31 August 2012

New School Year

The pencils are sharpened and the materials in place.  This year I'm still technically an intern (hopefully earning my Montessori Credentials by the spring) and my head teacher has assigned Practical Life and Sensorial as my responsibility.  Since I am a forgetful person, I am taking pictures of the shelves each time I put work on them.  These will go in my albums as a reference for when I have my own classroom someday and can't remember what to put on the shelves in September.  It's not a requirement of the albums (they've already been graded) but I think having a full year's sequence including holiday ideas will be really helpful.
Here are the shelves I put together for the first day of school:

Practical Life

Care of Environment and Care of Self

Sensorial Shelf 1

Sensorial Shelf 2
School starts next Wednesday and we have seven new 3 year olds starting this year.  Maybe I should take pictures of what the shelves look like after the first day - that way I remember that part of September too.

24 August 2012


I wrote this early one morning after a dream.  I'm not sure yet if this is it, or if there's more before or after.

I fly, dance, spin.  Twist, jump, hang suspended in the air for what seems like minutes before tucking and rolling back to the stone.  Trying to pass the time.
Asoph has told me to wait.  He gave me the names of those I should wait with.  His instructions do not make sense.  The rest of the city was told to go to the palace docks.  There they would be processed and board the ship.  The evacuation plans have been in place for years.  We learn them the first year of school and every year after that there are reminders and drills.
After having the procedure drilled into me for ten years, it is difficult to blatantly abandon it.  But I must trust him, I have trusted him with everything so far, including my life, this is not that much of a stretch.  
There are twelve of us waiting.  We cannot jump too soon, he told us to wait for the signal.  

.    .    .

There is a lot of shouting as the ship passes the balcony.  The youngest jump first, into the waiting arms of those already on board the ship.  The gap widens.  Sheer walls leading to jagged rocks and hideous surf are the answer to a missed jump.  There are two of us left.  
“You go”, I tell him.
“No, I’ll get you across.”
“You wont make it.”
Split second.
He jumps.
The ship is pulling away.
There is only one way.
Asoph is standing on the stern of the ship, robes flapping in the hot wind coming off the city.  I retreat from the edge, ten feet then twenty feet, then I begin to dance.  Everything inside me is screaming to run, forget all this.  But I know I must.  I will not make it if I don’t do it all.  So I dance, spinning, twisting, leaping across the space I created, moving towards the ship.  One final leap lands me on the stone orb of the railing.  As I balance before leaping out into the air, my mind makes the realization that the ship is no longer where it was when I started, it is further, much further.  The gap has widened, doubled maybe.  The thoughts whip through my mind, but I cannot hesitate.  I jump anyway.  
I fly, twist, find an air currant and propel myself towards the boat.  It is still too far.  The panic begins to rise.  I need an updraft.  I twist to find it.  There’s nothing.  I am no longer flying, I am falling.  
I feel his words rather than hear them.  His voice inside my head rather than being heard outside.  Then the explosions begin.  Thats the power I need, if only the force will hit before, well, before I fall too far.

I twist and flip one more time, sideways, searching for an air current to bear me up.  There’s a tiny one, I gained maybe a foot.  Another one?  Can I find one more?  I’ll take whatever I can get.  The rumbling hits my ears at the same moment the updraft hits my body.  That’s it, what I need.  I twist into it and propel my self upward and forward.  It’s not enough, there needs to be more.  
The city is exploding, the ship needs to move away from the collapsing walls and boulders that are becoming shrapnel.  One more updraft.  I feel the weightlessness of free-fall again.  I’m not going to make it.  I’m still above the side of the ship.  I can still see him, our eyes lock as I begin to fall.  I am not even trying any more.  I can’t.  I know the ship needs to go, I am holding them back.  He stretches out his hand to me, I stretch mine to him, a silent wave, salute, to the man who drew me out of the shadows and gave me wings.
I feel the heat behind me.  The fire must have reached the balcony.  The explosion took out all sound.  In the silence my body took over, the heat on my back was too intense, but with it came power, wind.  I felt it and made one final attempt to fly into the current.  The firey air propelled me forward.  My fingers grasp solid material.  My last coherent thought is to hang on, don’t let go.  My ears are still silent, I feel a hand grasp my arm, then my eyes close and I give in to the firery heat behind me.

