I got flowers

I haven’t written a blog entry for a long time.  In fact, I mentioned to Jeff not too long ago that I was kind of sorry that I hadn’t written in it during my time dating last year, and especially when we were first together, because I could have captured some of the thoughts and emotions of those early days that are different in retrospect.

But I didn’t write about that time for two reasons: first, because I was very busy living in that time; and second, because our falling in love was so very special that I really didn’t want to share my feelings with anyone – I just wanted to keep them in my heart.

But today, I need to write this out.

Today is Valentine’s Day – a day I have often rolled my eyes at since it is so clearly commercially focused and because it makes so many people feel even more sad and alone than they would otherwise for no valid reason.  But it’s a complicated day too, because it also reminds me of times when I used it to show my son how much he was loved by making heart-shaped pancakes, and some years when I gave in to my sentimental side and did things for neighbors and friends to bring them joy.  And it reminds me of some truly hard times too – like the Valentine’s Day after my ex-husband left, when friends took me to a club (trying to cheer me up) where I was the only single person in the room and my crushing sadness was multiplied by 1,000.

Valentine’s Day is a trite time to receive flowers.  It’s one of the most expensive days to send them, and for a lot of people it’s just something you do, something expected.  I have heard more than one woman say something like “If he doesn’t send me flowers for Valentine’s Day, he’s in trouble.”  As if, just by being a man in a relationship, you signed up for doing this most basic task, and you should know it and do it, and that was just a baseline move.

I received flowers today.  And they are very special. They are not trite, and not baseline, and not expected, and very valued.

Jeff knew I’d like flowers – I told him. But this is one of those times when Jeff has done something that means more than he knows.  Jeff knows that I don’t like surprises, in general.  I told him on our first date.  But I did make sure that I also told him that some kinds of surprises were good.  I know I told him at least twice that flowers were a good surprise.  I told him that on purpose and clearly, because I didn’t want him to think that getting flowers was something I didn’t want.
Just in case.

What he didn’t know was that getting flowers from someone who truly loved me was one of the biggest secret wishes in my heart.  I will be 53 years old in 9 days.  Today is the first time I’ve ever received flowers.

Those who have known me for a long time may argue that this isn’t strictly true.  Here are the times blooming things have been given to me in love by men:

  1.   I still have the rocking horse planter that my Mom told me we got in the hospital when I was born.  The flowering plant was from my Dad and came with a card that said “for my girls,” or possibly “for our girls.”  It was, according to Mom, the first and only flowers she ever got from my father.  At that point, they had been married for 16 years and I was kid number 5.
  2. Summer 1985. My friend, fellow Wakonse, and long-time crush, Jody, sent me a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses to celebrate my graduation from the National Leadership Conference at Miniwanca and to make up for not being there with me.  The next day he surprised me by showing up.  He sent another the next year when I was back there on staff. We were pen pals for years, and the memory of how I felt about him then will always make me smile. Yellow roses – because he was from Texas. But yellow too, because they mean friendship.
  3. Valentine’s Day 1986. My then boyfriend, Danny, gave me a tiny bouquet and stuffed animal. I had really pressured him into it.  I realized that telling someone to get you flowers took away most of the joy from it.
  4. Spring 1987. A dear friend left flowers in vases for Teri and I on our porch a bit before college graduation because he said that we had told him we’d never forget a guy who gave us flowers. We haven’t forgotten.
  5. Sometime in the late 1980’s: a friend of a friend gave me flowers and a little heart-shaped jewelry box. I think it might have been on Valentine’s Day.  It was very unexpected. He was into me.  We had almost nothing in common.  I felt awkward. But he was very sweet.  I hope he found a true love. I still have the heart box.
  6. Fall 1990. My then fiancé brought me irises that he had dug up and transplanted into a pot. He knew that they were my favorite flower.  He brought them to me at work.  I thought this meant he really loved and understood me.  He didn’t. But it was very sweet.
  7. Throughout life: I’ve received flowers a few times for my birthday or in congratulations. I remember getting a nice arrangement from my co-workers for my 40th, for example.  I have always appreciated them. I think I got flowers in the hospital when I had Andy. And of course, there were flowers when my Mom died.

