Moment in Time – Random Ramblings

So you know that one scene at the end of one of the Harry Potter books where Dumbledore tells everyone that the exams are cancelled and Hermione has a melt down because of it? I’ve had something like that happen to me before, so I kind of understand where she’s coming from.

Have you ever had a teacher detail a very important essay project that will be the largest part of your grade for a unit and let the whole class know that you have to use this very specific book as one of the sources, but that the only hard copy of it is available downtown at the university, but can’t be checked out because its one of the university’s course books? Everyone in your class (and the other periods that have that class too) have to use the book. (This was back before the internet had really taken off (and doesn’t that make me feel old) so you couldn’t really get another copy of a university’s textbook unless you went to that school. Keep in mind that we were also just teenagers who hadn’t really gone through most bookstores for university texts.) I don’t remember how long it was supposed to be or anything like that, but it seemed like a huge project to be given at the time.

We also had to have it done before the next big break in class.

Which was something like two weeks away (at most.)

Most of my class was hyperventilating or just staring at our teacher in horror.

Now me, it’s not that I’m particularly cool under pressure or anything like that, but I am used to having limited time to do something that seems pretty impossible or at least improbable. I’m used to chaos happening and having to make some kind of sense or even just a rough draft of a plan and then working with it like it’s never going to be more than a rough draft until I come across something that makes me have to change the plan.

So I’m sitting there thinking up ways this will work out because I’m already in after school classes downtown three times a week anyway, and it won’t be a problem with my mom if I head up to the university (which is also downtown) on the public transit on Fridays after the class to get info from the book. I’m rearranging in my head how to fit working on the essay itself and looking up other sources in the amount of time I have to work on it alongside the other extra classes that I’m taking (so that I can graduate. You try missing three quarters of your Junior year of high school because of health and still wanting to walk with your class and not take all the extra classes that you can. My Senior year of high school I was technically a student at three different high schools: the Electronic High School for my state (I don’t know if it’s still up and running or if it’s been absorbed by other programs by this point), my own high school that I went to for the day (and before school started for a before-school class there as well), and the high school downtown that did the after school class in conjunction with several other programs from throughout the county. I had three different student IDs that year.

Good times. Good times.

Anyways, I’ve got a pretty good plan on how to get this all done in my head when my teacher lets us know what the next unit will be.

It’s on Stress.

Let that sink in a moment.

The whole reason we were having to push this essay project was because we had run into timing problems and so had to fit a good month and a half worth of lessons into two weeks before the next unit we were supposed to be starting.

Which was about Stress.

The whole essay was nothing more than an example of the kinds of things we can and will run into all over the place once we leave high school (supposedly. I had been dealing with this kind of life for my entire life already. This was not a new thing for me, which was why I had a Plan. It was a good Plan!)

(breathes slowly)

Sorry. Even well over a decade later, I’m still easily worked up about this subject.

So my class, for the most part, let out this large sigh of relief when they realize they don’t have to fit this seemingly ridiculous project into their lives.

I screamed.

Quietly.

Or, well.

Mostly.

It was a very stressing moment to realize that I had put all of that work and rearranging and such in only to have it all be for nothing! I’m not exactly made of energy over here!

I’m quite honestly surprised that, other than my right arm spasm-ing and then freezing in a claw (which was painful, let me tell you) nothing worse happened.

Now imagine having to actually use said Plan for several weeks and then being told that the essay project (or exam) that you had been slaving away for so that your grade wouldn’t tank was then waved away with the assurance that it wasn’t needed, but that they hadn’t told you that until after all of the work that had gone into it.

So, yeah, I kind of sympathize with this fictional character having that happen to her.

I was just sitting on my bed and minding my own business while reading through a random fanfiction that hasn’t even updated in three years (doesn’t mean it won’t be. I have hope!) when that part of the story hit me and I had to pause and write this down. Mostly so it won’t vanish on me later and then stalk me whenever I’m trying to work on something else.

I have learned this.

That Time Again – SoC

A moment in time to check,
Registration takes longer than you’d think,
Even with everything going digital and online.
 
You better make sure you have enough paper!
Or double check on the amount of pencils ready.
Unless you’ve also forgotten about your books?
 
Remember to check your shoes
Especially the ones with holes in them,
And make sure your socks are new as well.
Do you remember getting ready like this
Yet it seems so much more involved this year.
?
 

It’s that time again. Time for school to start for the kids. This afternoon will likely be dedicated to going through the school supplies that we keep as extras throughout the years and making sure their shoes will last until we’re able to get them new ones next week. (And if we need to get new gym shoes as well…)

Once this is done, only three more days until the first day of school. Then I’ll be all lonely at the house and trade sad looks with our dog (who still whimpers whenever the kids leave the house without her.)

This tiny post was inspired by the Stream of Consciousness from Linda G. Hill this week.

