Monday, August 24, 2009

A Few Colored Pencil Rolls Before the Semester Starts

Each August, before I return to two brand-new classes of freshman composition students, I have to spend a good amount of time getting my head back into the game, as it were. It's always a very difficult transition for me--all summer, I've been a full-time stay-at-home momma of two bright and happy girls, with ample time to play and learn with them and to play and learn on my own, and to watch late-night movies and eat take-out with my Matt. Starting next week, and for the most part of the next eight months, I'll still be a full-time stay-at-home momma by day, but for two full evenings a week I'll also be teaching. On those days I'll have a quick change-of-kids with Matt as soon as he gets home from work, and I won't be home until late. I'll answer student emails every day, and spend most of the girlies' Montessori time grading papers and planning lessons. Office hours are another tightrope-walk of organization. So is taking a shower, frankly. And I won't even get into how mentally and emotionally exhausting teaching is--if you're a teacher, then you know. If you're not a teacher, then I imagine it's like the mental aspect of playing sports--very focused, very in-the-moment, lot of thinking on the fly, lot of power dynamics, etc. Anyway, exhausting.

Ask me later in the semester, and I'll tell you that I love teaching. I'll tell how how grateful I am to the director of the composition department here at IU, who has, for the past three years, consistently scheduled me for evening classes so that I CAN be a stay-at-home momma by day. I love my identity as teacher, my positive contribution to the world and all that, and seriously, teaching these young adults how to think and write clearly and cogently is a HUGE positive contribution to the world at large.

Anyway, I'll tell you all that AFTER I've gotten my head back into the game.

Until next week, though, it's still summer. There's plenty of time to start a fire without a permit in the backyard, and roast things both savory--
--and sweet----and to eat those things up, yum:And there's plenty of time (at least there WAS plenty of time--starting today, I am not permitting myself to sew a single thing until my syllabus and first week's lesson plans are finished) to nail down a new pattern for colored pencil rolls made from upholstery fabric:I worked these out mostly like my upholstery crayon rolls, although colored pencils are so tall that the roll needs a tie enclosure, not elastic, and a narrower top pocket. In my next batch, too, I think I might add 1/8 of an inch to the pencil pocket widths, although the width works out well for these Crayola colored pencils: And upholstery fabric? Just generally rich and delicious:
I've got one upholstery colored pencil roll up on my pumpkinbear etsy shop right now, but I mean it--no more sewing until this syllabus is written.

And the babies desperately need matching pajama pants and kimono-style tops that are awesomely identical to the infant kimono tops in so it's, like, an emergency.


Unknown said...

Okay, you know what is even better than a smore made with a Hershey bar? A smore made with a Reeses cup. Or white chocolate and strawberry jam. Try those two.... Yummmmmm

julie said...

I did put some peanut butter on a smore today, so that totally counts as a Reeses cup, and also it was freaking delicious.

I've found that a little afternoon smore made in the microwave keeps the blood pumping and the mind focused on syllabus writing.

cake said...

crack me up.

Unknown said...

Yes, I too have been known to microwave a smore or two myself. Yummmmyyyyy.