Saturday, March 01, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

1. Our best Disney picture:

From the left: Auntie Kate, Ainsley, Mama after Space Mountain, Cousin Hannah. What can I say? There's a strong family resemblance.

2. After a full day of subbing on Wednesday and a half day of subbing on Friday, I have gleaned four pearls of wisdom regarding the care and feeding of first graders:

- Do not think you're Mrs. Jackson, full-time teacher, rock star educator. You are not. You are a humble substitute. Full stop.
- Ban all sharpening. A full and total ban, no exceptions, no loopholes. No. Just no.
- Ban tattling. All of it. Okay, maybe add a narrow exception if bloodshed or broken bones are involved. 
- Ban tattling on the substitute teacher. 
And once I kept these things in mind, I enjoyed everything that makes first-grade boys delightful  -- the big brown eyes, the big blue eyes; their sweet lisps, waning quickly; their reading; their creativity; even their energy.

3. And if you think I'm being a touch OCD about the sharpening thing, I offer you Exhibits A and B:

John attempted to further sharpen this beauty.

4. I have a half-written post extolling the merits of The Science Fair, and, for the record, it was half-written before my kid and his partner took second place. I have strong, strong opinions about academic excellence. I may be forced to pontificate in a future post about the non-stop recognition we send the way of athletes and the paucity of recognition for academic achievement. Science Fair, spelling bees, essay competitions, literary magazines -- I am in favor of all these. I wish our Math Club hadn't folded; I have grand illusions about starting a Chess Club.

Of course, none of this negates the huge amount of work kids and parents put into events like The Science Fair. This year went so smoothly. The boys worked consistently with little parental involvement save for a trip or two to Lowe's and the County Extension Agency. But then came the write up. Don't ask me why it's so time-consuming. Kolbe's partner arrived  at 3:30, and I actually thought, "Why, we should have this whole thing wrapped up by dinner time!"

I am optimistic or simply delusional?

Eight hours to write it up. Eight hours.

And even then the tri-fold board got a tad mangled when carted into school during a rainstorm.

5. So the regular basketball season has come to an end, and now we move into Developmental Basketball for the little people. If you want a good time, come watch a bunch of five and six-year-olds playing basketball. These pint-sized players run down the court -- typically carrying the ball instead of bothering with all that pesky dribbling -- they pause under the net and either take a wild shot or panic and pass the ball to one of the on-court coaches.

This is about the most entertaining event I've enjoyed in a long time.

John scored two points. Let me highlight this event once more: John scored two points. I believe these may be the first two points the Dolins have put on a basketball scoreboard ever. Ever. John totally didn't get my excitement. He was just miffed they lost 5-2.

6. I can't seem to locate John's make-up work. Why do I think he may have hidden it? Meanwhile, Ainsley came up to me and asked, "Is there some schoolwork I can do?" #lovemybrownnosinggirl!

7.  As I mentioned before, I hit a wall or two (or three) this week. I really, truly did look at the mirror and gawk at my own appearance. I didn't have mere shadows under my eyes; no, I sighted The Tallulah Gorge. Times two. It would appear that this isn't solely due to fatigue. If this itching and redness is any indication, I just may have double conjunctivitis lending a hand as well.

Bob Costas, I feel your pain.

Anyway . . . I went to our Thursday night prayer meeting -- late and reluctantly, I should add -- and left so strengthened, so comforted, so refreshed. As we enjoyed beautiful praise and worship music, the Alleluia Healing Team spread around the room, offering prayer to anyone who needed it.

I needed it.

And I got it.

I spent a few moments soaking in God's grace. And in a manner that's hard to articulate clearly, everything is now lighter. And that, in a nutshell, is why we do what we do. And I am so grateful.

And on that positive note, head over to Jen's to add your Quick Takes.


Anonymous said...

So glad you found some spiritual sustenance, Kelly. (You look pretty unwell in the illustration at the top - was it just the effect of the ride?)

That pencil-sharpening mania can be trouble, for sure...

Take care of yourself.

Kelly Dolin said...

Yes, it was the ride. Space Mountain couldn't end fast enough for me. Thunder Mountain was fun, though.p