(154) The Summer Experiment

Here’s the stack of books I want to read: fiction, nonfiction, and memoir

I am not going to be a teacher this summer.

I am not going to be thinking about teaching and planning for teaching and reading about teaching and buying teaching materials.

Ever since I began to teach, I have spent summers at trainings and institutes and deep in my own planning for the new year.  This was necessary as I am continually teaching some new course or level. Getting trained and thinking about it is essential.  I get that.

But not this year.

I want to live the life of an artist: a writer, a reader, a musician.

I want to enjoy nature and purge some things out of my life.

I want to revel in the energy my writing circle has created and write write write.

I will return to many of my favorite places: Oxford and Clarksdale, Mississippi.  Nashville, Tennessee.

I want to find new places. Indianola, Mississippi to pay tribute to B.B. King. Bristol, Tennessee, the Birthplace of Country Music.  The Carter Family Fold for some Saturday night music.

The Delta.  Music City. The Mountains.

I am finding that as I approach my 60th birthday, it is becoming evident that there are some things I need to start leaving behind. At least I think it has something to do with age.  Maybe not.  I’ll blame that anyway!

I want to enjoy time with my husband. I want to enjoy time with my nephews as we visit Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium to celebrate my birthday.  Yup.  Doesn’t every 60-year-old want to celebrate her birthday riding roller coasters?

All of this sounds easy, but I am well aware that for me it won’t be. I am a teacher at heart.  I rarely go a day without thinking about what I can teach or how I can teach it. My experiment is to take the energy I usually put into the creative endeavor of lesson planning into something else.

I tried and failed at this last year. I was told I would be teaching intensive reading, so in June I began to plan for that. Then my principal called and told me she was moving me to advanced Language Arts. So I began to plan for that. Three weeks later she called back, saying she had to move me back to the reading position.

One of the most freeing things that has happened now is that I know I will be teaching reading next year, but there are a zillion unknowns. There will be changes in the way schedules are done. On top of that, we are going to the digital classroom model. All this is releasing me from planning. I don’t have a clue where to begin until I find out how this is all going to hang together come August.

Now that I look at the title I put on this blog I am thinking — everything is an experiment, right? Whenever I planned for the school year, that was just an experiment.  It never, ever went the way I thought it would.  This is just one more experiment. I have no attachment to the outcome. Just want to relish the journey.

So, I release planning. I enter the life of an artist.

Read about it here. Daily updates coming.

Returning to beautiful and energetic Nashville
Can’t wait to sit again by the Cumberland River.
Returning to Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman

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