Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter holidays and residential school

Before I went away Banjo invented a type of drawing called scribblex (yes, drawing to Skrillex), Matilda organised and orchestrated her birthday party (hamburgers and water fight), including a clean up round robin beforehand, and the village helped me write my assignment by taking the children for the day - three children with three families. I watched my first box set: Mad Men Season 4, and loved it. Don’t know that I’ll be rushing out to watch more box sets (I find it strange that people boast about seeing certain tv shows, as if they made them, when really, they’re boasting about sitting on their lounge for twelve hours), but I’ve broken the seal. The only box set we have at home is West Wing, and yes, I’ve started watching it. It’s educational - the lead up to US elections. I wonder if candidates have asked Aaron Sorkin to be their speechwriter. I'm not in the habit of watching dvd's. We'll see.

I’ve been away at residential school. I’ve spent a week of thinking about one thing: just one unit of study. Very unusual for me. No cooking or cleaning. No organising children. I didn’t even read the news. While away I found I was feeling more myself than I do at home, which is  bit of a worry. I found I can still do theatre, that I’m good at it, and noted the freedom to just do it without worrying how it looks. I feel now like I can be a drama teacher, and even though I have a lot to learn, at least I have a clue about what it is I have to learn, so I’m on track. Quite confronted by how free I can be in a theatre studio, yet I haven’t danced on a night out in years, and I’m really quite conservative now. I don’t have to be. And I have sorted my drama teacher uniform. I know what to wear. Done.

It was good to catch up with old friends, who knew me when I was fun and interesting, and be reminded that it’s hard to live with integrity, after studying the arts, no matter where you end up. If it wasn’t mothering for me it would have been something else I’d be applying critical thinking to. A reminder that not everyone has the education we had.

Realising that, coming from an arts background, of course I’m the kind of mother I am, and of course I help organise a Mamapalooza festival.

I read ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’ by Jennifer Egan, which I enjoyed. Recommended.

While I was away I got an article published in The Hoopla. Not world changing, but nice to be acknowledged.

And while I was away I wore my reading glasses. Like a new character. Because I feel a bit funny wearing them in front of people who already know me. Must grow up and wear my glasses.

But oh, my back. Not a good idea to sit in a train for nine hours when you have a fractured tailbone. I knew that. Didn’t stop me. Reminder to self. Don’t do it again.

First day back, last day of school holidays, I offered to take the children to Luna Park. We drove to the train station. I withdrew some money. Matilda said she didn’t feel well and wanted to go home (she didn’t want to go out with Clancy). I drove her home. We drove to the station. Bought rail tickets. Waiting on the station Banjo said she didn’t feel well and wanted to go home . (She missed Matilda). We drove home. Then tried to organise an outing with Clancy, without treading on other children’s toes about who wanted to see which movie. Matilda now felt fine. So even though I had planned an outing that meant lots of walking around and not much sitting, I ended up sitting. Must do something  to help my back.

Apparently, while I was away, the children did more cleaning up after themselves and their lunches were better (I’ve been a bit slack about holiday lunches, but hey, after twelve years of three good meals a day, and morning and afternoon tea, I’m on a break). And the children said they enjoyed not hearing the word ‘assignment’.

So, coming up this term, and time to get back into work mode.

* Preparing lessons to teach ethics classes.

* Writing stories to perform as the library storyteller - look at folk tales. All help gratefully accepted.

* The playgroup I run - learn everybody’s name, get the resources together and decide about singing songs.

* Helping with the reading program - no preparation but there are conversations re organisation.

* Uni assignments. My assignments this trimester haven’t been as good as they could have been. Need to make this high priority and do better this term.

* A block of prac at a local school. What to do with my children after school? Do I just cancel all afterschool activities and put them in after school care - they won’t like  that! Organising people to cover me in my jobs. Wish me luck.

* And of course, Mamapalooza - that’s going to be one crazy week. I need to keep reminding myself that I don’t have to write a book in preparation for the Wordsmiths session.

And in between all this, I’ll be cooking, cleaning and running around after children. Or is it the other way around??

Now, off to work. If you see or hear me doing anything not related to my set goals for the term, give me whack!


sister outlaws said...

Well done. Inspirational! It sounds to me you are doing a brilliant job at walking the tightrope of mothering while still keeping all the plates spinning in your creative world. A circus act! Congrats on the article too.Maybe you felt more like yourself when you were away because you weren't distracted with all the reacting to needs - an essential part of parenting - hard to express yourself when always thinking and doing for others? I often think I only am myself in the little gaps left over after everyone else has absorbed me!

Melissa said...

Holy Moly, I feel so slack when I read your posts! I spent the holidays being ill in bed ( first week ) and reading books ( the second). The only work I did was laundry and some poetry editing.

I'm glad the residential went well :)

Let me know if I can help out with childcare during your prac.

Motherhugger said...

Yes, sister outlaw. Probably not surprising that we don't feel free and playful after saying 'stop rocking on your chair' for the one millionth time!

Ah poetry. One assignment is writing lesson plans for teaching poetry. I'll call you. Re the kids during prac - thanks for the offer. If Cyberguy isn't a househusband by then (on the cards), I'll take you up on the offer.