Tuesday, May 8, 2018

It is pretty obvious that continuing to teach and keeping a blog did not work out well together! Now that I am re-really-retiring, maybe I will actually keep up with a blog and enjoy the creative outlet. I have about three weeks left in my teaching career and have been tackling the arduous task of clearing out over 45 years of accumulation of "stuff" from my years at AlWood.

Many of my own books have made it to my classroom collections, so I have been sorting to decide
what to take home and what to leave for my colleagues. I told my seniors they could have any of my spare books, and one dedicated reader picked out a pretty impressive collection for her summer reading.

Today, in the back of my Technology "Office" which is really a glorified store room, I tackled a metal rack filled with hanging file folders. I have not used in quite a few years since I am much better at organization using Google Drive than I am with paper files and folders. I moved through it pretty quickly, throwing away paper copies of students projects, records of Professional Development, and documentation of various initiatives from the State of Illinois to prove our kids are learning.

I slowed down when I came across a blue folder containing a pile of documents printed on a dot matrix printer. The folder also contained notes and other artifacts from the mid-1980's when I was working on my Master's Degree in English. It is fascinating to read my own words, some of which I had forgotten all about.

I will share one of them in this post, and perhaps some others later. The short essay below was a descriptive writing assignment from English 598-Teaching Composition and Grammar. Here it is:

Whatever Happened to Baby Jill?

My down-to-earth, tomboy daughter has turned generic junior high. Her short, straight blond hair has been moussed and sprayed into modern-Madonna curls. Her eyes are adorned with blue eye shadow that clashes with her dazzling purple and turquoise outfit. Her high-on-the-cheekbone blushes matches that of her two best friend.

When she breezes in the door quipping, "How's it going, Dad?", my husband shudders. When she monopolizes the telephone, bathtub, and radio simultaneously, her younger sisters complain. When I watch her admiring he slim, budding figure in the mirror, I feel pride and fear at the same time.

Occasionally, she forgets her new image--like when she scrambles after a wild pitch as catcher for softball team or races her bicycle down the lane to the pasture. I also see glimpses of an older Jill when she capably dispenses her grandfather's medication or carries her sobbing little sister to the bus.

But for now, I must endure this loud and temperamental creature who is only masquerading as my daughter.