Ten for a Tuesday

1.) I recently bought Pull-Ups for the first time.  I felt ridiculously embarrassed even walking down the aisle which obviously shelves bladder control products and diapers.  I sincerely worried that people would assume that I was headed to buy me some Depends, since pregnancy/ childbirth really wrecks your ability to sneeze and not lose control over your other functions.  Annnnd I’ve already shared too much.

2.) Speaking of Pull-Ups, Baby Girl had her first day at daycare rocking the Pull-Ups. I expected to pick her up and for her daycare provider to be shaking her head, holding up a drenched Pull-Up, saying, “Yeah.  Not. Ready. Yet.”  Instead, Baby Girl was given a standing O by all of her teachers at her mad potty training skillz.  Holla!

3.) I could not shake my sense of disconcertedness all day long over the conclusion to “The Bachelor.”

4.) Lovey Loverpants is right now picking up our friend Doc Albie at the airport.  I think Albie is the Korean brother I never had.  I absolutely love his Korean guts.

5.) I asked my academic dean if he will observe one of my classes this week.  I could really use some feedback, particularly on how to engage 30 college students on grammar before they all lapse into their hungry-for-lunch comas.

6.) I purchased a new monogrammed Easter bunny basket for Baby Girl.  Why the plastic woven green and yellow $.99 special from Big Lots was not good enough for her, I cannot explain.  Pottery Barn Kids has a way of sending its catalog at precise moments of consumer weakness, I swear.

7.) I cannot imagine a time in the future when I will be as blessed with friends who live so close as the ones I have right now.  And the ones who live far away, they are pretty stellar, too.

8.) I have seen exactly 2 of the movies nominated for the Oscars:  “An Education,” and “Julie and Julia.”  I HIGHLY recommend the former.  I hope Streep wins it for best actress for the latter. I would not mind seeing “The Blind Side” and “Food, Inc.” and I positively want to see “Up.”

9.) I am really homesick to see my parents.  All six of them.

10.) I recently took a CPR refresher course and I am feeling so much more confident about my ability to not morph into a paralyzed garden gnome in a moment of crisis.  I am giving my students 10 extra credit points if they get certified or recertified in CPR.

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Baby Girl reading in a cafe.  She’s soooo Parisian.

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And so flirtacious.

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Teach

It occurred to me recently that teachers deserve a little more grace.

When you think about the teachers who Ruined it For You, as in the teacher who ruined Beowulf for you due to his arrogant meanderings around his dissertation on this very tome NOT THAT I EVER SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF AN HONORS BRIT LIT TEACHER OF THIS ILK, think if you ever gave them a chance to redeem themselves.

Did you? Did you tell them, Wow, you totally threw Beowulf under the bus for me, but Shakespearean love sonnets? Those weren’t half bad.

The point is that teachers only get you for a year, or maybe a semester. Not like your parents who generally get a lifetime of opportunities. Your teachers can make you feel like molten shoe leather. And then you not only despise them, but you despise their material. They don’t get a second shot. But your parents can disparage you, demoralize you, disown you for a temporary spell. But then later they can totally become this awesome force of life in your and your daughter’s world and entire biographical chapters of ill will are erased.

I’m trying so hard, friends. I’m trying so hard to be a sensitive teacher. I’m fixing my mind on the things I will say and the things I will govern myself from saying, remembering that these students are only 19. They are someone’s daughter. They are someone’s son. I am totally frustrated at times and so…just not comprehending how my students cannot complete a reading assignment that took me 15 minutes this morning to read and annotate!?!

But I only get them for a semester. They are only a temporary audience to me, but the way I make them feel about themselves and the way I make them feel about English Composition can last, well, pretty much forever, right?

And that is the burden that I now know every instructor carries. It is a heavy one, and now it is mine.

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First grade. 1985.

Wee Kendra

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