cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the category “stress”

Give Me a Break…


December consists of hurry up and wait.

At school we hurry through the last unit, hoping to complete it before

a)an unexpected snow day hits

b)the current bout of flu doesn’t empty out the classes

c)too many of my students leave for early vacation.

At home it’s a flurry of hurry as I shop, package, insert, check lists, pull down boxes, search and find–that is, when I am not grading those last minute assignments.

The wait part is counting down days to Christmas Break. We voted to make 12/21 the exit day in order to have an extra week at the end of break, instead of at the beginning. Fumes of distinctive burn out permeated the hallways on Friday. Everyone was tired. I know waiting so long for the break to begin will mean I enjoy that much more–right?

I did a happy dance in the kitchen on Saturday 12/22. Walked around in the brisk, sunny, pre-snowstorm. Definitely appreciated the Christmas weekend. Love being on break.

It’s Wednesday. Umm, how long before we go back to school?

It’s true: You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher.

So far I’ve read two books, answered a dozen Quora requests, watched three movies, straightened up my Hamlet unit, polished my Merchant of Venice lesson plan, finished a puzzle, made a batch of cookies, tried out my new walking poles (thanks, Hon), slept in (6 am!). Now what?

Sheesh–I better figure out something about down time. I’ve got about four years to retirement.

They say knitting can be fun.

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April Rue


April has been described as the cruelest month, as one full of showers, and it is a month full of celebrations from April Fool’s Day to pretzels.

Most notably, at least for me, is how April is a month celebrating poetry in that it’s National Poetry Month. Usually I post a poem every day. Didn’t happen this year.

I also do a Shakespeare shout out on my blog. Sorry, Bill–happy belated 454. He did get a video acknowledgement in the school’s morning announcements.

I managed to celebrate Poem in a Pocket Day on April 26 by handing out poems to my students. Always a big hit. I just didn’t write about it.

I didn’t even read much this month. *sigh*

So what did I do this month?

A small pause and a reflection…

I taught in fits and starts. Mainly having fits about the difficulty of starting a unit, considering after we returned from spring break we had a week to prepare students for a week of state testing.

No, I am not going there.

I became so frustrated with not being able to teach without interruptions to the class schedule that I would go home and binge watch Doctor Who. I could have run to my usual standby of Haagen-Daz or chocolate, but I am trying to find non-caloric comfort food these days. The Doctor works.

Somewhat sad and pathetic I know.

But–

May is nipping around the calendar and that means AP winding down and diving into Julius Caesar.

I’m ready to spring into a new month.

Grrs and Greats


Not that it’s a resolution, but I have come to the conclusion I have got to find a balance to my aggravating days and really great days. You know the routine:

“How’d your day go, dear?”

“Are you kidding? The stoplight skipped a cycle and I’m hanging out waiting for-ever, and when I finally get to the light it changes! That’s before I even got to work. I dropped my keys in a puddle, I forgot about a meeting, the boss came by for an unexpected chat and I was updating my blog, which was on my break, but his frown didn’t register that information…yada yada.”

It’s soooo easy to just grrumble.

Then again, I’m working on bettering my PollyAnna side of life, where all is rose petals and never a thorn.

I’ve decided to balance a great for every grripe.

Here is my ongoing Grrs and Greats list:

GRRS  and GREATS
GRR: food packages that require Herculean effort to pull apart
GREAT: handy “tear here” bags that seal with a zip

GRR: forgetful servers on a tight lunch break
GREAT: a server who remembers I like lemon with my water

GRR: unexpectedly meeting someone and drawing a blank for their name
GREAT: not only remembering the person’s name but remembering
pertinent details like their kid’s name and their college major

GRR: a book that has been on hold FoREveR, only to be a dud
GREAT: 
grabbing that last minute read while in the checkout line and it is FABulouS!

GRR: a DVD with only previews for the special features
GREAT:  
an entire dedicated disc of special features WITH a bloopers reel

GRR: forgetting to do the laundry-again which means the shirt I really wanted to wear is buried deep in the laundry hamper
GREAT:
finding all aspects of desired wardrobe essentials because I actually washed, dried, folded on Saturday.

GRR: the store drop-listed a favorite brand
GREAT:
it’s on the shelf again and on sale!

GRR: hanging out in waiting room limbo for more than a half hour
GREAT:
 wait time of ten minutes or at least new magazines to peruse

GRR: forgetting to pay a bill and getting punched with a hefty late fine
GREAT:
getting a refund for overpayment, or a rebate, or a gift for being such a valued customer

GRR: the school district decides to close school and it’s important test day
GREAT:the school district decides to close school and it’s important test day [a matter of perspective]

GRR: someone with 30 items in the 15 or fewer line
GREAT: the person who says, “Go ahead, you’ve only got a couple of things.”

GRR: getting gas and up the street it’s going for 20 cents less a gallon
GREAT: a full tank prior to a gas hike

GRR: saving up and buying that gotta have item only to find it on sale a week later
GREAT: finding that fabulous item on clearance, saving mungo bucks

GRR: the long dark days of winter
GREAT: hmm, I’m still trying to find something really great about the long days of winter

Balance is indeed important. And while I’m still working on figuring out how to embrace those tedious winter days, I’m hoping you have come up with a couple of GRRS and GREATS of your own. Eli of Coach Daddy originally posted this list as one of his guest spots, and since I’m still adding on my grrs and greats I felt it was a post repeating or is that a grr: posts that are reruns,  then again they could be grreats: that post was really terrific  to read even the second time around.

Feel free to share your own grr and grreat.

And for those who missed my usual POM slot (poem of the month–stay tuned, since next month is  National Poetry Month and I have a poem for every day of April!)

 

 

 

A Post About Something I Remembered About Memory Loss…I Think


Memory loss. It’s really become apparent I’m losing it. Yes, I’m losing my memory. And I don’t consider myself that old–at least I don’t think I’m old enough to be losing it, at least not completely. It’s not like I had a huge memory reserve on hand. I am and have remained absolutely terrible at memorizing words. I gave up thoughts of trying the stage, because memorizing my lines prived akin to storing apple cider in a sieve. I have given up on dazzling people with my ability to quote Shakespearean sonnets and lines from Hamlet, because it’s not and has yet to happen. I’ve accepted that part of life. Yet, lately I’ve had times when I’m staring out the copy machine and for all the tea in China–make that all the chocolate in Willy Wonka’s factory–I can’t remember my code. Yeah, the one I’ve used practically everyday for the past five years at school. *sigh*

Fortunately, a Ted Talk on memory loss popped into my email box before I began the search for a comfortable home for worn out teachers. I will go with the one with the birdfeeders outside the window. Nice Care will have to wait, because Ted and his Talk has confirmed that I’m losing it because I’m stressed out and trying to survive. Who thought teaching would rob my brain of trying to remember stuff?

If you are beginning to lose it, check out this Ted Talk. I feel much better about losing my memory. Wait, did I already post this blog earlier?

image: morguefile/dodgerton skillhouse My memory card is crashing…

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