Friday, August 6, 2010

The Letter Came Yesterday

"Happy summer vacation and greetings to my friends at DPMS!"

And so it goes, as Kurt would say. It's The Letter, our annual back-to-school informational missive and it signifies:

1) I am employed!! God be praised! So many would appreciate such a letter--it means a contract, it means mama can pay the bills, it means health coverage.


2) The unofficial end of summer. Usually this letter kick starts my banana-slug mind, buried deep under layers of beach sand, frappuccinos, and sunscreen. Usually I sharpen the pencils and rummage for my thinking cap. I start fantasizing about the Perfect Year and reread Harry Wong's invaluable The First Days of School for the 16th time. (I wish I'd had that book when I began teaching, or it'd be the 21st time. It's just that calming, inspiring, methodical, remindering, planful, friendly, realistic, no nonsense-y, etc.).

But this year, I have been to the beach one and a half times. It has been COLD, and I don't just mean the water. My mind hasn't really had the opportunity to hibernate because I was busy for a month fighting the Paper Monster (see older post). We have been treated to a literal unending stream of visitors from New Hampshire, Bakersfield, Corona, Arizona, Florida, and Virginia, and this week I will be with high school pals up in the prettiest city in the U.S. of A.

I am finishing Ron Berger's An Ethic of Excellence (both ethical and excellent, you'll be glad to know), and his ideas about authentic, beautiful work and creating a culture of critique are making my head explode. Last month, Rafe Esquith lit my hair on fire. My poor torso is lost.

I am not ready for The Letter!!!!!!

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