It Happened Again: Why Teachers Having the Summer off is Not us Being “Entitled”

Sigh it happened again. I made a little wistful comment and suddenly… Bam! I’m a brat. But my question is, why do we as educators take flack for this CONSTANTLY.

What am I talking about?

Summer “Vacation.”

In my country, the USA we teachers at public schools work for 10 months of the year. We receive around 8 or 9 weeks “off,” in the eyes of the general public during the hottest months of the year. The kids go home and so do the teachers.

Let’s take away the summer jobs and workdays, and any professional development someone may have during the summer (Which is, by the way a separate check because check out the next truth bomb…) teachers are unemployed during the summer.

Yes, you read that right. Teachers are unemployed during the summer. We don’t get summer off we are unemployed.

It’s always been this way

Why? Well there aren’t any kids to teach so, we have to go home. It’s like any seasonal job. A friend of my husband’s works lawn care up north. In November, December, January, and February sometimes he is “laid off” from his job. It’s hard to do lawn care in the snow.

It’s hard to teach kids at their houses over the summer.

“But what about the paychecks?” Well check this, most teachers allow the government to hold a portion of each check they earn for each of the ten months that they are physically working. Those two months off we don’t get “paid,” we get the money we allotted to be set aside returned to us.

I’m not working for free, I earned this cash. Last year.

A lot of teachers have contracts for a certain number of years they are employed. If you work where I do, I sign a contract from August to June. That’s it. Effectively I am fired every year and if I get a contract before I leave that school year I have be rehired.

No joke.

I am contracted on a year by year basis. Thank God I do my job and I do it well.

Now. Why do kids need summer break? Why not make us work 12 months a year? Since everyone has such problems with our summers off?

How do your kids feel at the end of the school year? Tired? Drained? Worn out? Disheartened? Or maybe they are excited. Ready for the year to be done. Happy to move on.

Why can children feel this and adults cannot? Teachers may love their jobs but we can get worn out too. When we aren’t working it’s not us sitting by the pool everyday throwing our money around like ballers. We are taking time for self care, doctors appointments, spending time with our own children whom we like you have seen 4 hours a evening then they sleep, and a hour or two in the morning. I miss my son and like you, I have to work. I need to be with my family too.

But I think the worst part is when, we say things like, “ahhh summer is almost over… 😮” and people jump on us like we said we support slavery and abolishing the constitution… and while the USA may seem to be favoring deviant thoughts lately, trust me having feelings about summer doesn’t make us evil.

It makes us human. I know teachers aren’t allowed to be human but unfortunately the system is flawed and until we are all replaced with AIs well, I guess you’re stuck with us.

So we aren’t “lucky,” we weren’t “granted a paid vacation,” and unless you signed a contract you are NOT GUARANTEED a job every year at the end of the school year. We have unpaid summers. It’s apart of our job description, much like your job descriptions are specialized for what you do.

Please stop riding our butts about ours. Let us be human and say things like, “gosh the summer is almost over, *sigh*” and commiserate with us… after all, we will be teaching your kids soon and if summer made you batty well… think of 10 months 8 to 12 hours a day for us. (And yes we all love our children! Biological and otherwise! You can still love someone and need time away from them!)

Sunny Summer Fun!

Sorry I haven’t been around or posting in the past week. I have been and currently are on vacation. I know you aren’t really supposed to tell people when you’re gone, it’s not safe. However, we will be on our way back sooner than later, and I have a moment of peace to sit and collect my thoughts.

It’s been a good week and some, we’ve gone to the beach a lot.

So much so that I’ve developed a sun burn on my legs (I haven’t sunburned my legs since I was a little girl). It itches! I have a rash on both hands and feet, it’s torturous. I’m trying not to itch but man! It’s hard to not sneak in a scratch here or there.

CDubs has been the king of many sandcastles and we even took a trip to Medieval Times. We all agreed we that the horses were beautiful but Pirates at the beach was much better!

CDubs is afraid of large bodies of water. It’s called Thalassophobia. He has an absolute meltdown freak out if you walk him to a lake, or a pond. The ocean is the ultimate evil and he cannot imagine even letting one little wave splash the side of his foot in passing.

So this is why it was so huge when we got him in the pool this week. He has learned to propel himself around without latching into us like a suffocating vine! Look at my boy go:

https://youtu.be/eKt2pS9yMmc

I am very proud! He can’t wait to wake up and go to the pool every day. So that is super cool, I think!

