Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Musings of an Early Morning

Pin It The whistle of the train sounds from the distance over the sleepy city as I lie awake, listening. It’s a bit funny, really. Lately I’ve been tired, and getting up in the morning has been a challenge.

But not today.

Maybe is it because it’s the first day of September, a day usually marking the transition from summer to autumn. Perhaps it’s because of carefree sun-filled days readying to turn themselves to amber leaf canopies and crisp mornings.

Perhaps.

School started a week ago. Judging from the photos and a few posts I’ve written, you’ve probably already figured that out. I have a new Joey this year. He’s awesome. He has already started giving me plenty of fodder, now I just need to get into the mode of writing it all down as it happens; far too many moments slip away because I’m in the midst of teaching and don’t have anything handy to write on.

I wanted to write a post about my Joey from last year. I wanted to write about how he showed up in my classroom at Back to School Night last week. I wanted to write up the interaction between us. You would have laughed. I wanted to tell you all how much I missed having this boy in my classroom. I’d have told you how he finds me in the school at recess, lunch, or after school and makes it a point to give me a hug, or simply let me know that he is still awesome—but sixth-grade awesome.

He’s also humble.


Did I ever mention that I was on crossing duty last year?

I hated crossing duty.

I lied to myself, put on a smile, and pretended that it everything was great.

But secretly? I hated it. I’d stand there with a handheld stop sign and tick off traffic when I allowed students to cross through the intersection. I always felt like an idiot.

Really.

This year we were allowed to sign up for what job we’d like to have for the year. I signed up for the bike rack area at the back of school.

It’s quiet.

I don’t see too many parents. There’s no vehicular traffic. I get to talk to the kids a lot more than I did last year. There’s not as much pressure associated with the area. It kind of reminds me of the desert. The rows of corn in the field beyond the chain link fence are readying to turn. Before I know it, there will be a harvest and the stalks will be hewn down.

I wish they’d planted pumpkins again this year. Pumpkins always seem to make me feel happy, they remind me of Halloween.

I went to the grocery store yesterday for razorblades and yogurt – almost sounds like the name of a band, doesn’t it? I found myself drawn to the aisle filled to capacity with Halloween candy, decorations, and costumes.

I love Halloween.

The clock now rolls over to 5:43 and I have finally caught up on my blog reading. My alarm clock will sound in just a little bit, offering up a lame attempt to wake me – I take that back, it’ll play a Dustin Christensen song which I’ve found really helps to get me going during the mornings. The regular alarm sound just wasn’t working out for me.

There is goes again – the train whistle sounding; I can also hear the telltale sounds of traffic starting up. From out the window, the sky is a deep blue and the world is just coming to life.

I will now join it.

31 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

My teacher friend would have to volunteer to help guide the cars through the horseshoe lane in front of the school office... If u want interaction w/parents volunteer for that job... She has been cursed at, almost run down and gotten the evil eye...At least being a crossing guard, u won't be run over cuz u got the kids as a shield...Safety in numbers...

Kelly said...

Funny, I'd pegged you as the kind of guy who would enjoy the crosswalk job. This changes everything!

Corine said...

I really enjoyed reading this. :D I'm sure you are loads happier with the kids than with grumpy adult drivers! :) I'm also sure the kids thought you loved it... and you survived! That's all that matters. :D But how nice it is to have a job that you enjoy. Cool! I'm glad for you; the whole school year will be more enjoyable because of it.
PS My son still stops to say hi to the lady who works the cross walk were he went to elementary school the year I took a break from homeschooling (well, he did last year; school hasn't started yet this year in our little town). She knew each and every one of those kids by name; it was amazing!
*I hope you have fun at the bikes! :D Corine

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Someone once told me, pretending is good...

Enjoy the bike rodeo.

Momof5 said...

I love it when September arrives! My daughter's bday and the whole of the world starts smelling of burnt orange! Bring on the apple cider and pumpkins! God bless your school year!

Shannon said...

Waking to a train whistle would be nice I think - it's always interesting to be lucid while everything around you is still tucked into slumber...thoughts are often the most clear in those moments, and the world always seems just right..if only for a while. Pumpkins happen to be one of my favorite things too - not because of Halloween, just because they are awesome. Hope you are having a great day Mr. Z.

novidiac said...

I was 'volunteered' for crossing guard duty my first year teaching kindergarten. I had to 'remind' them to get off the cell phones and drop kids off in the correct lanes as well... it's like I had to be a parking lot nazi and then smile with these same parents when they came in to volunteer in the classroom.

I would totally choose the bike racks also.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Good morning. I love that you hate crosswalk duty.

Because it looks like it sucks and I love realism.

Sue said...

Hope the bike rack job suits you. And I'm glad you got another Joey...

=)

Omgirl said...

As much as I hate the end of summer, there is a freshness and excitement to September and the beginning of a new school year. Your post evoked a lot of fond memories for me!

