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. 

Guest-Pinner: If Clara Barton Pinned

clara barton repins via Ez Pudewa

clarabartonguestpinnerClara Barton image and bio via | repins via | via |

The only guest-pinner I could think of befitting the Independence month of July was Clara Barton. I think everyone has a foggy memory of learning about her as the founder of the American chapter of the Red Cross somewhere among the forgotten years of elementary school, but what you might not remember is that woman had some serious balls! (sorry, but seriously, that’s the only way to put it).

Interestingly enough, Clara started off her life as a terrified little soul, too timid even to continue in the school her parents sent her to and she even stopped eating, so overwhelmed was she by the interactions she was forced to make at school. But beneath her timidity, Clara was something of a brilliant tomboy. She loved to play with her male siblings and cousins and she was so good with managing children, she opened a school at the age of 17 and taught there for over a decade. When the school board hired a man over Clara to head the school she had been growing to upwards of 600 students following the completion of her own education, she up and quit, and became the first woman to hold a substantial paid job for the federal government in the U.S. Patent Office. Of course, she’s most famous for founding and leading the American chapter of the Red Cross, the first meeting of the organization actually met in her own personal apartment. What I love most about her though is that despite her ambition, insistence on fairness, and the powerful positions she held, Clara never lost sight of the fact that she was a woman and developed her teaching and nurturing strengths to influence an entire nation with her feminine abilities. If Clara Barton pinned, I think her boards would have a beautiful strength because, after all, for some things, only a woman knows best.

clara barton

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Fourth of July! I’ve got recipes and pics to share as soon as I get a moment to get them off my camera and onto this place, oh yes, and happy weekend!

– <3 A. 

Other Guest-Pinners: 

houseofmirthpin    littlewomencollage

          Lily Bart                             Mrs. March

Plain Jane

plain jane

I think it’s safe to say that Jane probably never aspired to be a teacher. Or, for that matter, spent any amount of time around the little ones. I don’t think she would have been much of a kindred spirit for the struggling student. The woman was brilliant…and she knew it.

– <3 A. 

A Path

vmmv imagesThe early twenties are a strange age. It’s the time when titles are chosen, the “what are you going to be when you grow up” is begun to be answered and decisions are made about directions. Paths are chosen, some are blocked off by our own choosing or by life itself, some roads we never anticipated journeying down are stumbled across and then followed, perhaps simply to see where they go, perhaps because we begin to love the sights and potential of that road, or perhaps because all the other roads just don’t make sense at the time.

This girl and I are so strangely similar and also vastly disparate. Our little life footpaths that we have begun to choose and branch out upon are rather parallel and I suppose I could have predicted they would be by our 18+ history of friendship, yet our individual trials and tribulations are very much our own and that is why I think we always return to each other to share experiences from our own adventures, to marvel at the similarities, to shake our heads at the differences, and to laugh about the foolishness. She graduated this past weekend from her post-grad program and I am quite quite proud of her because I have known the things she has questioned, the turns she’s taken that she’s doubted, the decisions that once made are wondered about again and again, and the courage it takes to make a goal and go after it.

She is going to be a teacher, a teacher of English and a very good one I think because though perhaps anyone can teach a book once taught how to teach, anyone can create assignments, hand out a grade, and develop lesson plans, but beyond all of that she will teach subtle things: how to laugh at yourself, how to be passionate about things, how to describe the world in new ways, how to overcome bad hair days, how to stand in front of a room with a small voice and say big things, how to accomplish things we fear despite our fear, how to go alone to places we want to go, how to share our innermost emotions in a way to capture and charm you, and how to be always, unapologetically unique. Veteran teachers are impressive, wise, and valuable. But I think fresh, baby-teachers are one of the most courageous creatures on this earth because regardless of how many degrees you begin your path with, how many classes you’ve observed, or teachers you are mentored by, your path begins at one side of a bridge-less divide and its up to you to imagine, construct, and maintain that bridge to your students. Congratulations my kenz, I can’t wait to see where your path goes and what your bridge will look like.

– <3 A.