We’ve been able to sleep in a bit too, and enjoy the company of family, for the most part. We’ve done a lot of fun stuff for the little guy. He loves puzzles!

It’s the lighting. My husband is not wearing sunglasses inside!

And like I said the pool, the beach, and we’ve eaten all sorts of kid friendly foods. While I am sure my cholesterol is all over the place… and I’ve had so much dairy I think I may fall out… it’s been nice to see everyone eating so well.

Truly it has been a low key sort of vacation. Today we will be going shopping for school clothes for CDubs. Then, back to the pool. I’ve begged off so I can do laundry and clean up the room. Just because it’s not my house doesn’t mean we trash the place!

Here’s to vacations and enjoying just being!

Have you all been out and about adventuring over these last few months? Feel free to drop a link to a post or video of your adventures! I’d love to see what you are up to that I may have missed! I’ll go comment too, honest!

Cursing, Spitting, and Watermelon Seeds

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It was the absolute height of the summer season, in a little town just south of Charlestown, NC. The Baptists we out in full force having Wednesday night services, Friday night services, and Sunday morning and night services. Vacation Bible School, which was just as much about socializing as it was about the love of the Lord, was going to be starting in two weeks. On top of all that there was the annual summer Watermelon Festival. It lasted a full week with plenty of vendors, carnival type rides, and of course, a big dance at the Church Saturday night.

It was all about that watermelon though, people from all over town, Baptist or not grew watermelons to be judged in the contest Saturday, grand prize $250, and a watermelon eating contest that ended in a trophy, bragging rights, and $100 prize for the winner. There was a Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Watermelon Queen contests that were judged during the week alongside the games and attractions (Learn to carve flowers into your watermelon like a pro!). For the kids there were story tellers, singers from all over performing their songs and games galore (watermelon bean bag toss, pin the seed on the melon, and a particularly messy game involving a sledgehammer and watermelons.).

However, the game that all the littles and tweens adored was the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. On Sunday, after church and luncheon, children would gather and eat the watermelons that were entered into the Saturday Contest. Students would save their seeds from their melon slice wrapped up in a napkin and take them out to the Baptist church parking lot. There, in groups of five, kids would compete. Sketched out in the parking lot were 5 “troughs” where each contestant stood. The objective was to spit your seed in your trough and be the furthest out. Winners from each group would compete with one another until a clear winner was announced. The winner received a new KJV Bible bound in pale blue leather.

Normally, none of those children gave a fig (or watermelon as the case may be) about that Bible. It was about winning, about the grossness of a spitting contest. It was about being allowed to be vulgar and not get in trouble and be rewarded. The Blue Bible was a plus, a status symbol to show off in church for a year or so (sometimes you lost it, sometimes your mom locked it up in the cabinet for when you were older and “could take care of it.”).

Now this particular year, there was a young girl named Adelaide who against all proper breeding, wanted not only to compete in this contest but to win. She was possibly the only child in it for the prize. She’d seen Sean Spencer with his in church all last year. The cover looked so soft, the words Jesus spoke were in red and all the pages were edged in gold. It also had a place in front to fill in your family tree and maps and pictures in the back to help explain the stories. She wanted it, she did not have a Bible of her own.

Her daddy had been working very hard this year in his watermelon crop just for this event. He had many watermelon plants that he tended, and looking at the size and coloration of each melon he then picked the one he was going to enter. The rest we eaten by the family, a few were donated to the festival. Daddy was not a farmer but they did keep a large home garden out back.

Everyday during the week and some prior to the festival, Adelaide ate watermelons at lunch or dinner and she saved her seeds in a napkin. (Her mother and father did not mind, they were actually tickled because she never had any interest in the spitting contest before.) she would take her napkin out back, or to church (depending on if it were a Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday) and practice when she had some time to herself.

The problem was… she really didn’t know how to spit. Sure, if she coughed something up on a day of sickness she could get it out of her mouth. That didn’t really take much talent though. Spitting far really was a lot harder than it looked.

This particular afternoon she was trying to spit just a foot or so, behind her daddy’s shed, to work up to a longer distance, when she heard a cough.

Caught with a watermelon seed in her mouth she turned towards the cough. A young girl, about her age stood behind her. She wore a pretty frilly gingham dress, all pink and white with white ribbons ending each braided pigtail. Her hair was brown and her forehead was overshadowed by a thick cut of bangs. Wide brown eyes stared curiously at Adelaide and quizzical pink lips asked, “Whatever are you doing?”

Quickly spitting out the watermelon seed, Adelaide addressed the frilly interloper.

