Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On the 8th day 'til Freedom, My True Love Said to Me....

Okay, so maybe my true love didn't say anything special about freedom from my day job, but I am just so darned happy that I can barely contain myself. Granted, I'm also so exhausted it was a fight to stay awake past 6 p.m. tonight, but I'm hoping that's due to allergies and a rainy evening. It certainly isn't due to my age!

Today my students performed their end-of-the year puppet plays and I was amazed how many gifted me with their puppets when they were done. I just mentioned that if they didn't want the puppets any longer they could either toss them out (as they were created from "junk" items anyway) or I'd be happy to take them. I now have nearly two dozen new puppets to share my life with. Some are humanoid, some are odd creatures from boxes, I've got a handful of paper sack pals and sock sweeties to speak to. No, not crazy, but I can't help but talk to puppets. Having grown up with a myriad of Jim Henson (and company's) characters in my daily life via Sesame St. and The Muppet Show, accompanied by Shari's Lamb Chop, and I see puppets as living breathing friends. In fact, one of my dozens of future business ideas has to do with puppets because I'm so drawn to them. That's what being passionate about your art is all about: finding excitement and fun where others are willing to say, "Here, I don't want it, but if it makes you happy, it is all yours!"

Anyway, I'm delighted to know one week from today my students will be starting summer vacation and I'll be gearing up for my last day of school administrivia. My sincerest respect goes to those who are thrilled to be part of education in the public sector for a career. I've done it off and on for nine years now (seven of those teaching in middle grades and high schools) and I just keep re-learning that I love to teach, but hate all the rest of the work that goes with it: grades, upset people due to grades, meetings because of grades, paperwork about those grades. Life doesn't come with a grade book, folks, and some day we'll be smart and capable enough to figure out an easier, more authentic system of discovering if we learned what we should. Until then, I'll be in the private sector, cheering on creativity at every turn!

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