(Before the Sleep Part)

October 19, 2018

Ah yes, best-laid plans and all. To be fair, my to-do list for yesterday was longer than the space allotted in my calendar and I crossed off most of the things, so that’s a plus. The minus was that art totally fell by the wayside. My exhaustion won out. I guess art didn’t totally lose, because I cleaned up and packed up two quilts that are shipping out this morning. Doing that required a trip to UPS and one to Home Depot, so it wasn’t a small task.

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And now those get crossed off the list. That’s a plus. I also sent all the emails I was supposed to send. I went to the photographer’s and got my quilt and sent the stuff for that. I guess that’s art too.

This thing changed its name at the last minute. I wrote a short poem back in 2013 and that’s what this piece is based on, for a show called Women: Art and Poetry.

Art Quilts and Fiber Arts

Originally I was going to take one line from the poem, but at the last minute, staring at the pictures, I changed my mind and took another line from the poem (this poem is super short…there are not a lot of lines). So here is Sweet Delicious. She’s 33″ w x 51″ h. And she’ll be at the Lyceum Theater downtown in November. The opening is December 1 from 7-8 PM. Parking sucks (well, there’s Horton Plaza), but there are many places to go eat dinner afterward, so that’s a plus.

Calli. Still disturbed by the mess in the backyard. The mess is stalled.

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Really we’re trying to find MORE places for you to pee, sweetie.

I did make it to my quilt class, although I decided not to take any of the Wonder Under to cut, because I can still fit more stuff on the pieces I’ve got. I worked on the butterfly instead, bullion knots in freakin’ rayon thread (tear your hair out sweetie), plus some Pekinese stitch and I can’t remember the name of the other one…crested chain? Maybe?

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Slow going on this, but enjoyable. I’ve already spent probably 4 hours on this butterfly, just to give you an idea of the time it takes to do these. But it’s very relaxing. Except for the rayon.

Coming back home, I had all the intentions in the world to get some more tracing done…at least a few hours. I ate dinner, graded for a bit (I finished NOTHING in the grading world yesterday), and then fell asleep multiple times on the couch. I would rouse myself and think, OK, get up and trace, and then I’d realize I’d fallen asleep again. At some point, I gave up and did that in a bed. It made more sense. I used to be able to shake off one night of shitty sleep. Hell, there was an 8-month period when I rarely got more than 5 hours a night (not healthy), but now, now apparently I need more sleep.

Tonight though…tonight I can trace. I’ve got nothing else on. (I’m going to start earlier. Before the sleep part.)


Unless This Music’s Thumping*

October 14, 2018

First of all, I have a friend whose husband was in an accident and is currently in a coma. She’s young, three kids, the youngest is still a nursing babe in arms. If you are so inclined, she’s going to need financial help no matter what happens…just to keep her head above water for a bit. The GoFundMe is linked here. She was my partner in teaching science a few years back…I know how amazingly strong and creative she is, but I also know how devastating this is for her. Please help if you can. If you’re one of my quilting friends…a chunk of fabric came from her before she moved to Morocco for a while a couple years ago…in fact, this piece, By All Means, is entirely made from her fabrics and some of her rejected blocks for a show about recycling materials.

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Because I don’t piece stuff. And I get a lot of pieces of fabric from people who are getting rid of stuff. Anyway, it’s hard to know how to help in this situation, and I’m not a prayer person…I’m just sending telepathic bolts of Get Better Dammit toward Paul…but know that what she really needs is money right now. And a miracle, if you believe in those.

Anyway. Sigh. Bad things happening to good people.

Friday night, I went to my stitching meeting, but drove back through a lightning storm, arriving home to a bunch of frantic dogs…well, really only one who was truly frantic. This was around 11 PM, when most everyone was sleeping (one cat, three dogs), except for Calli, who was still trying to dig through the floor to get to a non-thunder place.

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She kept going until around 1:30 AM…ugh. This one just barked at it, but was unperturbed. He barks at everything.

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I didn’t get much done on this at the meeting…just butterfly bullion knots. First I did the sleeves on the quilt that needed to go to the photographer.

