Finding time for “novel” work has been hard these last few days. I have been doing some consulting in an area high school (the name I won’t reveal to protect the innocent or guilty, depending on one’s perspective and/or day’s events).
Often times between school accreditation visits and consulting I forget what it is like to get up by an alarm clock! Geez, 5:30 a.m. is the middle of the night! Now, nothing, absolutely nothing, except a couple of breakfast diners and the fishing piers are open before 10:00 a.m. on this island, so why don’t the area schools get smart and run on the same schedule??
There are some lessons here, lessons that we learn in retirement, although I think I knew it years ago, but didn’t have the research to support the findings. People are a lot fresher, more amenable, just plain sweeter in temperament at 10:00 in the morning. I am one of those people, although I do rise much earlier; I simply do not shine. I think just the screech of the alarm clock, shocking a person from a nice, drooly sleep has something to do with it, and although I can’t substantiate that one, I can vouch for it.
But aside from getting up early, the worst, the very worst part of the whole preparation for a day of work is the pantyhose deal. I vowed when I retired, not to ever, ever wear pantyhose again except in the event of a funeral. Heck, down here you don’t even need them for a wedding. Barefoot is acceptable although I haven’t quite adapted to that way of thinking; a person should at least wear flip-flops to a solemn occasion where two people make promises “til death do they part”. But as a professional educator I simply feel the need to fit the expected role and with that comes the wearing of pantyhose and high heels (now there is a whole different blog).
I hate pantyhose; I have always hated them and I see no reason to change my feelings in this stage of my life. There is just something radically wrong with stuffing one’s lower body into a tiny sliver of stretch nylon that in 100 degree weather sticks to the skin like cellophane wrap. I think if they had made the terrorist prisoners at Gitmo wear pantyhose for one month and then given them the choice between wearing pantyhose or being water boarded they would have gladly chosen the later; I know I would.
And one more thing, have you seen those women with pantyhose and shorts—together? What in the world are they thinking? It is like those old men who wear Bermuda (do they still call them that?) shorts and knee high socks. Unless they have a medical reason that their knees need to breathe, it just doesn’t seem right. But I digress.
Once I am up and dressed and in the school I am good to go. After all, it is a good gig. I get to feel good about sharing my educational expertise and best practices of instructional effectiveness to teachers, and then I learn so much more about emerging trends and fashions from students. What is good about life in a school today is that there is no way one can tell the rich from the poor—they all look poor in their torn, worn out jeans and faded t-shirts, wrinkled and frayed to style. Everybody needs haircuts so nobody notices the kid who can’t afford it. And vocabulary—what better place to learn how verbs become adjectives and adverbs before my very ears. I never knew some words could do that—amazing!
And I love to go out in the halls during passing periods (for all you non-educators that is the “very long adult five minutes” and “never enough time for students” period that occurs between classes way too many times a day), when kids are passing…..God knows what! But it is, indeed, an educational experience. But I am sounding like I did 30 years ago and repeating what I heard my teachers say years before that. It is true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Surely there is another book in all this somewhere!