Wonder-About Wednesday

Have you noticed the difference between wonder and wander is only one vowel, but (indirectly) they share the same meaning? One walks about the world, and one walks about the mind. Oh, wait, this isn’t a Wednesday word post…but this *is* how my brain works. Ugh.

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No daily post yesterday because I was off my routine. We had a day full of Zoom meetings from home as schools were closed for Election Day. I hear curmudgeons everywhere denouncing the idea of schools being closed on Election Day, because they weren’t when we were kids, or they were kids, whatever. However, as a teacher, I can say it feels far safer in this day and age to not have a bunch of strangers coming into the building to worry about. Plus, we don’t have the space to have class and host a bunch of voting machines. We used every single available space for class, including the library.

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Yesterday my mom turned 70. I didn’t say the S-word to her, I just told her happy birthday. It’s fascinating and heartbreaking to watch our parents age. Even though I met mom when she was 19, I didn’t really get to know her until her 40s, and even then, I wasn’t as appreciative as I should have been. She’s become my best friend, the one person who has been my rock (along with dad) in all the trials life has dealt me. She’s part of the reason I want to retire early. Even if I don’t move from the city and closer to home, I can spend more time with her and dad while I have the chance. Seeing many of the parenting situations my students have dealt with over my 26 years of teaching fills me with an immensity of gratitude for my own that is a big part of my life.

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An interesting tie-in is that two of my classes this year feel more like I’m raising kids than educating students. One is a 6th grade class full of newcomers (students who come from other countries with very little English/schooling), who insist on giving me hugs each day despite the 6-foot recommended space, and the other is my last class of 7th graders. Two of the girls live with grandma because their own mothers have passed away, so we have lovely discussions of their memories of their mommas. Having gone through losses of my brother and my husband, I know how important it is to process with someone who understands. While I’m not a counselor or therapist, giving them the space to come to me when they need or to explore memories in their journals has worked wonders for their behavior and engagement. Sometimes worrying about test scores is the absolute last thing teachers should be doing. Actually, most of the time…but let’s not get into that.

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I got a flu shot yesterday. This goes against every atom of belief I have about the flu shot. Don’t start calling me names, I have my reasons. Never have I ever had the flu. Ever. And never have I ever had a flu shot. However, I did have a teaching assistant who got the flu shot religiously every year, and like clockwork every year, she got the flu in January or February. No, it isn’t the shot that gave her the flu, but it did nothing to protect her. So why mess with a good thing? However, in my yearly checkup, my doctor (whom I trust implicitly due to her ability to educate me in layman’s terms and assess my concerns in a blunt and honest manner) suggested it. Again. She’s suggested before, and I’ve resisted before. I gave in. Peer pressure, maybe, but I told her if I end up with the flu, I’m going to blame her. I suppose whatever protection I can get in this day and age against anything out there makes sense…

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I pulled out my box of Thanksgiving decorations yesterday. They’re the same colors as my Halloween decorations, but feature turkeys and leaves and cornucopias instead of pumpkins and pumpkins. I don’t have a large amount of decorations, as I have downsized my house considerably from my married days, but the decor I do have has become simpler. A few throw pillows, a couple of kitchen towels, a pair of placemats and a table runner. Changing decor has never been my strong suit. Yes, I’m the person who leaves up the Christmas tree until late January. I happen to like the twinkling lights…at least that’s how I justify my laziness. Once we hit February, we don’t really have anything to swap out each month like we do for the November-January months. Whatever I put up in April is usually what you see in August. I like it that way.

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Whatever you’re wondering about this November day, here’s hoping the rest of your hours are good ones.

Beth

2 thoughts on “Wonder-About Wednesday

  1. Your mom and I are very close in age. Glad you appreciate her. As for that flu shot, I have always gotten them, especially important when teaching kids who sneeze and cough on you. I also take probiotics. Both seem to keep me healthy. It may all be in my head, but it works so I do it. I was hugged a lot when I went back to school last week. It’s always been that way so I’m not going to stop it now. Again, trusting those vaccines.

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    1. Oh, absolutely on the vaccines! Especially being around kids and who-knows-what they bring. Hugs are such nice treats…especially when they’re unexpected 🙂

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