Sat by the River and It Made Me Complete*

So I just realized it’s Friday. And I go back to school in 3 weeks. I’m not ready. I never am. It’s not that I don’t like my job…I actually do like my job. I’d rather do my job than a million other jobs. It’s the time commitment. Every summer, I read a hundred articles about how to be a more efficient teacher, to spend less time grading and more time connecting. Last year sucked for that. I need to do better at that this year. It’s not the kids who are amazing or even not so amazing but will actually respond when you work with them…it’s the ones that refuse to do anything even after you’ve used everything in your teacher toolbox to entice them to actually turn something in. Those are the ones who suck it out of me. I spend so much mental energy on them. There were a lot of those last year. After 15 years of teaching, I still don’t have the magic solution to those kids. Frustrating.

But I have three weeks before I have to start dealing with all that. Three weeks when there is no way in hell I won’t know what day it is. So I should use that time wisely. Making art, really. OK, I have a copyediting job too and a bunch of house and yard stuff I haven’t even touched. As always. I still have one more week of jury duty call-in. I don’t think I’ll get called, but you never know.

On my mind today? The over 700 kids who couldn’t be reunited with their families…due to some mealy-mouthed crap from the government that really didn’t plan this shit out in the first place. So some of these kids have now experienced significant trauma that might continue for the rest of their lives. Thanks Repubs. Appreciated. You know they train teachers in trauma now? How to deal with trauma, shooters, abuse…fun stuff. Is it the government’s place to cause more trauma? I would hope we would be on the side of alleviating it instead of creating it.

So my original goal this week was to iron 6-8 hours a day and hopefully be done today. Ha! OK, so not going to be done today. Maybe tomorrow? But doubtful. I did iron almost 7 hours yesterday…I have almost 13 hours in…so about halfway in the guesstimated time, but no way am I halfway through the pieces. I’m in the 800s, but there are a bunch that aren’t ironed from the last woman.

I totally forget to photograph stuff while I’m ironing to fabrics…it’s just piles of stuff. Oh yeah, I walked the dog when it got cooler too. The other dog went with the boychild to his dad’s house. But this one needed exercise and I keep forgetting to do it.

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It’s good for me too. Although my foot is really sore this morning. Damn foot.

Here’s the run for the third woman I ironed last night.

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Usually there’s maybe 2 humans in a quilt…this one has 9 I think. Not counting the baby. The mermaid earth mother was purple and green. Then two shadow women were gray. One has a baby, also gray. Then the woman in the water, sort of pinky purple, black hair, green eyes. I looked at the other people and tried to decide how I would do each of them. I didn’t draw them originally with particular races or genetic traits in mind…well, except for one of them. I just want a range of womanity. So the next woman I ironed is the browns on the left of the picture below. I kept them out, because the hill behind her was going to be brown as well, but I have just now, right this second, questioned that. Why brown? Why not green and florals? Seriously? Some of what goes on in my head is contrast…how to make the figures pop. But this is a really busy quilt and maybe it’s less about the figures popping on what’s behind them and more about the overall look? I’m not sure. I color these in my head as I pick stuff…so it’s recoloring right now as I type this. I think it’ll be a while (hours?) before I get to the hill behind her, so maybe I’ll change my mind. Or not.

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I’m going to have an issue with one of the women on the top of the hill, to make sure she shows up on the background. We’ll see. That’s 900 pieces away, I think.

This is all the fabrics I’ve used so far…plus the box of all the ironed pieces.

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That is not a small number of pieces. This thing is big.

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Not thinking about school. I’ll get some official email next week about school stuff. Even then, I planned ahead. I do have to put my classroom back together, but I’m pretty sure it’s not done yet (the floors need 6 coats). So I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do that. August 10th? Maybe. Hopefully.

Today? I’m not going to get 7 hours of ironing in. But maybe 5? That’ll be my goal. Another 5 tomorrow? I still don’t think that will be enough. Hmmm. Well, I’m progressing, so that’s good.

*Keane, Somewhere Only We Know

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