Today was the first day of school. Teachers and staff had everything finished. The building was (mostly) ready, the students looked wonderful in their new clothes, toting new backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, and pens. (I harbor a secret desire to own a stationery store because then I could feed my own office supply addiction at cost.)
My first stop this morning was to sit in on the Jr. High and High School orientation. We have a few new policies and procedures so Principal Moore wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. Pastor Tom spoke briefly, encouraging everyone to treat others with the same respect they want to be treated with. Ah, the Golden Rule. It never goes out of style.
As I sat in the back row, I did a quick head count of “my” high school students. It was then I realized, with a little pain in my heart, that this was my last first day of school. After 8 years of teaching Language Arts I will hang up my hat at Life Church School and pass the baton to someone else next year.
During these moments, moving back to California seems almost too painful to think about. Leaving these kids who I have known since their birth will be one of the hardest things I’ll ever do. At the moment I am trying to force myself not to be maudlin. I know it is right to move because, after all, there are children there who need to learn the wonders of a great story and of an amazing God. I doubt I will leave my teaching days behind me in Missouri and that is some consolation.
The two classes I teach went swimmingly today. The ninth graders were properly petrified by my reputation of being a “hard teacher”. The tenth graders tried to assure them that I’m not the bad, although Daniel F. told them I “almost never” let someone leave to go to the bathroom during class. (True!)
It will be a great year, full of its own joys and challenges. I’ll pour myself out again, perhaps for the last time on this particular land and when it’s time, leave these students in the hands of God.
Ignore that gibberish. I’m trying to claim my blog on Technorati.
On Sunday my friend Shelly asked me if I was excited about moving back to California. My response, “Well, sorta.” was a bit confusing probably. Since we don’t have a set date to leave, or even a set city, (although that is narrowed down to two) that part of the excitement will happen later.
I was excited when the decision was first made. Crazy, over-the-moon, excited. Can’t eat or sleep excited. Then as the weeks went by, that feeling faded. As my pastor. Tom, put it, the honeymoon phase is over and now comes the walking out part of the decision.
When Harold and I got married we went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. It was more beautiful than I had imagined. The colors were deeper, richer, brighter than anything I’d ever seen before. We made beautiful memories and had a blast for 10 days. Then we came home and went about the mundane things that life is really made of. We went to work, fussed about our budget, and began the decades long task of rubbing the rough spots off our relationship. We still had a blast (most of the time) and loved each other like crazy. The difference was the Hawaii moments were fewer and further between.
That is how I feel now. There are 20 years of accumulated living in this house. We have lots of things to sort, toss, sell, or keep. Doing that will take some time and we’ll probably be finished right before the move date ! Do I get curl-my-toes excited still? Yes! But there is always a twinge of sadness mixed with the excitement as I will be leaving behind a community of wonderful, supportive and loving people who I’ve been with for a long time.
Thrilled? Sometimes. Sad? Sometimes. In transition? Always!
Today I’m working on lesson plans. The new school year is about to start and I always try to get ahead while I have a chance. I’ll be teaching the high school Language Arts classes again, which I love to do! I’m so glad I got a chance to teach, even though I didn’t start until my late 40’s. (You’re shocked. I know, you thought I was still in my 30’s.)
Since I’ve been at this for several years now I feel more comfortable in my “teaching” skin. Of course, every class comes with it’s own challenges but that is what makes it exciting. This year is what we call a “writing year” meaning a more intense focus on grammar, vocabulary & communication skills. We’ll still read plenty but everything is looked at through a writing lens.
This will be my last year teaching here so I plan to remind myself to savor every moment. My hope is that when we move to Cali in 2012 that I’ll be able to either get a job tutoring or as a para in a school. However, I know California is much more strict than Missouri is on who can do such things so we’ll see.
I’m also trying to control my obsession with stationary supplies. I purchased a beautiful notebook from Walmart the other day. It’s from their Studio C line. The design is a great combo of retro & modern.
I am fountain pen user so I need to buy some ink today, hooray! About 3 years ago I noticed a lot of pain in the fingers on my right hand. Since I spend a good 8-12 hours a day on a computer I knew this would happen. I read an article about reducing finger pain by using a fountain pen, the theory being you will be less likely to have a death grip on a fountain pen as it takes a light hand to write with one. So I gave it a shot and it actually worked! I have since fallen down the rabbit hole that leads to Fountain Pen Land and I’m never coming back!
Does anyone else out there use a fountain pen? Are any of you as obsessed with stationary supplies as I am? Let me know in the comments.