So today, I spent about an hour working on my first post. Then I scrubbed my wooden deck clean and cleaned the wooden chairs that had gotten nasty since the last time I cleaned them. Time well spent. I then cleaned up and started working on getting my blog to work…some things just take time. I finally figured it out and I am working on this post to finish out the day before I go to bed. Tomorrow is a busy day – Indianapolis 500! I am meeting Tim, my brother-in-law, at the Speedway Motel for breakfast at 9:00 AM and I had better not be late. The day will be loud and fun. Tomorrow night – Day 2 post.
I have been inspired into blogging this summer’s days. I teach 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies in Naperville, Illinois. Toward the end of each school year, the students begin to count the days until the last day of school. Teachers secretly take part in this annual ritual. In the spirit of trying to keep the kids on task – I have turned it into working very hard to making the days count. Hence the name of this blog, Making the Days Count.
About seven or eight days (in class days) before our final day, I admitted that I too was counting the days. A student in the back of the room piped up “Yeah!” I retorted “But I have another number for you to consider.” I opened my planner and begin counting another set of days. Dave, I said, “Add these numbers for me – will you?” “Sure,” he replied. “Three, thirty, thirty-one, and twenty-one. What does that add up to?” I asked. He replied, “eighty-five. Mr. Watkins – what is eight five?” Several students interjected and asked the same question. So, I answered, “Do you know how long summer vacation is?” Dave responded by beginning to sing the Phineas and Ferb theme song, “There’s 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it…..” I stopped him and the class laughed – I did, too. “Dave, unfortunately we have fewer than Phineas and Ferb, there are only eighty-five days for us,” I told Dave and the rest of the class. They seemed disappointed and I reminded them that our summer break this year was much longer than last year or the previous three years. I asked them about their summer plans. They responded – vacation, sleep, video games, spending time with friends. It was a great moment as they dreamed of the days to come – to spend time with their friends and family resting and relaxing. I redirected the class, and we began our lesson for the day a presentation on the Scandinavian counties of northern Europe and I put the moment in the back of my mind. After class, I re-checked my math and discovered I had made an error. It was really eight-seven days – I had shortchanged them and myself as well.