I'm pretty sure I'm too busy to write this, but it has really been too long and some of it just needs to land somewhere outside of my head. If this were pre-bloggerdom, this would be one of those once every six months journal entries, which is where my journaling for many years landed. The updates. I used to write daily in my paper journals, but pretty much every time I returned to my journal to re-read its soulful contents, I would find that it was the same stuff with only slight variations on the 5 W's. Not that the 5 W's aren't what a certain writing is all about, but for me it's about emotion. Mostly, everything I've written about outside of obligation is about the emotion it evokes in me when reading it or writing it or the emotional effect the writing process has on me. It's my anchor, a way for me to "ground" my emotions. Of course, it's not always so purely intentioned and noble as all that may sound. I'm pretty sure blowing off steam or putting what feels devastating to me into an absurd context to have a different relationship with it is what about half this blog is about. The other two-thirds being pure and simple attention-seeking whoredom (not to knock whoredome, of course). And, though I'm olde-fashionedly attached to my two spaces between sentences habit, I wouldn't dare make up words and write little tiny one-word sentences in writing. Shameful. Shameful.
As tempted as I am to go off on a tangent about the shameful effects of shame (written from a firsthand view), I really am here for the update, the processing of this summers events. (Here ends the masturbatory meta-writing foreplay.) This summer began with what felt like an abrupt ending to the 5 months of house sitting I'd done from Dec. 30- May 31. Originally, the end date was to be June 30, and then sometime in April was changed to June 15. Of course. It wasn't my house. Folks wanna be home. Folks miss dogs. Yada yada. I missed having my own home, also. But, I wasn't mentally prepared to make that return step into the utter tedium I was seeing it to be to be barely making it between the two 1/3 of what I need to survive paychecks I was bringing in, especially when my move-out day became THE DAY AFTER THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. Packing and cleaning and maintaining meals, etc. on top of working the hardest 7 days a week of the school year was not fun. Not fun at all.
I was promised a raise in August, two weeks at Chez ex-ex Mr. Bee surfaced when he was to be away for work for two weeks beginning the exact day my house sitting was to end, and my boys would be out if town three (yet unknown) weeks of the summer, at least, with grandparents. I started to think that maybe we should camp our days away and postpone getting a place of our own until mid-July, perhaps.
Fresh off my school's spring camp-out at Krause Springs, the Genius and I fantasized that we could summer in "The Wild" in some manner that would require him to use the survival knife he purchased with his most recent Christmas booty. Well, that was his desire. Mine was for us to feel to excited to be "living" outside. For tv and the boredom of summer to be replaced instead with novelty and simplicity. The "Grande Adventure" didn't exactly pan out as I'd expected, perhaps thankfully, and though I wouldn't exactly say that "adventurous" categorizes the summer for me, things they have been ashaken. Fortunately, in all that, aside from being indoor-bound in the DFW area these past couple weeks to avoid ye ol' deadly West Nile Virus (so I can do teacher-training stuffs), the boys were able to spread their adventures out betwixt me, their dad, and their grandparents in a manner suitable for 10 and 13 year-old Baby Bees.
After hellishly moving out of the house sitting house THE DAY AFTER THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, it took another three weeks for me to wrap up the school-related details: writing end-of-year assessments; assembling two (STUNNING) class quilts to deliver to their prospective raffle winners, finishing the beautiful hell on wheels some people call the (first annual) "School Yearbook." By the time we were finally able to make our first camping expedition, we were so ready. The only hindrance to my grand idealizations was my pesky weekend job (from which I write this, to whom, if under employer surveillance, I am eminently grateful). The "flow" of the outdoors is hard to cram into 5-day spurts, but they are what we had. Plus, the turn of events may well have been different if I hadn't had the weekend obligation keeping me near Austin.
Colorado Bend State Park is stunning. It is as close to pristine wilderness as I've been to my three personal references in years: backpack camping at Oauchita National Park (and drinking directly from the spring-fed creeks, in 1985), 5 weeks for seven years at a summer camp in East Texas, and our temporarily-had family tradition of staying in cabins in the winter at Devil's Den State Park . I am most "myself" when I am outside as I was able to spend so much of my childhood, especially summers, in Arkansas.
