Things to Do

I need to make a list because I can't spend every prep period in my classroom, door locked, lights off, and rereading The Bell Jar. (Did I ever mention on here that my Sylvia was named Sylvia because she was so perky?)

(I look at that photo and can remember exactly what it was like to sleep there that last night, with Sylvia on her back like a LOLcat, my left hand on my stomach. It's technically a sad memory, but I'm just so happy because I can remember every bit of it so vividly, right down to the little black-and-white knots of soft, long fur that would get under her "arms." I'm smiling right now.)

But yes, a to do list. Because things are not getting done. Actually, I take it back, papers are being graded rather quickly. That's new. But, everything else is stacked THIS high, and I'd rather make the kids wait than keep walking under this cloud.

1. Return library books. Only six or so of which will be unread. Only three or four of which are accumulating fines. See, I lost Hearts West, and I kept putting off the library until I could find it. (Any excuse will do when you're catching naps at stoplights on the drive home from work.) But tonight I got the idea to look behind the sofa. Well, I got the idea a few days ago, but tonight I actually did it. And ta da! There it was. How cliche.

2. Get a new district ID. Mine expired in March. I can't spend two nights for free here this summer without it. Nice deal for teachers, huh? And it's completely free! Two nights! I'm not sure what there is to do in Mesquite - maybe ogle the grass? - but it is halfway to the Shakespearean festival. Also, they have ear candling and mustard baths, two things I've always wanted to try. (Really! Except I'm kind of-sort of scared witless of the ear candling. Oh, and I see there is now an article on Wikipedia calling it "dangerous and ineffective." Stupid well-placed misgivings.)

3. Get the annual smog check. I'm still amazed that no other form of inspection is necessary in Nevada. Still, after years of getting ripped off in Texas (where they were often regretting to inform me of a dull wiper blade that would need replacing - and itemizing under both Parts and Labor - before inspection could be passed), it's really nice to just pull up to a shack (check any intersection) and let them hook a computer to the car for a few minutes. Results are automatically transmitted over a BOOP-BOOP-CRACKLECRACKLE!-type modem connection to the DMV. Nice. So I need to do it already.

4. Pay the annual car registration. When done with #3. At least it can be done online. I think it's finally under $100 this year, too. Nice again.

5. Activate new ATM card. From March.

6. Activate new Disney Visa. Also from March.

7. Memorize those last six three lines of the R&J prologue. Maybe I should make this number one, since in just a few hours I'll be setting the whole thing to dance, incorporating the gestures the students have been making up to go with the memorized lines. (Shall we ponder how I'm a better teacher once the yearly observations are done?) Unfortunately, it won't look anything like these dances. If it goes well today, I'll find a book for next year or keep watching that clip until I can make something up. Perhaps even find some little bells for everyone to wear. Darn, I wish it was next year. Well, no, not really. Not at all.

(Here's where I get sucked into YouTube memories for awhile. Somewhere there's a VHS tape in a box at my parents' house with a rather worn spot from rewinds, that's all I'm saying.)

8. Get an oil change. Even if I believe my car manual that says every 5000 miles (as opposed to the every 3000 miles recommended by the people who sell the service), I'll soon be pushing it. Again, see "naps at stoplights" but also add "always reluctant to get oil changed until I clean out the car." It's not that it's messy; it's just full of little things (F&E coupons, Disneyland parking slips, unlabeled CDs, mail that is never brought in, paperbacks) that need organizing. I think an accordion file and a canister of Clorox wipes might solve the whole problem.

9. THE BIGGIE: Turn in the paperwork that is due next Friday or else no one gets paid. It's for that committee. I don't want to talk about it. Yes, the paperwork from November. I still don't want to talk about it. I did tell my group that I planned to do it now, at the last possible minute, but I think they thought I was kidding. Well, that's what they thought in January. By March I guess they realized I was serious. Strangely, we're all still friends. Why are we talking about this?

10. Finish the scrapbook page I started last week. I came home last week, the day I found out that telling the interviewer about my secret dreams to become an astrophysicist may not have been a good career move. (Actually, I knew that the moment the words flew out of my mouth. Note to self: use more guile the next time someone asks, "What would you do if you weren't teaching?" Even I know that these are questions where you pretend to be saying one thing, but you're really talking up what a great natural-born teacher you are. See also: "What is your biggest weakness?") 

When I  came home, Mike was having his 45-minute nap (what he does between when he gets home and I get home), and there was a tiny homemade card on the counter. It was from Mike and all the hammies. The outside told me how much I am loved, and on the inside, there was a little sunflower seed pasted in from Sherman. (11. Take new photos of the hamsters. We are way overdue, and Arthur looks like he's getting on up in months.)

I'm making a page for the card using this kit. (I can only link to some of the paper; the kit is sold out.) Maybe it will inspire 12. Never complain about anything again.

07 May 2008 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)