You Got to Lose to Know How to Win*

Yesterday, while on crosswalk duty after school, two of my former students came up to talk to me about high school. I’d spent all day with kids who thought coming up with new ideas that they couldn’t copy off the internet was HAAARRRDD (well yeah, school is supposed to challenge you…otherwise, why would you need it?). Now don’t get me wrong, the majority of kids are designing really cool, amazing stuff that shows a vast expanse of interesting thinking (yay!), but for some kids, they don’t even know where to start. Well draw the snake egg. Because you have to keep it warm and protect it, so draw it. Because it has to be in your drawing.

Anyway, these two girls were bright, interesting thinkers, and honestly, I don’t remember their grades, but they were there to tell me (a) they missed me, (b) high school is HAARRRDDD, and (c) they missed middle school, because it was so much easier. One said we teachers had claimed high school was the best 4 years of our lives! I said, well, hell no…college was way better…and even that was often HAAARRRDDD. I enjoyed the hugs, told them I knew they would be fine, that I had faith in their good, hard-working brains, and now I had something to tell my kids today, I guess. That what they think is hard isn’t hard? Well…middle school is its own kind of hard…that’s for sure. So maybe I’ll keep that to myself today.

I have no art to show today. Instead of artmaking last night, I climbed most of Mt. Woodson (we did a mutant version of the Fry-Koegel trail, shortening it up and avoiding most of the asphalt road). I don’t even have pictures because it was dark. There ARE pictures, but they haven’t been posted yet. Proof that I was there! That I hiked 4.5-5 miles on a school night! Yeah, so it did wipe me out after. I did a little eating and reading and hanging out and then went to bed early and didn’t sleep a lot, because the coyotes were out in force and little Simba can’t handle that. He becomes a tiny Pomeranian coyote warning system (dude, like we can’t hear them yipping?) and my brain can’t deal with noise at night, so sleep was a problem. And I’m up early for a meeting, so I’ll be half dead by the time I get through the day. What’s new? Nothing really.

Here’s the only proof I have of the hike…and yeah, I did over 9,000 steps at school before I even left to hike, which is scary in itself.


Here’s part of the hanging out process. There’s Mr. Barkypants, napping away. This is why he can afford to stay up all night yelling at coyotes.

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The girlchild is out of the rainforest and back into a cell service area. She had a good time, even though they weren’t allowed to shower until they’d written and presented (in French) a group essay on scientific procedures. I think her blogposts are a full week behind now, but she’ll get there. And at some point, we’ll lose her and cell service for longer than three days, I’m sure. She did check in at one point from the top of the rainforest…but I’m fairly positive there will be healthy chunks of time coming up when she won’t be able to even do that.

The best use of the new headlamp? Besides hiking? Lighting up the backyard for the nervous Nellie of a night-pee-er, Calli. She appreciates it.

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I do plan on art tonight. I’m hoping I’m still functional after multiple meetings and hangouts and another day of It’s HAAARRRDDD and my laughing maniacally because I forced 12-year-olds to think and create. It’s a tough life sometimes. I’m glad I have the time and ability to hike and draw and make art. These things are all good.

*Aerosmith, Dream on

2 thoughts on “You Got to Lose to Know How to Win*

  1. I remember some incredibly bright ~12-year-olds who went on to be even bright high school and then college students. I treasure those memories! Thank you, dear Kathy.


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