Friday, October 23, 2009

On becoming a member of Stone Mountain Park; or, visits with Jill.

Last weekend, Jill drove up from Gainesville to visit me in my new Atlanta home. (This line has made me think of the song "My Old Kentucky Home", which is completely unrelated). She came just as Atlanta was hit with a brief brush with Fall--we both bought hats and gloves and donned them and my awesome leg warmers and made the trek to Stone Mountain.

Stone Mountain is a beautiful park approximately 30 minutes away from me. It is the world's largest exposed face of granite. On it is a carving of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davies--figures of the Confederacy. It has a dark history, the carving and the mountain, but it has certainly made an effort to turn itself around. It's undeniable that the surroundings are stunning and it's a fun place to be. Jill and I decided to buy park memberships to the small "theme" park that surrounds the mountain--because we only had to go twice to make it worthwhile. I am sure I will return near the holidays, and look forward to enjoy the cable car, the train, and all of the other charming shows that happen there for free now that I am a member.

We managed to light a fire in the fireplace of my apartment and enjoyed several vegan delicacies around the area. What is amazing to me is that we still haven't eaten at all the vegan restaurants in the area! It was so wonderful to have a friend here with me, to eat and chat and laugh, and to spend a weekend without thinking every waking moment about training.

And yet, this weekend I must put my nose back to the grindstone. I have two papers and two material making projects due on Monday. I have been out of the institute for the last two weeks on Observation--that is, sitting in a classroom for 6-8 hours a day, being as still as possible, and seeing what goes on that makes it tick, that helps the children be productive/happy/awesome. It has been wonderful, but exhausting. It certainly reminded me why I am doing what I am doing; but I am ready to be back in class, learning, preparing so that I can do it all successfully. I really enjoyed my placement and got to see something different than what I've seen before.

I will, by Monday, have everything I need to begin the compilation of my Practical Life album--all of those "write-ups", step by step instructions, and the illustrations that go with them, will be edited and filed and numbered and placed into a notebook where, hopefully, they will pass album check and become the basis for that area of my classroom...forever. That is not to say that there isn't fluidity in some of the materials of practical life--but it is to say that I am creating my own handbook, something that I will look back on frequently. I hope that 20 years from now, I will be proud of my effort.

It is approaching my bedtime, as I have a lot to do this weekend--but I am putting a post-it note on the wall so that I will remember to update more frequently. If you're reading, remind me! I really do want to keep up.

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