Summertime is an interesting period of time for me. During the school year I run full speed teaching, coaching, directing and leading. I almost never allow myself time to reflect. When summer hits and classes get into full swing I all of a sudden am expected to reflect on what works and doesn't work in my classroom and...to write. Though I am always excited for this time of pondering, I find myself avoiding it.
I sat down to write today and instead surfed the internet. Then I picked up the Journal Star and read a few articles. Finally I opened my computer but found myself drawn instead to opening my facebook account. In hopes of sparking my creativity, I went on a walk at 10:00 PM with my husband. We made small talk about how our classes went, made plans for the rest of the week, talked about our students, and then I finally asked him what he thought I should write about for tonight's writing--"Write about adjustments," he said.
"What do you mean?" I asked...knowing darn well what he meant.
"Well, write about how summers are a huge adjustment for you. All year long we live in a small, slow-paced town, then we pack up and move to a larger city on the opposite end of the state for six weeks."
Trying to sound nonchalant about the entire situation I shrugged my shoulders, shoved my hands deep into my pants pockets and replied, "It's not that big of a deal. I mean we live a pretty fast-paced life being teachers and all...we're always going you know." When we arrived back at our temporary summer home, I told my husband I was going to write and instead I filed my nails---please understand that I hardly ever file my nails. Finally after two hours of avoidance--I opened up a blank document and began the process.
The truth is, the summers really are an adjustment period for me. A few weeks before we move here I can feel the excitement growing inside me and I begin daydreaming of all I will do during my eastern Nebraska retreat. But as I begin packing the day before, that excitement turns to remorse as I grow sentimental about leaving my house, the lake and small town life. All of a sudden I am thrust into living in a house that is not my own--onto a crowded street with cars zipping by--into a classroom with people I don't really know. On top of all of this, I find myself having to bring a piece of writing to class each day.
I don't realize how much I value the familiar until summer. I hate to admit it because I like people to think that I'm a laid back, go-with-the-flow type of person-- but tonight I find myself feeling a little displaced and unsettled. It is causing me to think about how I often don't appreciate what I have. It's very easy for me to slip into a negative mood about living and teaching in western Nebraska--we don't have an abundance of coffee shops, department stores, cute boutiques, opportunities for academic growth, booming farmer's markets and live music. Tonight I'm thinking about what we do have in our small and somewhat isolated area of the state--breathtaking sunsets, genuine and good-natured people, mom and pop shops, bluegrass music, Friday night football games, and if you look deep enough--a pride that often runs generations deep--and tonight I am missing all of it.