day one: beginning

I am a new special ed teacher. After twenty-one years I am back in a familiar spot, but at the same time in an unfamiliar situation. And it is that unfamiliarity that also has me back at the university getting my Spec Ed license. School during the afternoon and school at night. But it's all good. This is a chance to see what my 45 year-old brain can handle, as far as new challenges are concerned. Got my husband and two sons that are still home behind me. I feel like it is an experiment.

I want to write a blog entry everyday for the next calendar year (and continue with my Musical Monday posts). I need a place to be my touchstone, and I am going to try this place. But because of my work, school, family, and church obligations I will read fewer blogs (I don't think anyone will miss me. Seems like I don't get much reciprocity lately anyway...). So I will write.

We did testing today with a handful of kiddos. Adorable little lumps of clay. I am still trying to find my way in the paperwork, but feel at ease with the kids. Connie and Liz will be great helps, especially C.

Adam has been packing for his move out to the dorms this weekend. A joyful boy. I will miss him, but know this is good and right. A stack has begun in the middle of his bedroom of things that will move out with him.

Yesterday in my rush to prepare the classroom, work with the new technician, Liz, and run back and forth to the other neighborhood elementary where my youngest was having his open house, I found myself darting into the grocery store for some bananas and small chocolate donuts (balance, people). On my hurried way back out to my car 4 minutes before I was due back at my own classroom for our own school open house, I saw an elderly man slowly swinging his legs out of the driver's door of an old, beat-up, white Lincoln. Then came the crutches with the arm braces. His door was swung open in a way that blocked me from getting to my driver's door, so I stood near the hood of my car and waited. Then after he was finally upright he realized that he had forgotten to put his handicapped tag on the dash, so after mumbling a few things to himself he climbed back into his car to dig out the tag and place it in clear view above the steering wheel. Meantime I am only slightly impatient because watching this process has become a bit therapeutic to me. And then I recognize him.

Brother Harris, right? My husband has great respect for you. Gideon Burton. He worked with you in the English Dept at BYU.

Oh, Gideon. Yes. Ask him to stop by and see me at my home sometime. I have some things to talk to him about.

I'll do that. You take care.

Then as I check my clock I see it is now 1:59. I start to finally pull out when he comes back to my window to tell me a short joke about being a technical writer. Then he walks away, toward the store front, and I see his suspenders are unclipped from his pants and he is barely able to shuffle his way to the sliding doors.

Thank you, nice old man, for reminding me to slow down.


Melanie Jacobson | August 19, 2009 at 11:22 PM

I'm guilty of not always reciprocating but I want you to know I always read you. Sometimes I don't have anything to say in response simply because you don't seem to need to hear anything (that's a good thing), but I like the snapshots you paint with words and I'm here every time you post.

Also, I just finished off a BAG of chocolate donuts.

Erin | August 19, 2009 at 11:26 PM

You go ahead and keep writing - and we'll keep reading! Good luck in this endeavor!

gigi | August 20, 2009 at 4:50 AM

I've wrote every day for over a year. I've only missed a day or so and some days I've posted two comments. And sometimes it's just a picture. So good luck and you can do it!

Good luck at school.

Connie | August 20, 2009 at 7:32 AM

Slow down? What does that mean?
You're going to be a great special ed teacher, you're good with the children and the parents. It's going to be a great year. Can't wait to read all your inspiring posts this year!

Barbaloot | August 20, 2009 at 8:24 AM

First off---I'm always amazed at those who can teach special ed. That takes a HUGE heart and amazing patience!!

Second---your husband is Gideon Burton? I fully took a class from him!

April | August 20, 2009 at 8:41 AM

I second Melanie's comment. You have a way with words and your voice is amazing. Sometimes I am at a loss as to what to say! You will be amazing with those kids!! They are so lucky to have you!

Juliana | August 20, 2009 at 9:09 AM

I'm excited to be reading more from you, Kaz! But I'm bummed that I won't be reading all your optimistic and kind-hearted comments as often! That's okay, though, because you're doing some great things and I'm very excited for you! Is it possible to say you remind me of myself a few years from now? Probably not, but... you're an inspiration!

Kazzy | August 20, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Hey, thanks, guys. I hope I didn't come across as needy. I am just reassessing my life right now. You know, in a good way. I appreciate all of you.

MakingChanges | August 20, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Good luck back on the job.

That Girl | August 20, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Ooo - more of you! Today is a good day.

Heather | August 20, 2009 at 11:48 AM

I am excited that you are going to be writing everyday, I love your posts. My heart started racing faster as I read the part about the old man getting out of his car, I could just feel the stress of being late. That's great that you took the opprotunity to slow down. I love your insights.

CHERRANNE | August 21, 2009 at 2:05 AM

Oh, Kaz. I am too thrilled about this project! Thanks for giving. You give me someting joyful to look forward to. This is EXCITING!
And about that Sweet Man......Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. What a Gem.

charrette | August 21, 2009 at 7:29 PM

You know, on the day we brought newborn Josh home from the hospital, this is the advice my mom gave me: You need to slow down.

I've never been very good at slowing down, pacing myself. One day in high school I was driving to work (running a tad late), hoping to whip around the corner into the parking structure, and right in front of me this big old boat of a car was making its way S L O W L Y around the corner, about one mile an hour. Impatiently I laid on my horn: HhhhooooooooooonnnnnnnnnkkkkK!
Then the car made it around the corner and I got a look at the driver. I was my grandpa! (Oops!) I smiled and waved as if I'd just been trying to get their attention to say hello! (And wanted to crawl under a rock.)

I totally need this lesson in slowing down, and the picture you paint of the little old man is priceless.

charrette | August 21, 2009 at 7:31 PM

p.s. The reciprocity is feeling a little not-on-my-side as well, but I have to say, you would totally be missed. I see your insightful comments all over the place, on everyone's blogs, and wonder how you manage to pull it off.

I have to confess that I can't get to everyone every day though. I try. But the every day posters usually hear from me about twice a week.

charrette | August 21, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Oh, and that sentence in the first comment I left was supposed to say, "IT was my grandpa!" Oops again.

Dedee | August 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I'm sorry I'm not reciprocating. I do read everything you put up! Things should get back to normal now that school has started, at least for me.

Love the reminder to slow down as well.

Good luck on the everyday for a year thing! I have a personal journal where that is my goal.

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