In true HGTV fanatic fashion, I've got before and after shots of my classroom. Wait till you see what I've done with the place!
Here's the BEFORE: In its previous life my classroom was a home-ec room(they still call it that here).....the wallpaper was a dinghy, off-white color with stripes on one side, and the other side was navy blue. There was a border which featured baskets of red and green apples. (bleh!)
NO MORE...... BE GONE red and green apples....
BE GONE....dinghy stripes and depressing DARK BLUE......
Here's the new and much-IMPROVED Ms. Ferguson's 4th grade class-o-rama!
I painted right over the dark and dinghy stuff and enjoyed every second of it! These pics were taken just after "meet the parents" explaining why you see the Wal-mart bags which contain supplies that had been dropped off.
This will be my third time to start school while blogging. Wow. And, having become typical for me by now, I'm starting something "new". I add the "quotes" because to me it's really all just teaching and the only thing that changes is the age of the student or the subject being taught. I'm one of THOSE teachers. We are sort of few and far between (it seems) and really only need a room and some kids to consider ourselves happy and successful in what we are doing. The age of student and the subject matter taught, while important, are just details that go along with the specific year.
And so, we begin. This time it's 4th grade and I can't wait to show you, my readers, the room I've set up. I've got just a bit more tweaking to do before I take the pictures and present the before/after shots to all the world as you wait with baited breath. Baited breath sounds smelly, doesn't it?
An important aspect of this whole teaching thing is the team of which I'm a part. I'm not being "Pollyanna" when I say that this is a group of ladies for which I could purposely search the world over and not find....leading me to the only conclusion available in that God had this all figured out from the start. I can't begin to convey to you how awesome I know it will be go to work with them each day. The whole set-up - from the room, to the principal, to the office staff, to the custodians - is absolutely heaven-sent for me right now. In many ways, I feel like I've stepped into a time warp. The pace is slower and more relaxed here. However, the test scores of the students are really great, so I don't get the idea that it's a complacent sort of relaxation. At this point, it just seems really intimate and cozy. I'm sure there's a downside to that and I'm sure I'll discover it in time. But, at least I'll have the opposite experience off of which I can bounce this one.
I keep mentioning that the town is really small and I'm related to many folks. Here's the kicker, if I'm not related to them, I SWEAR, we could play the 6 degrees of separation game and EVERY single time I'd come out that close to these people. One of my fellow 4th grade teachers and I share 1st cousins. One degree of separation, right there. It's almost scary at some point.
My class of 4th graders will arrive next Tuesday for what seems to me to be an early start to a school year. I can't wait to meet them! I'm sure I'll figure out, in time, that I'm only 6 degrees from being related to every one of them. Fun fun fun.
I'd love to be able to say that I've arrived at a place where I feel completely beyond the guilt of yet another failed marriage. But, I'm not there yet. It sucks being 44 yrs. old and being twice divorced. I can find a wonderful spot to live or spend quality time with friends and family but I still can't seem to get past that juncture just yet. Cliches' ramble over in my head: "best laid plans", "hindsight is 20/20", "such is life", and on and on.
It's almost impossible, at least for me, to meet new folks and not have it come to light rather quickly that I've been married twice. The whole thing with the last name, the boys, where they are, why I'm here.....it's just inevitable. Unless, of course, I want to become a completely different person than I am and not make any friends at all. I really like people. I've gone back over it in my mind (surprise, surprise), and it's not that I blurt things out without being asked. It's more like I create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable asking me just about anything. And then, I just answer.
And so, I'm here in this new place and it's great. It's awesome and it was totally the right thing to do. I'm certain of it. But the guilt, or maybe it's just the sense of failure in that one particularly important area of life, followed me here. The good news is, the invisible baggage that looms over me does feel much lighter here. Way lighter. I don't have to console, or give an update on the status of Tdub and the boys, to every 3rd person I meet in Walmart. Although, the Walmart experience has taken on a new twist altogether since I've yet to go in the tiny one here without running into at least one blood relation. And, not to get all "marthastewarty" on you or anything, that's a good thing. So far. (heehee!)
It's all good, or at least as good as it can be. It must be "pity party" day on my lunar calendar. The thing is this. There is no way that any of us can look back at any part of our life and not see things we could have done differently, better, or more purposefully. It's just a fact of life and the way God designed it. And so, when I look back, and see failure in those areas, I look at the things that I did or didn't do or could have done differently. And it just sucks. Great big time sucks. This song was written for alot of folks, but it sure as heck speaks to me. And, since I'm a big internet weenie and don't know how to imbed the video here into my blog even though I've tried like 18 times and am logged into YouTube and the whole thing....I'll just put the link to it here.
Probably the BIGGEST concern, and rightly so, that anyone who's become even slightly interested in my story has had, has been about the boys. I've never p0sted pictures of either of Tdub's two, but now I have permission from Tdub AND #3, Hayden, who is visiting me in Oklahoma this week. Hayden and Drew have been, as they are, like two long-lost and reunited brothers. I've had so much fun listening to them, watching them, and carting them around just like old times. Here are some pics. Hayden is the redhead.