the melancholeric

M. 25. Virgo. INFJ. Degree in fiber art. Waldorf training drop-out. Elementary School Teacher-to-be. Finding my way through the world without a compass.

Also, why does every online parenting community seem to be made up of women having their first children at 42? They make me feel like I’m a super weirdo for wanting to have a kid at 26.

*sigh* Being bone-tired and hungry after a full day of teaching and night class turns me into a genuinely unkind person.

omg I have the bed to myself tonight for the first time in…months? years?

I am one part excited, one part freaked out.

things i want: a list

I want to own a bungalow house here in my Midwestern university town. I would like it to be in one of the walkable neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and sidewalks, one that isn’t inundated with drunk freshmen on a Friday night. 

I want my bungalow house to have a wide, deep front porch with a friendly red front door and a porch swing. I want front steps to place pumpkins on that my kids have carved for Halloween. I want to be able to greet neighborhood trick-or-treaters, who might be my students, in a costume every year.

I want to be one more safe, friendly entity in the neighborhood—a true neighbor, who does my part to make my piece of the world a better place and participates in making and maintaining positive changes.

I want a career working with children every day. I want to be the kind of teacher that honors children’s ideas and experiences, one who allows exploration and wondering and doing. I want to be a part of the movement that puts an end to filling in circles with number two pencils and begins an era of truly child-centered education.

I want children of my own to love and care for, to pack school lunches and read bedtime stories. I want to see my husband become the loving and nurturing father that I know he will be. I want to see us grow together and watch each other unfold.

I want to remember to harness my artistic talents on a regular basis, whether I am knitting a pair of tiny mittens or drawing the imaginary worlds that my students narrate. I want to try my hand at publishing one day and produce beautifully illustrated picture books that tell the stories I yearn to read.

Too often I surrender to the ever-present cloud of depression that hangs above my head, and I allow it to envelop me in mist so thick that I feel like I’ll never be able to see again. I needed to make myself a list of reasons to keep feeling my way through it—a reminder of the things that I have yet to accomplish.

Self-portrait as a young child with images drawn at that age

Self-portrait as a young child with images drawn at that age

Yesterday’s in-class, 40-minute visual response to Eisner’s “What Can Education Learn From the Arts About the Practice of Education?”

Yesterday’s in-class, 40-minute visual response to Eisner’s “What Can Education Learn From the Arts About the Practice of Education?”

Somewhere and somehow I allowed myself to be sidetracked, to be molded into a new and different identity that never quite fit properly. And now that I see that and realize what happened, I am scrambling to recapture myself. I am afraid that there is too much distance now for that to happen.

an incomplete list of goals for 2014 (and beyond)

•prepare for pregnancy
(vitamins, exercise, cut back on alcohol)
•get pregnant
(ideally in april)
•further the cause for Waldorf education in my city
•graduate grad school
•keep building my business
•work on illustrating
•stop caring so much about what others might be thinking
•get more in touch with my religion
•clean up our property
•plant a killer garden
•do some canning, freezing, and putting away

please, sir. may i have some more…recess?

I’m writing a paper about the importance of unstructured free time in the school day, and it’s caused me to reflect on my previous place of employment. I was the (only) recess monitor every day, and it pretty much killed me. If the temperature was 32 or below, I was not allowed to take the students outside to the playground. Instead, I had to take them into the gym where they could play a structured, group game (the admin thought the kids “couldn’t handle” free time) with me serving as the referee. My students were only given 15 minutes of recess a day, but when lining up and travel are factored in, it was closer to 10. Loss of recess was the main form of punishment at the school, and students lost recess for any number of crimes—talking in class, not doing homework, being off task, being disruptive, crying in class (yes, this happened more than once)…the school had a student body of only 68 kids (K-4), and on any given day, 10% might sit out of recess.

 So after being cooped up in a gym where there was limited socialization and zero opportunity for unstructured play, the students were funneled into the lunchroom. And several days each week, they ate silently in the dark as punishment for being “too loud” in the cafeteria.

Dear God, it’s like I worked at the orphanage in Oliver or something.

martinmas

Martinmas has come and gone this year, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the Martinmas I celebrated in 2011. One of the positive memories of my time at Waldorf teacher training that I cling to.

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