A teacher makes breakfast on Sunday

But first, I have to tidy

the butter chicken from last night

(catered by Janna;

my first love, cooking,

replaced by teaching, my children)

or pushed out by, more often than not

by well, everything.

 

A spider has taken up residence in the sink

a web across one corner.

I lift it out, carefully, on the edge of a cloth

(after much panicking on the spider’s part).

We have an agreement, me and the spiders that

preside over the comings and goings of this busy home;

don’t land unexpectedly on my face,

and you’ll live.

My new classes start tomorrow, and I still don’t have that one text for the one class, the one I want that will get the students asking, wondering, empathizing, connecting. The book I need was leant to another teacher. Hopefully, she’ll bring it back on Monday. There’s some really good writing in that one. I should stop thinking about next semester’s curriculum and get writing reports for last semester. I probably don’t have the time to do the kind of written report I wanted to do. Yes, I’ll do reports first. Then curriculum for Monday. And print out course outlines. The stacks will have to wait.

The dish drainer full of pots,

pans, ladles, and

I move to clear the counter

to the right. Pushing back the

espresso machine,

the spider bolts again, fleeing

the swiping dish cloth, I am

startled, too. I am trying

not to kill you, you know!

Get out of here.

Chopping walnuts for the pancakes,

I begin to think about throwing out the plan I had to rethink the first unit of one course. How many hours of work can I squeeze out of today, and still have fresh energy on Monday? I already worked 6 hours (not including twitter, and blogging, does that count) yesterday. While the TV, the computer, babysat my children (husband away). Chores went half done. The dog did not get walked. I sighed when I got home, and we got to work.

I pull open the drawer to find a clip for the newly opened walnut bag. Sorting through the kitchen bits, my hand reveals a valentine cookie cutter. My heart constricts. I track back for the last time I made sugar cookies with my kids. I track forward and wonder, will I have time this year?

The griddle is heating up, and I spot

the spider running, inexplicably,

toward the danger. I scramble again to save her life,

place her carefully, on top of the microwave

exhorting her (or him) to work with me 

here, I can’t do it all.

I quickly vacuum the kitchen,

living room, spot mop.

My mind returns to the memoir writing unit I was working on yesterday. I want to use this unit as an opener, and also as a community building exercise. It’s tricky. Memoir makes people somewhat vulnerable. I usually leave it until we get know each other better. But what will happen if I use it as a way to accelerate that connection between us all? I think it could be worth it. What are the first steps? Me first, of course. What shall I share, and how? Six word memoirs worked well in the past. How is this artifact like me? I scribble some notes in my notebook and throw it back in my school bag.

The espresso machine is cold.

I am moving fast

heating up the milk in the

microwave, I put the cup in and slam the door

too late to notice the spider

hanging out in the door frame.

Tentatively, I open it up.

I take the still-living spider,

Sheesh,

to the top of the fridge.

That should do it.

I wake up my daughter, tell my son to wrap the computer game, sip my latte and flip the pancakes. Michael Enright’s voice on the radio calms my mind, and I wish I had all morning to sit and listen to him. Except for today his show is being pre-empted. At 11am, people on CBC are going to talk about how the education system was designed for the industrial age, not the digital age, like that is a new conversation. I’ll try to catch some of that. I hope there are practicing teachers on their panel.

Steaming pancakes, butter, maple syrup, some precious family time. Another latte, and a poem, of sorts.

We are going to suit up,

shovel the new 5 centimetres of snow,

get ready to go,

drop the kids at

Dave’s,

and

Jill’s

and head for school.

Leave the spider to recover in peace and quiet.

 

 

 

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