The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Slice of Life Day 30: Yeah, I've Been Lax...

Well, it's almost the end of my (almost) daily Slice postings... and something next will start in April: daily powerful poetic postings (Say that five times, and say it quickly.)  Okay, the poems I come up with might not be powerful, but I needed another "p" word to put into that string.

Right this minute (Saturday morning, 10:09) I am sitting in the Contemporary Arts Museum St. Louis. In front of me: a huge sculpture display of charcoal gray cylinders (gigantic) strewn across the enormous gallery. 

All around me: the sound of voices and music blended. The voices are distorted enough that they're not distracting. I can't make out what they're saying, so I can't fixate on their message instead of my writing. 

Behind me: A rainy, dreary day.

Just like I will begin something new on April 1--blogging-wise--I will begin something new in August. This week I snagged a job. The school I'll be working at next school year is suuuuch an easier commute for me. Currently, to avoid traffic jams, I drive over incredibly rough roads--where other drivers (along with me) drive at such high speeds, it's like the German autobahn, even though none of the streets are highways.

It might not be the best job, money-wise, but it felt like the best place for me, and it came about so easily. The principal wanted to meet me before setting up an interview... I knew what his motives are. I've been teaching for so many years, I know he wanted to see if I was a little blue-haired lady using a walker to get around. Obviously I passed the she-fogged-up-the-mirror test...

 I got a tour with the principal, we talked as we walked, he asked if I had spoken to any other schools (trying to sniff if there was blood in the water), and then said he'd love to offer me a contract.

A. Maz. Ing.

A new school. A new community to build. A new/old subject to teach (social studies). I am so looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Slice of Life Day # 27: Whoopsie

Slice of Life Day # 26: Pathetic Exhaustion + Just a Moment of TV Watching = Delicious Confusion (This was supposed to be posted on Monday but in my messed-up mind due to my evening nap, I posted it on another site. Yikes!)

Waking up, I shook my head to get rid of my confusion (figuratively, of course, because it would take a lot more than that to shake off my real-life mental cobwebs ;).

I wiped off the dried-on drool.

Panic set in. I fell asleep! On the couch! Did I oversleep? Am I going to be late for work?

Oh. It's 10:30 at night. I fell asleep sometime between 6 and 7.

It's gonna be a long week... 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Slice of Life Day # 26: A Bit of Math

10 cold toes during morning duty (I insisted on wearing sandals)
7 sets of science fair note cards scored
1 minute left until This is Us Begins
2 halves of a Nora's chicken salad sandwich eaten on the way home at 7-something
0 plan periods (that's every Tuesday)
36 throws in Radar and my game of fetch at the end of twilight
5 fellow writers who will help me with my essay tomorrow
48 years disappeared the minute I heard a Partridge Family song play on a sitcom (I still knew most of the words)
5 more days of this Slice fun...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Slice of Life Day # 25: A Radical Change

I watch a particular show every Sunday morning--CBS Sunday Morning. Each week there are stories that make me think, make me laugh, make me cry, make me dig in and do some research.

Today, for example, there was a story about a little girl who got a baby duck, and the duckling imprinted on the girl. Now the duck follows the girl everywhere. When the family goes on vacation, the duck goes. When the girl reads a book in bed, there is the duck, snuggling with her. (They have the duck wear diapers, which answered the big question I had.)

Also today was a story about a man who'd been a soldier, had killed more than 25 people, and he was still quite angry with Muslim people. In fact, he daydreamed of making a bomb and taking out a whole mosque full of Muslims along with himself.

Well, the story ends in an incredible twist. It truly moved me.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Slice of Life Day # 24: Something Horrible, Something Wonderful and Something Small

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. It was a time of almost certain death, it was a time of rejuvenation. It was a time of horrendous pain, it was a time of joyful remembrance. 

Can you tell I love Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities? Because of my fondness for his novel, I should probably ask his forgiveness for my awful imitation but it fit my day yesterday.

Warning: If your nature is a bit squeamish, you might want to scroll down to the text below the photo of the three old women...

I began by heading to a writing event for students. As I was driving down a four-lane street, I spotted a squirrel smack-dab in the middle of my lane. There was no other car around... I could have swerved to change lanes, but this happens all the time. Squirrels are quick-moving and wily, capable of evading a car's tires with incredible skill. 

So I didn't change lanes. I figured that while I roared hummed down the street, nothing horrible would happen. I would gaze into my rear view mirror and see nothing... and realize nothing terrible had happened.

But that's not what happened. Bump. The squirrel had not managed to dodge my wheel. Unfortunately I did look into my mirror and saw something worse than a small heap in the middle of the street.

I saw the squirrel dragging itself to the side of the road, its rear legs destroyed. 

That was the beginning of my day.

On the left, a teacher friend (Jane Zeni), Anne Wright is on the right and I'm in the middle.

Later, I had lunch with a former teacher, Mrs. Wright. She was my high school composition teacher and back then, I thought she was old. In actuality, she was in her early 40s.

Now she's 85 and her memory is still sharp.

Over fried chicken, a reuben and a veggie burger, we spoke of cancer, of widowhood, of children and grandchildren. We spoke of former colleagues and the struggles that teachers have in the present. We spoke of writing and books.

And then we parted.

And the something small? At the end of my day, I visited with some friends who live in the same part of town as where I had lunch. The wife grew up in North County, the same area I grew up in. (We didn't know each other back then, and haven't discussed where exactly we each went to high school.)

I told them I'd had lunch with a former teacher, a teacher who was always no-nonsense, who always had high expectations, who was always rigorous, a teacher who wore cat-eye glasses.

My friend said, "It wasn't Mrs. Wright, was it?" (She said it was the mention of cat-eye glasses that jogged her memory.)

What an incredibly small world.

Who--from your past--have you connected with?