The garden on Honey Creek is winding down for the season. I pulled up most of the cosmos and have been slowly flattening the squash and melon mounds. The gomphrena—more weed than not but still stunning and a great filler flower—and the marigolds and tomatoes are about all I’ve got left besides dahlias and random okra (towering over us at ten or twelve feet). Enough veggies to eat and share with grandma and enough flowers to give away to friends who love them but no more crazy squash days. It’s good timing because we are totally wrapped up in junior high basketball and marching band right now.

We performed at our local PorchFest this afternoon. Lu is into it and I can’t believe how good his fiddling has gotten since bluegrass camp in June. He’s highly distracted and there is no promise his long bowing-backup won’t turn into the Jurassic Park theme song, but when it comes to performance time he shows up. It helped this afternoon that there was a lot going on in the neighborhood…Other musicians (some oddly distracting), tie-dye booth, straw bale maze, giant Legos, the armadillo mascot from Texas Roadhouse, etc. We didn’t feel like the spotlight was totally on us. And, hey! We still make $35 in tips. Anything to pay for a sonic slush and gas money and we’re in.
(Side note on slushes: DO NOT GET the “bursting bubbles” in your slush. I think Sonic was having a boba moment and thought it would work…cease and desist!)

I don’t love or hate school—this is always good news, isn’t it? It makes me tired but I feel accomplished. I like how the day flies by. I’m getting paid to do something I never thought I’d get paid to do. I have my own room and no one bugs me during my planning period. I can eat snacks and watch Mr. Swick’s and Mr. Henry’s music channels and get all sorts of ideas for teaching recorder or rounds or call and response. Then I test out my lesson plans. Basically, I get to do enrichment stuff for an hour at a time. If it bombs, I don’t have to repeat the same lesson twice.
I am sooo thankful I’m not a classroom teacher because it seems that the assessments and curriculum and vertical alignment requirements are just overwhelming. If you have to fight that battle and still deal with constant behavior situations, there’s hardly any time or energy left for fun and exploration.
I try to only explore and have fun in my class. I wish kids could read better. I wish there weren’t so many behavior issues. I wish the little preschoolers could stay home with a mama or daddy who loves them and lets them climb up into their lap and read for hours at a time. There’s one little boy who sneaks up on me and kisses my knee when I’m reading aloud. I wish parents knew how critical it is to spend those years with them doing the mundane, wearisome, important stuff.

I’ve had some kids who are little punks. They come in my class and give me trouble or have a bad attitude and I have to address it before they think they can get away with it. This is the worst part of school. But guess what? I can handle it. And I’m thankful.

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