Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Odd Connection

In November of 1979 I found myself in Moscow enjoying a performance of the Moscow Circus. Yes, the dancing bears and such were great but still as a 17 year-old sitting in a communist country I was also guarded. Communism was bad, that's what I'd heard and certainly all these Russians sitting around me couldn't be as happy with their life as I was with mine. You might say that although I was enjoying the circus I was also looking around with one eyebrow raised trying to figure out what was really going on. I remember noticing that no one seemed to be wearing glasses. It freaked me out, my young mind started racing and in no time I was quite sure that whoever was in charge around there must have taken all the less-sighted people and shipped them off to Siberia or somewhere. I studied the crowd a little longer to make sure I wasn't imaging things and grabbed my friend's arm.

"Ed, did you notice no one around here is wearing glasses? What the hell do you think they do with all the people who have less than perfect vision?"

Ed probably said something snarky, because that's what he usually did and then proceeded to point out to me the many people sitting near us with glasses resting on their nose.

My theory was busted.

Tonight, I was out on a walk around the neighborhood when I came across not one, but two pair of prescription glasses lying on the ground near the sidewalk. I can't recall the last time I've seen a pair of glasses just laying on the ground. Immediately my mind started racing with the plot of a possible episode of The Twilight Zone. Were Martians in the area? Were they plucking innocent people from the earth as they walked to their cars?

Who knows, maybe it was the solar flares.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Day of Surprises

It's hard to say what surprised me more today, the afternoon snowfall that I'd heard no mention of or the absolute oddity of the thirty minutes I spent in the allergist's office.

The snow was a nice surprise. The flakes were pretty big at times and did a fabulous job of giving the drab trees a little pop. Is there anything more beautiful than a bare tree with a new coating of fresh fallen snow? Today, there was not.

Oh yeah, and then the allergist's office. Timing is everything with that kind of visit. I usually try to get there by 3:15 in the afternoon. That allows me to get there before most of the elementary school kids. Really, it's not the elementary kids that are so bad; it's the whiny younger siblings. Either the pre-school types are there for their own shots and not happy about it or they are bored out of their minds waiting for someone else to get a shot. Either way it usually isn't a pretty, or quiet, scene.

I didn't get to the office until almost 4:00 today, well past what I know to be the best time. Sure enough I was greeted as I walked towards the door by a gal a bit older than myself who was on her way out.

"It's getting crowded in there," she warned.

My smile fell a bit and I shrugged my shoulders, "Oh well, I guess I'll be here awhile."

I was surprised to see at least 3 empty chairs. For a second the passerby's warning confused me, it didn't seem crowded at all.

And then I understood. There was a father with his 2 or 3 year-old son sitting on his lap. They had a book open in front of them and the father was reading him the story of The Three Little Pigs.

I'm used to parents reading to their children in the waiting room, and it usually doesn't bother me at all...but this guy did.

I can only think he had no idea how loud he was reading, because his voice was what this teacher would refer to as definitely not an "inside voice."

I paged through a magazine of the 50 best local restaurants trying my best to ignore the strains of all the huffing and puffing. I was doing okay with it all, really I was, until Loud Father reached for his phone.

"Oh look, Mommy called us and we missed the call. Should we call her back?" he questioned.

I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. He proceeded to make the call using the speakerphone option. Myself and everyone else in the office got to hear his conversation with his wife that included an update on the road conditions (they were fine) and the proud announcement that his son had a big day. He had gone poopey in the potty for the first time. He was now a real, big boy!

It was then I reached for the headphones in my purse and tuned way out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wingin' It

It was just Sunday when a friend's father asked me if I ever "wing it" in the classroom. Uh, that would definitely be a yes, although there are varying degrees to the process. I suppose someone who is truly winging it would enter the classroom without an idea of what will happen.

I can't say I've ever done that although I have walked in knowing what I wanted to teach and been unsure about how that was going to happen.

For example, today I introduced the students to the concept of analogies. I knew I wanted them to be familiar with how analogies are formed, what type of analogies there are and why it's important to know about them.

I also knew I had created a PowerPoint to introduce the topic last year. So, no there was no winging it today, but if I'd been unable to find the PowerPoint I'm sure I could have come up with something.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Procrastinator's Prison

I'm a procrastinator at heart. Isn't everyone? Are there really people walking among us that get things done, the kind of things they really don't want to do, as soon as possible? Maybe they're of the thinking that if it's no fun to accomplish why not just get it out of the way.

That's not me. I think more along the lines of, why do that boring, tedious stuff when I can put it off another day or so.

The non-procrastinators would probably be enjoying the last day of a 1o-day vacation. They'd probably hit the gym or go for a run...maybe even a movie.

Yeah, I didn't do that. I spent most of the day as a prisoner of my couch with a stack of essays and a pen.

Okay, and a few games of Skee Ball on the iPad.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Truly Scattered and Rather Unfinished

Somewhere between Baltimore and DC along 95 South my head was in full-scattered thoughts mode. It was Friday; the setting sun was creating quite a light show with a variety of clouds and colors in the sky. It would be difficult to map my thought pattern but as I passed the exit for the newly opened Inter-County Connector it became quite clear to me that the friend I was thinking about had been a true catalyst in my life. People can make all the plans in the world, but often it's a truly random moment that affects one's path in life.

How's that for a cliffhanger?