Kristina P. said...

I didn't realize you had to sign up for an extra job. Interesting.

Natasha said...

I like your musings. Fun tie in the crossing guard picture. I would have picked bike racks too. I always felt bad for teacher crossing guards since they had to wear those reflective vests and hold the little sign...

I saw the time you commented on my blog this morning and thought "dang, he's up early". Now I understand why!

T said...

hmmm... I actually prefer Yogurt and Razorblades rather than the other way around... I'm assuming they're a punk band though... because if they're doing polka music your way works better.

bike racks are MUCH better than crossing guard duty - my son's teacher (a guy I've known for years)is stuck as crossing guard this year and always looks apologetic when he asks me not to run over any of the young'uns in the crosswalk. well, okay... but just 'cause you asked nicely...

tammy said...

I would hate crossing guard duty and parent drop-off duty because I can't stand it when people don't follow the rules. I would probably be yelling at all the parents.

I am so excited for Halloween!!

M-Cat said...

Bike rack duty! You scored!

Your train whistle description took me right back to my Grandma's house. Sleeping on the pull out sofa and hearing the trains in the morning.

Only in the county south of me. I never hear them here. Kinda makes me sad......

Mamma has spoken said...

I love listening to the train whistles here too.
As for the extra duties, we don't have to do them here. 95% of our students come to school on a bus (and we don't have to do bus duty either) the other 5% are parent drop off/pick up. There is a PAID person who handle this job (signing out their child verifing that they are the parent, etc). Guess it is the big difference between rural and urban schools.

Stef said...

Oh I would hate to be a crossing guard. But we have the best crossing guard in the world. She dances, she sings, she is a riot!! You need a her in your neck of the woods.
I too love fall...it can't comes oon enough!!

Nuttley said...

Maybe if you would have danced and sang like Stef's crossing gaurd you would have liked it more...

Maybe not. :)

4evermyboys.... said...

-I can't believe how early you teachers get up....my dad is the same way.

-I live by the train tracks as well....I grew up hearing them every morning.

-I didn't know there was such a thing as bike rack duty....go figure.

Cheeseboy said...

Oh man, sir... I HATE crossing duty too. I literally dread it more than anything. Those parent drivers are the WORST! I feel for you that you had an entire year of it last year.

Glad to hear you have a new Joey. I wasn't too worried. I am impressed with my class so far this year too. My first graders have been laughing at my goofy ways more than usual. That is how I measure a good class - the more they laugh at me, the better class they are.

Katie said...

What peaceful images you leave us with. I do miss hearing the train whistle: we moved from the DC metro area to where we are now, and don't get to hear trains that often. But when we do, the magic that comes across the kids' faces makes it that much more special.

And September kicks off the celebrations in our family. There's a birthday/anniversary/holiday now every month till January!

Marnie said...

Crossing duty sounds a lot like the drop-off duty at my daughters school. So many parents in a rush. They almost run you down...grrr!!

I love September. It always feels like a new beginning for me. Autmn is also one of my favorite seasons.

I'm glad you've got a new Joey. Those stories are the best.

Charlotte said...

I always felt bad for the teachers on cross guard duty.

And somehow New England forgot about September bringing in fall. We celebrated September 1st in the 90's. Good thing the heat wave is ending (of course it is a hurricane bringing in the cooler weather).

Emmy said...

So well written it just kind of flows and draws you in. I try I remember the funny things my children say, but you are right if you don't write it down it is so quickly gone.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

I wish we had planted pumpkins this year too. But we didn't, and I'm sad about it.
The kids had so much fun with their home-grown ones last year!
I don't think I'll ever let my husband talk me out of it again!

Kelley said...

I love the way you write! I am finally using my Google Reader & will be able to keep up with your blog. I've missed out! Does Joey know you write about him? I assume this is a student? What a treasure your blog would be for him!

Teachinfourth said...

Kelley - I actually just let his grandma know about the writings I did of him last year. She was tickled pink but I did ask her not to mention it to him until he's at least moved off to middle school…

He would most certainly get a big head.

This year's Joey is just as endearing.

Teachinfourth said...

Kelley - I actually just let his grandma know about the writings I did of him last year. She was tickled pink but I did ask her not to mention it to him until he's at least moved off to middle school…

He would most certainly get a big head.

This year's Joey is just as endearing.

mama-face said...

AWWWW...crossing guards are the unsung heroes! But I'm happy if you're happy.

This morning it's 40 degrees...and it will warm up enough up for a fun Labor Day. I love this time of year. just so you know.

tiburon said...

Ethan is on safety patrol this year. Too bad you guys aren't at the same school - I bet it would be more fun. :)

Jenny said...

I have crossing duty again this year. Crazy mommy drivers who never pay attention, who park weirdly then run their child across the street dodging cars really get to me. They don't get it! I have taken to yelling at them, Safety first, come cross at the cross walk.

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