One thing that I don't like about teaching is that there is no finished "product." Yes, we graduate students. We do write lesson plans and go to meetings. But it is not the same as being able to point to something you've completed. I think that is what attracts me to the idea of working with my hands to build or restore something. Perhaps it is even what is satisfying about this blog: there is something that I can see as a product of my time.
I do cross-stitch. And I especially enjoy doing this in the summer. Making something while I watch movies gives me a lot of opportunity to get my head organized...and still end up with something for my time. When I have my stitching at school, I always get several kids commenting that they would like to learn to do something like this. (Even the guys.) I think most of them also have the same sense that they rarely have something to show for their time. Also, some of the more "intense" students know they need a way to unwind and have their own version of think time. DMC has a nice mentor program that they're sponsoring. Perhaps I should think about using that with some kids after school this year.
Right now, I'm working on this piece:
She only looks like this at the moment:
...but she'll come along. It's only been a week and a half of work so far. In the meantime, I'm getting lots of good opportunities to think about some goals for my class next year, for my district job, and just life in general. It really feels good, especially because I bought a new chair last month. It's oversized and very cozy. The cats and I are taking turns in it, but it's hard to push them out when they look as happy as you see below. I guess I'm not the only one who's glad the lazy days of summer have arrived.