Today, I got a beautiful arrangement of red roses and carnations from the love of my life. They came with a card with a sweet sentiment that I know he really means.  Delivered to me at work, so other people could see them and be a little jealous, maybe.  Delivered as a complete surprise because he had already given me a sweet Valentine’s Day gift this morning. Red roses, because they mean love.  Love of the kind that listens, really listens, to what I say, and knows what makes me laugh, and holds me when I cry.  Every single day love – not just Valentine’s Day love.

Today, I got flowers for the first time.

Today is a special day.

Just like every day is –

Now.

 

 

 

 

Guest Post

I did a guest post over on Instead of the Dishes.  I included a link to this blog in it.  This has lead me to realize how very long it’s been since I wrote anything on here…

Maybe if you read this, or if you just read it, you’ll understand why.  Lots of writing next year, I think.

http://insteadofthedishes.com/blog/2013/03/30/motherhood-a-day-in-the-life-6-julie/

I took a walk

I didn’t have  a great day today.  I really didn’t want to wake up, and I didn’t feel particularly well, and I was late to work. Again. And part way through the day we had a horrible meeting during which our director yelled at me for no real reason. Twice.

I’ve been having to make a lot of difficult choices lately.  Difficult because the easy choice is just right there in front of me but I decided to do something different, and it’s hard.

See, I need to lose some weight. Not in the “get ready for swimsuit season” kind of way, but in the way that is the only way I’m ever going to be able to expect my body to do the things that I sometimes want to do, like walk places, and breathe regularly, that sort of thing.  My health report this fall really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.  And something about my reaction to the report shocked me into action. What the hell? It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting?! I mean, it’s great that I’m not diebetic or even pre-diebetic yet, but it isn’t so great that I fully expected that result.  Or that I wasn’t surprised that my blood pressure had crept up to just below worrisome.  There is something seriously wrong when you expect results that tell you that you might die soon because you are making daily choices that YOU KNOW ARE BAD and yet you do them every single day.

SO… I decided to stop doing that.  And I decided this in a new way.  I’ve been on diets before. I’ve even been on Weight Watchers before (twice).  But I have always done it for other people, or other reasons, like I wanted to be attractive to men, or I wanted to fit into a specific size, or even that I wanted to be around to see Andy grow up and make adorable grandbabies (MANY years from now).  But none of that has ever worked long term.

I was pretty tired of always being tired, – just watching my son play soccer sometimes wore me out last season. Lots of people at work have been getting healthier lately.  A few of them in really impressive (like losing more than 100 pounds) ways.  They did it publicly, and that was cool for them.  They wanted the support or the acknowlegement, or whatever, so that’s their approach.  That’s cool.  But I absolutely didn’t want to do it that way.  In fact, for about 6 months, I adamantly did NOT do anything to improve my health because I felt pressured to jump on the bandwagon. (not by the people involved – this was all in my head).

Finally, I decided that the only person that could do anything about this problem was me, and pretty much the only person who cared if I did anything about it was me, and honestly the only person whose business this was, was me.  So I decided to do something about it and tell no one.  I joined Weight Watchers online and got started in January. I signed up for a challenge group on WW called 365 days – 100 pounds so that I had someone to be accountable to – these people don’t know me, so it didn’t count as being public.  I told my son, because I wanted him to know that I might be eating differently and that I might be moody, because I get that way when I am losing weight sometimes.  He has been wonderfully supportive and never judgemental.

People, it’s HARD to lose weight when you are a “big gal” and you’ve been one all your life.  It’s really hard.  I want to convince myself that I like steamed vegetables and small amounts of lean meat and whole grains. I do actually like those things. But I also really like Cheetos. Mashed potatoes with gravy. Homemade macaroni and cheese. Pizza. Fast food of nearly every shape and size. Margaritas. Chips and dip.  Greasy, saltly, sugary …YES!  Do you know how much easier it is to drive through a fast food place and get a giant burger, fries, a coke and a dessert on the way home rather than preparing fresh vegetables and lean meat, etc.?  It’s a lot easier.  And if you are tired and hungry and you just had a crappy day… you know what goes well with that?  Qdoba. Lots of Qdoba. At  least an entree and an order of chips and their 3-cheese queso because that will fill me up with deliciousness.  And it has vegetables in it. It does! 

