Thursday, February 23, 2012

Like-mindedness

Being a teacher keeps me on my toes from 5:00-ish in the morning until 5:00-ish in the evening.  Responsibilities and chores at home occupy the hours before my shower or bath, and I wind down for the rest of the evening either watching a show that has been dvr'd from earlier in the week or logging some time on Pinterest.

The extra committee work, the school yearbook, additional family chauffeuring duties and sheer exhaustion have kept me away from the crafty nook since Valentine's Day.  I managed to buy the latest issue of Where Women Create, but have only glanced through the pages.  Glancing is so completely unlike me considering the creative spaces the magazine showcases are my own personal form of crack.  

Yes.  Crack.

I love teaching my kindergartners, but there are days when I could do without the issues, the dramas, the meetings, the pressure, and the ill-timed spontaneous surprises like strep, pink eye, and breakfast upchucked all over the desk, floor, and/or ill student.  Welcoming diverse pedagogies and professional philosophies isn't always easy, and when compromise becomes necessary, it must always be partnered with polite tolerance.  Public education is exhausting.  It can get old.

I'm not a professional crafter or artisan.  I don't attend fabulous artsy retreats, though I'd love to immerse myself in a world of inspiration and creativity away from young children.  I've taught only a few crafty classes myself, but have loved sharing what I enjoy so much with others.  Not having the time or energy to spend in the crafty nook might actually be starting to depress me.  

Flipping through Where Women Create, I had this *flash* as my eyes quickly skimmed over page 47.  "She listened to her heart above all other voices" was the quote, and there was my white crafty tool organizer, sitting and staring at me from the middle of Beth Quinn's worktable.  Of course it's her organizer.  But it's the same one I have.  She uses it the same way I use mine.  Her love for organization, subdued sparkle and typography is a close match to the environment I eventually hope to create for myself in the crafty nook.  The *flash* was the recognition of so much more than our similar taste.  The *flash* was the realization that I desperately miss like-mindedness.

I don't consider myself religious though I admire the iconography of faith.  I'm not a member of any wife or parenting group though I'm married and a mother.  I operate as efficiently as possible during the work week to ensure that I won't have to live in the classroom every weekend.  Let me tell you, I would kill to find a setting where the participants were bound together not by competition and comparison but by creativity and sharing.  Enough of tolerance and patience, I'm ready to swim in some inclusivity.  Instead of escaping, I want to belong, full time.  I want my creative friends to win the lottery and move closer to me.  I want to make new friends who aren't tethered, gagged, or otherwise limited by their profession so we can explore, create and discuss something ~other~ than No Child Left Behind, data-driven assessment, and politics.  

I want to enjoy and appreciate so much more with like-minded folks. 






2 comments:

  1. I was just reading your blog that I stumbled upon and loved this entry. I too am a teacher and feel the SAME way you do. I get tired of the competitiveness and people having to one up each other. What happened to being a true woman friend and confidant?? This just really echoed how I felt this morning. :)

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  2. Thank you Jennifer- it's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way, though it's a bummer that any of us have to in the first place. Public education can be so draining without the added social jockeying amongst colleagues topping it all off. I hope you have a just-for-you place and/or friend that helps you recharge your batteries and reconnect with your...... you-ness.

    :)

    Michaele

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