Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Education Week

Yesterday was Teacher Appreciation Day and we had a nice spread laid out for the teachers by the Administration, which included bagels and coffee.  Monday, I need to add was also a special day as well.  It was quite generous as it was put on by the PTSA.  Not only did they have breakfast sandwiches, fruits, juices, and coffee, but also flowers and gifts for each teacher.  It was grand!

Today, we had a luncheon during our varying lunch periods and then at dismissal during our regular faculty meeting we had dessert.  Got to start counting my calories! To top that off, I have had a student, whose mom is the school nurse, and this week he has been regularly handing me a small gift everyday.  First it was tea, yesterday it was chocolates, and today chewing gum! It is really the thought that counts!

To my surprise though something worthy of my treasure folder happened today!  I wasn't expecting it.  I know that a lot of teachers get tons of cards and gifts but it is usually on the last day of school. Frankly, that has never been my case except for that one time when I was teaching elementary school and did a maternity leave for a second grade teacher.  When I went to leave those parents showered me with gifts, some of which I still have today.  That was at least fifteen years ago! Times have changed.  The economy is bad and then it isn't the end of the year either. But today...I got a lovely gift from one of my advanced students... the card was so special, telling me thank you in about ten different languages, all written by her.  Inside the bag was a cute notepad and pen, a decadent chocolate cake,  and last but not least, a tall travel cup that said "A teacher like you happens once in a lifetime." Amazing!

I am still speechless! 

Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

How do you get rid of junk?

I don't know that I know the answer but part of it is in the letting go.  Another is visiting others at a home that is organized. Last week, we had our annual community garage sale.  Around three other families on our block were having one but I had had a tooth pulled the evening before and it was even surprising that I was even there. Surprising even to my self that my face wasn't ballooned out of shape.
Not that I sold things in my own garage, but that my front door neighbor Pat was selling so many things. She had been into square dancing and used to make her own dresses,  so I swung over to take a look at the fabrics, laces, and notions she was selling.

She was selling things I love and have neatly stored in my own closets.  In fact I have fabrics to dresses I made for my little girls and now that I think of it, I could use them for a crazy quilt or a memory quilt. Make something productive that I could share rather than hoard.

While I was Pat's, I learned two things.  One was letting go.  She was selling some very high end products for ridiculously low prices.  Complete three yards of cloth for four dollars or two yards for three bucks.  Bucks...sounds so vulgar I used to say..but any way.  For three dollars! So I got the best bargains, including cloth to make myself some cute outfits at bargains I would not have been able to get otherwise and I only had to cross the street.  I got lace for making baby blankets as well.  Have you seen the price on lace lately?  Easily four dollars a yard, some much more.   The point is: (Finally!) She was letting go.  Letting go, letting go, letting go.  She made so many people happy with things that were just sitting there in her closet.  Some was going to a church sewing group, another for little girls dresses, and one for a church banner.  Living, breathing, useful, current needs were being met.

Personally, I think life is a metaphor in so many respects, but that can be the topic of another entry, but do you get my drift?  Letting go... before she could let go of these things she had to analyze what was the cost and purpose of keeping them.  There is a price to be paid for keeping things.  Sometimes the reason we keep things is for sentimental value or as a token of a time and place.  It is living in the past.  We have to leave behind what is dead and over and move forward to what is alive, moving, and breathing towards our future.  Those things no longer served a purpose or need in her life. It was time to let them go.

I spent a little time there perusing her merchandise and during a lull she invited me in so see some paintings.  She knows I paint and she showed me some beautiful artwork that put mine to shame but any way... the room was a bedroom next to the garage and it was so neatly organized and the closet was mostly empty except for some paintings standing in a corner since she said she had run out of walls to hang them.  They were lovely.  What I enjoyed most was the space and the order.

I want to do the same.  So I started.  A little piece at a time.  A corner here and a corner there.  But yesterday, I did some major overhauling.  The victims: an old fax machine... I no longer have a house phone; an excessive amount of cables because I just don't need them; and old printers whose ink is more expensive than the printers.  So I started letting go and rearranging... Also gone a huge long table belonging to an ex husband that I also needed to let go.  The table, long and heavy, had to go, too.

Metaphors... I told you life is a metaphor.