I've been away from blogging for a long time. Mostly because I've been so busy doing so many other things. I'm still quilting and still teaching and still doing everything else that I've been doing. I taught an extra class last year that almost drove me over the edge and that just made me so tired. I'm not sure how I made it through the year. Having the extra money was really nice, but the money always got spent on things I'm not sure of. I have lots of extra stuff and now need things to put the extra stuff in. Isn't that the way it always goes? You get stuff and then spend all of your time organizing and dealing with the stuff so have no time to enjoy the stuff you have?
So this year I have to again learn to deal with the stuff I have and not get as much stuff to deal with. That's a never ending resolution. A lot of the stuff is given to me and I have a really hard time turning down free stuff. Because I make quilts for charity, when someone offers me free fabric and yarn I can't tell them no, I have enough. What is enough? What if I never got another piece of free fabric again for the rest of my life? Would I have enough fabric and be able to use up all of the fabric that I have now if I sewed 8 hours a day, every day from now until forever? I bet I couldn't use it all up if I tried. But, there is something inside that says, take the free stuff. What if you run out? Tragedy!
My kids shake their heads and beg me to stop. They don't know what they are going to do with it when my time on earth is up. They will be the ones begging someone else to come and take the stuff. I recently took three truck loads of fabric from a nice couple. The man's mother died 7 years ago and he was finally ready to let go. He hadn't touched anything in the house in 7 years. Can you imagine letting a house sit for 7 years? That's 7 years of house payments, or even just the taxes on an empty house. The wife was very thankful that I was taking so much, but now my garage is overflowing. I'm thinking of having a second shed built, but what I really need is to find others who can use the fabric so that it doesn't just sit for years while waiting to get used. I have a network of people who help me, but they are smarter than I am. They will take what they can use in a month-which isn't very much and then come back in a month and take a little more. They know it will be there next month. And if not, they are not sad. They will go to the store and buy what they can make in a month, or not. They aren't drawn to having to make things for others like I am. I'm not sure what it is about 'doing' for others that causes me to fill every nook and cranny of my house with stuff so that I can't walk without stepping over boxes of fabric and yarn.
I should really pick out the best and give away to others without feeling like I have to save every little scrap. There has always been another phone call offering more.
Other news since my last post is I was awarded my district's Teacher of the Year. I would guess there are 400 teachers in my district. I've been teaching 27 years and have grown a lot as a teacher. I had a rough start and learned a lot over the years. I love what I do and am honored to represent the teachers in my district at the County level. I'm hoping to go on to State and then National and be able to recruit others into this profession. While teaching doesn't pay what it probably should, there are other rewards money can't buy. Watching kids grow up in front of me and discover their God given gifts is something not everyone gets to witness. I love the interactions I get to have every day. I never know what my students are going to say and I laugh every day. Every single day. Even on the bad days, I laugh. How many other jobs are you guaranteed for that to happen? Some days I can't believe I get paid to do my job. As a physics teacher I play with hotwheels cars and tennis balls and blow up balloons and let them go. We drop eggs and hope they don't break (with a little skill, they don't) and I make enough money to feed my family and keep a roof over our heads.
As a biology teacher, we took yeast and watched balloons expand as they made CO2 and ethanol (alternative fuel) and discovered who took Jerrell's iPhone by examining evidence left at the crime scene and analyzed biomolecules in the food samples left behind after lunch. We run around outside and see how exercise affects the rate of CO2 production and breathe into a garbage bag and then time how long it takes for Bromothymol Blue to change color.
I never have kids ask, "When are we going to use this in real life?" because they are having too much fun.
But, then the state changed the credential program and now I have to take a test to teach the same thing I've been teaching for the past 17 years. Wish me luck. This old lady needs to study and pay over $100 to take a test so I can keep teaching. Sounds to me like the State of California is in need of someone to pay off a debt and who better to do that then a whole bunch of teachers. There are a lot of us and at $100 each that adds up. Hopefully if I get to be the Teacher of the Year for the State of California, I can talk to the head of the State department and we can work something out. Maybe he will see how silly this whole thing is and 'grandfather' all of us old teachers in or something. Until then, I will study and do my best.