Labor Day On Holiday

vmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyvmmv photographyI always forget about the Labor Day holiday, but I won’t be forgetting after this year. I honestly think it was thrown in the vaca-mix for teachers completely shell-shocked by post-summer-traumatic-school-onslaught-syndrome. It really comes at precisely the right time: just a few weeks after the start of the school year, it’s sort of like a glorious little cat nap to refresh before the real Fall grind. I spent my cat-nap day re-visiting a few of my favorite spots from my undergrad years. It wasn’t nearly as chilly as I had hoped, but that didn’t make drinking coffee on the beach, lunch in the sun (btw blackberry, pomegranate, and ginger is NOT a good beverage combination), and dinner under twinkle lights any less wonderfully relaxing. That town is marked at every inch with memories good and bad and an annual trip never gets old reliving a few crazy years.

I sucked it up and paid my tuition a week early yesterday. I had to pick up my last textbook for the quarter and decided, hey, why not pay all the ridiculous overpriced fees all at once? (no of course not, I’m not harboring any kind of resentment.) School is getting way way more real now. My difficulty in accepting it I think is more astonishment at how I made this decision. I distinctly remember as an third year undergrad saying I would hate to be a teacher and be stuck in the school-year-schedule my whole life. What a nasty bubble apart from real life that life must be I thought. And here I am, going back to school to be a teacher and remain, forever more in one way or another, in school. But, I’ve got other plans up my sleeve that makes this step in no way a final one. I have aspirations that, once achieved, will let me continue my obsession with occupation roaming in a little bit more of a focused fashion. I think the need to explore is a creative’s biggest fail yet greatest success: being incapable of really settling into one path. There’s always new things to try, new interests to examine, and that ever present itch of being capable of much more. It’s dangerous if you let it distract you from a healthy sense of reality, but very powerful I think if you let it mix with your reality, pushing you to make real life better and when life isn’t all that great, letting you escape until perspective tells you sure, real life is, well, real, but it’s also not forever, most things aren’t that important, and even in the midst of the worst days, days like Labor Day…days that let you cat nap, daydream, and doze…will come again and THAT is worth going back to school for. 

 – <3 A. 

Last Day of Summer

last day of summervmmv photographylast day of summeredited3editedvmmv photographyvmmv photographylast day of summerSweet, sweet summer, why did you run away so suddenly? Any last remains of lazy freedom from this past weekend at the beach house with my ladies, definitely evaporated instantaneously Monday: there’s nothing like a 108 degree first day of school and a fourth grade room full to capacity to smash those moments.

Those moments really were so very glorious though: cinnamon rolls every morning, the most girly of girly movies and a little terrifying Cillian Murphy thrown in with four ladies smushed together under blankets on the most comfortable couch in the world; **How do couches get so much more deliciously soft on vacation?** A nap on the beach; Having nothing to do at any certain hour, and doing anything a heart could desire at every hour; Laughing until we cried over spritzers and too much coffee, and a slightly completely horrible decision to rent a four-person bike and utterly terrorize the tiniest of tiny beach towns with our screams. They didn’t really deserve that…

…just as a tip, if there’s four ladies, four sets of pedals, and four seats but only one steering wheel and one brake, any way you add or subtract those numbers, they create a really, really bad solution: We squealed our way up and down that town, argued over how close we were to parked cars and how we would survive through a busy intersection. We apologized to the people we nearly ran over, gave pleading, pitiful glances to the cars we cut off, and, to appease irritated, strolling vacationers by appearing as if we were as annoyed with ourselves as they were with us, we feigned anger and disgust at our brake that began, about half-way through our rental hour, to screech at a pitch I didn’t know could be reached. At last, we returned our four-seated machine of terror twenty minutes early, slightly wet with the sweat of nerves, and fear, and with aching quads unprepared to propel four girls up streets that threw off their disguise of being flat while we had walked them on foot and suddenly reared up to San-Fran-like street angles as soon as we were strapped to a bike. Whew. Lemony Snicket has nothing on that ride, we were a series of unfortunate events…but on wheels.

Perhaps the tension mixed with laughter, the terror mixed with joy, and the feeling of being out of one’s element while simultaneously feeling completely natural on our bike ride was preparing me for the new school year. It’s a very similar mix of emotions that come with entering a classroom, and while I at times want to get off the bike/run out of the room, and at other times I feel like I could ride forever/feel so at home with the students, it’s always a new adventure, a new challenge, and I’m very excited to see what a new year brings. My last day of summer came and went this year but guess what? Biggest teacher bonus in the world: endless summers to come in the future.

 – <3 A.