So, today I had a kind of crappy day. And part of the way home I was thinking about how much I wanted to be able to quit my job today. No notice. Just quit. But like most people, I can’t do something like that.  And I doubt that I really want to because I often actually like my job. Just not today. And I was feeling trapped by my inability to quit my job. And to be honest, I was crying a little and feeling very sorry for myself.  And I thought of Qdoba.  And I thought of how much I enjoy Qdoba and how it seemed only fair that I should get to eat something I really like since I had such a crappy day. I deserved Qdoba.  I needed Qdoba.

And from no where this mature me said no, you don’t freaking need Qdoba.  You need a walk. You need to go home and change clothes and get some water and play loud music in your ears and take a long walk.  Because when you do that, you feel better.  

I didn’t drive to Qdoba. I drove home. In the fight between my personalities the walk one eeked out a narrow victory.  I walked. I drank water. I listened to loud music. And I cried. And I walked some more. And when I got home, I didn’t feel any better. So I sat on my back porch and failed to enjoy the 70-degree weather, and cried some more.

And then I came in and I wrote for a while.  I still haven’t eaten. I’m really hungry.  I only feel a little bit better.

But

I TOOK A WALK.

p.s. It doesn’t count as telling anyone just because I wrote this entry. No one reads my blog unless I tell them about it, because I write so rarely.  And if they find it and find out my little secret, that’s okay.  I figure that about the time I lose 50 pounds, someone is bound to notice anyway, and I had to record this moment for myself.

Captive on the Carousel

Joni Mitchell’s Circle Game… For some reason this song was stuck in my head the other day.  I kept singing what I could remember of the chorus over and over and over until I could hardly stand it.  So I pulled it up on YouTube to listen to the entire thing – hoping someone had done a version with the lyrics.  I didn’t find one like that, so I just sat and listened carefully. 

There should be a warning label that reads ATTENTION MOTHERS OF SONS: this song will cause feelings of sadness and melancoly.  Mothers of 16-year-olds are particularly cautioned.

It starts out okay – cute and sweet with memories of little kids and how everything is big to them.

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

 

 

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Then, just like time itself, the song sneaks up on you with a quick move through ten years.  Ten whole years! 

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like ‘when you’re older’ must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

In just 4 lines, she paints such a perfect picture of what it means to hit double digits for the first time, when all you want is to grow up.  And if you are the mother of a son (or at least if you are me) you can see him at that age, with clothes that never quite fit because he is growing so fast, and a sweet smile much of the time, and dirty tennis shoes and grass stains on the knees of his jeans.  So, okay, you adjust to that.  

Then she hits you with this:

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

And (again if you are me), it hits you that hey, this is where he is now… He is still totally looking forward.  I’m the only one looking back in this family. But the verse ends with that little dig about how close the time is when he’ll start wishing he could slow things down.  In my head it’s such a clear picture: he’s heading full force into the future with all his dreams ahead of him, and there is no way, NO WAY, that he can see how very precious this time is, and how fast it will be gone.  And then, Ms. Mitchell covers that too:

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

And now I’m reminded where he’s headed. That bright future which I hope will hold uncountable joys for him, but which I know will also hold challenges, and disappointments, and even pain.  So I think it’s good that he doesn’t know, that he can’t know what lies ahead. And I think that it’s a blessing that teenagers in general have such a strong forward focus.  I don’t mean to paint too rosy of a picture – I know life isn’t easy when you’re a teenager.  But it does seem to offer a promise of a future full of dreams and hopes and plans.

So, I’ll sit here and listen to the song one more time, and cry a little, because that’s what I do.  But before he gets home from work, I’ll close down the song, and clear away the tears, and get off the computer so he can finish his homework, and just let the painted ponies keep going ’round and ’round – because I’m no where near ready to get off the carousel yet.

