All posts for the month September, 2016

Stuck in the middle with . . .

Published September 28, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been crazy busy teaching the sixth grade. I am now officially certified to teach all of the core subjects for grades 4-8, but right now I’m only teaching English and Science. I love my job and I love my students.  I have the unique opportunity to actually get to know my students. The entire sixth grade consists of less than 22 students. This is smaller than most of one of my classes when I was teaching for a large public school.

I get to know my students and I am seeing a lot of echoes of my own Middle School experiences. Did anyone have a fabulous time as a 6th-8th grader? I certainly didn’t.  I was a very awkward kid at the best of times and during the worst of times I was smarter but felt less appealing than most of my fellow students.  When I was in the seventh grade most of the class just decided to stop talking to me.  I have no idea why, but I suspect it was mean girl related. I went to Catholic school, but there are cliques everywhere.  Fortunately at that point in my life I had the best teacher I would ever have, Sister Collette Ross. She kept me busy and kind of above all of that. But it still hurt to be excluded, so I know how some of my kids feel.

Especially after last weekend. I was invited to a bachelorette evening for a member of the book club I am a part of.  I know the Maid of Honor very well as some of the other attendants, and I have a close acquaintanceship with the Bride. As the evening developed I started to realize that I was the only one at this celebration who wasn’t also invited to the wedding. I understand having to keep numbers down and all and I wasn’t taking it too personally until further conversations revealed that certain fringe members of the group had also been invited. Suddenly I felt like that awkward chubby seventh grader except now I don’t have a mouthful of braces and no one is calling my fat to my face.  The lost, lonely and left out feeling was sealed when everyone began talking about going home to their respective partners and sweeties.  My sweetie and I are in the relatively new-ish part of our relationship, but we will be getting a shared cellular plan when he returns from his Wild West tour of the Virginia State Fair. Which of course means that he wasn’t home to welcome me and pat me and hold me until I coo with delight and forget that I for a few hours I spent a total of $65 dollars and five hours and a face full of make-up to feel like I was twelve years old.

But now I remember what feels like to be left out and I can keep that from happening to any of the handful of kids I see on a regular basis.

I started my day with a recap of last night’s Presidential Debate. I really just wanted to see if I needed to carry my passport with me or which horseman of the apocalypse would be stampeding over the horizon first.  I saw an interview with a Middle School teacher.  When asked what she would say to the Nominees she said, “Answer the question and stop talking.”

Sometimes the middle is the place with the best view




Be careful what you wish for . . ..

Published September 4, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have learned a lot about wishes and dreams lo these many years. I have had many dreams and goals that were ranged from the odd to the downright strange (I rank my goal to be a back-up singer for Bob Dylan as probably odd, even thought it did motivate me to trudge the the grim, final days of undergrad. I was depressed and panicky, mostly because I was finally over the unrequited love of my college years, but also because my family was crumbling around me and I wasn’t quite sure of my career path.) Bob Dylan was the only guide for my slightly tipsy journey.

The downright strange dreams include actual dreams that float in my subconscious, offering glimpses into a psyche clearly obsessed with evil robot lizards and a deus ex machina in the form of aliens who deeply craved the secret of a light crustless quiche. (I have no idea what that means, besides the fact that my brain can not be allowed free reign for very long.)

Thirteen years ago, on my 34th birthday, I wished for a simpler, slower-paced life.  Less than a month later I had my brain hemorrhage which deftly lifted me out of my life and dropped me into a seven month recovery.

Be careful what you wish for indeed.

As I alluded in a previous blog, I have everything I wished for on my forty-sixth birthday. I wanted to have a teaching position that I truly love in a place where I really could make a difference and I wanted someone in my life who makes me smile and feel special.

I have a teaching position at a truly amazing school. I teach English and Science to two sections of sixth graders. I teach a total of 22 students a day. (Thirty-seven if you count the 15 students in my theatre class.)  I have become very attached to my students. I love each and every one of them and all of their quirks and abilities. From the one whose  thought processes require most of his inner thoughts to become outer thoughts in a constant stream of chatter to the one boy who has been pushed aside by public education for so long that at the age of 11  he can barely read at a first grade level.   And I am exhausted every day, and most of the time the challenge and frustration keeps me on my toes to find a balance.  Even the most difficult days are not that bad because the battles I fight are for a reason and not just Bull s%%$$ for BullS###’s sake.

There is magic in every day at KLA

As for the man in my life, I truly have a hero. Batman says I rescued him, but he rescues me right back on a daily basis. He is truly concerned about my happiness and well-being and he brought my smile and laughter back from wherever it has been hiding for the past three years.  He has been on tour for the last two weeks and I miss him. But it is a pleasant feeling because I know he will come back (All of his stuff and his cat are in my house.) and it is highly unlikely that he has betrayed my trust by returning with a pregnant girlfriend.

I definitely got what I asked for and it’s going so well, I kind of hope the other shoe never falls.

I have to go to sleep now, the evil robot lizards await.