind of murder. A lot of trust is gone forever.

There were at least a dozen deer in the back yard about an hour ago. Big ones. I didn't see any antlers but they were all big deer. When the weather gets really hot, they come out of our little woods and lie down on the basketball court. The cool concrete must feel good to their stomachs.

I'm going to start keeping a camera in the kitchen. Maybe then I can share some of the pretty scenes that are played out in my back yard, every day.

Then, all I have to do is get a computer that will stay on long enough to get something done. My computer is once again being serviced. I think the Powersource people should really start giving me a discount and shelf space with a name tag on it. Jack? Linda? I'm giving you free advertising here, how about it?

If Hub's computer ever goes out at the same time as mine, I'll have to bring a cot and a cooler of diet Coke to the library, elbow little kids away from their video games, and settle in for the duration. I wonder where my library card is.

Summers, when the kids were little, used to mean going to the library (it was air conditioned!) twice a week, and stopping at a nearby campground on the way home to swim in their pool. I'd had all of the owner's kids in school, and at the end of the year she used to give me an envelope with free passes to her campground's pool; what a fantastic gift that always was! We had no money (kind of like, NOW) and if it hadn't been for her generosity and kindness, my kids would have had to play in the little plastic pool every day, and get sprinkled with the hose for further delight.

Well, we did that anyway, almost every day. Till the water ran out; we had a well back then. I had my routines down pat: I couldn't run the fans and the oven at the same time or I'd blow a fuse. I couldn't run bathwater and fill the little plastic pool within two or three hours of each other. When I finally did get a washing machine, I couldn't run any other electrical device while the washer was running.

Yeah, we spent a lot of time at the library, and the campground pool, in the summer.

Don't worry, kids. I won't tell about how I used to let you run naked in the yard, in the summer. Or how I used to sit on the front steps with a bar of soap and the hose, and wash you down before letting you back into the house. And how you didn't even realize you were having a shower.

And I won't tell why I stopped letting you do that, either. Darn tourists. Voices sure carry out in the country.

And remember how you used to beg me not to stay at the campground pool and watch over you, every time? Remember how embarassed you were because yours was the only mom who sat on top of a picnic table under a tree just outside the pool fence and never took my eyes off you?

Yeah, well, forget about getting an apology from me. I'd do the same again. There was no way I was going to leave you in a big swimming pool that had no lifeguard. And my opinion of all those other mothers who dropped their kids off and left to go to the store? It hasn't changed, either. I do apologize for the word that you heard coming out of my mouth about those other mothers, though. At the time, it seemed like the appropriate word to use, to describe them. In fact, even now, years later, it still seems like the right word to use.

I'd tell you what it was but you've probably figured it out by now. Hint: think, "kennel."

Our weather is so beautiful; I love it when it's breezy.

I need to write a final exam this next week. I hope I don't put it off till the last minute. But then, why should this time be any different?

Hub wants me to check out getting another Master's degree at IU. Mine is in secondary education, english major, young adult literature focus. If I get one just in English, I can teach more classes at the college level. It would also be easier, and faster, than going for a doctorate.

At this stage of the game, "easier and faster" sound good.

Then again, the students I love the most, are the lower-level students. The students who made C's and D's and F's in high school. The students for whom 'school' has a bad connotation. The students who have been out in the world for a while and who have made the decision to return to school and try again, so they might better themselves both for themselves, and for the ever-changing job market. Honestly, many of my students have stories to tell, that would curl your hair and bring tears to your eyes. I wish I could share, but I'd never betray their trust. Such lovely people, most of them.

And I can teach the lower levels with the degree I already have.

It's odd to me, that the most challenging classes are taught by people with the lower degrees, while the higher level classes, which are a lot easier to teach, are taught by people with the highest degrees. There's something wrong there.

And now I am going into the kitchen for a sandwich. And maybe some lemonade, because I've already had three diet cokes this morning.

And how are all of YOU today?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:00 PM | |


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