A season for everything

School started Monday and the kids, my students, arrived Thursday. It was a good week, no, correction, it was an excellent week and it was over before I really knew it.

the first day - "Who do you want to be?" assembly
the first day – “Who do you want to be?” assembly


All things have a beginning and an end – there is a season for all things. I was unwinding Thursday after school trying to piece together all of the papers, memos, reminders and notes I had made during the day and I was tuned into my iPhone listening to a playlist headlined by “Long Cool Woman” by the Hollies. I don’t really listen to music anymore, like I did as a kid, rather I hear the music, the beat, and using it to block out other noise. However, occasionally, I hear a tune and listen to the words or the words speak to me, I am not really certain which. But, it happened Thursday after school when the Byrd’s “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season)” started and I could hear the words. I put my pen down and listened.

To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose under Heaven

It sounded like Ecclesiastes 3, the Bible verse I had quoted in Monday’s post. Indeed it was. Pete Seeger wrote the song in the late 50s taking Ecclesiastes almost word for word. The Byrds recorded it in 1965 and it made it to the top of the pop charts. It’s a classic and I have heard\listened to it many times, but I had never truly listened to it until Thursday afternoon.

Truly, there is a season for everything and a time and purpose for everything under heaven. It is time to focus on teaching and learning. It’s a time for high school football, fall softball, and grading papers, busy schedules, parent nights, and the sun is waning. And, for everything that begins again, anew there are tasks that take a back seat, a lower priority and even though they are more fun I need to a lot my time more effectively. Such was the case this week, I had wanted to write a post Thursday morning, but couldn’t and Saturday morning came and went, too.

It was a great week. I know it’s gonna be a great year. My students, my kids, are excited about learning, well maybe more excited about being back with their friends than learning but as a seventh grade teacher, I’ll take what I get and work with it.

In the middle of the morning, I looked down at my phone and I noticed I had several e-mails. Most of the e-mails were from my school account – the personal e-mails are blocked in school when using the school Wi-Fi (as they should be) but occasionally the sneak through in short bursts. I saw I had one from the Brown Road Chronicles – [New Post] The Men of WordPress Calendar. I was in between classes and on my way to lunch, so I had to look. I didn’t get far down the page before I nearly spewed coffee through my nose and all over my papers. There I was – Mr. May. I follow Steve and he’s seriously funny. He lives in southwestern Michigan and lives on a farm with his family AND they have goats. Like me, he writes when he can and mostly it’s about stuff that happens in his life. He wrote and performed a song Ducks in a Row that I just love. Check it out. I resisted the urge to finish the post, I was jammed for time and I didn’t get to read the entire post until Friday morning. Seriously funny, I was blindsided and honored to be included.

there I am Mr. May - courtesy of Brown Road Chronicles, thanks Steve!
there I am Mr. May – courtesy of Brown Road Chronicles, thanks Steve!

When I got home Thursday afternoon, I noticed my package from Susie at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride had arrived. I was excited. It was my prize from winning her contest Where in the World am I this Time? She and her husband took a trip to Europe this summer while there, she blogged a few posts challenging her readers to guess where she was. I took guesses in three of the four and guessed correctly – with enough detail when she was in Paris. Inside the package were two Eiffel Tower key chains and a photo card. I had been expecting the package and was excited to get it. I am using one for my school keys this year, that way I won’t ruin my key chain yanking my room keys on and off when B and I change cars, as we do throughout the school year. I came across Susie’s blog last summer (2012) and have been following her since. She’s got a great sense of humor and she rolls with the punches even after a double mastectomy and a brush with breast cancer in late April/May. She is courageous as well as an amazing writer and blogger.

I guessed correctly – Paris…I have been to all of these places and I love walking the Tuilleries (the park benches) and the artist area – courtesy Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. Thanks Susie!

So, when Friday morning rolled around I was riding a wave. The school day was over before I knew it, probably over quicker for the kids, too. I sat down in my room after the kids were gone and tried to make sense of the first two days – reminders, papers, plans, and a list as long as my arm of copies to make, forms to complete, and dates to add to my calendar.

There is a season for everything under heaven and a place for balance, too. W is playing football again this season and his games are Friday nights before the varsity game. He started school Wednesday, the day before my kids began, and football practices began the week before and even though, the season begins officially next week, but Friday night was the Orange and Black scrimmage. It was a beautiful night for football, or anything outside for that matter. The sophomores played first, then the varsity, and by that time, it was dark and time to go home.

the varsity and the sophomore squads meet at the 50 yard-line at Red Grange field
the varsity and the sophomore squads meet at the 50 yard-line at Red Grange field

Saturday morning came early. W had football practice at 7.45 and O had a softball game at 9.00. Neither wanted to get up and I can’t say I could blame them. After practice and the game, I filled the day with chores and getting ready for the coming week. It’ll be a full week with school, meetings, and family activities – softball, scouts, football, and it ends with a three-day weekend and the last OFFICIAL day of summer – Labor Day. It’s Sunday morning – 8.40 and they are still sleeping. We’re gonna let ‘em sleep as long as they can; they need it.

