Drawing in My Head…

I think I am going to go to sleep tonight and wake up sometime next Wednesday. And hopefully all the things I need to do and/or have forgotten to do will magically be done and I will feel refreshed and ready to take on the last 9 weeks of school. Damn, that sounds long. Not as long as 38 weeks, but long. I’ve managed to grade a ton of stuff in the last three weeks, so I will go into break with two academic assignments, a couple of effort questions, and (so far) 4 classes of packets. I’ve finished one of the 8th grade packets; they’re small and easy to grade. 7th grade is probably coming home with me. I have to clean my room enough so that they can clean the floors (finally! last cleaned in August), and there’s a 90-minute talent show assembly today, so both of those things are exhausting. But doable. I can see the light! At the end of a long tunnel. It’ll be fine. Bad news the other day was bad. But not devastating. Ah well. Change. It’s neverending. Just keeps happening. Roll with it. Maybe roll over on your back and look like a dead bug, but roll nonetheless.

Artwise, the break is looking awesome. There’s a show I want to go see, I have two quilts ready to iron together, one of which needs to be done by the time break is over, I’m going to have time to draw the two quilts that are hanging out in my head at the moment. One of them is school shootings again. Because you know what? They haven’t stopped.

When I have problems falling asleep or falling back to sleep at night, I imagine where I am in the current quilt and walk myself through the next steps. My counselor said I could also think about the next quilt. That might have been a mistake. I drew an entire anti-gun/pro-kid quilt in my head the other night and now I have to draw it for real.

So much truth. And this one is heartbreaking.

Certainly I think about whether I’ll get to retirement without living through a school shooting at my own school. I think all teachers probably do. It’s exhausting on top of everything else we do.

So there’s all that, and then there’s making art. I actually have a second quilt that drew itself in my head in the last week, so I have some drawing to do at some point.

Wednesday night, I cut stuff out.

I was feeling close to done, and sure enough, last night, I finished.

It took 6 hours and 45 minutes over the last week. Tonight I’ll sort them and clean up in the studio a little bit so I can iron. I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to start ironing, but if I don’t tonight, I will tomorrow. Because I don’t have to grade anything tomorrow or lesson plan anything. I will need to at some point during break, but it doesn’t have to be tomorrow. Looking forward to a break from all that work, every day, nonstop, panicking regularly about what the fuck I’m doing in 8th grade. Don’t want to normalize that.

I find this funny, but I don’t think I’m either. There’s a regular disagreement about silverware, but whatever.

Oh yeah! One of my students painted me this…

She also wrote me a long note on the back and that helped me get through a long day. Kids are good. In general. Even the annoying ones (which she is not).

Another kid I’ve had for almost 2 years now actually showed up in my classroom after school and asked for help (!) after never doing that before, and then she went home and did the thing and emailed me she was done and I am so damn proud of her for doing all that. She’s super shy and quiet and honestly anxious maybe frightened and I’m so happy she got to that point. A good day if that’s all I look at (I should learn to just look at that and not the annoying tiresome bits, yeah?).

Simba has a new friend…

My ex got a new dog, a puppy. Anwen is 14 weeks, so this is a good comparison for the future when she is full grown next to Simba, who is middle-aged at this point. She’s adorable and sweet and I’m looking forward to seeing her grow up.

OK. It’s the final countdown. Eight hours until they are gone and I am finalizing my disaster of a room. Spring Break is a reset button. Get back to eating healthy and more exercise. REST for fuck’s sake. Let my teaching brain have a break. It’s time.

2 thoughts on “Drawing in My Head…

  1. It’s interesting that the Cathy Wilcox cartoon showed up in the US. She is one of our best political cartoonists: sharp and incisive and respected by all sides. So much so that she often, as with this one, actually makes you cringe. A big presence in the political landscape who holds a mirror up to us.
    I can’t imagine how teachers in the US keep turning up every day. Yes, I had some tough challenges in my 40+ year career, but the fear of being shot, or having my students shot and killed in front of me, never entered my mind. And the solution some of your representatives come up with: arming teachers: just makes me want to vomit. I feel for each and every one of you.


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