Ode to The Twenty-Eight

I hand you a pencil,
you bite off the eraser.
Please, keep your shoes on your feet, sir.

I ask you to find your seat,
into another desk you ram.
Please, put your lip gloss in your cubby, ma'am.

I say, "Push in your chairs!"
You growl like prowling grizzly bears.

I say, "Fold your hands!"
Your eyes begin to gaze into far off lands.

I say, "Voices off!"
Up, up, UP your voices loft.


When you pull a hair off my shirt,
leave a love note on my desk when you see I am hurt..
Allow me to hug away your tears,
and encourage away any deep, dark fears..

I am filled with a sense of awe,
..even if I catch you in yet another pencil gnaw.


Bits and Pieces

Feeling: All the grumbles of a Monday mashed with the chaos of a Tuesday. Muesday. Mmmhmm.

Smelling: Taco Bell. Hey, it is Muesday afterall.

Listening to: Joseph Arthur's "Honey and the Moon". This song has been my faithful companion for so long. Years, really. You know that song that immediately sends chills down your back and releases an uncontrollable "ahhhh, yes" with every repeated play? This would be mine.

Remembering: To breathe and breathe calmly when faced with the moans and groans and growls of those lovely seven-year-olds. Honestly? Change the ages to six-seven-eight and this just about sums it up.

Wishing that: It weren't too late for coffee. Actually, define late. Muesday, Betsy. Muesday.
[If you think I didn't leave my computer after that previous thought, you're terribly mistaken]

Looking forward to: Spending some time Downtown on Friday with an old friend. yummyfoodandartandmusicohmy!

Thankful for: 1. Remembering to buy myself a delightful bundle of crisp, fresh flowers. 2. The growth my kids are making academically. 3. Those working tirelessly on behalf of this. 4. A solid night's sleep. 5. These beautiful ladies who consistently enrich my world.



First week back.


I'm not exactly sure how it happened, or why it happened, but I am sure of this: If this week hadn't have gone well, I'm fairly certain I would have been on the next flight out to Alaska. Alaska, people.

The first week back after any extensive break is always pivotal. Pivot to the left and you're good as dead for the remainder of the year. Pivot to the right? You're feared, respected, golden.

I pivoted to the right. Thank the GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY I actually felt feared this week! I have yet to feel that from our class as a whole, so I'm choosing to bask in the success. The most excellent thing about seven-year-olds [aside from the fact that most are still shorter than me]? They rarely hold grudges. Two hugs are delivered for every grown, every grunt, and [of course], every tear.

Who knew that daily "Awesome Kids of the Day" Ceremonies had powers to transform? I didn't. My life has been forever changed.



Mildly wishing I had been awake an hour earlier to catch the clock at 11:11 on 1/1/11. So glad I still have a chance [assuming I can stay awake amidst my all-consuming need to regain my sleep schedule].

As 2010 drew near to its close, I had a few options lying before me. Among them, in no particular order of desire: spending time with family, a close-knit gathering of close friends, an evening of sparkly shenanigans...

This year has been one for the books [quite literally]. I've loved and lost, succeeded and failed [miserably], regularly weaved my way through three states, flew more times than my credited miles account for [ooops], gained teaching certification in 2 states, been fingerprinted twice [also in 2 states], interviewed my little heart out, taught my little heart out, cried my little heart out, drank coffee like it was my job [wish it was], dyed my hair, moved home, overcame my fear of bees, became a cat person, became a morning person [slightly disturbing], discovered boxed wine, learned how to dougie, and encountered the true meaning of the phrase "money does not bring happiness" [nor does job security, full-coverage benefits, or a 7-7 job, but I'll save that for another time].

With all this and more in mind, I chose to do the "NYE UNTHINKABLE". I stayed in. Alone. By myself.

Armed with Netflix, a carefully planned and prepared homemade dinner, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, comfy socks, pen and paper, hot chocolate, chocolate, and fresh flowers [bought by and for myself, thank you very much], I took the leap and denied all resounding desires to dance and laugh my way into the new year. This took courage.

Reflection, meditation, and I have always been three peas in a pod [up until September, that is]. Regardless of how nerve-racking it can be [I have a dangerous mind], I've missed this. You have to take time to examine where you are, what you're doing, and who you're with. A simple enough notion that I've completely neglected in these last few months. To say that I've been a robot is putting it rather lightly. I've never felt like less of myself.

A friend once advised me that to be happy - to reach a state of holistic fulfillment and peace - we can't focus on what reality always tells us. What does reality tell you? Last spring, reality whispered these little words in my ear - money, job security, full-coverage benefits, and a 7-7 job. By reality I don't mean the reality of responsibility. I mean the reality of the world - that your heart and soul mean nothing in the scheme of life, the ladder of success, and all that drives and provides our worldly possessions We have to listen to what reality tells us, but when reality begins stripping away every beautiful layer of your heart, it's time to run like hell.

I wouldn't say that I'm running. I'm not interested in running. I am, however, interested in getting as far away from the lies of the world as possible in my quest to reclaim the passion that once stood boldly at the forefront of my very being. Wow that was intense. Thank you, coffee.

What I'm saying is that I'd like to get back a piece of me that I feel I've lost.

Since I haven't had much time with my ever-faithful friends, Reflection and Meditation, I thought I'd invite them back in for a night.

If you're one to do so, please keep me in prayer. This school year has been a good one and I plan to finish it out strong; however, I'm sensing a change of direction in the months ahead. Terrifyingly necessary.

I know it's easy for some to weave through "The Roaring Twenties" fresh-faced and unharmed. I, of course, am on the path with blistered feet and tired eyes. I take comfort in the fact that lessons learned are unavoidably placed and that, simply put, I'm not alone.