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I tried one of her mom’s shirts on Calli…I don’t know if it helped…but this was a calmer moment than the ones before.

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I had a ton to get done Friday night, but mostly I held the dog.

Oh yeah, I’m fascinated by these moons. I keep buying them. I don’t know what I want to do with them. You can find them here. I figure I will make a fabric home for them at some point…

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Anyway, so I got nothing done Friday night. At some point, I remembered that I had planned on some hand embroidery on this one…the one that was due to the photographer at noon. Now could I have emailed him and asked for more time? Of course…but I didn’t. Because I need to get going on the other one. I got up and started stitching.

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I had about an hour and a bit…and I used every minute of it…

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Nothing fancy…just added texture and color.

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I like doing this. I should do more.

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That requires me to finish quilts earlier than deadlines though so I can spend time doing that.

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Anyway, it’s at the photographer. I ran some errands, and was home for about 25 minutes, long enough to eat lunch…then off to the first opening of the day…

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This is at the Boehm Gallery at Palomar College. You can see my two quilts hanging on the back wall.

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It’s a very cool show with lots of interesting work. Below is Kathleen Mitchell’s glass piece Rough Childhood. Mammogram is the quilt on the left; Part-Time Oasis is on the right.

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These two bird women by Maria de Castro are beautiful. Hoopooe on the right, Hawaiian Neme Goose on the left.

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Then Cheryl Tall’s piece O Happy Days in front of my quilts…

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There were many more pieces in the show…it’s up until November 8, I believe.

Meanwhile, the girlchild is still playing soccer, in case you were wondering…but I only see bits and pieces of it online.

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I was grading stuff at that point, finishing that heinous assignment that’s been plaguing me for weeks. It’s done! Then I got an email about parking that reminded me that I had signed up to see an exhibit at Sparks Gallery Saturday night, since I knew the man was playing in yet another show that I couldn’t crash (guest list only)…so I drove downtown to this beautiful sunset.

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The show was a fundraiser for Space4Art, which has a new property and is trying to get money to build an affordable space for artists to show and live where gentrification won’t kick us out. What a concept, San Diego…instead of closing them all down or turning them into million-dollar condos.

I really liked this piece, Untitled (Anti-Analogy) by Tml Dunn.

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And of course, my friend Linda Litteral’s huge long work from her Meditations series displayed in the window…

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Now if I’d had more energy or drive, I would have driven down to Bread and Salt for the Latin American festival of art…it looked awesome. But I knew I needed to draw. So I came back and inked the stuff I’d penciled in on Thursday night…

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Still working on this section…added some more stuff in here…

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Took some brain breaks to hang out with Kitten, who ventured out because the dogs are at me ex’s house with the boychild…

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She helped me draw (not)…

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Still more work up here…although I headed down to the legs first.

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Not done with those…and so I have more nature stuff to go in the bottom and to the left, and then to decide what to do with the upper right. We’ll see. I put in about 2 hours of drawing with a lot of sitting around being tired. Two nights running I’ve gone to sleep horrendously late…not by choice, but that’s just the way it was. This week will be interesting. I’m taking one day off to help with something…so maybe I’ll get caught up on some work in between that. But I also need to finish the drawing and get going on this quilt.

But first, groceries and parent email for school and shower and probably not in that order. And I’m hungry.

*Cake, Love You Madly


Reasonable Requests

October 1, 2018

OK, the internet is working but who knows how long it will hang out here. We have another solution we’ve ordered and is on the way. Hopefully it will solve the problem. But I’m actually typing this on my computer instead of my iPad, my phone, or my school laptop at the moment. A blessing!

So. Saturday. I finished grading a bunch of stuff and then went in and finished ironing. You can see I have Kitten as a companion AND the internet was working. I have no idea what I’m watching…either Luther or Maniac on Netflix.

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It only took another 30 minutes or so to iron it down to the background. In total, this quilt ironed together in 6 hours and 45 minutes…

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The wonder of smaller quilts. Then, since I was waiting around anyway, I started stitching it down.

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I guess I could have graded something else, but like I’ve said before…I don’t like giving up my entire weekend to school. Kitten was happily ensconsed in my chair. (Dear WordPress..that is TOO a word.)