“I am learning how to spit watermelon seeds a distance. It’s for a contest, you know?”

“You’re doing it wrong.” She said and approached Adelaide, “My name is Margaret, but everybody calls me Margo. My daddy’s in the house talking to your daddy. They told me to come out here and get to know you.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you, but what do you mean by, I’m ‘doing it wrong?'”

“You’re being too… Lady like. You’ve got to do this.” Margo said coming forward. Margo turned to face the direction Adelaide had been shooting seeds. She stood up straight, made a particularly horrifying noise in her mouth and throat, took a deep breath through her nose and reeled back and rocked forward spitting a disgusting but far flying projectile of spit and mucus.

“For seeds though, I would curl my tongue like… this,” she turned to Adelaide curling her tongue into a smooth cylinder, “like a barrel! My daddy has a shotgun and making your tongue into a barrel helps the cherry pit or watermelon seed go further. I spit cherry pits at my sisters alllll the time,” she said, as if this declaration was really all the proof anyone needed to believe in her spitting knowledge.

“Well, I suppose I should give it a try. Will you watch and tell me what I’m doing wrong?” Adelaide asked deciding this girl must be divine intervention.

For the next hour or so, Margo and Adelaide spat behind Adelaide’s daddy’s shed. Her new friend Margo, for they were fast becoming friends, told her all about the town she moved from. They never celebrated watermelon in the summer like the people of Charlestown did. Margo also didn’t go to the Baptist church, she was something called a Catholic. Catholics prayed a lot. They prayed a lot and confessed things a lot. Like Margo who would steal her sisters’ candy when they were aggravating, which was often.

After the hour was up, Margo’s daddy and Adelaide’s daddy came out back and Margo went home. She promised to visit again, and told Adelaide to “keep practicing her form!”

So she did. Every day Margo came over to teach Adelaide to spit. Sometimes Margo could be very silly. Adelaide admired how free Margo seemed to be, nothing seemed to bother her. They became fast friends and Adelaide even learned Margo’s secret passion.

One afternoon, after they had spat all they could, they decided to play a game of hide-and-seek with their brothers and sisters. Everything seemed to be going well until…

*riiiippp*

“Damn it!” Margo cried out.

“Margo!” Her sisters admonished.

Surprised, Adelaide went to see what was going on. Margo had somehow ripped one of her frilly dresses.

“Oh Margo, Jesus doesn’t like us to curse,” one of Margo’s sisters said.

“Jesus didn’t rip his new dress.” Margo mumbled, “He certainly won’t be getting a whupping from mama for it either.

Adelaide learned that anytime Margo could curse, she would. It made her feel better, she had confided in Adelaide.

That week, Adelaide learned a lot about spitting, and the many incidences where curing could be used. Adelaide was ecstatic, with all this practice maybe she would win after all.

On Saturday, Adelaide’s family was at the festival when they ran into Margo’s family. Together they walked around playing games and eating slices of watermelon on a stick.

“Adelaide, would it be alright if I entered the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest? I know you want to win, but I just like spitting.” Margo said to her new friend. She was a little afraid she would upset her new pal.

“Oh Margo, if I had to lose to anyone, I’d rather it be you. Jimmy Jenkins had two blue Bibles already and I couldn’t bear it if he got a third. I wish I could win, it.” Adelaide said wistfully.

“Don’t you worry. I will be getting a white Bible soon, if I win I will give you the blue one. If you win, then we will both have pretty Bibles to take to our churches anyway!” Said Margo happily.

“If I win,” sighed Adelaide, “I hope all our practice has made me good enough to win.”

“You will, just wait and see!” Said Margo. Grabbing Adelaide by the arm, she dragged her friend to the watermelon balloon dart game. The board was painted red with a green rind and was dotted with black balloons like seeds. If you popped a balloon you won a prize. However some prizes were better than others. Neither girl was very lucky, but the both were given a bookmark with John 3:16 printed on them surrounded by flowers.

That night, Adelaide’s father’s watermelon won 3rd place in the Watermelon Contest. Since her daddy had never even placed before, he was very happy.

This puzzled Adelaide, mostly because she thought he wanted to win the $250 prize.
She asked him how he could be so happy with third place when he wanted first? Why didn’t God let him win? He thought for a minute and said, “I bet all of the men and women who entered this contest prayed to God. They might have even asked him if they could win the prize. Could God really let all of us win first place?”

“No, not everyone can be first,” said Adelaide raising a brow at her father as if he should know better.

