Saturday, December 20, 2008


Yes. Second semester finals are over, and Christmas break is here. The school year is halfway complete.

Friday night I staggered out of the car for the house, the sacred laptop and my trusty bag of ungraded papers in tow (we don't have to report final grades until the fifth of January), in a state of shock, weariness, holiday cheer and reckless, heady glee. The Older Daughter was spending the night with a friend; The Younger Daughter had a friend spending the night with us, and ahead stretched two blessed weeks of Christmas break. I was finally going to get enough sleep (no more 16 hour days at school!), be able to leave a pencil or ballpoint pen out on my desk without someone borrowing it interminably, and make headway on the pile of laundry threatening to swallow the cats.

Today I discovered that the washer is broken. I squeezed water out of the clothes and threw them in the dryer, blessing my husband for having brought home a new drying rack this afternoon and wondering if everyone has enough clean underwear to make it until someone can fix the poor washer. Great Scott complimented me on my calm reaction to the discovery that the spin cycle is now nonexistent. Truthfully? That washer has worked well for seventeen years (save for the time it ate a baby sock and got indigestion). It's had fewer breakdowns than I have. It deserves a few days off, too.

I suppose if I need to visit the laundrymat, I can take the opportunity to journal while I'm waiting. Oddly enough, I've not been journaling, although not for lack of material. Like blogging, journaling has been difficult to find the time to actually do. My head has been full of students (I even dream about them or their assignments, often), but many of the things I've observed or experienced or had shared with me, I've hesitated to write down, even in my journals. I struggle with determining what things belong to me to write about and what things should forever belong simply to my students. According to a great many writers I've read, this excludes me from writerhood most absolutely, since writers should supposedly respect no one's experiential privacy when good material is concerned. I do not know if I can go along with that. I suspect I can't. Several times a week I pick up a pen or come here to post, consider the things my students share, the lives they live, the people they are and are becoming, and I lay the pen aside or sigh and delete the half-written post. (Blogging, of course, presents a particularly complicated ethical dilemma, since some of my students know about Quotidian Light and occasionally check in.)

Plenty of quirky things go on everyday that are perfectly bloggable, however; I just need to take the time to write them. Hopefully the break will help. Thanks to those of you who wrote comments or e-mails of encouragement, letting me know Quotidian Light's posts were missed. You were welcome reminders that life outside Mrs. Lawson's classroom still exists.