Thursday, September 29, 2011

The trouble with the buffet

I talked with my mom on the phone this morning, trying to sort through the difficult choices and dilemmas that life has been sending my way lately, and she said that maybe the Universe is sending me a buffet of choices so that I can better understand what I really like to do.

I can see the wisdom in this. But I still kind of wish I had a continental breakfast menu and was choosing between the bagel and the sweet roll.

Of course, sometimes a buffet is not as broad a choice as it seems. A seafood buffet, for example, would still probably only be offering me two choices that I would be interested in. Or, you know, sometimes you look at the buffet and wonder how long that food has been sitting there.

Don't you love how the further you extend the metaphor, the more ridiculous it becomes?

I remember when Cora was around three years old and, faced with two choices and wanting neither, she would cry, "These are NOT my options!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Possibly both waving and drowning

When things get very busy, I start to feel a little panicky. A little like the walls are closing in and all my chances to do anything important to me are fast vanishing.

Maybe it's the two part-time jobs, the part-time going to school, the full-time mothering and wife-ing and general holding-the-homestead-togethering, combined with having a kid who is in school full time for the first time in her life.

She comes home and she wants to spend time with us. She has an agenda for us, an imaginary play game that she cares very much about playing. After being on my feet for a full day of work, then taking care of emails and work for online clients, bolting down a dinner, I do still want to have the energy to be Ms. Flower the art teacher for a 20 minute bout of coloring.

But I also want to take a nap. To lie down and stare at the ceiling. To read a grown up book. To knit for a little or do some sewing or maybe even catch my mental breath enough to try to write something worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In the classroom

It is strange to be in the classroom as a student again. It is strange in two ways. First, of course, I am now more used to being on the other side of the teacher's desk. Second, and more strangely, it feels pretty natural - maybe not so surprising. I did, after all, spend 19 years as a student and only 8 as a teacher.

Some things are the same as they were for much of my scholastic career. I can't believe other people aren't doing the reading, don't bring their books to class, and never have anything to say when the professor asks a question. I get impatient for the teacher to move on to the next point; I wish the pace would either pick up or else that there would be more opportunities to move the conversation deeper.

I'm taking two classes. One is Introduction to Education (taught by a graduate teaching assistant - he has a lot of experience with elementary and high school teaching, but not much at all with college students, and he often puts himself in a position to have that lack of experience taken advantage of) and the other is Education of the Exceptional Student. Good material, interesting, but we're really just hovering on the surface.

I'm not really the type of student who likes to hang out on the surface. When it seems clear that that is where we are staying, I have a tendency to tune out and read ahead. This has its pros and cons. Luckily, I have 19 years of experience with the pros and cons.