It’s that time of the year!

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I’ve been strawberry picking twice this week. On Wednesday I picked about 10 pounds and on Friday I picked about 11 pounds. I’ve been a little busy so I haven’t made any jam. But that is the intent of all of this strawberry picking. Last year I made some regular jam, low sugar jam and strawberry rhubarb jam. My favorite was the strawberry rhubarb. But this year, I want to do more strawberry rhubarb and try some others.

This time I washed, hulled and chopped the berries. Then I froze them all! But while I was doing this “work” I made a special treat for myself…

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A Strawberry Mojito. 😉

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Escape to Relax

The end of the school year is always challenging.  The first part of vacation is kind of tricky too.  It’s hard to explain what it’s like to perform (teach) in front of a live audience every day.  It’s a different kind of stress.  When that pressure is off, you realize how tired you really are.  One way that I’ve learned to help my recovery process along is to travel.  Right now I’m spending a week with friends in the Denver area.

We wouldn’t have to do anything special and I’d still have a great time.  The whole purpose of this trip is to relax and spend time with friends.  I come to visit every year, so we don’t have to pack everything possible into my visits.  We pick a few new things each time and then do our standbys.  So what have we been doing?

I don’t pack much because we always go shopping…  My friends are the ones that taught me to golf, so we go golfing at Red Hawk Ridge.  Yesterday we went to the Denver Art Museum and to lunch at Parallel Seventeen.  Today we’re going to a play called “Girls Only” and dinner at The 9th Door.  Tomorrow we’re going to Winter Park.  I’ve only been to Winter Park in the summer time.  But it’s always fun with lots to do.  While we’re there, we’ll golf at Pole Creek and work hard at the relaxing thing.  It’s definitely a fantastic way to start off summer vacation.

A Good Ending

Today when I was doing my duty of keeping kids in the lunch room I had a funny thing happen.  I was leaning on the front desk and waiting for the stream of students to pass.  I didn’t see them coming…  Two of my students (that helped me with locker clean out that were in my Pre Calculus class) ran up on either side of me and surprised me by wrapping their arms around me from each side.  They wanted to wish me a good summer.  Normally I avoid hugs from students like the plague.  But this was a good one.

*The students are Sara and Jake from this post.

Finish Line

I can see it.  I’m really close.  All I have left to do is clean up my room at school.  My finals are graded, books are in cupboards and most of my grades are posted.  It’s a joyful time of year.  But as we were all leaving, the consensus seemed to be that everyone wanted and needed a nap.

The end of the school year is something that I look forward to for weeks.  But then it arrives and I’m so tired and drained from the year that there isn’t much celebration.  I always fill my summer with fun things and have a lot to look forward to.  But I can’t seem to muster up the energy to go over to another teacher’s house for a beer this afternoon.

I’m usually not very productive until at least the 4th of July.  It takes me that long to come out of my school mode and really relax.  To help the process along, I’m heading to Colorado on Saturday.  I go there for a week every year.  I stay with friends and it helps force me to relax.  I used to start gearing up for school in my head during the month of August.  As I become more experienced, I seem to need less time to gear up.  But it seems that I still need the same amount to wind down as every year.  I wish I could speed that process along…  Oh well…  Let the winding down begin.

You never know…

what you’ll find during locker clean out.

Yesterday was the big locker clean out. I’ve been doing this extra job for at least 5 years now. For the job, I’m responsible for assigning the lockers in the fall, and cleaning them out in the spring. At clean out time, I also change the combinations.

This is a big job, but my predecessor taught me how to make it easier. I hire about 5 students to help. And in the last 2 years, I’ve had a few help me with changing the combinations. Every year we seem to be getting more efficient. This year, I sent the last of my helpers home a mere 3 hours after we started.

Normally we just find books, papers and clothing. But this year there were a few interesting finds…

Helper #1: What should I do with this?

Me: Throw it in the trash!

He was holding a condom.

I was taking the trash out of one locker and found an empty Plan B box. If you don’t know what that is, you can ask around…

Helper #2: Is that a nut cup?!?

It’s good that I had latex gloves. I don’t know if I would have realized what I was picking up. I was just thinking about getting all of the trash taken care of instead of the contents.

Locker clean out is a true signal that it’s the end of the year. Only a few days to go! 🙂