So glad I went back. Our pastor didn't have to, but, like the good teacher that he is, he reviewed the past few weeks to catch me up. I felt welcomed again, I knew that no matter how busy my weeks are, there's always a friend or group of friends who will miss me if I don't show up for the commitments I have made. I feel the same way about them when they don't show up. I know they have busy lives too, with their work and families. Mine is no fuller than theirs. Time management is a big issue with me. And biting off more than I can chew at times.
Juggling is probably an apt way to describe what I do. When one of my commitments becomes too heavy, I toss it into the air so I can attend to another one. And when a prior obligation becomes more urgent, I will toss something else into the air so I can take care of what seems more important at the moment. Hmm, I really don't care for that analogy. Tossing things into the air seems a bit irresponsible somehow. Even though my hands will be on all these things at one time and another, they're still getting tossed when I have too much for my hands, heart, and mind to attend to at any given time.
I'd rather adopt the image of one who carries her load to the end, and who helps others when her load becomes lighter. And maybe even accepting help from others who offer. The dilemma, though, is determining what that load will be. As one journeys, the load doesn't stay the same. Challenges arise, barriers appear out of nowhere, and endurance levels fluctuate. You shift the load. Life has a way of teaching us to be strong, to endure, to be faithful, and trustworthy. We gain knowledge of ourselves through the challenges we accept, as well as through the failure of them or the success of them. The good news is that even the failures contribute, in a beautiful way, to our development. We do become stronger, we can endure, and we can change. Yes, we can!
I can say this assuredly because I did get to sleep late this morning and I feel completely rested and well. I write this because I want to remember this beautiful day, weeks from now, when I might well be tired and exhausted, or even sick with the flu. (A flu shot next week should remedy that, though).
Here are some of the pumpkins first graders have been working on these past couple of weeks. Oil pastel pumpkins, cut out, glued with cardboard tabs under them so that they stand out from the black paper. Then the kids draw leaves, weeds, vines, etc on the black paper. We've been calling them 3D pumpkins.
Second graders worked on an oil pastel piece called The Sun... they are learning about warm hues... and the fact that they now understand the difference between hues and colors impresses me and the other teachers. The question I posed to them was "How can we express a warm object in a piece of art?" After I had shown them several examples of art works that did express warmth through use of color, they were able to answer that question easily.
Each student created their own sun-like image using only red, orange, and yellow. Oil pastels blend so easily. When they are through with the drawing, they will paint black tempera or water color over it... resulting in a resist.
And then there were the elections on Tuesday ... I was thrilled that I had voted early because it meant that when I got the email at school telling me that I could hang some student art work at the local Starbuck's, I was totally free! I carried the stack of mounted pieces in a large plastic pouch through the parking lot in the dark and drizzling rain. Two hours later, voila!
Kindergarten through fourth grades were well represented. My only complaint was that the room I was directed to was very small... in fact, it was a vault. The place used to be a bank. Vaults make for tiny coffee shop rooms. Cozy and private, yes... but not roomy in the wall space. I made good use of it, though.
I was pleased with the look of the display. The next day, I typed up a sheet with all the names of the students whose work is on display. Parents will be told so they can visit and admire.
The best day of the week had to be Wednesday morning when kids walked proudly into my room, telling me who had won the elections. Had they thought I hadn't heard? Or were they letting me know that they already knew?
"Hey Mrs. G, did you know that Obama won President?" one boy announced to me.
I smiled and said, "Yes, he did!"
The rest of the week the sun did shine! And today is a beautiful day.