May felt so long, I had to actually sit down and flip through my weekly planner to refresh myself on what all happened this month before I was able to write this.
May is the last month of the school year, and usually that means fun final projects, field trips, and enjoying time with your students. Usually. For me, this year, it meant the end of the teacher strike (which was contentious and unfulfilling, to be completely honest), and a 2-day field trip to Los Angeles with 30 13-year-olds–all within the first week. Both experiences were important–and at times, even fun–but they were draining, and I didn’t find any “me” time until the second week, and event that was scarce.
I felt as if my school tried to cram all of the meetings and tasks admin forgot about until the month of May, so I constantly found myself in one meeting or another reflecting on goals, setting new ones, or reviewing some procedure. In between being “professional developed,” I read Veronika Decides to Die, a succinct consideration of how we choose to view the time given to us here on earth. I frequently find myself wallowing in the schoolhouse blues (because teaching is hard and I’m only human) so, as usual, Paolo Coelho’s beautiful words were a much-needed dose of perspective. Basically, if I knew I only had a week to live, I wouldn’t spend time bemoaning my principal or my headache or that one kid with a bad attitude. But time is always limited–I will die eventually, and who’s to say it won’t be in a week? So why do I waste time sweating the small stuff now? Honestly, always a welcome reminder.
I picked up another quick read next with This Should be Written in the Present Tense. It was short and cute, though whenever I read a translated text I can’t help but wonder if I missed some of its charm in translation. It was read quickly over a busy weekend of running errands, preparing for fun activities like floating the Salt River or celebrating my 27th birthday, or organizing school supplies to close out the year.
Lastly, I finished up the school year and month with a book I’d been looking forward to reading, White Teeth. I read this wonderfully vivid book about culture and family on my first luxurious days of summer vacation. This book dealt a lot with the clashing of family members–both within a family and between families–and as I assimilate to marriage and my new last name, it was an intimate portrait I couldn’t help but appreciate–especially since it was written with such tenderness and sincerity.
It’s hard to believe how long I’ve been participating in this challenge, and how much has happened in these two and a half years! I’m entering the final ten books of this literary marathon, and I’m looking forward to making more progress towards completion this summer!