August 25, 2010

Survival Gear

School started this week. After a long time in this profession, I have come to realize that I had, inadvertently, created my own cache of "First Week Survival Gear." (Truth be told, it really could be dubbed, "School Year Survival Gear," but I'm going with just the first week for now...)

1. Coffee
Seems like a no-brainer, but there is absolutely NO WAY that I would ever survive the crush of the first week without the "Bean Juice" (as a dear friend calls it). Smarter, more disciplined co-workers actually plan, and they begin revamping their sleep cycle a few weeks before school starts, so that when they have to go to bed early the night before...and then get up at the crack of dawn that first day, they can. With very little pain or agony. I'm not one of the smart ones. The Saturday night before school started? Yeah, my bedtime was 2:00AM (so, I guess Sunday morning)...the same it's been all summer. Hence, the extra-large cup of joe that has kept me company every day this week.

2. An amazing alarm clock
See above.

3. A high-quality concealer
The reason for this is three-fold: 1) To cover the dark circles under my eyes which are the effects of above. 2) I always seem to start my period right at the beginning of school (I'm cursed, I tell you, CURSED). Although I'm at an age where I'm beginning to see my mother's wrinkles on my face, I still seem to have my students' acne, too. Concealer, it is! AND, 3) To try to help hide the nose-piercing. Working for a very conservative institution does have its drawbacks (granted, this nose-piercing is new this year, but the concealer was needed for the other two reasons in the past, so it has a valid position on this list).

4. Something pretty on my desk
I found that if I have something that makes me smile, makes me breathe a bit deeper, and makes my heart happy, then I tend not to resent the hours I end up spending at my desk or in my classroom. These have been keeping me company this week:

There's something about the yellow roses, sitting in a mason jar, reflecting the sun through my classroom window that makes me take a deep breath every time I see them. (Same with the picture of the girl, Zione, which is on my desk; the girl in the purple crown. She lives in my heart and in Africa...I promise to explain that at another time...)

And, last but not least, THESE:

Years ago (we won't discuss just how many), on my 21st birthday, I was given these earrings. They were the first pair of "grown up" jewelry I had ever received. What made, and still makes, them so special, is that my best friend and her then-fiance (now amazing husband) were the ones to give them to me. I know they couldn't have afforded these earrings, but they bought the pair anyway. I treasure them. Cherish them. I have worn them during every major event in my life: college graduation, job interviews, loved-ones' weddings, birthdays, milestones...and always, ALWAYS on the first day of school. They're a silent reminder of my friends' love and support...and just how stinkin' blessed I am to have these people in my life. So yeah, the earrings aren't just earrings...they're kind of like hugs for my ears.


Kari said...

Yeah, also on my survival list would be a fan. At least THIS year...

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