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More stitching down…it took just under 3 hours to stitch it all down.

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So I finished on Saturday afternoon…well, evening. Then a relaxed dinner at home with a weird movie and some stitching with cat paws on the leg…

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After the movie, I drew for a bit. I’m skipping one of the shows I wanted to enter because I don’t have time to make something for it…really…I could, but it would hurt. I need to relax a bit. So I’m aiming a little further out. I needed to work out some ideas in my head, and this was a good start. It’s going to need a redo, but I took a bunch of notes to myself and I have a plan in my head now.

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Sunday brought dogs. Some are more social than others. Simba, we’re talking to your cranky butt. He used to play with Katie, but he’s been cranky this time.

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Just wants people cuddles. We had storm clouds come in and rain on us for about 14 seconds…the remnants of a tropical storm coming up through Mexico are going to just tickle us with horrendous humidity as they go by.

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This is after Sunday dinner…got the road done in that section and started work on the butterfly, the last block in July. Then the tree and house, plus the giraffe and horned thing on the bottom are August. I have September sewn down and then was messing with October in here last night, trying to figure out what to do with all the bits and pieces…

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With October, then I sew the whole quilt together. I’m not sure what happens in November? I think borders. I’m not sure where that bag is. It’ll take me some time to get there though.

See, I come in here and then they lie down all over the floor again. It’s like Twister getting around them.

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Here’s our newest baby gecko. It’s hiding in a little hole in the sink drain down there. Can’t get it out. We should name him. Fred.

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We’ve had a lot of them this year.

So after dinner, I did some school stuff, sort of finished progress reports. I have a few things I’ll update today, and then I’m done. So I pinbasted this one…

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AND this one. Because once you’ve cleaned the floor and moved stuff out of the way, you might as well do all of them.

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So that’s two wool quilts ready for quilting. Ha! Well I don’t know when that will happen. I guess I finished one over the summer that had been languishing for years. I seem to like working to deadlines at the moment, so they tend to take precedent over the other stuff.

Anyway, so I can start quilting tonight, if I have the energy. I’m running on extra tired for some reason. Still. Take the vitamins, eat the foods, get the exercise. It took a long time to fall asleep last night. I’m feeling it this morning. As always. May this week be less tiring than it looks when I stare at the calendar. May there be art every night. Those seem like reasonable requests.


Wonky Is Good

September 29, 2018

I dream of quiet mornings with no itchy dogs, no squawky cats, no groaning puppy (that’s the noise he makes when he wants out of the crate. If you’re anti-crate, feel free to sleep with him in your house for a while and realize what he does if he’s NOT crated. I’ve never had to crate a dog every night past real-live puppyhood.). I dream of sleeping until I naturally wake up, that means NOT my bladder or someone else in the house or a neighbor or one of those damn furry creatures who mostly I love and care for and pet and cut big tangly bits out of their butt fur and wash their putrid infected belly bits (hmmm…was this a good choice?). This morning? Not an option. So I’m awake but cranky about it. What’s new? I have a shitload to get done this weekend, not the least of which are blood tests before my doctor flips her lid (I told her all along it would be today…IDK why she didn’t believe me.). Also prepping and delivering two quilts to Palomar College, opening in two weeks…that’s first on my list after writing this and showering and eating. Then blood letting (need to drink a ton of water first and I’m not awake enough to do that). Then come back here and keep grading until the cows come home. I’d really like to iron my quilt together too. Going to figure out where that fits.

Yesterday was Picture Day at school. My co-teacher and I like to go all out. She brought the dry ice and the tiara, I brought the unicorn head thingie.

IDK why anyone lets us out of our classrooms. Or lets kids into them.

I made kids measure rocks all day. On Monday, we’ll measure blocks. They can only measure things that rhyme. It’ll be socks next.

Then off to the last session of Warhammer, after 2 years or so. None of us died. Only two mutated and one was reversed and the other one wasn’t so bad. I went insane from corruption…no biggie…I’m still alive, running my dwarven mushroom farm underground, back in the dwarf kingdom, managing some kingly engineering department. Where I should be.

