Liz here. This is going to be short, as I've been so busy lately. I don't know what my problem is, but I keep running out of time to do stuff. I really need to get a planner, or invest in an online program to help me manage my time. Candace and Rudy came over yesterday, and I felt like such a jerk. I had invited them the week before, and I wanted to plan a nice day for us--maybe visit the arboretum, or pick out some recipes for a nice dinner, maybe we could have all cooked something together--but I ended up spacing out on it completely. Candace called around noon saying something like, "We're running a little late; we probably won't be there until 3," and I suddenly remembered! I had enough time to pick up and vacuum the living room, and clean the bathroom, but I wasn't even able to run to the grocery store. So when they did come over, I just made some coffee. I had a couple of beers in the fridge, and some pre-cut veggies with dip, so I put those out, too, but it wasn't nothing compared to what I wanted to do. And then I still had so much work to do for classes, I ended up chasing them out of my place early. Lame, I know. I'll make it up to them sometime--maybe this summer when I have more free time.
As you can guess, school is eating up a lot of my time. My class is part of a group putting on a play this year (it's Cinderella, basically, but with a huge expanded cast, and has elements from different cultures), and I keep getting strong-armed into "volunteering." I guess I must have mentioned to someone that my dad taught me how to do some carpentry stuff when I was younger, because they asked me to help with the sets. It's not exactly my strong suit, but they mostly have me doing 2-d stuff. I also help out with making some simple percussion instruments (yes, there's even an "orchestra."). I'm trying not to let the play eat up too much of my time, but it actually can be relaxing; it's nice to work with your hands at the end of a long, stressful day. It reminded me of being in Mtigwaki, and going fishing with Gary, or making preserves with Viv after classes. It's nice to remind myself of the things I can do and create; teaching can be frustrating sometimes because of the way it takes so long to see your work have an impact.
Helping with the play has also been a great opportunity to meet other teachers. Maybe it's because I was so used to the isolated feeling at Mtigwaki, but I realized that I avoided reaching out to other teachers since I started working here in Milborough. I kinda of regret that now, and think that some of my coworkers could be a good resource, especially with some of my more high maintainance kids. There's one teacher I like; she's a few years older than I am, but really seems to know her stuff. I still feel so overwhelmed sometimes at work, and sometimes like I just don't know what I'm doing. I was able to get some feedback on my work from her; I still struggle with behavior issues in the classroom; it was nice to hear someone being honest with me regarding that. I'd like to develop a "mentor" relationship with this woman, but even having her a friend would be nice.
Speaking of friendship, things are going well between me and Anthony. We're still taking things slowly, and not rushing into things. It's important for us to take it one day at a time, especially with a child involved. We've gotten comfortable with one another; I like just going over to his house and hanging out--watching a movie, or baking cookies, or something. I suppose when I was younger, I'd find something like that boring, but now it's really fun to me now. Of course, doing grown-up stuff is nice, too. I told Anthony that I think Francie and I need to have our time apart. It's fun spending time with her, and I feel like she's getting more comfortable with me, but I don't want her to start resenting my presence again. I'd like to go out for dinner sometime soon--not this next week, since I'm so busy, but maybe the week after that. Things were a little intense between us after Christmas--it was a pretty emotional night, and I think it meant a lot to Anthony to spend time with my family. Afterwards, when we were driving home, Anthony made it quite clear how much he cares for me. At the time, I was swept off my feet, but later, I felt a little anxious, like he was getting serious too quickly. Luckily, he was understanding when I wanted to talk about it, and I feel like our friendship is even stronger because of it.
Okay, I really have to get back to work! I have some grammar tests and a written assignment to grade, along with some more work on lesson plans. I'm creating some new geography plans based on the places in the Cinderella story. I don't want to short change any one country, which means I have to at least sketch out what we're going to be doing for the next four weeks. I'm also rewriting a science lesson I did last year. I used it last year, but it didn't quite work.