Thursday, June 28, 2012

No More Classroom

I am officially done moving out of my classrooms.

Many boxes, many full garbage cans...and I turned in my keys.

It was strangely okay.  I thought it would be enormously sad or enormously exciting or...something, but it wasn't.  This whole process has been surprisingly unemotional considering how much emotion and passion has gone into my job for so many years.

I suppose, compared to the actually teaching part, the leaving part is easy.

A Little Help From Friends

Sometime last week, a bright orange light went on my car that looks like this: (!)

Generally, lights and exclamation marks are not good by themselves, much less as a combo.  I called Subaru from my car to ask them what that light meant, and they said I might have a tire pressure problem or a leak in my tire.  "Okay, no problem, I can check my tire pressure," I said with confidence.

Except.

Last time I had to check my tire pressure, it involved me going to a pitiful little gas station and sitting, trying to figure out how to get it to work, paying someone inside, and ultimately giving up.  The entire time I kept thinking I went to college!  I should be able to do this!

Nope.

I asked a co-worker about it, but he was no help.  I asked another co-worker about it and she said she would help me, but then forgot.  So I've been driving around for almost a week now with this warning light on.

Today, a friend came over.  He and I met about 9 years ago when I was getting my teaching credential and he was a freshman (we were in orchestra together).  He is my only friend that I have made in 9 years who is not a teacher.  Recently, we have only seen each other during my breaks because I am completely unsocial otherwise.

"So....want to help me with something?" I asked.  Being the kind and obliging friend he is, he went with me to the gas station and taught me how to check my tire pressure with the gauge I keep in my glove compartment (but never knew how to use), how to work the air machine, and how to put air in my tires.

It's so often the little things that make all the difference.

I am grateful for those in my life who will stop to help me with the small things.  They add up very quickly.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Classroom Clean Up - Offer #1

My house went on the market on Saturday.  By Sunday night I had my first official offer.  Yay!  But with "yay" comes details and paperwork, which is how I started my morning.

I then went to school #1 to clean my classroom.  Surprisingly it took under 2 hours and I was done, though tired.

When I went to school #2 I had two students who arrived to help me out.  I am still exhausted, as I worked a good 3 or 4 more hours.  I filled a huge trash can and 3 boxes full of my stuff, and there is still more to sort through.

It's exhausting but necessary.

I'm making a delicious salad for tomorrow so I can eat while cleaning.  By "salad" I mean a bunch of delicious stuff over some lettuce so I can pretend it's a salad.  Romaine lettuce, chicken thigh, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, maybe some almonds...ooh, I should boil some eggs!

I need something to keep me energized!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Open House

Today, strangers came to look at my house.

Fortunately for me, I was not in the house and my real estate agent was.  I, on the other hand, ate way too much food (again!...seriously, I don't have to eat tomorrow I can just live off of all the extra calories from the last few days), went to Barnes and Noble (to buy books for all 3 of my "bosses"), went to Old Navy (bought 2 pairs of shorts that were on sale), and went to Sprouts.

While I can't comment on what the open house was actually like, being as how I was not there, it's odd to know that people are just coming into my house.

It makes me want to put out food for them.

-------

Housing dilemma for San Francisco:
Do I want to...
1.) Live in a Victorians-esque "house" with bay windows and neighborhood charm?  or
2.) Live in a high rise complex with windows for walls and amazing views?

Both appeal to me.

The idea of living in a FULL HOUSE kind of house, albeit way smaller, appeals to me.  But city views and sky scrapers do, too.

Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My House

I bought a condo in Orange County over 3 years ago.

O'bama's first time homebuyer tax break got me.  That and I was spending $1600 a month on rent and realized I could spend less than that on a mortgage.

I looked and looked and researched and researched and asked my poor real estate agent a bajillion questions, and eventually ended purchasing on February 13th.  I remember this because I closed on Friday the 13th, and that tickled me.

Since then, being the neurotic person I am, I have been looking on realty websites to see other houses to ensure I still got a good deal.  And in fact, I did.

I'm now on the other side of the process.  A photographer came yesterday and took pictures of my house, and now my house is on the internet, officially listed.  It's my house.  On the internet.  It is a little bit weird....anybody can see inside my house!

But this is it!  This is the major source of financing for my adventure.  I secretly hope some stupid rich person decides to come buy it for a ridiculous amount of money.  Considering where I currently live, that's enormously possible, I suppose.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The End

Yesterday was the last day of school.

Really, the LAST day of school.

After 8 years of being a teacher, I am walking away from my job and walking away from Orange County.  I am...I was a 4th - 8th grade teacher, with almost 500 students, at two different schools daily.  I loved teaching but I think I may have hated being a teacher (much like I love learning but hate being a student).  While working with kids and teaching them brings me happiness, there were so many aspects of being a teacher that did not involve teaching.

And I hated them all.

Needing a rolly cart every day, mean parents, bitter other teachers, irrational administrators (not anymore, but in the past), having to eat lunch in my car, entitlement, staff meetings, grading, waking up at 5:30 every morning, getting home at 5:30 every evening, having to censor myself, getting 50 emails a day, having to teach manners, excuses, teacher clothes, adults who don't act like role models but instead behave like spoiled children, having to provide pencils for a class of 100 and watching them purposely break the pencils and announce that it didn't matter because I had to give them a pencil no matter what... (yes, that happened)...

But the teaching I loved.  The teaching I will miss.

I gave up my own life for 8 years, dedicating myself and all my time to being a better teacher.  And now I am done.  I leave without anger, but without much sadness, either.  It's time to move on.

I watched my beloved 8th graders graduate yesterday, and felt like I was graduating with them.  They couldn't stay there forever; they needed to move on and continue to on to meet what life holds for them.  So do I.

This next week I will be cleaning up my classroom and saying good bye to my old life  Former students have been coming back to say good bye, which touches my heart.  I feel an overwhelming feeling of relief, knowing that my efforts have been appreciated and valued by so many.  While I know there was no way to reach every child (I had over 3000 in 8 years), I certainly tried.  It's reassuring to know that so many noticed.