Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: Thanks for the Memories

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thanks for the Memories

In the life of a teacher (as well as others in education) the  "new year" begins in August.  I have referenced this in blogs in the past; but while the rest of the working world celebrates new beginnings, sets goals, and jumps back from the holidays feeling refreshed on January 1st, I do all of these things around August 15. With the days growing shorter my mind sets on the new school year I'm about to experience.  I reflect on the past year, make plans and goals for the coming year, and prepare to jump in with a sense of freshness that is usually only felt on that first warm day of spring. 

With Eric being a high school teacher I am kept pretty informed on the status of the students he serves.  Eric is a popular teacher in the high school and while this means many tp-ed tree's and random "gifts" on our front steps; it also means babysitters, students eager to change our flat tires, and  Mr. Grabe dress up day for homecoming week.  This past week the students that started as freshman when he began teaching in the district have moved off to college.  They informed him of their moving in various way-mostly through facebook-giving him their new addresses and telling him goodbye.  Their excitement for newness is apparent in the pictures they post of their new lifestyles.

These messages have brought back my own memories of the summer of 2000.  I remember the goodbye letters I wrote to my friends, each including the lyrics to Green Day's "Good Riddance".  The day my parents moved me into Lawther Hall on the UNI campus is still vivid in my mind.  I remember preparing myself for this day.  I was ready to break free of my parents domain and create my own life keeping in mind the principles my parents had instilled in me for the past 18 years.  I felt free and had my new year goals set in my mind.  However, after I hugged my parents goodbye, I barely made it into the safety of the brick walls of my room before I fell to the floor and sobbed.  There I was, alone and scared shitless of what lay ahead.  Too insecure to go out and meet people, I hid in my room terrified of opening the door to a new home instead of finding the comfort of my parents down the steps sitting in the living room.  I was overcome with a mix of emotions ranging from fear to elation.  I tried calling home that night and there was no answer.  After a few more tears I picked myself up, wiped away the tears and decided to put my big girl panties on.  I met a lot of people that weekend and was filled with a new energy.  It was time to start a new year in my life, and although the newness of it felt like a slap in the face, I set my goals and was ready to conquer.

11 years later I am ready to start another new year in my life.  Like my freshman year of college, I am faced with a new challenge in this new year.  I am leaving my comfort zone and starting in a new district.  I am the "new" one and need to establish myself.  I'm starting from scratch.  Luckily, my confidence has grown since those first years of college and I don't see myself collapsing on my classroom in a heap of sobs.  I'm ready to bring in my "new year" with resolutions for success.

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As always, the beginning of a new school year also means the end of a summer for me.  This is the time of year when I have to let go of my kids and give them back to the hands of our childcare providers.  I cry each year when this time comes, as I hate to see my long summer days with them end.  I always make it a point to blog about our summer together as I head back into the working life. 

When asked how their summer went, most teachers will automatically say, "Too fast!"  Usually this rings true, however I really do feel refreshed after this summer.  It has seemed long, relaxing, and enjoyable.  Here are some of the highlights of our summer of 2011:

-11 different parks have been played at.

-160 bedtime stories have been read to the kids.

-6 books have boggled my own mind.

-2 zoo's have been visited. (one of them 5+ times)

-2 state parks have been visited

-1 trip to the state fair

-1 day at the beach

-1 Wildlife Adventure has been drove through

-5 trips to the pool were enjoyed.

-90+ episodes of Dora and Diego were watched.

-9  bbq's with family and friends were enjoyed

-5 bottles of bubbles were used up.

-10 trips to the library

-5 mommy group meetings

-countless number of laughs, movies, walks, and trips together. 

So long sweet summer, we will meet again in 285 days!






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