Yes, I stitched. I was really tired. If I didn’t stitch, I would fall asleep. We’ll game again in 2019. We’ll do some fun stuff on and off until then, I’m sure. Managing a game around the schedules of 6 busy adults is not easy, but it’s one of the few regular social things I do these days. I work too much.

I have lots of drawings in my head right now about the Kavanaugh crap. I don’t want someone that angry in the Supreme Court. But reading a few high-school friends’ commentary about whether to believe Ford or not…it must be nice to be a white man and be able to make those decisions with zero understanding of what it feels like on the other side. I guess a lot of us are feeling a little battered at the moment. Speaking of battered, I’ve got these two male students who are talking to me, who are connecting, who are still driving me nuts with their work ethic, but they’re talking. So we chat about life and their weekends (both playing Fortnite) and their moms and it’s a step in the right direction. Because they have shit in their heads that keep them from working…I have a lot of faith in a 12-year-old’s ability to move past that and be awesome.

Here’s progress…working on the road, which is just a hell of a lot of stitching…

I like how wonky it is. I guess this one is my new post-dinner focus for a while…which is good, because without gaming, I don’t know when I’d work on it otherwise. There’s no shortage of wooly blocks of the month in my house. I really like the feeling of stitching and embroidering through wool. It’s very relaxing. I might need some of that today. Although I think it won’t happen.

OK, on to the next step to get my tired butt in gear…


Almost Ironed

September 28, 2018

Computer refusing to function again. Probably going to have to manage that soon. It’s frustrating. I’m not even sure where to start. It’s interesting how much we rely on the internet for our existence…for those of us who remember having to function without it. It was on the internet I read the statements made yesterday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, since I was at work all day. Very triggering stuff. I don’t know any woman who could do what she did and be lying about it. I don’t care that he was in high school…it’s a testament to his character, as was his testimony yesterday. He’s unfit to be in the most powerful court in the country. He already was, based on his personal bias. This country I live in right now? It’s ugly. It’s always been ugly though, big parts of it…racism, sexism. I guess it’s just more obvious now. In our faces. There’s white privilege showing. If I were a POC, the ugly would have been in my face all along.

Yes, my head is in a place. Knowing what’s wrong is one thing. Knowing how to make it right is the problem.

I got home early yesterday, but the boychild and I had to deal with the flea infestation at the parentals, so we did that. And then I tried inputting grades, but the computer refused after a while…so I went back to the school computer. Got those in (oh so slowly…10-key input is so much faster).

The good news is that I finally finished all the embroidery on those 96 balls. I don’t remember when I started this…late 2013? Probably 2014…

She Spargo’s design, stitched by me at every soccer game I went to for many years. Sat around for at least a year, getting the guts to put all those stems and balls on. Supposed to be done ages ago. Now I just need to quilt it, which is funny because I still haven’t quilted the one I finished before it.

Cat and dog and new keyboard (finally…most of the letters are worn off)…

Time to iron. I was super tired. This week…

Cat and bird…

Hair and tree done…fussy skinny pieces.

All the leaves ready to go.

So everything is ready to get ironed on the background…once I finish grades. Ugh. I like it so far though. I wasn’t sure in the beginning. Hopefully the background color works. I guess we’ll see.


I Killed Another Red Pen…

September 27, 2018

Oh my. Two early mornings in a row. I keep going to bed a little earlier, thinking it will help. It’s not. Of course, yesterday’s 11-hour work day did not help. I meant to leave work early, but we revised everything after school for today’s lesson, so I got home late and then sat right down and graded more of the science units. I finished the last class at 10:30 PM. Dinner was in there somewhere. I had help with that.

I killed one red pen…

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Some kid shoved their homework (that they didn’t do) into the science unit. Good way to hide it, man! I’ll never see it in there. You probably think you turned it in! I did actually have kids turn it in blank. I guess it saves them in the moment, because I see 4 papers and don’t call them on it right then and there. I just hand it back with a zero on it though. So I’m not sure how that works.

I only got two balls done after dinner. Slow stitching. Or slow eating. Not sure which. There was a puppy though!