“Yes, so instead of letting us all win he gave us what we needed. We may not see it now, but given time we will be thankful how we placed. Those who didn’t win will work harder, try new things and hopefully do better next year. Those who won needed something they got by winning, affirmations, money for something important, or confidence from the community. We may not have gotten what we wanted, but we got what we needed.”

Adelaide thought on her father’s words. She knew she needed a Bible of her own. She thought surely God wanted her to have one too. So she prayed she would receive whatever God thought she needed, even though in her mind she had decided what that was.

The morning of the spitting contest dawned. Adelaide dressed in her prettiest dress, blue gingham with a crisp white shirt underneath. The lapels of the shirt were embroidered with pale blue flowers. She put on new white socks with lace trim and her dress shoes. Her mother did two French braid ponytails on each side ending in a bright red ribbon on each. She walked next door to collect Margo. Margo was wearing a beautiful pale yellow concoction all frills and lace. She knew now that Margo wished to wear slacks and a button down shirt with a scarf around her neck, the frills and lace drove her absolutely mad. Even though, admittedly, she looked splendid in every lacy bit.

The walked in a companionable silence to the Baptist church, possibly thinking of all the different ways they could win.

They arrived at the church, and lined up. They had to be entered by age and sex. Everyone then ate up as many slices as they could to save their precious seeds for the competition. After that, the names were put in a basket and drawn randomly for the sets to compete. Then the furthest spitter from each group would wait until everyone had one game, then they would compete and so on until there were two.

Adelaide and Margo did quite well, making it through the first three rounds. Each time they went, they would wait for the other to finish and then discuss how the other did.
It was all cheerfulness until Adelaide lost the 6th round. Disappointed, a tear or two leaked out of her green eyes, but she dashed them away quickly. Margo gave her a big hug and told her not to worry, “I’ll win it for you!” Margo said, with a look of determination.

Margo beat everyone until the second to last round. Maybe she wasn’t hydrated enough. Maybe she saved the wrong seed for that round. Whatever it was, Margo lost to Peggy Brown in the second to last round. Peggy ended up winning that beautiful blue Bible in the end. Everyone cheered for her and people went out and about to prepare for the big Sunday night potluck.

Adelaide did not feel much like talking and socializing with the community. She told Margo that it was alright that she didn’t win, and that she was a good friend. Margo looked at her friend with a worried wrinkle creasing her young face. The friends parted, and Adelaide went home.

At home Adelaide went to her room and had a good cry. She cried for how she lost. She cried for how Margo lost. She cried for that pretty blue Bible and she cried asking God why she hadn’t won.

After a while her daddy came to visit her in her room. He told her how proud he was of her for lasting as long as she did and that next time, she’d do better. All she had to do was practice and grow up a little more. Maybe having more height and bigger lungs plus a full year of spitting practice would make a difference next year.

“You may not see it now, Addy my girl but you got what you needed today. You just need to think about it and you’ll see.” Her daddy went downstairs to check on the dinner preparations. The potluck was also no joke and momma’s 17 layer caramel cake was no joke either.

Adelaide enjoyed the potluck, and she enjoyed breaking bread with her new friend Margo and her family. It was nice to have such interesting neighbors. Margo was truly turning into a really good friend too.

Weeks passed and Adelaide and Margo kept meeting up everyday to talk, to play games, or to spit (and curse a little). They had many sleepovers and camp outs in the backyards. They became as close as any two friends could be. Adelaide often thought of how lucky she was that Margo moved in next door, and Margo felt the same. Starting new at the junior high wouldn’t be too hard now, that they had each other. What a blessing it was indeed.

The summer all but ended when Adelaide received a mysterious package.

Her father brought it inside one day, all wrapped up in brown paper bags from the local grocery and tied up with twine. Adelaide never received letters or packages for that matter. She was quite excited to see what it could be.

She opened it up and inside was a card, with roses on the front. It told her to not worry, that she be getting another one at Christmas. She signed it lots of love, Margo. Perplexed, Adelaide removed the last layer of wrapping. There amongst the wrapping lay a creamy white Bible, edged in gold. It had pages in front to add your family and pictures and maps in the back. It was perfect.

Tears of happiness rolled down her cheeks as she held the beautiful Bible in her arms. She ran upstairs and placed it lovingly on her nightstand and ran back downstairs.

“Mom! I need to write a letter,” she called out. “I’ve got someone to thank!”

Adelaide won something much better than a Bible, she had a true, good friend. One that would last a lifetime.

Sometimes you don’t get what you want, when you want. Sometimes you find, you’ll get what you need.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.  

