May 23, 2011

End of the World? Or just end of the school year?

As I headed out of town for a workshop on Saturday, several friends texted me to find out what my plans were for The Rapture.  Did I have dog care arranged for Toshi?  Did I leave a will?  Where would I be?  I was somewhat speechless as I had no idea the world would be ending so abruptly.  I guess I really do live in a cave.

Working at a high school, I tend to think of things in terms of our calendar.  Right now, we've begun senior finals, and as much as we love our senior class, most teachers are looking for the relative peace that will come when they leave at the end of this week.  We'll have a couple of weeks with the remaining students and then final exams.  This time of year seems to really speed up for me.  I have to have a sort of exit interview with all of my graduating seniors, prepare their exam, continue teaching and holding IEPs for the students who remain, and it seems like I'm constantly submitting grades and paperwork to ensure that no one graduates or leaves our building with a textbook that belongs to us.

I love this time of year with my students.  As a caseload teacher, I have the opportunity to develop more intimate relationships with a handful of students and watch them grow over the four years that they're here at our school.  I look fondly back and pictures of scrawny fourteen year-old boys and shy girls that walk in as freshmen, and compare them to the young adults that will walk across the stage at graduation next week.  As much as anyone who isn't their parent can be, I swell with pride at their accomplishments.  For some, it has been a hard road to struggle through high school with a learning disability, for others it's been socially difficult as they try to understand how to navigate friendships with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  I can say that they've all grown in ways that I would never have imagined four years ago.  I'm so proud to be able to say I've been a witness to their process.  I hope that I've helped them achieve their goals, and taught them skills to move independently through the world on their own.  Sometimes I think we, as teachers, lose sight of these amazing experiences that we have with our students as we slog through the final push of the semester.  These are the times that make me proud to be an educator, and the things I need to remember when half of my class shows up without their homework on a dreary day in March.

In the midst of all of this busy-ness I was totally unaware that I should be preparing for the ever-after.  I've been cleaning my classroom and working through some designs and finishing some UFOs. . .Toshi would have been scrounging for food on her own should the predictions have come true!

Tonight is the last class for my May group.  We've enjoyed an influx of students this month that have all brought interesting projects, and have inspired me to finish up some projects that require a little TLC so I can begin some new ones!  I have less than 100 yards of hemp to knit up, a few ends to weave in, and I'll have a new summer t-shirt that I started way back in August intending for it to be a fall wardrobe addition.  Two vests just need some button bands and they'll be done too, those I thought would be good spring additions, but now that we've had a few warm days they'll have to wait until the fall to be worn.  I have two socks, but sadly, they're not a pair. 

My goal is to spend the better part of this week cleaning up loose ends in the knitting world so I can begin a KAL with my friend Matlie.  We've done well recently when we decide to knit the same pattern, and encourage each other along the way.  A friend at our guild meeting was wearing a beautiful sweater that was on both of our to-do lists, and we we too jealous to not knit one for ourselves.  It's knit in a bulky yarn, and should work up quickly--but we're both trying to decide if we should use a cotton yarn for more likelihood to wear it in summer air-conditioning, or if we should use a wool (I've got Cascade 128 superwash in my stash) and plan ahead for the late fall.  (We'll be knitting Juliet, just in case you'd like to join us!)

So, I guess my post is just to let you know that I'm still here.  Still knitting.  Still blogging.  Hope to hear from you soon, and see what you're working on!

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Thanks for reading, I'm eager to read what you have to say in response. Your comments help me feel that I'm not writing into a void. . .keep them coming!