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I think there’s only 3 balls left. Maybe tonight?

Kitten doesn’t really like anyone but me. They all scare her. Here’s boychild making friends with the use of catnip, rubbing it all over her face. She was a little drooly.

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She does like the head scratches. My parents’ dog, Katie, is behaving better this year. Not as much cat chasing. Kitten has made it down the hallway without being chased. Guess Katie is getting old.

So yeah, at 10:30, I came in to iron, after packing up all the school stuff. I only got about 45 minutes in…too tired. I finished the belly and the breasts and that other hand, plus the neck.

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There’s about 120 pieces left. One night if I weren’t doing other stuff. I might get it done tonight…it’s possible. I also have to find two quilts that need to be delivered on Saturday, though…make sure I have the hanging hardware, iron them, dehair them, roll them up. Meanwhile, my doctor is harassing me for more blood tests. I told her the weekend (I seriously can’t handle that after school right now…I didn’t even leave early enough yesterday…or Tuesday…or Monday even.). I will do it Saturday. Along with everything else I can’t get done right now.

Deep breaths. Caffeine. The patience of a saint (I don’t have that last one. Wish me luck.).


Needing the Art…

September 24, 2018

Well I worked a lot this weekend. I got a lot done. It never feels like enough, because there is always more, but it was a good two days. Until your SIL asks what you did all weekend, and all you can say is “graded shit.” Well. It needed to be done. The next few weeks are busy…more for my date-night companion than for me, but mine will translate into more grades (progress reports are due next week) and hopefully artmaking. I carved out time yesterday for a significant chunk of that. At some point, I’ve done enough grading and I need to do something else.

One thing we did (well, the boychild did) was replace the wireless card in my computer, trying to solve the internet problem in here.

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Spiders had been in there. Weird. The plus is that when I have internet, it is now much faster. The minus is that I am still losing the internet…but only on the computer. The laptop and other devices work fine in here. Sigh. So that’s still a problem that needs solving.

I did do some work in the morning, schoolwork, but after 8 or so hours on Saturday of that, I wasn’t giving up the rest of the day. I started ironing around 4:30 PM…

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This one shouldn’t take long…

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I took a break to make this week’s lunches and start dinner prep. It was group cook night…make your own damn pizza. Although I did the dough prep.

So during dinner’s TV watching hour, I did more of these. I didn’t get much done last week on this.

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I think I still have 7 of them left. SLOOOWWW. I remember predicting the end of July. Maybe the end of September? That’s a little less than a week away. I only work on it when we’re both home and eat together, so last week, I think that was one night? Maybe 2?

Anyway, after that, it was back to the ironing. These are all the 100s, in stacks by 10s.

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I started by ironing the fruit and the fruit bowl separate and then putting them where they belong…

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Then working on the legs…back hip and roots first, then back foot…

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Simba was with me for a while…

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Here’s the whole front leg done…

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And then the heart and starting on the front arm.

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The bird and nest are done, but I quit before ironing all the leaves on. It was just about midnight at that point.

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And I would have had to lay out all the 300s and cut out a lot of the leaves (they’re small) before being able to iron them down. I do try to head to bed around midnight. So I ironed for 3 1/2 hours and I’m more than halfway done. I won’t get that much time tonight, but I will get some. We’ll see how well I do, but I would hope to be stitching down by Wednesday or so. I don’t have any night meetings this week until Friday, so that’s a plus. I do need to grade a lot still though…hopefully mostly at school. We’ll see.

I did not get the copyediting job, so that’s actually kind of a plus. He wasn’t the most accurate guy when it came to communication. Turns out he wasn’t just ignoring me for days…he was getting other quotes, which I don’t mind…but TELL me you received my bid and then TELL me why you aren’t answering. Geez. Professionalism. Meanwhile, I have students begging me to grade their late work (I do that once a week and I did it Sunday morning) and demanding that I change their grade because I didn’t tell them about the back page (I did) and kids losing their science folders in their backpacks (yikes!). Sigh. This job carries a significant amount of frustration, true. That’s why I love (and need) the art so much. Hell, I’d need the art no matter what I did for a living.