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September 2011
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November 2011

October 2011 entries

The Pumpkin Express

This Saturday, our Holy Halloween continued, in a --ahem-- odd way.    We rode the Pumpkin Express from Maynard Street in Williamsport to Montoursville and back. 

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Sister Mary Michael and I picked up some impoverished orphans along the way.  :)  That's Aidan's "entomologist" costume -- a lab coat with hot-glued plastic bugs all over it.  Gabrielle is Rapunzel "after Flynn Rider cuts her hair off" and Liam is our little pumpkin.  (Tomorrow night, he's going to break out an unexpected costume gift from his godfather and his wife!  Stay tuned...)

And our friends, the Folmars, joined us -- three doctors and one sick patient!  :)

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Holy Halloween! (And No Batman)

On Monday, the freshman class sponsored a costume contest for teachers.  Most of the English department went in on a theme that basically centered around Miss Hopkins wanting to wear her cow costume.  :)  We decided on "Holy" Phrases.  "Hoppy" then became "Holy Cow," for example.  Other teachers dressed as "Holy Moley," a "Holy Roller" (complete with roller blades), "Holy Smokes," and since I couldn't really come up with anything than "Holy Crap!"  I went with "just Holy":

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and borrowed a nun costume from the school's supply from when they staged The Sound of Music.  Today, a SADD Club-sponsored costume day for students, I again donned the habit and lead a motley crue convent.

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Yes, those are mostly boys.  This picture was taken during my drama class, so there are actually a few more nuns running around who aren't in that class.  And the other teacher?  Oh, that's the lovely, talented, conservative (youth group leader to boot), Mrs. Gilbert -- nun gone wild, I presume. 

Holy Halloween, everyone! 

The Great Pumpkin Birthday

For Mike's birthday, we went to Ard's Farm outside of Lewisburg.  They have a beautiful pumpkin patch and many activites for kids, including a rope maze, a corn maze, a slide through a mountain, a place for kids to dig for fossils, a corn cannon, and a wagon filled with corn to play in -- the simplicity of fun on a beautiful Sunday afternoon!

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And, thanks to the horse rescue organization that offered to let Liam sit on one of their steeds, we're pretty sure Liam wants a pony for Christmas:

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And, as clever little Aidan said on the day of Mike's birthday, "It seems like only yesterday that Dad was 31."

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Who Moved the Potty?

Last night, Aidan woke up in the middle of night and walked with a purpose to the kitchen, then straight back to his room.  He's been sleepwalking occasionally, so I went over to him and asked if he was alright.  He replied, "I need to go to the potty."  He then removed his shorts and walked out of his room. 

Instead of turning left to go into the bathroom, he turned right and proceeded to pee in a laundry basket in our hallway.  

He went right back to his room, not missing a beat, put his shorts back on and crashed on his bed. 

I looked around the dark house, realizing that no one else witnessed this hysterical event.  Then, I cleaned up the pee basket.  And what a cliche, but really, there is never a dull moment in the Connor house . . . .

Life, Interrupted

I used to have a life. This summer, I had no pressing time constraints, I worked out on a regular basis, I even cleaned the house with modest frequency.

Then I went back to work.

What is the role of work in our lives? Do we work to live or live to work? Should we have jobs or careers? Really, the answer can only be found inside ourselves.

Some people are entirely content with clocking in at 9 and out again at 5. I envy people who are able to leave their work at work, who don't carry their jobs home with them.

Others, like me, swallow their careers whole and live their jobs. I go to the grocery store and hear, "Hey, Mrs. Connor!" I am never not a teacher.

This does come at a cost. Losing the ability to be anonymous can be cumbersome. But, do I mind? To be honest, no. If I wanted a private, private life, I tell my students, then I wouldn't have become an English teacher. Stories from my personal life flavor my lesson plans, students know my religion, my family. And, in turn, my students share much of their lives with me.

And I believe that when mutual respect and mutual affection occurs in the classroom, meaningful opportunities to learn also occur. With the second marking period rapidly approaching, and the curtain about to rise on the fall play, I know that we're making progress in B206 and in the auditorium.

So, it might just be worth it, right? This hectic schedule, this pause button pressed on my fitness routine, this nearly endless fatigue, this marriage of career and personal life.


Director's Notes Writer's Block

Why can't I seem to write my director's notes for the fall play program?  I want to provide some background information on the play, in hopes that I can help those who are unfamiliar with Oscar Wilde's classic comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, understand the depth of his word play.  I also want to articulate my pride in my students' accomplishments and my appreciation for their enthusiasm and work ethic.  I've started a draft at least three times now, one even at 2:30 a.m. during our lock-in last week.  I suppose I have some time -- the play opens November 10 -- and I'll just have to wait until inspiration hits. 

Ah, well.   Time to watch Law and Order instead.  :)

Goodnight, sweetheart . . .

The facts are these:

It's 3 o'clock in the morning. 

I am watching a handful of my students paint a backdrop for our fall play.

Two students are dancing to "You Can't Stop the Beat" from this summer's production of "Hairspray!" at the Community Arts Center.

There are three students sleeping in random spots in the auditorium. 

Yes, it's a LOCK-IN for "The Importance of Being Earnest." 

Yes, I'm crazy.

The past two years, the fall play cast has had a sleepover after one of our shows and they come away incredibly close to one another -- and then the play ends.  So, I had an idea:  why not have the cast bonding experience earlier this year?  And you, dear Reader, are smart enough to figure out the sequence of events that led me to blogging at 3 a.m. at the high school.

Without much of a segue, I would like to offer some reflections on life at present.  Last year, I chose "Our Town" for several reasons, including the lack of set, the presence of a beautiful script, and my obsession with mortality.  When I was considering scripts for our stage this year, I kept noticing a recurring theme:  people can be insufferably fake.  At one point, I felt (well, feel) as though I knew more facades than faces.

And then I re-read Oscar Wilde's classic comedy about two men who both pretend to be someone they aren't, all in order to conform to a superficial social rules.  Hilariously witty, "The Importance of Being Earnest" goes far beyond humor -- Wilde's wordplay criticizes the duplicity of humankind and the temporal satisfaction of pleasing others.  I had found my play.

After auditions, I had found my cast.   Comprised of juniors and seniors, this group of talented young men and women have diligently studied this challenging script and work well together.  We're less than a month to our performances, and by golly!  We are putting on a play.

Time for another run through . . . "I love nonesense."


Race Day

On Saturday, I ran a 5K at Penn College.  The kids were pretty excited about cheering me on.

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They made posters depicting me running "like the wind."

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At the race,  I clocked 25 mins, 20 seconds, placing second in the female division.  Not bad for having three babies!  :)

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Great Memory

A few years ago, Michael and I were at a Chinese restaurant in Williamsport and as we walked in, I remarked on a particular fashion habit Michael had at the time: he often wore brown pants with brown shirts, usually in the same dark shade.

Mike would insist that his brown-on-brown approach to style was completely acceptable. I, naturally, disagreed.

So, there we were at the restaurant, around Christmastime, when a man came in to pick up a order. As he waited, he turned to Mike and shook his head, saying, "I bet you are busy this time of year."

Michael turned his head inquisitively and asked what he meant.

I won the fashion argument when the man replied, "You work for UPS, don't you?"