Defining Motherhood

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to really feel like a Mom.  I think it starts with coming to grips with the fact that you will never be completely confident and sure of yourself again.   I don’t know if Dads feel this way or not.  I suspect that they feel the pressure of parenthood differently.

What does it mean to be a mother? I’ve been going through a transitional stage with my son this year, and at the same time I’ve been spending time with a friend of mine who is a new mom.  And one of the things that we have talked about a few times is the normalcy of feeling worried and questioning your own judgement. I’m not sure, but I think it’s probably the same no matter how you became a mom, or when.  You might be more intense or less intense about your worrying.  You might talk about it or keep it to yourself.  But if you are a Mom and you tell me that you don’t regularly wonder if you are a good mother, I will not believe you. Because if I was willing to believe that, I would have to acknowledge that you are a better mother than me and I would start worrying about all the things I’ve done wrong while mothering and worrying.  And you see where that gets me. Plus, you’d be lying.

You hold a beautiful baby in your arms and feel a love you cannot comprehend, and you look around to find out who is in charge. And you realize that you are that person, and your heart is bursting with “oh WOW” and your brain is frying with “who, me?” And then begins the second guessing and  wondering if what he’s doing is normal, if his diapers are normal, did he eat enough and the right things and not too much, is he sick, is he happy, why won’t he sleep, is he sleeping too much?  Comparing his height and weight and grades, daily patterns and achievements, friendships and playthings with every other kid near his age and comparing yourself to what other parents do. Being convinced that he is the best child on earth.  Feeling concerned that there may be something wrong with him.  Is he ready for a toddler bed? For a big boy bed? For a sleepover? For summer camp?

Choosing a good daycare and learning the names of preschool friends and sitting on tiny kindergarten chairs and packing school lunches. Soccer kicks and basketball dribbles and games of catch. Math homework. Middle school crushes and middle school fights. High school sports injuries and college entrance exams. Is he making enough friends? Does he spend too much time with his friends? Listening for hints of problems and asking too many questions and wincing when he rolls his eyes at you.  Enjoying his trumpet practice and hating his rap music.  Disney World.  Apologizing to the other patrons of the store during his toddler tantrum and enjoying his knock knock jokes and reading his favorite bedtime story every single night for over a year.

Smiling and agreeing with the friends who tell you he’s so sweet and polite when inside you are still worried that he might have anger issues because he got really mad yesterday and threw things and yelled.  And for brief shining moments knowing that you are doing something right, that the kid is fine and is going to be a great human being, and then wondering if you will ever feel that way again. And feeling that way again.  And bragging about his successes in sports, in school, in potty training, the cute thing he did yesterday and the funny question he asked this morning, and posting his Homecoming photo on Facebook because he looks so grown up, but is that girl really the friendly smart person she seems to be or is she going to break his heart? And when he breaks it off, is that good, or is he too full of himself? 

Wondering if you are ruining this life that you were entrusted with, and being sure at times that you were a bad choice, that God did make a mistake just this once, and checking the milestones book and checking the school progress reports and laughing outloud as you play together in ocean waves,  and worrying about where the money is coming from, and what the teacher thinks and what the kid’s friends are really like and how you can trust him to make good decisions with this precious life that you have worked so very hard to grow. Letting go and holding tight, and knowing that you are the only person who can be this child’s mother, and feeling so very, very lucky and completely inadequate for the job. And then there are the very best moments, when you realize that of course you love him more than life itself, but perhaps more importantly, you really really like this kid.  He’s smart and funny and caring and handsome and it seems like he might do okay.  And that’s a really cool feeling.

and God said “Be Thankful” and it was good…

I tend to get emotional in church.  I feel a deep connection to others and to God when I am praying and singing and especially after receiving the Eucharist. When I’m going through a really bad time, I don’t get emotional in church.  This is a red flag that something is really wrong.  Of course, I’m human, and some days even when I’m fine, I’m less connected than others.  That’s what made this morning really special.

