Reassurance That I Am Still Alive and Kicking

Lunch by the Allegheny River at Emlenton, PA.
Lunch by the Allegheny River at Emlenton, PA.

Dear readers, I have not forgotten you. Writing has been coming back to the forefront of my mind recently, and I have many words I could pen. First, though, a short post to give a snapshot.

Here is what happened in October:

  • Several students competed in soils judging.
  • For fall break, I went on a whirlwind trip to Pennsylvania, in which I stopped for lunch by the Allegheny River, bought a lot of ice cream and grilled stickies and experienced the joy of a complete car shutdown 100 feet from the summit of steep hill. The idea for the trip and planning began just four days before fall break was set to start. I went for the ice cream (the Creamery at Penn State is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and they made a new flavor: birthday cake. I heart birthday cake ice cream).
  • Some hardcore chapter meeting Career Development Event early-morning and late-night practices (it’s called parliamentary procedure in most other states).
  • I took 11 students to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, driving the mid-bus. We had many adventures, including a visit to Churchhill Downs, chapter pictures at Falls of the Ohio State Park, and an incredible show of jumping and losing my shoes after being startled by a student.
  • The day I returned home from national convention, I attended a friend’s Halloween wedding. It was quite lovely.

Teaching has become easier, especially the planning part. I’ve been able to get up to two days ahead, and have started to have more fun with it. Not that I haven’t been having fun, but now, I feel more relaxed, especially since we made it through October.

Here’s what November has brought (and will bring):

  • Five crops judging students going to state
  • The parliamentary procedure team competing next week
  • Starting meats judging practices (one I am particularly excited about, as this was a competition in which I placed well at state)
  • An attempt at NaNoWriMo
  • Scottish cousins come to visit
  • Some parties and birthday celebrations
  • Winding down fruit sales
  • More organization and the ability to get more of a system down

I have a couple of teacher mentors, and they have helped tremendously. And I can’t tell you, either, how fantastic my FFA officers have been. I told them at the beginning of the year that I’d be in survival mode until Christmas, and that has definitely happened, and they have been understanding and extremely helpful.

Our trio.
Our trio. Went from old jeans and a Purdue sweatshirt to drive back from national convention to all cleaned up. A whirlwind of a four days.

I’m learning how to manage my time all over again. I had figured it out in my previous job and as a student, but I’ve had to reconfigure it over the last three months. I’ve stressed myself out a few times, for several reasons, and have really had to take a step back and examine my methods. That helped.

And, as always is the case with me, friends and family help, and I cannot say enough about them.

As The Fray would say, “That’s enough for now.” I made supper tonight, and hope to tackle some of grilled stickies and ice cream for dessert.

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