Now we are in November.
The hours of daylight have shrunk to ten hours and 23 minutes. By 5 pm there is a smudge of orange on the ridge to the west. By 6 the upper bands of sky are velvety blue. I’m on my porch peering through the trees, tracking the last of the light. Soon Venus will come wobbling into view as she chases the sun over the horizon.
On Saturday I’ll be on the porch of the house above eating bacon, date, and arugula sandwiches with Sharron. My week by the seashore will have begun.
But first, I’m finishing up with parent conferences and report cards.
Every week I post my favorite spelling stories on the bulletin board. It’s one of the homework assignments they have to do with their spelling words. It’s fascinating to see the words used in such a different assortment of tales. Any Jungian would have a field day with these stories.
On Monday everyone looks to see whose story I’ve posted and “liked”.
To avoid work, kids try to tempt me to read the stories, dramatically.
“Please, Ms. Moss.”
They know good and well the penchant I have for dramatic reading. Lately though, I give them a microphone and have them read them themselves. I can’t have all the fun.
Over the river and through the hills, Moss Cottage patiently waits for me to arrive home.
I found these iron on patches on Etsy. I made them into badges and wear a different one to school every day.
The black one is for Friday when HW is due. That’s what my face will look like if kids don’t bring their assignments.
Here is one of my student’s class journals. Thank you to the person who sent a pile of books, journals, and prizes for the treasure box. There was no QR code receipt so I couldn’t send you a thank you note. I hid the books in the classroom library and didn’t say anything. By day’s end they were all discovered and borrowed! You better believe that everything you’ve sent us is cherished.
This child is on her 2nd journal and I wish I could share the pages, but I have been sworn to secrecy.
It rained for the first time this season, but now it’s 90 degrees outside and I’m getting ready to go out this evening and hand water everything that’s thirsty. I wonder at times what life will be like in a few hundred years for the residents of planet earth. How many trees will be left by the year 4021? There’s an apocalyptic novel in me somewhere, but I don’t have the heart to write it.
The native oaks that dot old neighborhoods like mine are adapted to life without rain for most of the year, but even they can’t survive endless years of drought.
Halloween came and went in the classroom!
Everything under the sun is blazing with autumn color.
I’m off to a slow start for drawtober/inktober or whatever it’s called. Sometimes this working stiff simply has no energy left at the end of the day beyond what it takes to sit on the porch and stare into space. Scribble in my journal.
A few scratches here and there are all I’ve managed. Intensely pleasure-filled moments of looking. I will try to have more of them.
Leaving the house in the morning and scooting back over the hills and across the LA river, a tamed torrent of water in its concrete channel. I look at the sky and clouds. Try and forecast the day based on the flight patterns of urban pigeons that gather on the bridges and overpasses.
This morning in Math a giant, furry, jumping spider climbed on Samuel’s water bottle. He screeched and ran across the room. Chaos broke out. His steadfast, silent desk partner, from Kazakhstan (who speaks very little English) didn’t move a muscle. He studied the spider thoughtfully and helped me catch him. It was a vvv involved process. 30 kids + 1 fuzzy spider. I barked out orders for everyone to keep their traps shut and let me concentrate on the job at hand.
Boys and girls alike gasped and screamed as the 1″ spider jumped off the desk and headed across the floor straight for a cluster of children. Then dead silence as my trapping skills were put to the test.
I first noticed missus spider on Friday on the window after school. I swear she was watching me while I graded papers. I observed her carefully, taking note of her 4 eyes. I hoped she would find her way back out of the class, but no, she decided instead to navigate across the sea of backpacks, shoes, legs, desks, and chairs. Finally on Wednesday she chose the child with the highest pitch scream, scaled his desk, and jumped onto his water bottle.
After Spidey’s safe capture I had my helper take him outside and release him by some plants.
above image found on internet
On my bookshelf
This is what I’ve been reading. I don’t necessarily recommend Ottessa Moshfegh unless you can handle young female characters in the throes of self-pity, vomit, drunkenness, sad stories, and disturbed behavior. Eileen was nevertheless, unputtdownable and I’m not sorry I read it. I can’t say the same for My Year… If you’re sensitive, you may wish to avoid them both. I enjoyed Klara, but it too is bleak. As usual, you can believe almost none of the glowing blurbs you’ll read on the covers. Once There Were… had it’s moments, but the ending felt a bit tidy and sappy. It reads a bit like a thriller, which I enjoyed.
I just finished reading this in the classroom.
On the very last page my voice cracked and before I could say, “Be quiet and sit down while I catch this spider!” a single tear made it’s journey out of my eye, down my cheek, and slipped under the top of my mask. Then another. And another.
“Are you okay?”
Give me a minute. I will be.
One kid said, “That’s the best story I ever heard.”