Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We've been having some really wonderful weather lately, especially last weekend. The days were in the sixties and low seventies, and the nights were breezy and in the fifties. Consequently, we've had our windows open and I've been spending a lot of time outdoors.

I spent some time at the beach on Saturday and Sunday.
Went to an outdoor show on Friday after work, to hear my youngest daughter and her boyfriend's band, as part of the Virginia Arts Festival.
And I attended the Norfolk Greek Fest, which is a yearly favorite of mine.

I have been working in the yard every night after work since last week, and as a result, our yard is looking neater than it has since we've moved in six years ago. I've been keeping up with the edging (we have a very long side yard and sidewalk), digging up the dandelions (it's unreal how many we have/had), and just generally keeping it all tidy. I've also trimmed up some dead branches from a number of trees and shrubs, pulled weeds, and planted a lot of tomatoes, herbs, and flowers, using clay pots.

One reason for all this activity is the fact that I deleted all but one of my iPad games, because I was irritated with myself for wasting so much time playing them. The only one I kept was Words with Friends, because it imposes a time limit naturally, unlike Farm Hero and BingoBash. I had gotten to the point where I was spending so much time playing them after I got home, that I wasn't reading or knitting very much. Since I deleted them last week, I've read the book, Divergent, and am now half way through The Book Thief, even though I don't come inside until it's dark. Do I miss the games? Absolutely. Am I happier? Without a doubt.


I've also started drinking infused water. Although I've seen articles on it before, for some reason the latest one I read motivated me. Maybe because fresh fruit is so enticing right now. And also because I'm growing a few pots of mint. I froze an ice tray's worth of mint the other day and it just looks so pretty floating in the glass. Using my blue Ball jars makes it look pretty as well. I fill them at night and grab them whenever I leave the house. If I could consistently substitute water for soda, it would be a very positive change. This recipe sounds especially good.

I only have fourteen more school days, including two exam days, which seems unreal. Some of my students have been having a terrible time staying focused and/or staying out of trouble. I've written a lot of discipline referrals the past couple of weeks and last week found me getting upset every day. So much so, that this past weekend I was determined to change my behavior. I decided that instead of reacting with frustration, I would just back off and force myself to disengage enough to stop taking the negative behaviors personally. At this point, it really is out of my control, and the less emotional I am, the easier it is to maintain a positive classroom environment. So far it's working. I've had three very good days this week, despite having to have students removed from class every day.

I'm teaching the play, Julius Caesar, to my second block, and short stories and nonfiction to my third and fourth blocks. My second block is my strongest block, academically speaking, and since I've never taught that play before, I wanted to give it a test run, and I'm happy to say, it's going great. The students are interested in it, and we're breaking it down, scene by scene.

And just for fun, my friend, Lori, and I went to see the big duck that's floating in The Hague, also a part of the Virginia Arts Fest. Cute, huh?


Hope your week is just ducky!



  1. My Allison sent me a picture of her and THAT duck. I bet she missed Greek fest. She works at CHKD

    1. So cool! Small world, isn't it? My daughter had two surgeries at CHKD in the nineties; it's a fabulous hospital.

      Greek Fest was Thursday thru Sunday and they had a drive thru! There were so many things to do around here last weekend it was almost impossible to do them all.

  2. I know what you mean about student behavior at the end of the year! I feel like so many of our students are unraveling. I've even given up writing referrals because I could spend my whole day doing just that! I agree that the only solution is to emotionally disengage. Thirteen more days to go!