When You’re Quiet, I’ll Start…

Yesterday was loooooong. At the end, there was art. I used to really only make art during breaks from school, a little bit during school, but mostly when I had time off. But it got more and more necessary that I make art during the teaching months, and now, I’d better be doing something every night or I get antsy, irritable (ha! more than usual), totally cranky. Sometimes that means I get behind in grading, but I figure I’ll catch up eventually. I was at work yesterday from 7:45-4:45, worked through lunch, did a meeting before school and tutoring after…but I didn’t grade when I got home, because by the time I went to the chiropractor and Costco and came home and did a bunch of tasks, ate dinner, finished the binding and sleeves on that giant quilt I started in freakin’ December (yes! a finish in 2019!), washed the dishes, made breakfasts for the rest of the week (fucked that up majorly), and calendared the evening (it was past 9:30 pm) by then…I wasn’t gonna grade anything. Oh yeah, I forgot 30 minutes on the stationary bike so I could actually eat something for dinner, because the diet program is convinced if I don’t eat, I’ll lose weight. Well DUH. Not happening.

Seriously though…I brought grading home and I’m taking it back to school undone. I’m gonna have to be one efficient motherfucker at school the next three days and get through it there. I couldn’t get anything done yesterday due to having to fill out a million psych forms on kids and getting a couple of independent study contracts together, plus monitoring a bunch of kids NOT reading directions during a lab. But mostly standing there, patient as a…well…a teacher…waiting for them to stop talking. When you’re quiet, I’ll start…I can stand here for hours. I do it every day. My stubbornness knows no bounds. I have 52 years of stubborn. You lose.

It’s not really a game of win or lose. That’s the fun part with teaching middle school. It’s not even what they learn, because often they come back and it’s what they remember…this crazy lab, or mostly because I teach sex ed at the end of the year, that’s what they remember me for (for better or worse)…it really is just about those who could tell you cared about them, even when you were mad at them constantly (especially then). Which reminds me, I need to check in with another teacher about a kid who’s driving me nuts, and it’s the end of the day and he’s a challenge, and that’s part of my problem. I need a plan.

Sometimes the biggest positive with making the art is that it shuts up the teacher brain so I can stop worrying about how much I have to do, or about this or that kid…I can just be in my head with something I feel successful about. And that doesn’t usually stress me out…until I have to be packing stuff up or shipping it out (tonight).

Last night, from 10:30 on, it was all about the sky…

The twelve different colors of the sky. That was fun. But complicated to iron…I needed lots of space to do those long skinny pieces.

Here’s the colors so far. I told you it would get more colorful!

What’s next in ironing? Hmmm. I think the things in the sky, like the rocket and spaceship…and then maybe the sun? No, it’s probably the things in the torso, like the heart, lungs, etc. Those are fun. More colors. I have book club tonight, but before and after, I’ll get some shit done and then iron some more. It’s coming. Faster than the last one. I think the plan is to do the big quilts over breaks and the smaller ones in the Spring, when I have little patience but need a lot of art time in which to recover. But I also need successes. Lots of them. Yup. Lots of that and hikes in nature and books to read and exercise of all sorts.

Today though? Today is rain and trying to get kids on task while getting stuff graded. I can do that. Maybe.

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