Thursday, August 09, 2018

Thursday morning things

* The scholarship for our murdered student is FINALLY up and running. My chair sent an e-mail around with a nice memory of him (apparently he had come in to talk with her just a couple weeks before he was killed, he was returning some borrowed books) and a request that people donate.

I could probably stop in that office on my way home for lunch today...I should do it. I remember him, I remember he was a nice guy, and I was horrified by what happened. And my chair noted that because of the tragic nature of his death, apparently the scholarship isn't being publicized the way ones are for (say) a student who died of more natural causes.

* I started reading a book yesterday called "Demystifying Climate Change" but I don't know if I'll continue because it reads like it's written for high schoolers - I'm four chapters in and it's all stuff I know. And it's written in a mock-breezy, joking style, which I find SUPER annoying for material like this. There's good casual writing (That "This Green and Growing Land" I referenced was not written in jargony technical language, but it was good and engaging and interesting) and there's BAD casual writing that makes you cringe because it has a complete "How are you doing, Fellow Kids!" tone to it that is off putting.


Never change, Friendship is Magic.)

Don't talk down to teens or kids. They can see through it in a heartbeat. I think part of the success I had as a Youth Group leader was that I talked *across* to the kids: I treated them more or less as intellectual equals. Oh, I didn't use highfalutin' language with them but neither did I try to sound hip, because I know I can't do that.

* I decided to try taking a few days off taking loratidine (the non-prescription antihistamine I am on; the monteleukast has some fairly serious warnings against stopping it abruptly). I've been having *hellacious* dreams every night this week.

(And I wonder: I bought "generic equivalent" at wal-mart last time I was there, because the branded Claritin was like 4 times as much. I wonder if they allow more of the alternate enantiomer through in the generics - I read somewhere that one form - I forget if it's L or D - of loratidine has the antihistamine property, the other form can mess with your head. I wouldn't be surprised if the wal-mart brand was bad. I'm tempted to go elsewhere and buy the real stuff and try going back on that).

I can't think of anything else going on that would cause it, unless I'm doing too  much "taking in" of information (the reading for my classes this fall) and not enough putting-out of information/interacting with people.

But yeah. I'm not going to impose the plots of my current nightmares on you, but I will note it has me wondering about the old kid urban legend that "if you die in your dream, you die in real life." I interpreted it as "you die RIGHT THEN" as in, your dying in the dream is you dying at that moment in time but as an adult I wonder if it really meant "you are having a premonition of your death" which is creepy, but.....if the premonition is something that will happen, say, 80 years in the's not so creepy.

* My Pandora classical channel has decided it's time to start playing classical Christmas music (John Rutter and the like. And yes, I do "thumbs up" a lot of the British choral music that runs across it so I might have taught it this). Yesterday it annoyed me and I kept hitting the "skip" button but today I'm just going to leave it - it's soft and nice and warm and pretty, and I feel like I need some nice and pretty things today.

* Next week is the Meetingpalooza, and the local public school starts in a week. (We start a week from this coming Monday). A woman I talked to yesterday - someone from church who has a child the same age as my niece, and who is starting kindergarten this year, said that Friday of this week they are posting the class lists and teacher's names.

And they still do it like they did when I was a kid! She said they were told what door of the school to go to, and the lists would be posted on the inside of the glass door. I was a little surprised by that, given the ubiquity of online stuff and how schools seem to buy very heavily into the "let's make people visit the webpage" thing.

But I'm glad they do it this way. For one thing, it's a happy little connect with my childhood: I remember what a big deal it was going down to the school to see who my teacher was, and hoping at least one of my (few) friends was in my homeroom class. But also, given the economics in my town: I am sure there are families without reliable internet access or a device that will read websites. (Even with the ubiquity of smartphones, some websites are v. hard to read on them or don't work - I make a big fat hairy deal with my students about "DON'T USE YOUR PHONE FOR THE ONLINE HOMEWORK" because more often than not, it doesn't calculate their score correctly - and then it's a lot of effort for both them and me to correct it)

But also, it does add that little bit might almost say, ceremony? to it. It makes it into a thing, whereas you can check your computer for ANYTHING. Also, maybe for kids who are first starting school it's good to go and see the school a couple days before you start.

Ah man. I remember the feel of the classrooms in primary school right when they first opened up - the slightly stale smell of rooms that had been closed up all summer, the newness of the bulletin boards, the newness of your new school supplies, the nervousness about whether your teacher would be "nice" or "mean" (And I had a few teachers who had "mean" reputations but I found them to not be so). Hoping you had friends in your class, or at least that you weren't in class with that one kid who was mean to you....and new lunchboxes (when I was a kid, metal lunchboxes were still a thing, but once you hit nine or so, they weren't cool any more, so we carried our lunches in paper sacks....) And tight new school shoes (My "school shoes" were always lace-up or mary-jane type shoes; tennis shoes were not worn outside of gym class when I was a kid, and now I don't know if that was a fashion thing, or a dress-code thing, or if it was a thing specific to my parents, that they had been told tennis shoes would ruin my feet? I do know my little brother had to do that thing with the bar connecting his baby shoes because he was deemed pigeon-toed, so I wonder if our pediatrician told them that hard-soled shoes were necessary.... And at any rate, I was kind of a formal little kid who preferred dresses or jumpers (translation for the UK folks: pinafore dresses) and so more-formal shoes would go with them. Interestingly - my niece also really likes jumper dresses, despite not being a particularly "girly" girl.)

There were a lot of uncomfortable and sad things about grade school for me, but there are also a lot of things I remember fondly and miss: SRA, and the Scholastic book clubs and book fairs, and the little Weekly Reader newspapers, and milk in those little cartons (and calling it "chocolate" or "white," which never seemed strange to me until someone noted that calling plain milk "white" was strange...). And the "spelling words" exercises where they encouraged us to make up sentences using the words and one of my friends and I had this wild, long, ongoing saga about Red Riding Hood, and the Wolf (who, as it turned out, was not a bad guy, and was totally misunderstood, and Red figured that out) and Red's grandmother...and we would regularly crack ourselves up in that third-grade-humor way.

* Though I will say it feels like school starts too early now; it seems too hot. As I remember when I was a kid we started *after* Labor Day (though I'm not sure how that would work at the college level, at least on a semester system: you'd be done mere days before Christmas - if then - and it would make travel hard). But it's too hot out, it doesn't *feel* like fall and back-to-school. (Though again: growing up in Ohio in the was a cooler time than it is now, and fall seemed to start earlier)

1 comment:

Anj M said...

something I remember from a long time ago.. people who take sleep aids end up having problems coming off them b'c when they stop them they have horrible nightmares. The reason I remember is that when you deprive the mind of dreaming, when it is finally allowed to, it tries to get all of the dreams together in one go, causing nightmares (which generally then people wake up from repeatedly and then they take sleep aids to help them sleep repeating the cycle)

Perhaps one of the side effects of the antihistamine you are on is the suppression of dreams. Not to a great extent, but perhaps a tiny bit? and so now that you are off it they are trying to come back all at once? It is only a hypothesis. And I don't think you should put much weight to it, but it might be a reason.

Sleep better tonight!