Tomorrow is our last day of school……for awhile…..I guess. So many thoughts and feelings, but for tonight I choose thankfulness. We always have a choice in our attitude, so here’s a few things I’m thankful for:
- A house that needs cleaning – it will give me something to do for awhile (LOL)
- Time to spend with my teenage daughter – she’s a blast to hang out with
- A family to cook for – now I’ll have time to experiment with new recipes
- Being geographically close to my parents & in-laws in case they need help
- Warmer weather – maybe I’ll get to till up the garden in a few weeks
- Plenty of curriculum & activities to organize for next year – my summer should be a little more open 😉
In this time of unpredictability, I realized that I am quite a predictable being (I wonder if that will change due to our current circumstances). My predictablity was realized when I missed two Saturdays in a row of blogging! While I am somewhat embarassed to admit this, it really made me realize I depend on routines and apparently my Saturday routine is to completely check out of the electronic world and that is actually something I am proud to admit. Why is it that six days a week I check email and social media hourly, but not on Saturday? Seems that on Saturday, my routine is typically to be outdoors, tackling projects with my husband, and generally so tired by the time I sit down at night that I have no desire to touch an electronic device. While I do feel bad about missing my Saturday blogs, and I will truly try harder next Saturday, I wouldn’t give up my predictable Saturday for anything!
Holly is my first
My last is also Holly
I am Holly Squared
So much time and energy is being devoted to the dreaded Coronavirus; the TP memes are really my favorite. But these memes got me thinking tonight, what would I hoard if I was truly afraid of being quarentined for 14 days? A few things came to mind: Corona (with lime of course), chocolate, chips and salsa. Then I got stuck, couldn’t think of anything else. Why? I realized that I tend to buy in bulk and I probably could live a lot longer than 14 days in quarentine and not run out of most everything I use on a daily basis (especially TP). I haven’t decided if that is a good thing or some deep rooted issue, but I guess for today’s scenario it’s a good thing! LOL
So a unique thing happened in my classroom today and it was SO COOL! We are working on an opinion writing project and I have to say that on a normal day writing isn’t something the majority of my students get excited about (despite my best efforts to make it entertaining and fun). But I must have an abnormally opinionated group of 3rd graders because when I announced they had two minutes to wrap up their work for the day, there were shouts of protest……YES PROTEST……in having to STOP writing! One young man was nearly in tears because he was almost to the point of being able to type his final draft and exclaimed, “Mrs. Holly, I just HAVE to finish!” What a strange feeling it was to force children to stop writing. I assure you, if they hadn’t had to physically leave the classroom for another time of instruction I would have let them work as long as they wanted……SO COOL!
Far too often, we do not allow ourselves to celebrate small accomplishments. I am as guilty as anyone of being too hard on myself and not giving myself credit for the small things. I am quick to praise others for their small steps, but not myself. So, today I choose to give myself credit. Today I took control of a situation that is foreign to me. I have been the onlooker for almost three years, but never needed to take the reigns. I entered the stall, brush in hand, calmly spoke to and pushed the 1300 pound pet to the side as if I was 100% sure of myself ( I was not). Then I spoke softly and confidently as I brushed the layers of dust and dried mud off her coat and she allowed it. I continued to project confidence and she did what I said; my daughter was right all along (deep down I knew she was). You see, for the past three years we have owned a slightly high-strung horse that my daughter truly adores and is clearly the master of. I have admired her ability to handle this horse, but she is always there to take care of her. I have this sense of knowing what to do and how to handle the horse, but never really have the opportunity to demonstrate (actually I never take the opportunity). But tonight, I felt compelled. My daughter was not there (soccer) and I felt so bad for the horse as she no longer looked like a beautiful Palimino, but a sad grey horse completely covered in dried mud. So I brought her into her stall, fed her and then ventured in to relieve her of the cacked on mud that must have been making her itchy. Having conquered this, what will be next with this magnificent animal?
It starts out as something quite normal and really not that interesting, but then my brain goes “Why?”. For example, this morning I have had six out of fourteen students need band-aids……43% in a short three hour span of time. Perhaps it is the time change, or the full moon, or even the upcoming Friday the 13th, but that is just a really high percentage of students requiring a bandage…….just saying!!
I have really enjoyed the daily writing challenge and was doing so good until Saturday came along and I was so busy enjoying the beautiful weather we are experiencing in northern Wisconsin that I never checked my email and completely forgot to post! Oops! Well, today is a new day and I will begin a new week determined to do better.
Winter is normally still in full swing in Wisconsin in early March, but this has been an exceptionally early spring for us. I love this time of year when the sun finally feels warm and you can be outside without having multiple layers of clothing to stay warm and dry. We were busy plowing slush out of the driveway, trying to expose as much ice as possible for the sun to melt away when I realized how much our two horses were enjoying this spring-like weather as well. They were chasing each other as if they were playing tag, the wind blowing through their manes as they frolicked in their muddy pasture. A short time later I realized he younger one was thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and was all sprawled out in the muckiest part of the pasture! Guess she doesn’t care that she will be coated in mud as it will be weeks before it’s warm enough for a bath.
A sure sign of spring in northern Wisconsin is making maple syrup. Tonight we tapped 30 maple trees on our property which meant trudging through the woods from tree to tree with buckets, taps, shovel, mallet and drill in tow. While the temperature was nearly 40 degrees today with bright sunshine, there is still A LOT of snow in the woods (thigh deep at some points). I love spring and I love the process of making maple syrup, but forgetting my snowpants tonight prooved to be a chilling mistake. Despite having slightly numb ankles and calves, it was thrilling to see the sap already running out of the trees when we drilled the holes! So the next few weeks will be filled with evenings of collecting sap, boiling it down and hopefully resulting in six to seven gallons of maple syrup by the end of the process. The best part is sitting around a fire watching the sap boil down and the many conversations with family that flow like spring sap.
I actually wanted to strangle a healthcare provider today! Now you don’t know me personally, but I can assure you this is not a normal feeling for me. I pride myself in seeing the positive in situations, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and hoping that something good will come from a bad event. Really, this is how I am wired. However, I found my self in unfamiliar territory today as I sat with my beautiful teenage daughter in the doctor’s office over my lunch break so she could get a sports physical. The appointment was progressing normally with the nurse documenting her height, weight, 15,000 questions about health history, behavior, yada yada yada. Finally, the nurse practitioner comes in for the exam. She begins with a review of nearly all the questions the nurse just asked and then proceeds to ‘instruct’ her on BMI and that she is currently at the “top range” of her BMI. WHAT?! Could it be this is why teenagers have body images issues? Furthermore, my daughter is a healthy, happy, athletic young woman who has always thought being curvy was better than being scrawny, like so many girls her age. I ranted and raved in my car all the way back to school (yes I was talking out loud to myself).
It wasn’t until the drive home this afternoon that I was able to reflect on the ordeal. I realized two things 1) my daughter wasn’t at all phased by this woman’s insinuation that she was nearly overweight because she really doesn’t worry about what people think of her (yeah)! and 2) I could continue to be mad or I could be sure I never treat anyone in this manner. So today I have a renewed determination to treat each student with respect, even when giving correction/constructive criticism.