Summer and the Brick Wall

It became a tradition, every summer she would wait for her very best friend in the world to come visit. She lived next door to Trinity’s Grandpa and Trin stayed at least two weeks during the summer. This was, without a doubt, her most favorite part of summer break.

They would have breakfast at their respective homes and then run off towards the pond and woods behind both lots of land.

They would race around the pond, the tall grasses tickling their bare knees, and enter into the woods.

Those woods were filled with thick pine trees, winding paths marked off by different colored fabrics (thanks to Trin’s Grandpa), and the wall. If you followed the marked path long enough, and walked off path at the downs tree (it was a behemoth that had cracked in half during the last hurricane), you would walk for a bit and come to the wall.

The brick wall was apart of the remnants of an old home. The foundation was sketchy at best, you had to imagine the shape that the house could have made, it was so mixed in the stones surrounding the property. There was a heavily boarded up well that we had the sense not to investigate, though the nails and boards insured that others wouldn’t have the chance to discover otherwise.  Further off, if you walked westward were a cluster of gravestones worn with time and cradled in moss. The graves were lovingly surrounded by a beautiful metal fence. This fence was not the molded steel contraptions of today, but obviously the hard work of a craftsman from yesteryear.

While all of this was terribly interesting, it was the brick wall that fascinated the girls.

It was obviously once apart of a large structure, part crumbled to the side like a toppled house of cards. The rest stood tall and proud until it made a corner. That corner was strong for a foot or two, and then crumbled like the rest.

The girls spent time by this wall exploring the texture of the brick with their fingertips. Sometimes they brought a chipped tea set and a cobbled together lunch, sandwiches with whatever was on hand and various items that complemented and sometimes did not. They would serve Sun Tea (tea that was brewed using sunlight on hot summer days), or lemonade and take turns pouring from a Tupperware for that purpose.

Sometimes, they would battle great invisible foes who would ultimately meet their doom at the hands of our mighty heroines.

Such was the idyllic ways these girls spent their summers.

But as all things, girls grow. Every summer Trin stayed less and less until she wasn’t seen at all. As for her friend, it just wasn’t the same visiting that old spot without her. Never again did the wall shelter the conversations of two hopeful young girls.

Both of the girls were in high school the last time they met face to face. Trin had been communicating through the phone and letters, and seemed so assured and so in control. She had excellent grades, a good boyfriend, and a whirling social calendar of tap, piano, and band classes.

Similarly, the other young lady was struggling with who she was. She was fifteen years old and didn’t like boys (or girls either, for that matter), didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she had been accused of staying the same. She just wasn’t on the level with everyone else her age.

One day, mid spring, she received a call from Trin. “Meet me at the wall.”

So she did.

Behind her house, around the pond, the grasses were better maintained since the area was purchased for development. Through the woods, some of the bits of cloth were missing, Trin’s grandfather didn’t climb trees much anymore.

There were a couple of false turns due to new growth and less trees but finally she walked off the path to the brick wall. Trin sat, looking almost the same as she always did, except she seemed more shuttered and drawn.


Sitting in their usual perches, Trin began to talk. She had a wonderful boyfriend. But something had gone wrong. She had thought she was ready to take that next step in their relationship.

Her friend, positive and honestly lacking some fundamental knowledge, thought this was great! Giving one’s virginity meant they were in love. Love conquered all, love allowed you to move mountains, showed you the inner beauty of another person. Certainly, love was the greatest of all things to have.

Trinity looked at her friend in abject horror. It was clear, it was completely clear in the Bible that you should not do any of those kinds of things before marriage. She had gone against everything she had been taught. Maybe her friend was confused. Trinity explained how it wasn’t a good thing, how it did not go well, that it hurt and it wasn’t at all lovely. Her boyfriend was wonderful in the way that he stopped when asked. (He was upset, but not because she asked him to stop, but because perhaps he wasn’t able to make it good. This is neither here nor there I suppose.)

Still, Trinity realized her friend did not understand. It was shameful. It was horrible. She received exactly what she deserved.

Her friend, could not also befall the same fate. So she explained, heatedly, sadly, shamefully how her friend must not allow herself to do such a thing. She must wait.

But her friend, not understanding assured her that it would be better next time. That if they loved each other it was okay. Marriage is no a necessity when it came to expressing love.

Except it wasn’t love but she couldn’t see that. Neither could Trinity see where her friend had gone wrong.

