Friday, October 5, 2012

Finally Hiding Away

Our field trip location, taken last year when the weather was a bit more dry...

Today is wet. 

Scheduling outdoor field trips at this time of year is a gamble at best, with some days gracing us with crisp, fall air and sunny, clear skies and others coming around with a cold, heavy bout of rain--like it did today. The good news was that it was scheduled for half the day. The bad news was that as prepared as I was--rain boots, waterproof pants and jacket, thick wool socks and a hat and gloves--I still boarded the bus two hours later with numb feet and damp jeans. Even my best track meet gear was little match for the persistent rain. Now that I'm in the quiet of home, the echo of the rain on the roof and the gurgle of the gutters are soothing, and the memory of cold and wet does little to squelch my appreciation for a departure from the truth.

I can't help but appreciate time outside with my students. Individuals that normally lay low (or play apathetic) in the classroom blossom when they are outdoors, performing poems with enthusiasm that they'd hardly venture to read out loud under florescent lights. The students beam with satisfaction over the physical labor they take part in (as part of our trip was community service), and still counter that two hours in the rain is a nice change from the classroom.

I couldn't agree more.

And now, I'm thankful it's Friday, I look forward to some down time to rest and relax, free of grading if only for a couple days. Curtis has the weekend off, and I do too, after two months of races. At this point I don't really have a preference for sun or rain--each will offer its own options, and as long as I'm not in charge a bunch teenagers, it will be perfect.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Whispers of Autumn, or Seeking Rest

Tis the season, around here. Fall means nothing if not one-packed-schedule when I coach a whirlwind, nine week season that culminates just as the snow falls--and hopefully just before. With the running season coinciding with the beginning of the school year, the chaos abounds, with seventy and eighty hour work weeks becoming the norm, and Sundays reserved for as much rest as possible, and mandatory laundry as necessity dictates.

We are closing in on the finish around here, and 36 hours of school and coaching and racing seems like so little when I really do love the season so much. Curtis doesn't quite know what to do with the push-and-pull of my emotions--simultaneously exhausted beyond what is healthy and nostalgic as the finale approaches. I suppose there is always next year.

So much as happened in the last few weeks that I've wanted to record: two more vicious windstorms creating one epic run in wind gusts that either brought you to a standstill or pushed you forward without control, students that begin to crack at the seems revealing their vulnerabilities and insecurities or their boldness and dreams, visits from family to celebrate the newest arrival in our family--a beautiful niece. 

The trees are now nearly bare. The snow is creeping daily down the peaks of the mountains, and our championship forecast calls for a fifty percent chance of snow. Perhaps because I'm not running, perhaps because it feels magical the first time it happens every year, I say bring it on. 

It's time for winter, and I have the mulled cider brewing on the stove. As all chaos slows for the time being, I am ready for a quiet corner not plagued with a packed schedule--as much as I will miss it.