Trepidation

Trepidation is defined as a feeling of fear about something that is about to happen, apprehension. This word perfectly describes me when I think about tomorrow. Wednesday, I will be working with teachers and the topic is writing. That should not be a problem. I have been doing PD in schools for the last four years. Presenting is not causing my trepidation.

Trepidation arises because this PD is to be delivered during the teachers’ planning period. First of all, using a plan period does not make teachers happy. Trepidation sets in because I am to deliver information on teaching writing in about forty-five minutes. Really? What can I do to make a difference in that amount of time? I think this will only frustrate the teachers. Trepidation takes over since I don’t know anything about how they teach writing. All I know is “we need help in writing instruction.”

Thursday and Friday will be spent modeling writing lessons in every classroom. Hopefully, I have selected lessons that will demonstrate something useful. My motto is “I am teaching the writer, not the writing.”

At the end of the month I will be back to model lessons once again, and a follow-up with the teachers on their planning period. My final work in this building will be an all day PD with the staff a week after my second round of modeling. I hope this is not a recipe for disaster. I hope this will whet the teachers’ appetite for more information.

Think of me tomorrow. I will let you know what happens.

Finally! Snow!

Would you think about buying a snow blower in August? Probably not, but then you’d miss out on having one. Home Depot does not stock snow blowers during the winter months in our area. Actually the manager of the department had to beg corporate to send some to our store. Apparently the home office does not think we get enough snow during a year to warrant stocking snow blowers. The machines were sold out in a matter of a few weeks. One of them found a very comfortable spot in our garage.

The facts of life are, the body just doesn’t hold up to a lot of heavy shoveling any more. Therefore, we needed a snow blower. Our neighbors were quite excited, almost to the point of giddiness when the machine was brought home. I know they had visions of snow-free driveways in their future.

So here we are in February and there has not been one snowfall worthy of getting the blower out. Until this day . . . our first (hopefully only) significant snow accumulation!

I am sitting at my desk working when all of a sudden I hear an unfamiliar sound. I look out the window, but there is nothing in my line of vision. I walk through the house noting my husband has disappeared. The sound leads me to the garage. Smoke has filled one end of the garage as I choke and make my way over to the roaring machine (louder than a lawnmower). My husband had a look of excitement and anticipation on his face as he tries to maneuver this new toy.

One trip down the driveway and he is on his way back up but something does not seem right. It’s too hard to push. A quick look at the owner’s manual and he is off again after making some adjustment to the wheels. Moments later, a wheel falls off. That was not the correct adjustment needed. He finds the pin, checks the manual, I offer sage advice, and he’s back down the driveway

My toes are frozen so I head back into the house. I barely get situated at my desk when the distant roar stops. I know he is not that quick, so I go to investigate. He ran out of gas. The tank is refilled and he is back on the mission. Our driveway is clear, so he heads to the neighbor on the right. Up, down, around, and around, done! He heads to the neighbor on the left. Repeat performance, another driveway is cleared.

“I wish I had that before,” he announces. “There are several snowstorms I can think of where that would have helped.” Now we wait for the neighbors to come home to find a clear driveway. They will be celebrating their good fortune tonight.

An hour after the driveways are cleared, a snowplow comes barreling down our street. Zip in and out, he’s long gone leaving behind a barrier between the end of the driveway and the road! Snow blower to the rescue! This marvelous machine makes short work of the mess the plow left behind. This new tool will make snowy weather fun again.

Choices in Life

Today I am  sharing a slice of my life from over thirty-seven years ago. This tale is told from two different perspectives. The choices we make, can affect us for a lifetime. You will discover why this is posted on Valentine’s Day.

Fall 1975, this is to be my final semester because during the summer, I realized that I would have enough credits to graduate at semester. All I needed was to complete student teaching and a philosophy of education class. Yes, I will finally be able to stop being a student and actually get into the real world of teaching. I am anxious to get started on this part of my life.

The classroom was already crowded, voices buzzed in conversations waiting for the professor. I scanned the surprisingly packed room, finally I spotted my best friend thankful she had saved me a seat. I quickly made my way over to her and we began chatting while we waited for class to start. Soon another body took the open seat beside me. I glanced over and recognized a guy who had been in one of my basic education classes the year before. I didn’t really pay much attention to him, but fleeting thoughts went back to that previous class. He didn’t always attend (yes, I was always in attendance). He was a chatty, noisy guy with the people around him (I was never around him, so I just observed him from a distance. I was very shy so it was hard for me to talk to people.) He nodded as we made eye contact, so I knew he remembered me. He began talking to the girl on the left side of him.

He stood in the doorway with only a minute to spare before class was to start. The room was already crowded. His eyes scanned the sea of faces looking for a friend in the crowd. “There’s a seat next to a girl I know,” he thought, “but on the other side is that girl from the class last year. Do I really want to sit by her, she seemed so stuck up. Yes, I really want to sit by someone I know.” He made his way down the aisle and sat next to the friend, nodding to the other girl as he took his seat.

He discovered over time that this girl wasn’t really stuck up. He discovered she was friendly, funny, and caring. He discovered that this would be his partner for life.

This year we will celebrate our 35th anniversary in June. Life changes in an instant. That instant changed the course of my life, and I am so glad it did!

Panic!

Where’s my phone? I reach into my pocket . . .  no phone. I start to pat all pockets on the fleece vest and pants . . . no phone. I check the outside pocket of my purse . . . no phone. I begin to dig through my purse . . .  no phone. My stomach drops to my heels. THINK!

The phone was connected to the charger, I took it off the charger. It was in my hand. I went into the restaurant to order dinner to take back to the hotel. I talked to the boy at the door, checked out the salad bar, and went to the bar to order my dinner. I got the to go containers and made my salad. Now I reach for my phone and it is not where I expect to find . Where’s my phone?

I take my salad out to the car so I can look for my phone. I look around my seat, no phone. Where is it???

I walk back to the front desk and ask the door greeter if he saw it. No, he didn’t. I ask the bartender where I ordered my dinner. No, he didn’t see it either. What do I do? Aha! The bartender says, ” Let me call your phone, then maybe we will hear the ring.” Great idea! I tell them it is an old phone ring and I will go out to the car and listen to see if it rings.

What did I do with the phone? I am sick to think that I’ve lost it. My mind tumbles through many thoughts and none of them are reassuring.

Yes! I hear it ringing in the car! Relief floods through my body, but I still can’t find it. I return to the restaurant to report that I did hear ringing, so it is somewhere in the car. I get the remainder of my dinner, but I will not leave this parking lot until I find that phone.

I kneel down on the ground (grateful that it is not wet or freezing cold) to check under the car. No phone there (that’s a good thing!). I move the seats. I pull everything out from under the seats (Triscuits? I forgot they were back there.) NO PHONE! I know I heard it, it has to be here. My hands are sliding between narrow openings searching for that rubbery feel of the phone case, all I feel is carpet and leather and frustration!!!

What else can I do? I am feeling better because I heard the ring, but I should have found it by now. My last attempt is to move the driver’s seat a different direction. And there it is!  The panic is over, but I am still unnerved by this experience. I head back to the hotel with my dinner (not that I have an appetite now) and my PHONE! Dinner is cold but I don’t care, I have my PHONE!

All I can figure out is that it slipped out of my hand as I unfastened the seat belt. I didn’t notice it because that is not the hand usually holding the phone.

How silly is it to be so tied to a piece of electronic equipment? I just know, I don’t want to live through this again.