Tuesday, December 04, 2007

more of the same, snow

Snow coming down outside the classroom window, the whole day, blinds flung open. I won't close them, because it's all so beautiful, but I do get this--plenty of whining about school still being in session, about wanting an early release, as soon as the rumors begin, the hope floats high. Husband is still in the Twin Cities and will be for another hour or so, the roads there a sloppy mess, and I am facing digging my car out from what's left of the snow fallen. We didn't do such a glorious job over the weekend, when we had snow then too.

Now, three dogs in the house--walking them is a bit like dogsledding without the sled. On Sunday, the world was a sheen of ice, sidewalks slick, and I would hold on, hoping they would tangle me up at the wrong moment. The walk was less exercise for them than it was for me--the shifting of feet up and over leashes, the slow stutter of my walk, the encouragement to go, go, but at just the right pace. The world was quiet, perfect, glistening. If we hit an unshoveled walkway, our feet punched through the sleety top layer, reminding me of what it might be like to slush through a just-frozen over pond, or stream, something small where breaking through the ice would not be forever. And Zephyr, charming as always, was hilarious when he came upon this snow sculpture, barking furiously, growling like a good like guard dog:

In a few days, the semester ends for my father (university professor) and sister (long term college student). I am jealous of the pace of their days--though frenzied in early December, they have a long month off before the return to a regular schedule. Both will may way to Michigan, find places to burrow, will stay with my grandparents in these last days of my grandfather's life. I hope this time is peaceful for them, not heart wrenching as I can only imagine it probably is. I look at my own husband, horrified at the idea of fifty years from now, the turnover of years, the good life together, the having to say good-bye. And then, there is this: living that life together for fifty or so perfect years. To have had such a good marriage, which is such an immensely rare thing these days. How many couples can you point to who are deep in their relationships that get along, that should remain together? I can think of only a few.

During breaks at school, I look at summer writing retreats. I think of the AWP and gawk at their long weekend's schedule. I think of Valentine's Day in 2009, of Chicago, of my poetry girls over at the something about poetry blog, the possibility of meeting some of them. And this summer, I think of applications: Squaw Valley, Tin House, Bread Loaf. I am addicted to applications (which is good, as I am processing fourteen of them right now, trying not to panic at the inability to mail my GRE scores or my letters of recommendation, wondering why I always wait until the last minute for everything, if I really want that heart attack early on), to pushing myself to levels where I know I cannot get accepted--maybe not yet, anyway--but the process of explaining myself, of winnowing down the pile of favorite poems. Of figuring out what makes me best, even if I don't entirely believe that myself.

And my principal points me out to an opportunity to apply for a grant, which might pay for my entire Florida trip. I have found out that my sub will be paid for, that my time off will count toward professional development, which is lovely, because I can use this learning experience to building better lesson plans. I feel guilty because I know they won't have a position for me at the end of the year, but I can honestly say I hope to come back, I hope that it is all timed out right for me--MFA program, then, upon completion, a return to Local High School, maybe even with a very similar class load. (I can only be so lucky, I know. I haven't been happy with a class load since I started teaching, and this year, I am almost 100% in love with it, which is as close as I'll probably ever get.) If I could have the hotel, the air fare, the workshop fee paid for--this would be perfect. Either way, I know no one in the school has applied for this type of Minnesota grant, and our superintendent was disappointed in that, so I'm helping Local High School out too, which is good, and strange. Irony--an email in my inbox this morning from my principal, asking me to please fill out this grant request, that it would really help them out (when indeed, it would help me out so much more). $2396 is quite a bit of money. Maybe I do need some help, after all.

1 comment:

AscenderRisesAbove said...

I really enjoyed the snow photos! thanks so much for these!