Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Back to the Grind

I had figured I would post at least once during the break, but I did not. The week was just so exciting and action-packed that I never took the time. It started when we landed in Houston Christmas Eve morning. There was light snow at the time. It was very light. I'm talking look against a black background and you might catch a glimpse of one flake or two. We figured that was it, but really it was exciting enough for Houstonians.

That night we went to the children's pageant at my sister's church. When everyone headed out afterward we were shocked to see giant white flakes pouring from the sky. It was so beautiful. The kids spilled out onto the grass and tried to catch it with their tongues. It snowed all the way home and was still snowing when we went to bed that night. When I awoke Christmas morning, there was a thin coat of snow covering everything. It was just magical! It was the first White Christmas in Houston's history. I hear that here where I am now they had 60 degree weather.

Things got more exciting later in the day. After dinner when we opened presents, my mom picked up a gift in her pile that did not have a tag on it. She opened it and pulled out a bib that said "I love my grandma." I have two sisters so there was some real chaos for a moment as my mom tried to figure out which of the three of us it was from. It was, it turns out, from my middle sister. This will be her first. I'm so excited for her, and also a little worried because she is a workaholic. She actually worked until 3 am the Monday after Christmas!

Things calmed considerably after the Christmas excitement. We spent the rest of the break shopping, eating at Gringo's and Freebirds and playing with my niece and nephew. I also wanted to go to a yarn store to get a fun project for the plane ride back and obviously to get something for a baby blanket. We ended up going to Yarns 2 Ewe, since Amy Knits Texas had said such great things about them. They were in fact very helpful, nice, and NOT SNOBBY. I chose a pattern from the cover of Debbie Bliss's Baby Knits book.

We arrived back here on the East Coast around 1:30 Sunday morning. The problem with having a short break is you do lots of recreating and very little resting (or I guess vice versa, but I haven't met anyone who fits that description). So, I started back yesterday pretty groggy. My students didn't notice, though, seeing as how they were practically snoring the entire day. I ended up wishing I was teaching a different topic to my U.S. History kids. We were discussing the Espionage and Sedition Acts from World War I. Their reaction was "Who cares if they were reading our mail? Who cares if you couldn't criticize the U.S. or fly a German flag? It must have been necessary so be quiet and let me get back to sleep now." I wondered if these were the same kids that begin screaming about the 1st amendment the minute we tell them it is inappropriate to wear shirts with marijuana leaves on them.

Today was better, and I have high hopes for tomorrow when the students will be role-playing the Big Four as they negotiate the Treaty of Versailles.

I have been doing much philosophizing over the past couple of weeks and plan to post on some deeper thoughts in the next few days. For now, though, we are just minutes away from the Orange Bowl. Hopefully it will be a good game. I need a distraction from the Aggies' sickening Cotton Bowl performance.