They sat, awkwardly looking at sections of the wall. They remembered faintly, and too briefly, the tea parties, the battles and victories, and the letters and calls and time. They forgot all of this and looked at one another, as if strangers meeting for the first time at that wall.

And they left, each going back without a word, through the wood, around the pond, away from the grasses. Each to a house that sat side by side, each to their own council. Each went in silence and never visited the wall, or one another again.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. 

Photos of crumbling structure:
 [The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Walls of Constantinople, by Captain B. Granville Baker.]
Photo of Houses:
[Harvey Street Steamboat street plans]

If We Were Having Drinks… Summer’s End

img_0924-1(Image SimplyRecipes.com)

This concept #weekendcoffeshare was developed by the awesome imagination of Parttimemonster.
It’s been far to long my friends! I have so much to catch up on, the blogverse is vast and I’ve subscribed to so many awesome blogs! While I hope everyone is doing well, I feel the need to catch people up on me, as I catch up on them! A lot of you kind, wonderful folks, have invested time into my family’s wellbeing and I appreciate it! So here’s a huge recap on all that’s been going on, the job, moving, going north, coming home and more.

So without further adieu… If we were having drinks…


If we were having drinks, I would be drinking lemonade. Yup, still doing my best to avoid tea. I would offer you a pack of gum too, my latest acquisition has, “green tea extract,” which isn’t cool for Mormons to injest. Tea, it’s everywhere.


No. Nooooo!

I would tell you that I looked in W-City for a house. Three hour drives up, three hour drives back, CDubs in daycare, CDubs traveling with us, hotel rooms, lunches out, dinners, tanks and tanks of gas… and we found nothing. Nobody wanted cats, nobody wanted to move in in August, pet fees if they allowed pets were outrageous ($1200 non refundable). I called, I went, I scoured websites. I took calls from shady people asking for credit card information and my social security number over the phone (yeah right, nice try).

We couldn’t find a thing in our price range, even when we raised the range. So, Ry and I talked, and talked. It wasn’t fair to the (school) kids. I can’t hold onto this job to the bitter end, then quit bare days before the year begins. That’s selfish. That’s disrespectful to them. It’s wrong. They deserve someone there 100% ready and able, not a “maybe we can move,” teacher.

I sighed, looked out over the estuary, and resigned my position.

24 hours later, I received a call from JSM’s principal. She offered Ry a job across the street, at the middle school. He interviewed there for a music job. He was their second choice over a choir director. He could have the band job.

“Please reconsider.”

😔

I couldn’t. There was no where to live still.

“If I find a place for you, would you be willing to come?”

Man. I’ve done that. Last minute moving. Worrying about a place, hoping and praying. Being disappointed.

I just had to be honest:

“We’ve both got to get ready for the year. You’ve got to find someone and I’ve got to prepare for the year. You’ve got to get someone in that school for my would be kids, so they have a teacher first thing. You can’t bank on me. Yes, if you find a place soon, please let me know. But we both have to get ready! I loved your little town, truly. Thank you for the opportunity.”

I did. I fell in love with that tiny town, the boats, the water. I loved the houses and the parks. I thought the school was beautiful. But.

But.

I cannot live out of a hotel until I find something. I have a son. It’s different now, you know? There’s trusting in God, and then there’s listening to God.

He renewed my confidence. I got two more job interviews immidately afterwards (which I declined because of recent out of state events). My husband said shockingly, “Maybe I should trust God more.”

Shockingly people want my skills. Shockingly I can get another job, elsewhere.

No only that, if I trust things will work out, they will. It won’t be hard and I won’t have to force it to work.

I still have work here.


Sadly, 24 hours later we discovered Ry’s grandfather was being put in hospice and 24 hours after that, he passed away.

We had hoped, when we heard, we’d make it in time.

So we continued to pack, made sure the cats were boarded, car rented, and hotel booked. Up we went.

I did my best to distract. Luckily, Pokemon Go was tempting and distracting for Ry. He drove I caught, I played with CDubs, talked about everything and anything.

We made it up in time for the Wake/ Sitting Up. It was hard for Ry. I could tell. CDubs was a little confused at points but mostly played and provided loving distractions to the family.

CDubs discovered a love of rocks, and a renewed love of horses.

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Before we left, we attended the funeral.

It was good to be able to go up. To visit, to be there around the family and be there.

On the trip home, we realized if we moved after all, we would have never been able to afford to go up, even with help. We would have had to move and scrounge for what we needed in the months ahead. That was a sobering thought.

