365 Days of Earrings

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Complicated

I felt when I left home that today would be a complicated day. So I chose complicated earrings... many dangling parts: spirals, a pendulum, a tear-drop frame. Today’s complications:
1.     remember to buy gas on the way to school (only one gas station on my route; gas light already on; 16 mile commute...)
2.    borrow some books about the colonial military from the school library
3.    organize student portfolios for the afternoon’s parent-teacher conferences
4.    talk with 2 students about the signed letters of apology they were bringing to school after having forged their mother’s initials on yesterday’s letters
5.    lead a class discussion about the importance of being safe after yesterday’s incident when a boy tossed his lunchbox and its zipper-pull cut a deep gash in a classmates head, causing extensive bleeding...
6.    teach math until 9:30
7.    teach 3 groups of social studies
8.    make sure we’ve submitted our entries for the school literary magazine
9.   noon to 5 PM: the last five parent-teacher conferences
10. order snack for the Lower School for next week
11.  find boxes to turn into forges for the wax museum
12. thunderstorms, some torrential, in the forecast
At 9:25, my co-teacher Claire poked her head into my math class. “There’s a man here who says he’s doing a program at 10 o’clock for the 3rd grade?”
Oops! May 18th. The Revolutionary War Soldier! “Yes! Ohmygosh, I forgot! He dresses up and explains what life was like for a soldier!”
Complicated. But I only needed to teach one group of Social Studies! 
I survived my complicated day. I photographed today's earrings next to my bedside bookshelf. It's complicated. I built it from a wooden crate. I used my grandmother's sewing box to make a shelf. She painted this simple wooden box herself. It held all that she needed to repair the clothing of her family: six children born over 18 years, and a husband.

I wish that I knew more about how my grandmother spent her days. I think of her era as a simpler age, but I imagine that some of her days were very complicated. And that she looked forward to those moments in the day when everyone was asleep; when no one needed her attention; when she could pick up a paintbrush, or a needle, or a good book.

Too bad she didn't have a blog! But I doubt she'd have had the time until those children were all grown and gone. Too many clothes to mend and socks to darn! Letters to write and checkbooks to balance... Simpler days? That's probably what she wondered about the life of her pioneer grandmother!


jwkrumich said...

Good one, Amy. A good glimpse at how complicated teaching 3rd graders, or any grade, can be.

K├Ąthe said...

And the beat goes on! I am going to call you. I think we had similar themes to our days :)