10 August 2012

I Remember: Grandma

My grandma looks like the Queen of England.  Short white hair, thick framed glasses.  
I remember her sternness, her attention to propriety and politeness.  
Drink all the milk in your cereal bowl, there are starving children in Africa.  
I remember her generosity.  I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa ‘B’ (as opposed to Grandma and Grandpa ‘C’) for a week the summer I was 10.  A week with grandma and grandpa.  I remember dinner on TV trays in the den watching Jeopardy.  I remember Grandma putting my suitcase in Uncle David’s old room.  The room where everything matched.  The bedding matched the curtains, which matched the arm chair (an arm chair in a bedroom!), which matched the pads of paper on the twin built-in desks flanking the window.  That was Alissa and my favorite spot.  We wished we had a room like that at our house.  A room so big it contained twin beds, twin dressers, twin desks and still had room for an arm chair.  And everything matched.  
I liked the room, but I didn’t want to stay there.  I remember screwing up my courage.  Can I stay in Aunt Anne’s room?  Aunt Anne’s room was blue and white and full of light.  There was a trunk full of dolls I knew I couldn’t touch.  There was a desk and a chair and a big white bed.  Grandma said I could sleep there instead.
I remember she asked me if I’d had a “BM” and I said no because I didn’t know what it meant.  She called my mom to inform her I wasn’t well, Mom told her I probably didn’t know what BM meant.  
I remember her sitting next to me on the bed, holding a gold locket with two pictures inside - herself and my Uncle David.  This is for you, she told me; it was given to me by my mother (in-law?).  The locket was slightly larger than a quarter.  The engraved heart and scrollwork drew me in, my ten-year-old self loved hearts.  This is for you, she said.
Grandma informed me we were going shopping when she found out that not only did I not bring a bathrobe, but I did not own one.  I don’t remember what department store we went to, it seemed fancy to me.  We rarely shopped at department stores at home.  The clothes were new, and beautiful.  We didn’t find a suitable bathrobe (I would get a blue, zip-up one for Christmas the following year), but while walking through the racks of beautiful clothes, I couldn’t resist touching.  (I do it now when I shop, fingering the cloth, tracing embroidery, even on a garment I don’t like.)  Grandma stopped.  Do you like that skirt? she asked.  Oh boy, did I like it?  How could I not have liked it.  It was a twirly skirt.  I could tell on the hanger.  The kind if you twirled around it would spin in a circle until you stopped.  Tiered fabric of black and white check and pink roses alternated.  It was so ‘90s.  It was so beautiful.  Do you like the skirt? she asked again.  Yes, I managed, it’s prettyOkay, we’ll get it.
Just like that.  She picked it up.  We’ll need a shirt too, what about this one?
She picked up a white peasant shirt with an elastic neck and blousey 3/4 sleeves.  Oh my.  My ten-year-old heart melted.
Yes.  My grandma was very generous.

03 August 2012

Finding My Fabulous

On Wednesday I had gum surgery.  It was my fourth, but I have found an excellent periodontist so it wasn’t too bad.  The best part about Wednesday was after the surgery.  Yes, I had the novocan/swollen lip/drooling feeling, but I was alone.  Cora was at Grandma’s and down for a nap.  Which meant I had a few hours to myself.  The periodontist is in Kittery so what better to do than go shopping at the outlets.  Before I got to the outlets however I decided to stop in at a cute looking thrift called The Fabulous Find, and boy was it!  It’s become my fabulous find of the week!
It’s a small store, but full of cute second-hand items.  My buy of the day?  J.Crew ‘Matchstick’ jeans for $4.99.  Followed up with a pinstriped button down and a tank-top.  Total for the three items: $16.25.  What I liked best about The Fabulous Find was their philosophy.  After they pay rent and their two paid employees the rest of the profits go to local charities.  They have a long list of charities in Dover, Kittery, Eliot, Berwick (and others) that they have written significant checks to.  What a great way to help the community.  If you live in the seacoast/southern Maine area, take your donations to The Fabulous Find.

So I skipped the outlets and stopped in another thrift shop Full Circle in Eliot.  This one wasn’t as good; a little dingy, a little dirty and yet I still managed to find something to buy.  A couple of books, wood blocks for Cora and a milk white bowl.  Total: $11.03.

I like these thrift shops.  Lately I’ve been disappointed with places like Savers.  I feel like prices have been going up and are ridiculous for second-hand clothes.  Who wants to pay $11 or more for Target brand jeans?  Not me.  I bet I could find new jeans on sale for the same price.  
For me, it’s sayonara Savers and hello Fabulous.