Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oakland

As soon as I decide I'm ready to stay home for a while and learn to enjoy it, something comes up. THis time I decided to run for planning board. I figure it's something I'm interested in and have a good background for. And it will take a reasonable amount of time (mainly evening meetings) which would work well with staying home with the kids and still having a career type thing going on. I turned in my nomination papers at the end of the week.

Then, over the weekend, I read about the incident in Oakland where a man shot and killed 4 police officers. When I looked for more info, I found that it happened just blocks from Frick, and I found another story about an 18 yr old who was killed right down the street. He had the same name as a former student of mine who would be about 18, so I got a bit worried. It turned out to be a different 18 yr old, but in finding that out I also got more info about the man who killed the policemen. Turns out he went to my school, and so did his 16 yr old sister, who was in my class 2 years ago. He fled to her apartment, and she was shot in the leg in crossfire as the swat team came in and killed her brother. So then I heard from one of my favorite former students to tell me that she's okay, but she does live across the street from this house.

Now I know there's nothing I could do to change something like this. But I also know that I could go into my classroom the next day and give my students a safe place in which to discuss it. My classroom was a community, and we were able to have very real discussions about current events, local and otherwise. It's not that hard to do, but it doesn't happen very often. People blame it on the tests, but it's also not always the easy way out. When I walked into my classroom in Oakland I had the choice. I could make my students focus straight off on the text book, or I could start with the news. I always checked the headlines before I came in so I knew what was coming at me. ANd I was still surprised by stories on many occassions. I vowed during my first year to never back away from a discussion with my class because I was uncomfortable. I think that's why my students were able to have the discussions they needed to have. That's what I feel like I could bring to the table. I cdon't think I could fix the problems that happen now, but I think I could give the students a space to figure it out and try to make sense of it.

ANd then my choice is to stay home with my 2 kids in Hopedale. And I don't even necessarily enjoy it. I sometimes feel a little like I'm backing away from the whole conversation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Planning?

I've been calling Chris fickle, but I think I know where he gets it from (and it's not just from being 2).

After a wonderful week in Houston, I didn't want to leave. It made me wonder why we chose this climate to call home, and whether I want to live here forever. To make matters worse, the kids both raced for the door everytime it opened. They clearly vote for the sunshine. But I guess February in MA is not the time to decide to move for sunshine. There are other good things about the climate here. Yesterday morning it was snowing when we woke up. I came downstairs and angrily said "What's this white stuff outside?" Chris said "Snow! Yay! Snow! Can I go play in it?" We told him that we only say "Yay snow" in December, not in March. But he loves it and reminds me that I do too, sometimes. Anyway, we're not planning to move south anytime soon.

So then we decided we needed a more livable yard. We're in the process of planning out a patio, which we will hopefully start and finish in the next month or so. Nothing too complicated, but we just want a bit more space to sit outside with the kids. I also think we're going to tear down the old play structure (before it falls down and takes kids with it). It'll be garden time soon, too.

Since the snow killed my plans yesterday to go to Lexington with Chris to visit KP and Oliver, I decided to make it a useful day. Chris and I bought paint for the bathroom, and I painted most of it. The trim isn't done yet, but we're almost there. FINALLY!!! The bathroom has been there for a year now, and it's about time we actually finish it.

We also started thinking about if we could redo the kitchen at any point in the future. We both really want a bigger kitchen. Enough so that we probably won't plan to stay here for the long haul if we can't do something with it. We got a couple ideas. Of course when we decided that it was impossible, our next thought was to consider moving to Medford. Then we decided the kitchen might work so we'd stay. I'm still a bit perplexed by our logic. Do we want to move to Medford? Who knows. I do know that I'd like to be able to decide if I want to think of this house as our future or not.

Alex is on anti-daylight savings time. He's been awake since 4:30am. Luckily at least Chris is still asleep.