I invited the ex-Mr. Bee to join the boys and me in our camping romp and did not at all regret that. In fact, since Snaggletooth only began his truly independent swimming last summer, it was more like essential that he came, in hind site, as we swam in the Colorado River where it is hearty and clean where Gorman Falls feeds it. We trekked long and hard in a manner that made us think we might die in the wild. Good thing the Genius had that survival knife in case our bottled water supply dwindled to the point we would have to drink the blood of cacti. Our cell phones didn't even work. I think you can die from that.
The day we got back from that trip, Friday, I got a call from a great public school to come interview on Monday. I pulled together the sample lesson/ unit they requested. Not my best, but including some of my best, but the main challenge was that I was broke until my Monday paycheck and had only a handful of camping-appropriate clothing that wasn't hidden who -knows-where in storage. My interview wasn't my most fashion-forward moment, which only seemed emphasized by the fact that my interviewers (the core of the math department) were all in tank tops and flip flops (I had to wear a light three-quarter length sweatery thing to cover my tattoo). Of course, they didn't care what I was wearing, but wearing the Lip Model's ballet flats that I had to "polish" with a sharpie marker didn't have me feeling too dapper/ confident. I was sunburned and could have had dirt under my fingernails for all I know now.
They were nice, and it went well, and, as might be expected for such a "prestigious" school, I was kindly told that I seemed fun to work with and creative, but they really needed some one with more experience. "Please, come back and apply with us in the future." I was disappointed, but not surprised, and grateful for feedback that made me more determined than ever to make the personal improvements I needed to be more organized in my third year of teaching. Pretty much, I've had complete and utter freedom to try out whatever I've wanted and do things however I've wanted. While that is something many teachers envy, and it has helped to me grow in a very real "hands-on" way, there are ways I am now realizing I really needed to do more to continue "learning to teach."
I think I might be getting lazy, since I have a buttload of prep for school to do right now, so I might cut to some chases to say that there was a second, very fun, camping trip with the ex- Mr. Bee to the beach (is that what my last post was about? Probably, but it's been so long since I read my blog) and that was all of our summer camping in the end. Or, for now. A second house sitting opportunity had been presented to me, though I wasn't very interested in it until I was right up on it and the first week of it was a week of uncharacteristically torrential rain in Austin in July. The house was uber-lovely. I was welcome to stay on when another mom and her daughters came there in their process of moving to the US from Israel (where my hosts were from). Ends up, we hit it off really well. My boys came to stay there with me until their Montana trip and things were chill until I started to try and find a place for August 1. I don't recommend competing with the university crowd for housing. Seriously. I don't. Finally finally, I found a place that was reasonably priced withing walking distance of my school, but it wasn't available until August 28. THE SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL. Yea.
I volunteered (to get paid) to work as an election judge at an election here (which deserves its own post) and was tutoring a young woman I(that I tutored in two previous math courses) in her Macroeconomics class (which I've never taken, but learned with her~~. Thankfully, she passed the class, which was an improvement on her performance before our tutoring).
I was very busy it seemed. Then, on a Monday, I got a call to come in and meet the principal at the school that told me it wasn't interested in June. In a whirlwind, I was one of two, and then needing to tell my current job that they would be getting a reference call (even while I'm shopping for textbooks, etc., preparing for the job I had been planning on), until on Friday I'm made an offer and resigning the next Monday. Arghhh.
Ever since has been craaazay and there are more things, I'm sure. I left out being overly personal, I realize, but stuff happened in between when I started writing this and now that is shinier and I do feel better, thank you very much. I am back to planning out my year and all of the majillion things to get my (really big and awesome, especially now that the ac is working) classroom ready.
I miss you, you know.
Ps. Though my prospective public teacher pay promises to be a big increase (or less a conglomeration of odds and ends, at least), I am pretty sure I'll be ready to start complaining about it before I next post. I have a fabulous skill set like that.