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Showing posts from August, 2010

Taking Stock

Thursday evening I flipped on the news to see each channel reporting live from their booths at the Minnesota State Fair. I promptly turned off the TV and fled the room. Others celebrate the "Great Minnesota Get Together." I see it for what it truly is--the death knell of my summer.

According to the powers that be, the year ends December 31st. But my life has always been tied to the school calendar--first as a student, now as a teacher. Fall for me is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. Summer then, particularly August, is a sort of ending. It is the time when I take stock of my life, an inventory where I look around and say this is what I have, where I've been, and where I'm going. But what I feel most this time of year is always the inexorable pull of the past, the weight of hurts unmended, friends unspoken, and opportunities lost. Such is the nature of endings.

But this year I remind myself that time always marches forward, and always, always there will be th…

Pirates and Princesses

This weekend was college move in across the great state of Minnesota. The majority of college campuses are now teeming with students, the dorms (no, I will not call them residence halls) are once again slowly baking their freshman inhabitants alive, and RAs are rounding up beer cans and cheap vodka bottles by the bag. It's autumn in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Most of these students are, right now, experiencing that first lonely, homesick night. They're wondering why going away to school seemed like a good idea and they're desperately calling, texting, facebooking, or skyping every high school friend they didn't alienate during their last senior summer in a last ditch attempt to stave off tears. As I watched the laundry carts roll down the sidewalks and the cars crammed with mini-fridges, microwaves, and terrified families stream into town, I began to wonder about the dreams that brought those students to college.

There are, naturally, students sitting in dorm rooms right …

Chasing Summer

According the calendar put out by the school district which employs me, I have been enjoying my summer vacation since June 10th. Teacher workshops begin on August 30, which left me with 11 weeks--77 days--of glorious, sunshine-y summer. Now, 66 days into my summer, I am confused.

As I watched my students file out of my room on the last day of school--wishing some a fond farewell and secretly hoping others would transfer to another district for next year--I was all too aware of the fact that I had curriculum writing the following week, which hardly felt like a vacation. Two days after that, my husband and I left for five days in New York. Now, I recognize that most would say five days in New York is, in fact, a vacation. But as any adult can tell you, vacations are usually far more stressful than working. We returned from New York and I began prepping for summer school. To this day, I am unsure what demon possessed me and convinced me to teach summer school for the month of July, but I …

I could be a 50s Housewife...

A good friend of mine recently moved to Montana; since then, she and I have started a rather intense but lovely email relationship consisting largely of emails that are, in complete honesty, novel-length and full of snappy remarks. Yesterday, I was feeling a bit blue, so my Montana friend recommended I keep myself occupied and distracted with a bit of work. Housework. I agreed, as my apartment was disgustingly overdue for a cleaning. And this is when I discovered my true calling in life: 50s Housewife.

During my venture into the world of home economics yesterday--they call it family science now--I scoured my apartment whilst listening to Broadway showtunes at an obnoxiously loud volume to annoy my neighbors, who I dislike anyway. I polished furniture, put away dishes, organized drawers, washed windows, and mopped my floors. I dusted baseboards and scrubbed sockets and switchplate covers. I vacuumed in an apron. I washed towels and linens, did my laundry, and even hand-washed a garment…

When Did This Happen?

Do not misunderstand me. I understand that I am 26 years old. I understand I have graduated from college (twice), traveled around the United States, and been married for nearly three years. I do my laundry, cook dinner, clean, and pay bills. I have my own car and medical insurance. I have a job--nay, a career--that I love. People under the age of eighteen are not allowed to call me by my first name. Parents ask me for advice on how to handle their teenagers. These are the trappings of adulthood. I recognize that. But still I find myself asking constantly, "When did I become a grown up?"

It's not that I mind as much as that I am constantly baffled by this fact. Being a full-fledged grown up seems like a momentous event, something that should be marked by an elaborate ceremony. And yet all around me I watch as my friends, with little fanfare, continue to do things that can only be described as adult. My friends are getting married (to be fair, some fanfare is involved in t…