I was distracted.  There is a lot going on right now.  It’s August so work is crazy and we’ve got money issues (worse than usual) and we were surrounded by active and loud (though cute and well parented) small children in the nearby pews.  As we stood for the Gospel, I realized that I hadn’t actually listened to the first or second reading. During the homily, I spaced out for a while and found myself thinking about a long to-do list for the afternoon.  Just after I brought myself back to the present, my prayers were interrupted by some off-key and rather loud singing.  I glanced over to my right and saw a mother with her mentally challenged young adult son who was really getting into the song.  I’ve seen them before and I always offer a prayer for her strength and patience because I can’t imagine how hard her life must be.

Along with my usual prayer this morning came the little thought that I don’t know how I would handle that situation. And God spoke to me.  As clearly as if He whispered in my ear. “You don’t have that burden.”  And it was like the Grinch when his heart grew two sizes.  I literally felt my heart expand in gratitude that I didn’t have that burden.  I have a lot of burdens.  Life has been really difficult lately and I have been very discouraged.  But I don’t have that burden.  I have a beautiful, athletic, intelligent, self-sufficient son who is healthy in mind and body.  All of a sudden, I could see (if only for a moment) all the burdens I don’t have.  What a different perspective… There is such a long list!  I felt such relief at all the burdens that I don’t have.  And then God told me to be grateful.

We are told to ask God for what we need. (Ask, and it shall be given unto you).  I have been praying constantly for God to take care of the problems we are facing, and He has provided some real tangible help in the last several weeks, but just yesterday I was praying, “Thank you God for what you have done.  If you could keep that up, we can make it through this difficulty.  Please don’t stop now.” 

Today I stopped my pleading and tried to just be glad for all the burdens that I do not have. I have been thankful all day.   And I have been thinking about Matthew, Chapter 11 (although I didn’t know that was the book or chapter – I had to Google it.  I know my Bible, but I don’t often know where specific words appear… I never learned chapter and verse as a kid.)

28  Come to me all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
30 Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.

In a way, letting go of even asking God for help today has been a special gift of rest. God knows what we need right now.  I have seen answers to my constant, fearful requests.  More importantly today, I heard an answer to a prayer I didn’t even know I had. In the still small whisper: a message of calm and a reminder of my many gifts.

Emotional Stew

It’s Friday and I have 4 days off.   I decided to take today and Monday off  because I wanted a little time to myself while my son is still in school.  Sometimes I just like to hang out at my house.   I’m not at home much – between work and work-related events, driving my son to his various activities including out of town sports, running errands, and trying to find time for family and  friends , I’m rarely here for more than dinner and sleep.  Part of that pattern is about to change. 

My son Andy will turn 16 the first week of June. It’s a momentous occasion.  Of course, he’s thrilled about the freedom that is coming his way, and I don’t blame him.  I can remember the year I was 15 as one of the longest in my life.  It’s like the excitement/frustration of the week before Christmas, but for a whole year. I’m sure that there is something related to the cognitive development of the teenager that explains how they can maintain such a high level of anticipation for such a long period of time.  So, I understand his emotions.   Unfortunately, I think I have a pretty good idea of how our life as a family is about to change, and it feels like a welcome relief and a painful loss tightly bound together. This is a big step toward him leaving home, and when you have a family of two, sometimes that feels like the most excruciating of losses rather than the celebration of achievement. I guess it’s both.

To complicate these emotions, I have the financial anxiety that comes from being a single parent living in a house I can’t afford with a child who attends school with people who get new (or almost new) cars for their big birthday.  I feel like a failure because I can’t provide even half of what many of his friends take for granted.  If we can manage to make it work, my son will be driving a 1993 Ford Tempo that I bought almost new when he was 2 months old.  Not only is it old, and unattractive, it’s been sitting at our house for the last 7 years doing nothing and at this point it won’t even start. 

That old car is full of old memories. It reminds me of my parents, now both gone, who found it  for me and helped to negotiate an excellent price.  It reminds me of baby Andy telling me stories from his carseat in the back.  I remember helping my Grandmother (gone too) into the front seat to drive her to church.  That car took us on  our tiny family’s first roadtrips – to see friends in Indiana, and Kansas and mid-Missouri when Andy was a toddler and a preschooler.  Those were adventures – just the two of us heading out excitedly on the open highway. 

