The first six weeks are winding down.
My carefully handwritten gradebook has been checked and double checked for accuracy.
I'm on the downward slope towards the end of volleyball season.
My brain is filled with lists and checks and gotta-get-dones.
But I sit here tonight with a (more or less) three day weekend in front of me.
I've been searching all week for the time, energy and inspiration to put into a well-edited, fully fleshed out, somewhat Earth shattering blog post.
And I've got nothing.
So here are some odds and ends. Some bits and pieces. Not anything that's going to change your perspective or inspire a generation....but it's a Friday night, the toddler is snoozing and the windows are open letting the cool (yes, COOL) air drift into my cozy bedroom.
If nothing else it's a break from the pressure of go, do, be, achieve that drives my weekdays.
I hate having dirty hands. I wash them obsessively while I'm putting on make-up and several times throughout the school day. One of my teaching buddies wisely said "there's something about being in the school building that just makes me feel germy." Yes. It does seems to have that effect on people.
I have an obsession with my daughter's body. I love the delightful mixture of the slightly chubby toddler belly and her still sweetly silky baby skin. There's something about this particular stage in Natalie's life that makes me want to soak up every ounce of her entire being. Her curls, her bright blue eyes, the cheesy grin, the dimples on the backs of her hands, the softness of her feet, the sturdiness of her legs and the warmth of her back. One of these days she's going to be too big for me to squeeze, hold, kiss or stroke on a whim. I just want all of her for as long as she'll let me.
But not in a creepy way. Of course.
And then there's the pride I have in seeing her long legs propping up a lean torso. That's MY body. That's where people say she's just like Momma. Yeah she's got Daddy's curls and his blue eyes...but those legs. Those legs are ALL me.
Ave Maria makes me cry. Every damn time. A young man sang it beautifully at my grandma's funeral and then later spoke of the kindness she showed to him, a young Aggie freshman at the time, by inviting him to her house for Sunday dinners - a sweet taste of home. No one in my family had ever met this young man but there he was up at the lectern, speaking at Grandma's funeral in front of all her loved ones. He was the first one my mother hugged after the mass ended.
God I miss her.
***Wipes tears from face.***
I watched the presidential debates this week. Not that I really needed to because my mind has been pretty much made up for quite some time but I was interested in what they each had to say so that I could keep up with the political commentary in the days since. From a personality standpoint I was pretty disappointed in Obama's laissez-faire demeanor but on the other hand, I felt like Romney was a little eager puppy dog - desperate to show that he can be exactly what the Republican party needs him to be.
And then there's the matter of what actually came out of their mouths. There's one I believe and one that I don't.
Take from that what you will.
This election I was bound and determined to give both parties an equal shot at earning my vote. I've only ever voted for one political party but I've resolved myself to be a truly independent voter and not register with a specific platform. Instead I'm taking a closer look at the policies and promises of each candidate to see who lines up with my own personal social and economic philosophies.
But there was one moment that made me absolutely sick to my stomach. The thinly veiled proposal of school vouchers for students in low performing schools to enroll in higher achieving schools. This could include other public schools, charter schools or even schools in the private sector.
I guess what bothered me was the notion of what makes a "bad" school. So I'll say it very slowly....test scores DO NOT define what makes a "good" or "bad" school. The test scores are not a reflection of crappy teachers or shoddy curriculum and instruction. Supposedly "good" schools can have terrible teachers but be filled with high-income students with parents who are on top of their child's education....therefore achieving the desired test results. There are also "bad" schools who are overflowing with creative, innovative and passionate teachers but whose students live in miserable conditions where parents are either absent or neglectful and the children lack having their most basic needs met such as food, shelter and comfort. We will not improve schools overall performance until we begin looking at the WHOLE child and taking that into consideration when evaluating schools, teachers, students and curriculum.
So....maybe that gives you an idea as to where my head is at regarding the election.
On another note...sometimes I use an online thesaurus to find synonyms for overused words. (Overflowing instead of FULL) It kind of makes me feel like a REAL writer.
I've used the same skin care routine since I was in high school and seeing as how I still LOOK like I am in high school....there's not really a reason to change.
The weather has turned cooler (finally) and Natalie needs a light fleece so we picked one up at Target tonight. But Craig wouldn't let me buy her a pom pom hat.
I bought the new Mumford and Sons album on iTunes yesterday. Much better than the last album I bought on iTunes - 123 Favorite Kids Songs. For what it's worth, Natalie dances around hilariously to the latter so I suppose there's something positive to be found in "This Old Man."
10:33 has sneaked up on me and the Angie dog is glaring at me from the end of the bed. I do suppose it's time I snuggle down and enjoy the cool breeze blowing in the window.
It's gonna be a good night sleep. I feel it.