This year, I am unapologetically a countdown teacher. There is the weekly countdown to the weekend (three more wake-ups!) and the monthly countdown to the next break (thirteen more wake-ups!).
When I taught high school for the first time, back in the early 2000s, I didn’t understand countdowns. I thought they were a sign of a jaded teacher who needed to find a job they would like better.
Now that I’m teaching high school again in the early 2020s, I find countdowns surprisingly hopeful–a kind of daily discipline that reminds me that I can do hard things and there is always something to look forward to. Far from reinforcing grumbliness about my job, the daily countdown gives me a spark of positive energy. My mood is immediately lightened when I remember that I’ve already made it through one more wake-up. I’ve got this! I can handle whatever the day throws at me!
Just 13 more wake-ups until my spring break begins. Here are 13 things I’m looking forward to:
- Sleep. I never sleep in, but at least over break I can usually get another hour or two from 6-8 a.m. if I’m awake at 2 a.m. with insomnia, as I often am.
- Walks. My mom and I will try to take a daily walk through our neighborhoods, looking for signs of spring.
- Reading. Slicing is doing a number on my reading life, but I have a goal to finish 3 books over break.
- Letters. If I get behind and owe you a letter, I’ll definitely catch up over spring break.
- Ice. I won’t have to take a single sip of room temperature water for an entire week!
- Libraries. I’ll have time to take a drive to the Main branch, where parking is a bear but the reward is a vast Art Deco building with an eclectic collection (best to go hoping to be surprised rather than with a specific list) that I will have nearly to myself.
- Spring. I discovered last year that spring in Detroit is showy and long-lasting. I think the earliest blooms of spring will still be about a week out over my spring break, but perhaps spring will come a bit early.
- Art. The Detroit Institute of Arts has an exhibit on Artemisia Gentileschi and other women artists of the Italian Renaissance that’s a must-see for me.
- Introversion. Teaching is a very extroverted job. I’ll spend my week unapologetically introverting to recharge.
- Cooking. I might even try a new recipe or two.
- Hoodies. I’ve entirely given up hard pants, but I do save the hoodies for home. And I intend to live in them over my break.
- Commenting. I always try to leave more than three comments on fellow slicers’ posts, but on the busiest weekdays, I might only manage five. I’m looking forward to leisurely commenting on as many slicing as I can read!
- Cats. Whatever I do, I can be guaranteed a cat companion. My husband keeps me posted on their antics (which may only involve extremely cute napping since they’re a sleepy bunch) while I’m at work. But at home, I can see for myself. I can visit Marshmallow, a recent feral rescue who’s been adopted by my mom, as often as I’d like. And whenever Chipotle needs lap time, I’m there for him.
My theme for Slice of Life 2022 is finding inspiration in the writing of others. Each day I plan to find my slice in someone else’s words or forms. Today’s slice idea was borrowed from Ready for the Sunshine.