Bits and Pieces Together

Well that’s it. Summer Break is over for 2020. I don’t really know what to say about that. Many of you are as confuzzled by this year as I am. Do I feel ready for school to start? Fuck no. Do I feel relaxed and rested after the summer? Of course not. Who does? I’m currently running around (more mentally than physically), trying to get my internet to be happier with its existence (no thanks to Cox Cable for that…sigh…but they will be here this morning, replacing THEIR stupid modem that they claimed was mine. What a clusterfuck.), hoping to plan for the school year, hoping to HAVE a plan. I thank my co-teachers for their presence of mind, because mine is distinctly absent. Although I have bits and pieces together in my head. Just not the plan that ties them all together. I think honestly, after 17+ years of teaching, that I finally realize those prep days on campus, where we put our rooms together and set the stuff out that needs to be out and check in with our co-teachers and meet in person, those days are important to how our minds get ready for the year. I could go to my classroom, but I am anxious about being around people (in a way where I feel trapped? Anxiety is a fun thing…), plus at some point, they will probably use my classroom for childcare (amusing, considering the crazy shit that’s stored in there. Seriously, stay out of the locked cabinets and prep room.), and I will have nothing but the crazy setup(s?) that are in my house. I’ve been spending time trying to get those cleaned up and usable. We’ll see how that goes. Seven hours a day of Zooming with short breaks, one longer break, two might not have to be on Zoom, but at least one probably does because we have no science plans this year. Minor issue. We’ll get there…a little bit every day, I think.

It’ll be fine. FINE. I’m powerful AND jumpy. Makes me laugh anyway.

Here’s one of the work setups. Nope. Not moving the sewing machine. Somehow gonna fit a second (third? There’s a computer to the right on the desk there too) monitor in there. Ought to be interesting.

Yes, I was cutting stuff out during a training. It was a rancidly useless training. All three of them were. Too bad really. Actually, the third one, my internet was so bad, I couldn’t hear more than a third of it. My co-teacher tells me that was OK. It was beyond useless.

I finished cutting out all the pieces for my larger Patreon piece. I’m hoping to iron it together this weekend.

It shouldn’t take long, with only 111 pieces. Plus it’s tiny.

I also started cutting out the pieces for the COVID Daughter quilt. The first night, I got through 1 1/2 yards of Wonder Under, with Kitten’s help.

The second night, I was less efficient…

I got the other half of the second yard done, and and then about 3/4 of the third yard. So much math! So I think I have 2 full yards, a 1/4 yard, and a 1/2 yard left. Or something. Another night, maybe two. Hopefully. I want to be ironing fabric…in the heat. Laughing…it’s every August and September. Ironing in the heat, embroidering on wool in the heat. All crazy things. I think it’s only supposed to be 99 degrees today.

Explains it all.

We did get a bunch of things put away and moved appropriately yesterday during the three hours it took Cox to figure their shit out. Hopefully today will be quick, because I have 4 Zoom calls for school, and I can run them off my phone/iPad, I think…hope…

I love this. I would stitch this.

And proudly display the only Jesus thing in my house.

Can you see the chrysalis? It looks like dead wood. It’s leaning back from the tree trunk, held by two gooey sticky strings…

Man, this shit is fascinating. Here’s the next two generations…

I would’ve thought that big one was the same generation as the one in the chrysalis, but apparently not. Yes, I am watching Lemon Tree TV in my front yard on a daily basis.

Cats. Lounging around on everything.

It’s been hot. I get it.

Calli and her hedgehog.

She begs to go in the pool every day at the moment. I try to let her, when I can.

One of the things we cleared off was the hearth…my camping/hiking stuff had been there since the last trip in February, to Joshua Tree…because I thought we were going camping in April (yes, I know some people would consider two months enough time to put shit away, but their priorities are very different than mine)…

Well, we are camping in October (knock on wood), but this is also the location of the baby lizard and its tail incident, so I finally put everything away. It made me sad, but it will come back out. It will. Camping is something I think we can handle. We aren’t ready for AirBnB or hotels, but camping seems fine.

I’m currently watching my school welcome breakfast announcements, but the sound is awful (it got better…it was them, not me…for once). I’m not on the wifi, because who knows when the Cox guy will show up and I have to be on this welcome thing. It’s so weird to see people sitting so close together. It’s OK…I’m not required to be on it for another 28 minutes, so I have time to finish this. I have to admit to always hating the real first-day, whole-district gathering. It’s always in a church and is just too perky for me. I know it works for some people, though, so I guess that makes it OK. I think most middle-school teachers are more cynical than other teachers. Maybe not.

If you do have kids or grandkids in school, please keep this in mind. Actually, keep it in mind at any time you are having shitty thoughts about teachers…

This is so true. We’ve put hours in so far, mostly not reimbursed. Not paid. That’s the way it always is, and this year won’t change that. So many things need to be translated into online work, or when we go back, into socially distanced or hybrid work. No one is doing that for us, and as we saw in the training yesterday, the online applications aren’t doing it for us either. We listen to all the news stories too, we listen to what our district says (and roll our eyes sometimes), and we see what you all say about us. I don’t need to be a hero. I just want my kids to feel like they’re learning something and that we care about them. I’ll work my ass off to make sure that happens.

OK, today is All Zoom All Day. Hopefully with new and improved internet. We have gaming tonight, but I think I can cut stuff out as well. Art this weekend, as well as school stuff…that’s unavoidable, unfortunately. Be well, all…be safe. And if you’re anxious like me, meditate, exercise, deep breaths, lots of nature (find the chrysalises!), and good thoughts…

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