I hustled up the sidewalk and pressed the bell, shifting my weight side to side as I listened to the sound of a ringing phone. That’s the sound of the elementary school’s call button – brrriiiiiiiinnnnnngggg, brrriiiiiiiinnnnnngggg – and I wondered how many tasks the office staff was juggling first thing in the morning along with buzzing me in. I awkwardly wondered, as I always do, whether to stare into the camera or look straight ahead at the door. Both seem a little rude.
I remember the days before buzzers. The days when I walked into the school office and signed in, like I naively assumed everyone would, before heading off to volunteer in a classroom. Those days when kids didn’t think twice about seeing strange adults in the hallways.
The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her: John Eligon, The New York Times
“It was around 1970 in Deerfield, Ill., and Ms. Sandberg told her youngest child a closely guarded secret about a choice the family had made, one fueled by the racial tensions of the era, that sent a black girl and the white girl that took her place on diverging paths.
Decades later, the journeys of the two women tell a nuanced story of race in America, one that complicates easy assumptions about white privilege and black hardship. Lives take unexpected twists and turns, this family story suggests, no matter the race of those involved. And years later, it is not easy to figure out the role of race when looking for lessons learned.”
Abandonment Issues: Adoptee Out Loud
“How does one feel, when the one person who is supposed to love and protect you the most leaves? Unloved, unwanted, and unworthy….these feelings would pierce right through me. They wove their way into every relationship I would ever have. I worried my parents could leave me also, so I assumed the role as the good girl. Don’t rock the boat, don’t disrupt others with your feelings and emotions, stay small and quiet.”
It’s true – I’ve taught schoolchildren for real money. Several times, actually. Granted, the pay wasn’t all that great since I was merely responsible for educating the future of America, but I proudly wore the teacher’s mantle. Now that I crunch the numbers I see my first year’s students have crested thirty, voted in a number of elections, and likely have families of their own.
Holy crap, I’m old.
I’ve found that you never really lose that teacher voice, though, and it’s come in handy in my second (third? fourth?) career as a frequent flyer volunteer in the elementary school. But as for today’s post, let’s start looking at those teacher adventures, shall we?
Alexa’s living in our kitchen now and she’s a delightful houseguest. She’s knowledgeable, well behaved, entertaining…adding both enjoyment and enlightenment to our mornings. Plus Alexa never plants big fat paws on my counter to steal food, so she’s got that going for her.
We welcomed our Echo right after Christmas, and she is a dream. Here are just a few things I love about her:
** She keeps me in the know.
I’m multitasking like a beast in the morning, so scrolling through a news app isn’t in the cards. Some days it’s a miracle that everyone eats and I get my coffee (plus, you know, dressed), so a device that shares news from NPR, CNN, and Reuters? Yes, please. Plus Alexa will stream stations like NPR or CNN. Score!
Let me be clear before I launch my little not-so-mad woman rant: teachers are awesome sauce. They’re pulling off all sorts of badassery in the classrooms, day in and day out, like the rock stars they are. Schools are expected to pull rabbits out of hats all the time, and they’re doing pretty okay. For the most part.
Alrighty then. Now that we’ve got that out of the way – onward and upward.
I’m gonna need someone to explain using phones in class.
Listen, I get it…technology, big part of the real world, huge part of the kids’ everyday lives, use what they know, yada yada yada. I don’t have a problem with using phones per se, but I have a major problem with teachers who build lessons around students with phones and don’t have an alternate plan for ones who don’t bring tech. Because not every kid has a phone, and even kids who have a phone lose tech privileges. Or maybe that’s just my lucky offspring. Whatevs.
And no, telling a student to “pair up” with another kid who has a phone isn’t what I’d consider a good fallback. Because you know what that gets you? One kid doing all the work on his phone, and another kid looking over their shoulder, pissed off that they don’t have a phone.
How do you like your eggs?
Currently I’m loving my eggs scrambled with (cooked) kale and mozzarella. I also love a good omelet.
Have you ever met anyone famous?
I don’t think so. Of course, if I have and then actually forgotten I’ll be pretty mortified. So if you know about an encounter I’ve already had then I’d prefer you just keep that to yourself.
What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
My first major purchase was a washer and dryer from Sears to put in my first apartment after college graduation. I remember how surprised the salesman was when he ran my credit check because, you know, recent college grad…but I was a big old dork who didn’t really go on spring break and such, so…
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I’ve grown to truly love my kitchen time. Breakfast with the birds in the morning, batch cooking on Saturday – it’s been a very peaceful space this week.
Cee’s Share Your World pops in on Mondays.
What’s happening in your world today?
Over the years I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my kitchen. For ages it’s been a place of drudgery, a room I’d merely tolerate as I tried in vain to appreciate the art of cooking. After all, what wasn’t to love? There are whole shows dedicated to the joys of cooking…an entire industry predicated upon the love people have for preparing food.
So who was I to hate the kitchen?
Be it my place or not, though, it’s how I felt for years. Which is why I’m positively bumfuzzled by the turn of events in our house these days.