It's been almost four months to the day since I blogged. Why I suddenly chose tonight to start again, I don't know. Perhaps I'll figure it out before this post is over.
Let me give you the condensed version: school ended, and I was able to go to Dallas to some contract work with fellow teachers. It's part of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards national certification process, so I honestly can't talk much about it for security and ethical reasons; suffice to say it's a very intense few days, but the people I work with and for are delightful, and some of us have been working together for six or seven years. This year, our work was scheduled during the last week of school, so I had to get permission from both my principal and the superintendent to go. Considering how my spring had gone, I think they were both a little relieved to get me out early. I sure was.
At the end of that week, I made a detour on the way home to visit friends in North Carolina. I did not have any contact with the one who made my spring such a festival of angst, drama, and bad physical and mental health. I was disappointed and relieved at the same time, but had a great time with my true friends there.
Then I got home and crashed for several days, physically and emotionally. I got myself together (mostly) and started teaching private lessons again. I have 10 students currently, which is plenty when you remember that I also teach full-time. They range in age from four to late 40's, and on instruments from piano to horn (my personal I studied-this-for-a-long-time instrument, and what I earned a Performer's Certificate in at the Crane School of Music) to mountain dulcimer. But I digress (you'll get used to it).
Other than teaching what amounted to two days a week, I otherwise did nothing but play with yarn, unspun fiber, and undyed yarn. I spun about three pounds of fiber, finished a couple of knitting projects that were hanging around and pouting for not being finished, and dyed a bunch more. The dyeing has been on hold lately, because I need to try and sell a bunch of what I dyed to fund more dyeing experiments. I used natural dyestuffs; indigo and cochineal are my favorites, though onion skins are mighty cool too.
I made it to two quilt auctions with my dad, and while I came home quiltless, I did get an excellent bargain on the hugest folding wooden clothes-drying rack and its baby brother. I'll take a picture of it fully loaded one of these days. When open, it's taller than me, and as wide as the backseat of my four-door car.
Spent a night up on Lake Ontario, not far from home, with my mom, sister, and my sister's family. I love the lake, and yet I am ever-so-glad to have moved away from my hometown.
I bought myself a bike. That's Genevieve at the beginning of this post. ( Consider this a test..I wanted the picture at the end, but don't feel like futzing around with that little detail tonight.) Getting a ride in has been hard since school got started, but since we have a three-day weekend right now, odds are shaping up for a ride tomorrow, even if it's just to the grocery store. Genevieve has two awesome saddlebags, which are not in the picture.
School started. It's been pretty good; last year's fifth graders have moved along, which is a great burden off of everyone's shoulders. Of course, there were a few perfectly wonderful kids in that bunch, but overall it was just one of those classes. Dreadful. But so far, so good in the last six weeks. Have I ever mentioned that I'm a public-school general and instrumental musci teacher? That means I see every class, including three self-contained special ed classes, once a week and try to undo all the programming that our test-crazed educational system wreacks on these poor kids. I also conduct the chorus, teach small-group instrumental lessons, and conduct band rehearsals. (And three days a week, do it for an additional two hours or so after school.)
And that brings us to here, October 11. There's a lot of personal stuff that's happened too, which I think I will write about some more here. But I said this was the condensed version, and it's already too long. More later. Oh, and maybe even some fiber-related content.