Friday, June 17, 2011

Where Was I?

Greetings from the end of my first week of summer! I'm not going to apologize for my brief blogging hiatus because I've been doing really, really important things. I have a personal feeling that summer can't start without a few important to-dos being checked off the list. Such as:

Going to a ridiculously hot concert where you are going to sweat your buns off. My besties since first grade, my main squeeze, and I headed to see Dispatch in Millenium Park last week. It was hot as balls. It was full of seventeen year olds drinking and smoking pounds of inappropriate things. It was full of super awesome summer music. It was full of besties. And most important, it was at the most beautiful place to see a show in the city.

I've also been babysitting/tutoring my cousins a TON. One set lives a mile away from me, the other in my parents' neighborhood. I have watched some hip new cartoons (What the HELL is Dinosaur Train? A baby T-Rex hatches out of a Veloceraptor mom's eggs and rather than assume the mom is a ho they go on a Dinosaur Train? I'm confused. Also, veloceraptor is not in my spell-check. Weird) I have colored, I have played soccer, I have demanded that my older cousins go outside instead of playing Wii all day. I have made some fat cash to spend on sundresses, I mean, paying off my loans. Very relaxing.

Kev and I also went up north last weekend with Kev's high school dudes and their sig others. I love those humans. We wore sweatpants all weekend, made campfires, ate smores, and drank delicious Wisconsin beers. It was awesome, and relaxing. I can't believe I've had so many awesome people in my life for such a long time. If you would have told me 10 years ago that Kev and I would be married, and how many CHS people would stand up in our wedding and be generally awesome, I would have laughed. Life is funny like that....

Despite the fact that I have NOT been training for the half-marathon, eating healthy, blogging, or generally thinking about work, it has been an awesome start to summer. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go get ready for this afternoon's Cubs v Yankees game, to which I have free tickets for one of my besties and myself.

I don't think I could EVER work all 12 months out of the year :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Last week was my last day of grad school. Today was kindergarten graduation for my sprouts. Things are changing and coming to an end, and to be honest, I've been in such a swirl of last minute to-do lists, that I haven't really had time to sit down and reflect.

This morning, I got to watch my kiddos onstage. It was the first time that we had tried to do a music show and graduation with ALL the kindergarteners, and I have to say, they were fantastic. They came dressed up, gelled down, and extra-obedient. Some of my rowdy kiddos were downright solemn. It was nearly miraculous. After the ceremony, my toughest student today sidled up to me. This was a boy that cut people with scissors, had problems nearly everywhere he went, and made me want to cry on more than one occasion. But then, he stopped me in my tracks today for something good. He gave me this:

Something about the bamboo heart, from a boy who just yesterday had drawn a monster in his kindergarten memory book when asked to draw a picture of me (little hilarious jerk) made me pause. To me, it meant that deep down even if he couldn't say it, he wanted me to know he cares. He loves me. He even picked it out for me all by himself.

This year was a hard year in lots of ways for me. I fought some battles, won some, lost some. I chose to move on from a group of people that love and support me, knowing something better had to be out there. I hit rock bottom and came back up. But I also got straight As in grad school, taught my kiddos to read and write, learned to find wells of strength and dignity I didn't know I possessed, and was shown how many people believe in me and in what I do for students.

With one action today, my rowdy punk changed the way I'll remember him. I'm not going to remember the times he sneezed on me, or kicked other students, or looked at me and said "no, I'm not doing that." Instead, he'll be the boy with the bamboo, who reminded me that the kids who need the most patience from you are often the ones that you end up making the biggest impact on.

I hope as I "graduate" my current school, that people remember me similarly. I know I demanded a lot of patience from people at times, just as I gave infinite amounts to the naysayers at my school. When it comes right down to it, however, I hope people remember me as somebody with a big heart.

Maybe graduation isn't just for kindergarteners after all :)