Posts Tagged With: High School

School

I am officially a stay at home mom these days. At least for the next year or so. How am I managing that on our pared-down lifestyle? I’m going to school.

I have been thinking about babies and careers for a long time now, and when it all came out in the wash, it came out English teacher. Not only are the benefits great and the hours conducive to kids, but I really couldn’t think of a better way to spend my days than surrounded by books and writing. I’m hoping my enthusiasm will be infectious.

I got my fieldwork assignment, though, and I panicked. Because somehow in the middle of all this, I forgot how much I loathed high school. Like, I hated it so much that I graduated in three years just so I wouldn’t have to be there anymore, only allowed because I threatened to drop out. And now I was going back? Voluntarily?

Careers and I have always been uncertain bedfellows. I have worked the longest at Disney costuming, and it took me years to realize it wasn’t going to work. I could put up with bad pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and the horrible commute. What tipped me over was the hours – 12 hour days, midnight parade rehearsals, never a break. In short, no room for children.

I remember feeling, on my last day, not exactly sad, but nostalgic. I looked back through the white steel gates to take it in one last time, the yellow swoop of the Team Disney building, the boxy windows of the Eat Ticket, the gray concrete parade building, where I worked, beyond. I watched dozens of people in different uniforms scan their passes and go though the gates. ‘you’ll never be a part of anything if this scale again,’ I told myself, not unhappy with the prospect but still lingering. Eventually I turned and drove home.

My first week returning to high school just ended. And it was ALMOST just as I had thought it would be, with one major difference. It was like attending your very favorite class in high school all day long. The kids were smart little assess. I enjoyed myself.

As supervisory teacher was showing me around the campus, the quad full of trees and planters, the tan cinder block buildings tucked under the mountains and the blue California sky, I found myself returning to that last day at Disney.

And I realized… I might be embarking on something of that epic scope again. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Advertisements
Categories: Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Old New Year

2017-01-03_13-44-27

Well, it is a new year.  The one thing I like about new years is that they are, even if only for a second, completely perfect in every way.  I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be a hard one, so I was intending to savor the goodness for as long as possible.  We made it longer in perfection than we usually do.  I achieved it for a day and a half before I forgot to do my daily writing and then got into an inane fight with Brian over bookshelves.  I think that’s pretty good.

We celebrated New Year the old person way at my friend Emily’s house – by calling up the ball drop in real time, cheering, toasting, and singing at 9:00.  And then Emily, Brian, and I got to talking and accidentally also celebrated the real New Years at midnight.  It was fun, scrambling for sparkling cider in her kitchen filled with the detritus of the tasty pizza and carrot cake we had just eaten, clinking glasses and singing Auld Lang Syne lustily, but at a volume that wouldn’t wake the children (or Joey who had work early the next day).

It made me think of all the other new years Emily and I spent together.

Especially the one where four of my best high school friends and I went to Knotts Berry Farm with Liz’s youth group.  There was some sort of major Christian rock concert going, which was great with us.  No one was in line for the rides, so we gallivanted across the park riding everything.  In the days before security checkpoints, Emily snuck a bottle of Martinelli’s through the gates in her backpack. She forgot the churchkey.  We struggled valiantly to open the thing without making any headway before we finally managed to borrow a pair of scissors from a vendor.  With much brute strength and (miraculously) no blood, Becca eventually stabbed the metal lid through.  There was cider everywhere, frothing from the jagged opening, covering our hands in stickiness.  We toasted and drank in the night, the lights of the carousel shining over us, the rollercoaster rattling past, midnight come and gone.

And then months later when we all graduated, they presented the bottle to me as a present.  It was mostly cleaned up but the lid still held tight, the jagged scissor opening gaping.  It’s lost to time now. Gone in one of the many moves I made in the mysterious way that happens.  But I remembered it still as we sang in Emily’s golden kitchen this year.  We were, all four of us, such different people back then.  And now we are scattered to the winds; happy, still in touch, still thinking of each other, but hardly in the same city and most of us not even in the same state.

The year rolls forward, though, and so does the changing of ourselves and our worlds.  I know that 2017 will bring bad things.  I just hope it brings plenty of good along with it.

Categories: Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ukulele Banish Evil

The yen for a uke started with Amanda F. Palmer. I watched a video of her ukulele anthem and fell in love with it. She was standing in a color blocked leather coat in a wintry square, singing and strumming to a crowd on a background of black steel and windows. They cheered, laughed, clapped in all the right places. “Stop pretending art is hard,” she sang, confident and beautiful, and the words hit my heart. Because art isn’t really all that hard when you think about it, it’s silencing the voices in your head that tell you your art is no good and you really shouldn’t bother that is difficult. I want to be able to sing that anthem and feel free.

In high school, there was a girl in the theater department who had a ukulele. She and I were good acquaintances – not friends exactly, but in that awkward place where you hang out in the same social groups but never quite make a connection. She would sit in the green room of the theater and play us a song she wrote entitled “I Want to Be a Bad Gangster.” With the bright ukulele for accompaniment, she would toss her blonde hair and declare her love of things like tricked out station wagons that jump up and down. We couldn’t get enough. I wish I remembered her name.

A ukulele can be packed into just about anywhere. It is not a tragedy if a twenty dollar uke gets dirty, or left behind, or accidentally damaged. I could decorate it with stickers and words like “stop pretending art is hard.” We could fall in love, my ukulele and me, and we could make music together everywhere.

That is my real vision: Brian and I clustered around the campfire at night, our gray dome tent pitched in the background, green plastic tablecloth on the decrepit picnic bench. A bag of marshmallows is open at my feet, and I have achieved the perfect marshmallow sugar coma. My heart is racing and I feel content. The orange light of the fire glistens off the face of my ukulele as I strum the strings with my sticky fingers. I sing something bright and funny, and then I sing a love song. The stars shine above us through the branches of the trees, and we are happy.

The Folk Music Store has a light blue one with a dolphin shaped bridge. I think I’ll bring it home this weekend.

If you’re interested, AFP’s Uke video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CBDqQ3UxmM

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.