“Baby” Andy is now repairing that car.    He researched online, talked to the father of one of his friends, and then he just went out there and started working on the car. Now he’s under the hood or under the car, replacing parts, struggling to remove stubborn bolts, bashing his knuckles on metal. When he’s not working on the car, he is filling out applications and making phone calls and going on interviews to find a job.  He understands that he will have to pay for gas and insurance in order to drive.

One day at work, I get what can only be called a triumphant text message. “I got the starter out!” And so we are off on a new adventure to O’Reilly Automotive to have the starter checked and to purchase other needed parts. He tells me what we need to buy, and I trust that he knows what he’s talking about because he speaks with confidence and authority.  He is becoming a man, my son. A good, strong, hard-working, just go out there and get it done type of man.  On days like this one, I can really see it. I am so proud. And I want to cry.

Is Everything an Obsession With Me?

I really like to play Bejeweled Blitz on FaceBook.  For a while I was kinda obsessed with it.   I am currently obsessed with Zuma Blitz.  It’s sort of the same concept, in that it’s all about matching things in groups of 3 to make them go away and thereby score points.  However, this involves a frog that shoots balls out of its mouth, and lots of optional power ups that include fun things like bombs and cannons. I think the reason I’m obsessed with it is that it has built in limits.  You can literally play Bejeweled Blitz all day, but you can only play Zuma until you run out of lives.  When you first start playing, that happens pretty often because you only get 6 or 7 lives and they refill one life every 8 minutes or something.  I’ve played quite a bit, and I’m up to 9 lives that refill in less than 6 minutes, but I still run out.  Which makes me want to come back.  

The creators of the game were brilliant.  You can buy lives with idols.  You get the idols from leveling up but it takes several levels before you have enough idols to buy life.  On the other hand, you can purchase idols with Facebook credits, which you can get with old fashioned American money. (Perhaps other money too – but I don’t have any of any type.)  So I go over and play Bejeweled Blitz which gives me something to do while listening to This American Life and waiting for my frog to regain lives so I can play some Zuma.

When I was a kid, I liked pinball.  And when they came along in my adolescence, I liked video games at the arcade.  I could never handle the complicated ones though, that required multiple buttons and configurations of buttons.  I was happiest with a joy stick and one or possibly 2 buttons.  Pac Man, Centipede, Dig Dug, Frogger.  I really liked Galaxian when I was in High School and spent much of my time the summer between my junior and senior years playing it with various friends.  I will still play Galaxian if I see it in a kids pizza place or a hotel or something. 

Toobin' - marquee In grad school, my friends and I discovered a game that none of us had seen before and I’ve never seen it since.  It was called Toobin  and was a race down a river in an inner tube against one other player or a computer player.  You got points by picking up 6-packs from the river and protected yourself against various dangers (including alligators) by throwing cans at them.  You also had to avoid popping your inner tube on sticks, getting caught on fishing hooks, etc.  Each level was a different river.  You manuvered yourself by paddling with your arms and legs by hitting buttons.  It was a silly game – perfect for relieving grad school tension.  Also, since seeing the new rivers and finding out what clever additions were made to each level was part of the fun, it was awesome in that it was one of the type of games where you could drop in another quarter or token and hit “continue” and not have to go back to start from the beginning.  The first time I saw the level The River Styx, I laughed out loud.  (I didn’t know how to LOL back then.) 

What’s your fondest game memory?

My Obsession with This American Life

I’ve heard stories from This American Life before – usually from some other NPR show where they played one story from the show, or even only one part of a story.  After I had exhausted the recent archive of other NPR favorites like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me last week, I clicked on This American Life  http://www.thisamericanlife.org/. I listened to one day’s collection of stories, which the host, Ira Glass, calls “acts”.  Then the most recent one before that, then another.  Now I’m officially obsessed.

So far, I’ve listened to all of the 2011 episodes and all of the 2010 episodes and I’m making my way through 2009. I’ve made notes about a couple of individual “acts” that I might use in my GEP classroom this fall.  Maybe my students will roll their eyes. Maybe they will be interested and accidentally learn something. Maybe one, just one, will become addicted like I am.

I just love a good story, don’t you?