We made it home, and happened to pull up just as the Elders did. They got out and came up to us, asking about our trip and helping us with our bags. I found a Johova witness filer and laughed, showing the Elders that they had people evading their turf. (The Elders live 4 houses down)

We got in and collapsed. Extremely tired, I wasn’t even recovered enough for church that Sunday. I either caught a cold or I am allergic to one of the cleaners I was trying. I actually went to a LDS church up North and it was similar with lessons etc, but it was huge! So many people! So I didn’t feel too bad about missing that week.

Ry got a call about a job interview off and away (didn’t even apply for it) and happily reported the news- he knows he can’t, but somebody called him! He was pleased.

A big complaint of mine has been that Ry makes no choices or decisions. He leaves them to me and grumbles. I’ve basically harped on it for freaking ever, and tried listening and figuring out what he would want; and driving myself nuts. Once the insanity enveloped me, he decided to do something about it. I tell you.

He’s actually making more decisions! I still make choices, I’m not some submissive patsy, but it’s not all:

“What do you want for dinner?” I would ask.

He would shrug. The complain about my choice and site making me happy was more important… Yet, again, while complaining about it.

This is better, he is trying I can hear him trying and see it.

I’ve started work on my school website changing it from TMS colors (Green and Gold) to RSM colors (Black and Red). I’ve opened band Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram pages. It’s a challenge because I’m designing/posting for two people now. So I have to collobrate on all levels- site design and wording; the whole nine. It’s good though.

CDubs is learning defiance, how to throw fits, and effective ways to manipulate adults. Like screaming and crying “Ow!” When he wants to be let down to run throughout the store. Yes, I get such dirty accusatory looks from shocked individuals. I’m afraid one day someone will assume I’m kidnapping him… Jesus.

Gotta try to nip that in the bud.

Making changes everyday around the house, not 28-bags-of-stuff-for-charity changes, but moving-things-and-organizing-things-to-go-into-the-attic type changes.

Family wise… My MIL and FIL are moving close by. This is a huge change. I hope this will give Ry the familial support he craves. I hope it teaches me how to be apart of a normal family.

Maybe?

CDubs is going to be so spoiled.


So, Ry is teaching music now at his HS. He is going to do his job well. He already knows, they want him out. He already understands he needs to find another position. He’s been trying hard on that aspect. He’s also branching out. This is a positive step forward I think. No longer a need to feel trapped.

I will be starting in a new classroom, new school, in less than two weeks! Oh the changes! So many more students, teachers and staff to get to know. I’m anxious to prove myself but also anxious with anxiety dreams. Classroom centered losing control of kids dreams. Totally crazy.

I’m going to do my best to focus more at home, not just school. We live here like its temporary. Our house isn’t a home. So we will work on that this year; even if we do move the next.

Until then… Potty training is seriously months away. Like how do you teach another human being to pee? My cats were just shown a box with pellets and put two and two together- babies are smarter and yet….

I feel like it’s going to more difficult.


A lot more.

I hope to eventually get to all the posts I’ve missed, but if there’s a post you’d love to share on my blog for myself or others to check out- or love for me to read first- feel free to leave a link in the comments!


For more Sundries, follow me on Instagram @ afternoonofsundries on Twitter @ SundriesofLife or on Pinterest @ SundriesofLife 



Beach Retreat

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Friday after school teachers and the principal from my school drive down to the beach in South Carolina. The purpose of this trip is to take teachers and align them to the new goals of the year.

It’s not a vacation, though our immediate family may join us, and we spend at least 7 hours enclosed in sessions.

The big theme last year was interactive notebooks and being more honest and open about what our school was and was not doing.

This year we talked about having rigorous lessons. Everything done with a purpose, everything is not only meaningful but forces everyone to be involved in a deeper level.

It’s kind of hard to do. You have to make the students think, truly think. To have them not just show you the understand but encourage them to seek more answers. You have to keep them from being bored but at the same time teach all the content in mind. Lastly you must teach with the end result in mind.

Not only that but they must be engaged the entire time. If they are not, you aren’t being effective. That’s a low blow because, I’d like to think I am effective but I cannot say my students are always engaged. I try but they do at times, get bored. It’s something that worries me but u am not always sure what to do.

I had thought perhaps there was a way I could change how band has been taught. Band is pretty much the same course throughout the USA, I can say that with confidence. It’s been that way for forever.

So trying to update it, to not add technology for technology sake, to not give assignments to just take up time (I don’t do that) or give enough assignments to be reveling but not boring…. It’s going to take some work.

