Tuesday, July 5, 2016

who I used to be

Read: My great goal for this month? Get a library card. Until then, I've been experimenting (out of necessity) with reading ebooks borrowed from my old library. I'm working on Geri Larkin's "The Chocolate Cake Sutra" in this way. I did finish rereading my own copy of Jose Saramago's "All the Names," and I'm hoarding an airport purchase - Haruki Murakami's "Hear the Wind Sing." I think of it as my emergency book (am I the only one who needs a few books set aside for peace of mind?) I've also been reading, in fits and starts, and bits and pieces, volume 1 of Proust via Project Gutenberg. I was inspired by this article.

Surprised by: By pure chance, I happened upon the blog that I wrote as a second-year teacher. It was strange to go back and read about those kids - all these years later, I still remember who was who (I used pseudonyms for everyone). My latest year in the classroom was my most challenging, and reading my old blog entries reminded me that there's always been challenges and that I brought a lot of hope and determination into my work. Curious? Click here to read my old blog.

Missing: My old life, and the comfort of having a dojo to practice at three times a week, and the comfort of having a fantastic group of people to meditate with once a week.

Grappling with: CHANGE. I'm trying my utmost to enjoy this as my usual summer break, but so much has changed - it's definitely an odd feeling to know that I won't be going back to the classroom as a full-time teacher next school year. Part of me is relieved -  slaving over writing a 30-page script for the first day, the frantic classroom cleaning and preparation, the anxiety dreams - they're all stressful. But at the same time, I feel as if I've lost a part of my identity. This is ironic, as I actively resisted the idea of being a classroom teacher for years. I remember being interviewed for my AmeriCorps VISTA position in an elementary school, being asked whether I was interested in eventually becoming a teacher, and honestly replying, "no." But now, I ask myself, "Can I still call myself a teacher?" Add in the anxiety of job hunting, and it's no wonder that this is a singular summer.
Grateful for: I don't want to end on an angst-ridden note, so I will list a few things I'm enjoying right now:
  • Trader's Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar. Pure yum. I might need one to stash with my emergency book. 
  • Some of the Vegas weather: midnight lightning storms, dramatic sunsets.
  • A fresh start.
  • Fresh blueberries with Greek yogurt for breakfast.

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