Debriefing April


It’s the first of May. A memorable date for me, but I won’t address that quite yet. First, a debrief of the last month. During the month of March, I posted in this blog every single day. I loved doing it, the urgency of getting it done or fail the challenge.  l loved seeing what I’d find to write about each day and I loved knowing that people were reading and responding to what I’d written. That eased off this month. I did some journal work using Natalie Goldberg’s memoir book, but I only wrote a few posts. I plan to rectify that in May.

Exercise This month my exercise routine completely fell apart. I got sick in the second week of the month and a little cold rapidly became pneumonia. It has taken an inordinately long time to recover my strength. So, I will go back to the gym on Tuesday next. I feel like I’m beginning again from scratch, but I hope I’ll be surprised by how quickly I gain my strength back. So there’s that.

Garden My garden is beautiful now. The potted plants we positioned around in the beds were a stroke of genius. They are colorful and already established so don’t need a whole lot of water. They give a beautifu balance to the yard that I didn’t expect when they were all clustered together on the patio. I’m planning to do some more container gardening, as it’s an interesting challenge to me. The other day I saw a fig tree planted in a pot, so I’m thinking about doing that next. I’m also trying to figure out where to plant some Concord grapes.

My dog isn’t looking avidly at the plants. She’s waiting for a sound from behind the fence, where she has her own little “Home Improvement” friendship going on.

Books I managed to read several books this month, for some reason. I kind of lost interest in listerning to books on Audible because they tend to take my life over completely. So this month I read paper books. I read several YA books, including “A Time of Angels,” by Karen Hesse, “Along For the Ride,” by Sarah Dessen, “Fat Angie,” by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo. I think there may have been more, but I’ve forgotten what they were. I enjoyed them all a lot. There is something about a good YA book that really appeals to me. I’m thinking that the novel in progress that lies gasping for air on my laptop might best become a YA book. Because I think it already is and I just didn’t realize it.

School Or should I say “Testing.” For the past week we have been taking the Smarter Balanced tests in my classroom. We’re using the iPads which is a mixed pleasure. While they mostly work fine, and the plug-in keyboards are adequate, they are also problematic. They freeze, or don’t recognize the test codes sometimes. I’m sure I could troubleshoot it but in the heat of the moment I just trade out for another iPad and hope it’ll workThere’s a funny thing that happens at the onset of each testing session. The kids begin noisy, just talking. Then, as we get into the process by collecting phones, passing out ID numbers and logging in, the talk turns to a kind of desperation.” Ms. Jacobs, it doesn’t recognize the test session!” “Ms. Jacobs, approve me, PLEASE!”. In a few minutes someone will raise their hand to tell me “This thing froze! Look, (tap,tap,tap) Nothing!!” And a minute later, “Ms. Jacobs, what does this even mean???” I look forward to this being over and going back to  the usual routine. As for the test, I don’t want to risk censure by saying anything about it. But. It’s not designed for my students, is all I’ll say. On another note, the beginning English learners were practicing verbs this week. We all made rolly kids to put in their vocabulary notebooks. I get way more enjoyment from this project then they seem to, for some reason. Here are some of my rolly kids:

This is an idea I found on Pinterest, and I just love it. I think the original was done with emotions, not actions and I adapted it. Don’t you just love the little swim fins?

 
Fun What’s fun? I haven’t seen so much of that lately.  I just am too tired when I get home. Having said that, I’ll contradict myself.  Yesterday we had our Spring Festival and Open House at school. It was a command performance for us, three hours of it. Although I was a little ruffled at having to work such a long day, the event was really fun. We raise money for the Art Club  and the Parents club with this event. We had a variety of amazing food, games and student performances. I had the opportunity to hang out with some students I had many years ago, which is aways really fun for me. And then we went home, tired, but content.

Last weekend I attended a  “Wine and Paint” event which was given by a favorite artist of mine, Caitlin Schwerin. I went alone and made new friends there, which was fun. We all made approximately the same painting, and I just loved it. It really made me yearn to know how to paint. For reals. Here is my painting:

It’s all a work in progress. Every time!

Here I am with my little painting. Notice the empty wine glass? Surprise! I don’t even drink but I did have a lovely glass of wine while I indulged my painterly bent.

 
So, It’s May First, the 23rd anniversary of the shooting at Lindhurst, my intro to teaching. This year, for the first time, I have been able to recognize it and say a prayer for all those involved, and go on with my day. My immersion in the rut of painful recollection has subsided. I thank Lisa Guerke Weikel for the spirit work that helped pull me past that place.

This weekend I’m going to a garden tour (which no one wants to attend with me because they all think it sounds boring.) and on Sunday I’m taking my oldest grandchild on a shopping trip that she has planned. She loves to research, and according to her mother, she has it planned down to what stores we’ll visit, and in what order. Game on! I’m not a good shopper so help like this is a good thing, in my opinion.

Okay, then. That pretty much sums up April. I hope that May has dawned in a delicious way for you. Do you have anything you’re especially looking forward to this month? I’d love to hear about it!

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6 thoughts on “Debriefing April

  1. Paula TrucksPape says:

    Thank you for these always honest and interesting looks into your life. And for mentioning the Lindenhurst incident. I didn’t even know about/remember it. I am sorry, now, for writing a rather glib comment on something you posted on Facebook some weeks ago about drills in schools with regard to this kind of violence. I continue to relearn how to shut my mouth before I know all the facts. But I’m glad to hear you’re moving forward.

  2. blkdrama says:

    Bravo friend glad you made it to May blogging daily. I know I love reading your posts so I hope you keep it up and get to that book that’s a prisoner on your laptop
    For me I’m just happy to be working at restraint myself at the table and that it’s finally warm in the east. The rain,wind and drab days have been so depressing.

  3. Tammy Holthouse says:

    Lynn, I love reading these! I posted a response to your last one then realized I didn’t sign in correctly so it went with the wind….so I will try again. I love how your writing gives everything you do meaning. Not sure I could sum up my last month like that. I love your yard and will read a couple of the books you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

  4. lynnjake says:

    Paula, Thanks for your comment. Your earlier comment about the shooting wasn’t offensive. And how would you know about it anyway? Thanks for reading!

  5. lynnjake says:

    Oh Bonnie, I only posted 8 ties in April. I’ll see how May goes! I’m glad you enjoy reading. I love it that you do. I”m glad you finally have some better weather. It’s been a brutal winter for you all!

  6. lynnjake says:

    Hey Tam! Thanks for commenting. I didn’t know you read them! I love it!! I hope to get over to see you one of these days. How is your house project coming?

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