Though from the sounds of things, no one may notice any change. I’ll have to give it some thought. I don’t think I am doing anything wrong but, I feel like I could do more. We’ll see!

Family Time

I was able to spend 5 hours with CDubs and Ryan and we went to the Tanger Outlets. CDubs made out like a bandit. 3 pairs of Osh Kosh Jeans for $10 each (9 and 12 month sizes), Halloween onesie, Christmas Husky Puppy 3 piece Christmas/ winter set, 2 California style things, a full body suit and adorable pants, and animal socks. He’s got the basics for the fall now. I feel much better about things turning chilly. Also I am happy with the cost which was very much under $100.

So, I learned new things, I purchased things we needed, and we had a nice time sleeping in a nice hotel.

All in all, not bad.

Oh and I might be allergic to peanuts 😦 it’s horrible.

85 Degrees

Today was like the Perrier water commercial.

I mean it was:
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Sorry, perfect music joke opportunity, couldn’t let it go.

CdDubs went to daycare today and I did not cry when I dropped him off. Maybe it’s because I went to bed at 3AM and was, from that point on, so tired I was numb; or I trust the day care facility to take care of him. It’s a little of both, I think.

Ryan said on the way to work, after dropping CDubs off, that he wished I didn’t work and that he could afford to keep me home. While sweet, I would probably go mad if I spent years at home. Not that I wouldn’t love to its just, I would need things to be more equal if I did, and things aren’t. So I am not sure I could handle it.

After these reflections, we made it to my school and my data manager, a person who hates the thought of my existence, was so happy to see me. I thought perhaps he knew something horrible I didn’t and was waiting in glee to tell me. Apparently my class schedules are driving him nuts because of the new computer system and he’s convinced I can fix it.

He shall hate me by 10AM tomorrow because I don’t know anymore then he does. The computer is scheduling me for way to many classes a day and I don’t know how to fix that. Maybe with a hammer. Into the computer. Maybe not.

Once assured I would be there to help, I walked the “green mile” (I am at the very back of the school. I follow this green set of guiding stripes all the way back.) to my room.

My AC was broken this time last year. I was 8 weeks pregnant and miserable. Guess what? You don’t have to be pregnant and without AC to be miserable. It’s just the lack of AC. I was without it again. How joyous.

We almost set my room on fire last year, with the industrial fan we had to use to keep my students from wilting. The chord, on the fan we used last year, had exposed wires. I didn’t notice the unsafe wires and our carpet almost went up in flames because no one looked.

If I am lucky to get a fan, I’ll check this year.

So it’s hotter than a hooker in church, and I had to move furniture and travel all over the place collecting things I needed for tomorrow.

There were some positives today though:
My full license was waiting for me in my box. I graduated college with a bachelors of Music Education degree, so I wasn’t a lateral entry teacher. Like a lateral entry teacher, I was on a probationary period to prove my worth. My new license was dated to last until 2019 so, I seemed to be properly licensed now.

I must have done very well, my school has been chosen to pilot a new arts integration program designed, by the intelligent Michelle Obama. Sounds complicated and possibly overwhelming but, it could be fun. Or it could be utter soul sucking damnation controlled by Zombie flesh eating demons- who knows? I will be the only person in the county to be going through this, I think my principal said.

I asked for white card stock and I received some. No one told me I was unworthy of it due to my subject area. *cue invasion of the body snatchers theme song*

So now I will have my music UNO cards!

I am setting up my classroom in a strange sort of angle to accommodate the strange placement of my smart board but, it will ultimately divide my room into quadrants. I can have a reading area and a computer area, an instrument area. I just need more USB boxes for internet connections and 3 more computers to complete my computer area. I am going to see if there are any older models floating around IT.

Finally, I am going to bitch for proper furniture. I have 19 broken ass chairs, 25 stands from 1975 with rust and graphic language scrawled across them, and I am buying chains and locks. I am not going to let our nice things run away. I am going to demand the left over furniture budget be spent for my purposes instead of new office chairs at the board or some such nonsense. Apparently, if I write a letter every month by Feb when they have any extra, they will go “oh yes that crazy woman wants…” And I shall get it. One teacher got Wagner chairs, new stands with carts, a podium, a music folder filing system, leather folders, and new cabinets.

My cabinets look like they were put together backwards by a fish (because a coordinated human being with arms couldn’t have possibly done it). It’s time for some quality in my
Room, not left over freebies no one wants.

Oh man, so much to do, in such heat:(

At least my students can say to me:

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And mean it (I had too lol).