Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sherman's Fun Run

Every year in the fall, Sherman Middle School has a fun run/walk, and this year's event was better than all other years.  A beautiful day where every kid was required to run or walk, and where every kid (except the few on crutches) actually DID something.  It was well-organized with the UW-Marching band opening for the runners, lots of volunteers, and happy faces.  Here's a slideshow of the kids, volunteers, and teachers during the event.  There are a lot of pictures  - that's a warning, but middle schoolers like to see themselves representing!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

This was a weekend of slow fun.   Originally I wanted to write about my bartending stent at Players Bar and Grill, about my projects at Devils Lake, all the climbing that's going on in and outside, and about the special feelings I have for Brad and the kids.  But just like the readers from "Listen to Your Mother" related in the engaging show I was grateful to attend today, motherhood requires putting  things aside for the sake of the kids.  And that's the case right now - it's that time of the evening where baths, night snacks, Friday folders and lunches are priority - where all these duties seem endless and routine, and when last-minute requests or items get added on the to-do list.  Yikes!  

In the meantime, here's what made today - Mother's Day - special.

These cards and beads for my family bracelet were touching because their sentiments brought their thankfulness to the forefront.  Emma's design of her handmade card is a beauty, Misa told me that she really means what she said in her card, and John-Pio - he took the humorous route and thanked me for cleaning up his poop :) 

In addition to these sentiments, I'd say I had the deepest feelings today when Emma's post came across my Facebook wall.  I feel big love from my girl - Big and Deep.  Thank you Emma.  I adore you!  

Brad presented me with this bike!  A vintage Schwinn cruiser.  He knew I've always wanted an old cruiser, and this one - Stella, was well-loved before and will be loved again.  My tires and saddle have matching flowers and I dig the white walls.  Most of all, because I know how Brad's brain and heart operate, it made me happy knowing that he was happy.  He is sweet and giving - more than I can ever express or reciprocate.

These chocolate covered strawberries came from Geri.   I've always admired Geri as a mom and observed her closely as she raised my nephews and niece.  I filed her those observations away, often referring back to them as I raise my own.  Someday we will celebrate Mother's Day together!

Maybe that time for my sister and I to be together for Mother's Day will be next year, because throughout this performance of Listen to Your Mother, I couldn't help wishing she were with me.  Happily, I was sitting next to two of my favorite mom's in the world - Annie and Stacey, and what better way to spend a beautiful Mother's Day afternoon than with friends and an audience of mothers.
I will be making this show an annual tradition.  To listen to the readers tell their stories, all diverse with content that had me crying and laughing as I felt affirmed, let out heavy sighs, and acknowledged pangs in my heart listening to the women and the one man, tell their stories. 

If there's one person on this earth who I wish I could be next to every day, it's my beautiful mom.  I know many of my own family and friends live faraway from their parents and know the feeling of longing for physical closeness, for the chance to hear your kids ask, "Mom, can I spend the night at Grandma's?" It's a dream of mine - to someday live closer to Geri and my Mom.  Until then, I'm thankful for the phone calls, letters, and email.  While they don't make the pain of missing these two important women in my life go away, the connections help of course.  It felt good to talk to my mom  today - maybe next year I can hug her in person on Mother's Day! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grading Papers vs. Everything Else

Which would you rather do: Read a pile of semi-interesting student papers, or . . .

-Climb new boulder problems
-Go to Happy Hour with best friends
-Meet a newborn baby
-Watch a flag football game
-Observe a dance class
-Spend two hours in a local bookstore
-Eat ice cream
-Read Hunger Games with a kid
-Make homemade tortillas
-Write a letter
-Drink decaf coffee
-Eat Gugeria
-Clean the bathrooms
-Play Mario Cart on an old Nintendo 64 system
-Lead climb indoors
****Read an entire book
-Thumb through a trashy magazine
-Talk to your mother?

During my relaxing weekend, I chose to do everything else and paid for it Monday morning with this pile of papers to read and grade, and a bunch of tests to assess, too.  The good news is that my students wrote interesting and well-organized papers which thankfully, I read and graded every last one of them today.  But if it were not for the onslaught of papers I am expecting tomorrow, I would have procrastinated.

Notice I starred "Read an entire book"? Probably the best part of my weekend was I actually read this entire book on Sunday - something I haven't done in 8 years.
It was an interesting and engaging book that I didn't really "like." Rather, I was both interested and fascinated by how religion interacted and interfered with the growth of individuals. If you want a book that is not predictable, read this one. And if ever I find myself in a quandary over grading vs. everything else, as long as the alternatives are as good as that list I did above, I'd gladly avoid doing the all-consuming task of grading.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Notes I Intercepted

She was so far bent over the desk with her straight black hair covering most of the surface area that she didn't see me roaming the room checking for productivity. This, designed and passed by a student I consider to have a peaceful presence in my classroom.
This one was written by the student-who-laughs-when-she's-nervous. When I asked her to tell me the meaning of her note, she said (laughing): "I don't know. I really don't. I just wrote it. No meaning, really. Just something to do." More laughter followed by a sheepish apology, followed by more nervous laughter.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Boulder goals: Rail Gun Moostache Anchor Point Hipster Modest goals - only four for the season. If I'm in town enough this summer those are the ones I want to get after. There are others out there, but they're in Hueco Tanks. And if I can get to Wild Iris this summer it would make my heart soar to climb on that beautiful limestone. I've got some un-done projects out there as well - ones left over from 5 years ago.