Thursday, August 26, 2010

That New School Smell

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.  That will be the beginning." (Louis L'Amour)

Today has been an exciting (and long!)day. I've been at school, helping with registration - will be here until 8 pm (but I'll at least get some pizza!). Here I am, a veteran of over a quarter century of teaching (26 years to be exact!), and this week I am experiencing many of the same feelings that a beginning teacher would - things you'd think I'd "outgrown".  In many ways, I'm glad I haven't...

This week I'm setting foot in a brand new school building for the first time ever!  Wow!  A new South Medford High School - replacing the Great Depression-era building that has been my "home" in southern Oregon for the last 18 years.  Here I sit; in my room - in awe at how beautiful our new campus is!  I can look out at a sunny August afternoon, and see trees waving in the breeze; brown hills and mountains (dusted with smoke from a forest fire), and green everywhere - what a treat!  In all of my years of teaching, I've only been in a room with windows 3 times!  How did I ever keep a smile on my face spending so much time in "dungeons"?  Don't know!

But along with all the excitement, and all the luxuries of a new school and classroom, comes some anxiety as well.  So much work still needs to be done around here. Classes start in 10 days and my room is still mostly unorganized, undecorated, unconnected technologically. 

"Where will I put everything?  How do I get anything printed?  Where can I eat lunch at? Where can I park my car and not have to walk a 1/2 mile to my room?  When will I get the table they promised me? Will the air-conditioning work?  How am I going to get all of this done?  I just know there's going to be way too many meetings next week!"  Like little gnats buzzing around my head, the worries swirl and whisper...

But then I take a deep breath and remember.  Remember that it will all work out as long as I keep my attention on what I'm doing - not the pesky "gnats".  Instead, watch the breeze outside, and remember to be flexible like the trees it's gently pushing.  Look at the sun on the hills, and remember to keep a smile on my face and a light heart.  See the green trees and grass, and remember that there is goodness in change; freshness in growth.  As I remember to do each of these, I can't help but smile, even though I'm tired.

All good reminders as I begin again:  a new year, a fresh start... rare opportunities that not everyone who's been in the same career for a quarter century get, or take advantage of.  Lucky me!

Those thoughts are definitely "pearls" worth remembering for the rest of the year...


  1. I know the tired feeling after 10 hours of registration and the anticipation and excitement of the pending school year. Congrats on getting a new campus. I started with my current school in its inaugural year in 2008. I hope your year is blessed with challenges and accomplishments.
    Cheers, Mary C.

  2. Ah, those swirling, whispering worries pester me too!

    But, what a joy that you have found new inspiration in work and life!

    Here's to a new start!