Easter Break, Windmill project.

A co-worker casually mentioned this week that I was “well-suited for life in the sixties”—meaning, I am sure, the 1960s and not actually me being sixty years old.
I don’t know what brought on the comment, but as much as I hate screen-time and teenaged zombies and phone addiction (ask someone who is sober how they feel about their past), I do agree. (But I’m pretty sure she was calling me a hippy because her words landed after I gifted the first flowers from Honey Creek for the P.E. teacher’s wedding shower.)

We have arrived, blessedly, at Easter break. Our Spring break was long overdue and we won’t get a full week like most everyone else. No matter, I have one more Spring concert behind me as of today and one more to go before summer break. The kids rightly butchered a couple partner songs and I led them astray on Here Comes the Sun. I do blame it on no rehearsals since last week, but that’s just how my schedule worked. I couldn’t have done anything to fix it. (Frankly, I am still shocked that I can speak into a microphone in front of hundreds of people without passing out. There are small and large miracles.)

After neglecting laundry folding and cooking for after school allergy shots and hand x-rays (the school nurse said, “have you looked at his hand?” I did—in passing in the hallway. It looked puffy was all. It was when she added, “lesser things have broken a hand in gym class,” that I took him to urgent care) I am ready to catch up on spring cleaning beginning tomorrow.

We did not blow away in our latest spring storms. The tornadoes went south and north of us even while the winds threatened to damage things. Our trampoline was already down last month so I was hoping we wouldn’t lose a tree or more than a barn door. The door that fell off a couple weeks ago will have to be rebuilt and we’re waiting on some Amish folks to cut us some thick wide planks with their saw mill.

I spray painted an old wind mill we found in the weeds. It will be the first colors in my back garden before the real stuff pops up. Joe picked sunflower colors (I probably would’ve picked pink or blue but I don’t argue with folks who run to Tractor Supply so I can stay home). For a couple days my spray finger muscles hurt.

I have in mind to write quite a bit this long weekend since I’ve been busier with school stuff than I’d like. If I could write I could think out the school issues better—I have a finish line in sight, something like 25 days left of instruction—but I don’t want to wait till the food gets cold, so to speak. So many thoughts on teaching, kids, attitudes, commonly held beliefs, culture. I gather all the opinions I can find and then I gnaw on the big chunks and piece together what I believe to be the best and worst of the experience.

Today was better than yesterday: yesterday I was looking up alternatives. All the things I’ve said unflinchingly like, “I’ll never do that” or “a person who cares should be willing to do this”—well, I waver, you know. And on top of this burden, I keep seeing all the schools in the state that also have position openings for elementary teachers…and it’s so critical. Kids are getting the short end and kids are our future. But then I know I can’t save all the kids and at this point I’m barely staying afloat for the ones I’ve got.

Wouldn’t it just be so simple to stay home and spray paint things and fiddle in the garden? And isn’t that what everyone wants and shoots for yet also murmurs flat “must be nice” sentiments if I were to be a stay-at-homer again?
In my current teaching world it’s fraught with strong feelings that no one keeps to themself even as some strive to make money (a pittance) and spend it on seasonal screen-printed t-shirts, manicures, spray tans and eating out. Yet this more boring existence (privileged, some call it, though I’ve never myself bought the t-shirts or had a spray tan or mani) is what turns out solid kids, I think—the moms and dads who are home, again and again, doing the mundane and meticulous parenting.

Veering into Average Pearl material here…I’ll save it for tomorrow.

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