All Day Long

What is it that you do all day?
Only it seems very much like you play.
Really, what is it that you do?
Keep going on about it, don’t you?
 You’ve had all day.
Please set that aside,
Look, I don’t mean to deride.
At least listen to me,
You know there is more that what you see.
 Don’t judge my book without even seeing the cover.
Let’s take a step back,
I know know you think it’s sanity I lack.
Very much work I put myself to,
Even if it is not something you do.
We all have to begin somewhere.

Written as an answer to some of the children I live with. They come home from school and often think that I have just played video games all the day long. They don’t seem to understand that I have spent just as long working as they have at school. (shrugs) Ah well, life goes on and I’m sure that like I did they will learn that there is always more going on behind the scenes.

Never Over – Poetry Prompt 16

So that time is almost over again!
Come see the end of what we began.
How those days dragged on,
Or in the blink of an eye, they were gone.
Only now that I look back
Longing shows me what I lack.
Best days of my life.
Don’t forget walking between classes with friends.
Always remember that I learned from the ends,
Yet remember that those days are now gone.
So keep in mind what you had all along.

Written for Pooky’s Prompt for yesterday: http://pookypoetry.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/poetry-prompt-16-school-days/

School had a lot of interesting phases for me. Elementary school was a time of bullies and learning not to let the other kids get to me while also learning everything else. Middle school was about learning that people might still try to bully you, but that they lacked the imagination of kids in the younger grades (still don’t know why that was), but also learning that everything I learned in elementary school had a lot more to teach me while making me learn to accept that each teacher has a different set of rules. High school taught me that things are going to be hard, some times will be harder than others, but that it’s worth the end goal of being able to walk down that aisle with my friends and throw a cap in the air. (It also didn’t matter which cap you picked up from the floor at the end, because they were all the same, no one wrote their names in them. We were all the same in the end even while the cords on our robes were all so different.)

School was a fun learning experience and I really enjoyed it except for a few times and incidents, but I learned that even those will only last so long. There is always going to be more to life and it will come along at random and inconvenient times and I just have to live with it. Complaining takes too much time and energy, but it also has it’s time and place. I also learned that everyone can take a refresher course when their kids (or their siblings’ kids) need help with their homework.

A Day of Hope

Today is Easter, a day of hope, a day of renewal, a day of peace and joy. There are many different traditions on this day: going to church for a service (whichever church you may attend, if it’s Christian in any way, there’s likely to be an Easter service), family meals with extended family, gifts and (the favorite of many children) Easter egg hunts and baskets of candy.

Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox and so it is one of those few moving holidays. There are other holidays that surround it, are a part of it or are related to it in some way (Lent, Eastertide, Holy Week, Passover, etc.). There are different days where Easter falls that mean different things to some people. One year, my sister’s birthday was on Easter.

This year, something similar has happened. Easter is on the 15th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. If ever there was a day for hope and the escape from the tomb, it is today.

There is hope for those who both die and survive shootings. There is hope int he resurrection of Christ, but there is also hope to find healing. Survivors of Columbine reach out to help others who have suffered from similar traumas in their lives. For example, two former students at Columbine have reached out to their classmates and started a community group that has extended far beyond just those within their former school or even within their state of Colorado. I would write and try to describe the organization that they have started, the Rebels Project, but I would just be repeating what another has already written. I came across Jon Schuppe’s article on the Rebels Project and it gave me hope.

His article can be found here: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/columbine-15-years-later/lost-class-found-columbine-survivors-discover-new-purpose-n83436

There are five other articles as well and I hope that you, whoever the you reading this is, read them all.

I have never heard gunshots go off in my school halls, but that is because the student who was going to do so was identified and the weapon removed from his care before anything could happen. I never had to fear another bringing a gun into my school because I was near an outdoor store being held at gunpoint across the street because my school had lock-down procedures that were put into effect as soon as possible and the police were able to arrest the individual in question. I never had to feel what it was like to be in a building when a bomb went off because my high school was evacuated before the threatening call was even completed.

Not everyone has been as fortunate as I and my classmates have been. The news may not be filled with only stories of when things went wrong, but there are enough that have made me pause whenever there is any hint of it.

I have received a phone call that my sister’s children’s school was in lock-down because there was a man who’d threatened to bring his weapon to a school nearby. I have received another phone call that the elementary and middle schools near my house were in lock-down as well because an armed robbery had occurred on the same street and they were taking precautions. Nothing happened and none of the students had to be sent home either of these times, but it is because of dangers in the past and people sitting up and listening that these procedures are even in place.

I was in the 5th grade when Columbine happened. My second eldest sister was a senior in her high school, Class of 1999. It is her children who I have received phone calls regarding lock-downs. I shudder to think of a world where she died from a school shooting and her children never came to be.

It is Easter Sunday and it is a day of hope. I am more grateful than I can ever express for the hope that I have received just by knowing how preciously people are guarding their children and working to help those who have needed to survive anything.

God bless you.