Monday, March 07, 2011

In Need of Spring

Today the sun came out, for a little while at least. I am finding I REALLY need spring to come soon! I am super tired of cloudy days and relying on caffeine to get me through the day. My students seem the same way... restless, draggy, bored with themselves and me. I am going to have to do something to shake-up the status quo... but that's a whole other post.

Missouri is a tough place to live in between the seasons. It's warm one day and very damp and chilly the next. I shouldn't be complaining, I know. At least we HAVE seasons, unlike those in the South and we don't have eternal winter, like those in the far North. But I LONG for spring. I need to go outside and dig in the dirt and see the flowers come up.

Maybe soon?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bye-bye Big Box.... Hello Curry!

        Tonight we had an adventure... we found a really good new Thai restaurant IN ST. CHARLES COUNTY! There is a reason for the capital letters here. Generally speaking, St. Charles is NOT known for its diversity of eating establishments. If you want something beyond the standard Italian, Mexican, or Chinese assortments of eateries, you generally have to hop in your car and drive into St. Louis City to find that sort of eating adventure. But tonight... ta-da... we happened upon the Thai Kitchen at the Cave Springs exit in St. Peters and I had some of the best food EVER! All I was really craving was a good Spring Roll... but then I decided to try the Curry! Oh MY! This little international gem of a dining spot is going to become a new favorite, I am certain. Very nice decor, small, wonderful wait staff... and all around GOOD food! I think my taste buds will find many things to entertain them here on future visits.

Now to the bye-bye part of the post. As most of you know, Borders Books is in Chapter 11 and restructuring in hopes of avoiding a total bankruptcy. Well, our local Borders is one of the stores being liquidated. We popped in there tonight and the place looked as if it had been looted! It made me incredibly sad to wander around the shelves where I used to spend hours browsing and see things scattered here and there but most everything gone. Then I started to feel the irony of it all... Remember when Borders or its brother Barnes moved into YOUR neighborhood? Think back... it's been awhile since they became the big boys on the block. They pushed out almost all the little indy-booksellers and edged out all the competition as soon as they rolled into town with their flashy storefronts, cozy chairs, and delectable coffees and goodies. We all ran to them like crazy and the little guys were left behind. Isn't it incredible that the big box boys are being marginalized by something that comes in a little box? Welcome to the next era of books... and small booksellers. Now that we can get anything (practically) that we want on an e-reader; we may find ourselves having to go back to the little bookshops that are left when we want to buy an ACTUAL book! Now, THAT, my friends is irony! Excuse me now, I have a new book on my Kindle that I am dying to get started!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Over the Hills and back Again...

March is coming in as I write this in the wee hours of the new month. I am wishing I could snatch back some of the wasted minutes from the past two months and make them into something more substantial, but that is not the way life goes.

We have been VERY preoccupied of late, so much is going on in the world, in our school, in our family, and in ourselves! Let's see.... where to start...

Well, the world is in an uproar. Clamor and calls for democracy and self-determination are roiling through the Arab world as I write this. Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and currently Libya are all experiencing change brought about by young, disenfranchised youth in those places who are all interconnected via technology and crying for change. They will get it, and we are all left wondering what the world will feel like once it all shakes out. My students are mostly fretting about whether gas will hit $5 a gallon as a result. Typical American response, sadly. History is happening and we're fretting about our gasoline and whether our favorite Cardinal baseball player has signed his contract agreement... duh!

As far as school goes; big changes are on the horizon there too. We are switching to the intensive 4x4 block schedule next year. For those of you who may not know what that is, our students will take 4 classes per day for 80 minutes per day for an entire semester. Then in the second semester they will take a whole new set of classes. Should be a great way to learn, to be able to focus on something deeply and to have the luxury of TIME to think and process what you are learning. I must admit I am pretty stoked about it. On top of that, we are working toward funding (and recently were awarded a grant that will match those funds) to become a 1to1 school. That will enable us to put an iPad into the hands of every student in our school.... and to substantially change the way we do school in a HUGE way! The future seems to be arriving for us at LHS, and it's really exciting to be there to teach in it!

On the family front... big doings there too. Our family patriarch, Uncle Carl, is recovering from an ordeal with a sinus infection that had everyone believing he may have had a stroke! Honestly! It was a scary week or so til the doctors figured out what was going on. What a blessing Ed's sister and Kate's crew were to him through these days of recuperating! He's on the mend and we hope to see him playing in his vineyard again really soon. Ed turned 57 this past month... on Feb 21st... and Kate hit the big 32! That second event made me feel oddly old this year. Not sure why, but it did.

Perhaps that last thing is the "ourselves" part of this post. I am feeling as if I am approaching a personal crossroads in my life right now. Nothing certain about it yet, just that inner inkling that things are about to shift. A sense of a groundswell coming in life and it is making me vaguely uneasy. I am sure it will all come clear in the weeks ahead, but I know it's out there.

Then again, with spring trying to raise its head, perhaps that's the feeling entirely. The end of winter, or at least the wish for it, always makes me edgey with anticipation....there's no getting around it. I feel the need to slip away from the routine and do something different. What will that be? I haven't a clue and, perhaps, that's the adventure of it all.