But, for now, I have a full day ahead of me (and everyone else). Monday morning starts with our feet on the ground and learning. I have new curriculum this year and I have a lot to learn, a lot to prepare, and even more to read. Today is gonna be a great day, I know it, and I can feel it. So I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day – today is gonna be a great day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, especially one day at a time for there is a season for everything under heaven.

Is there a song that stuck with you, years after you heard it?

31 thoughts on “A season for everything

  1. I stopped by at the request from Susie’s blog and really enjoyed your post. I’m sitting here, scratching my head, wondering how it came to be that I haven’t followed you yet. We have several blogging buddies in common! I remember you in the Men of WordPress calendar…and even knew which song you were talking about. I need to rectify that right now. BTW, the song that’s always stuck in my head? It’s a toss up between Amy Grant’s Father’s Eyes and Twila Paris’ The Warrior Is A Child.

    1. I’ll have to check those songs out. I have been following you and occasionally mark a like or make a comment, but I have to admit I am overwhelmed by the blog thing and sometimes I have to make a choice to read when I can. I teach 7th grade English Language Arts and the grading is overwhelming. I had a grading wand on the wish list this Christmas and I got passed over 🙂 I am glad you stopped by – take care and have a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!

      1. Thanks! Same to you. Those dang grading wands are so hard to come by. Totally unfair if you ask me.

        By the way, it was my 7th grade English/Language Arts teacher who was the first to get me really engaged in my writing talent. She was the first to love my poetry and nominated me to go to a Jr. Writers workshop held at a local high school by their literary magazine club. I don’t think I would’ve really pursued writing the way I had if it hadn’t been for her. I guess what I’m trying to say is…thanks to people like her…and YOU, kids often find paths to their destiny that may have otherwise gone unexplored. 🙂

      2. Thanks for the kind words.. I became a teacher because I loved history and had a passion for sharing stories. It was my seventh grade teacher who inspired me to be the teacher I am – she reached out to me when things weren’t so great in my life and made school bearable for a seventh grade boy. I like to think I can make a difference for a few kids and help them discover that school and learning is a lot cooler than they ever believed. I became a ELA teacher because the education world changed and I decided to be the best ELA teacher I could be. I am still working at it. Thanks, again. Have a great day.

    1. It was fun to follow her contest. I have been following her for over a year, she’s a great writer and she’s got a lot of fun things going on. I have been to Paris many times – my dad lived there for several years when I was in college and before we had kids. On our last trip – I think my wife became pregnant – when he passed away in 2009 his wish was to have his ashes spread in France. My brothers and I honored his wishes and we escorted my step-mom and my dad’s cremains. It was a memorable trip for many reasons. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think your song will be stuck in my head. And your sentiment hits home too. I am struggling with trying to make the days count. I, like everyone, is so wrapped up in what we have to do (work, home, etc) and stress over the non-important. I had my reality button pressed during hurricane sandy and I am still struggling to not get crazed by the minor and appreciate each day a little more… Good luck with the school year!

    1. Hillary – thanks for stopping by. The first few days are the best days – we are all on our best behavior and on our toes making good first impressions. Now I have a three day weekend and the kids have a four day weekend – we teachers have an in-service day Tuesday and we’ll all be back to learning Wednesday, all of us. I can hardly wait to see what my students teach me this year! I hope you have a great week (and year)!

  3. Look at you Mr. Calendar hunk!

    I used to actually like the excitement of the first day of school. To see all my friends again, and to see what teachers I had. Then the actual classes and homework started and I looked forward to the winter and spring breaks!

    Susie is a terrific person and a class act. Good to hear your first week back went well. I would have probably liked you as a teacher.

    1. Phil – I agree, the first day or first few days are the best. As I got older and I figured out what school really was, I could focus and get more out of the experience. When I look out at my classroom I see a lot of smiles and some very happy kids – thanks for your comment, I think I would have liked me as a teacher, too and I have tried to channel the ones who were my favorites – Atlee, Gilbert, Drach, Wright, and a few more.. have a great day…

  4. Congrats on making the calendar!! 🙂 That’s awesome.
    I think I always have a song stuck in my head, now it’s Turn, turn, turn. But completely appropriate since we dropped our daughter off at college this weekend. Definitely a new season for our family!

    1. Coleen – a couple of my teacher friends shared stories of dropping their kids off at college this fall – I hope you are doing well. Remember it is our job to give our kids two things – roots and wings….. thanks for stopping by. It was a busy week and I did not make time to respond to my comments until now. A couple of other songs crossed my eardrums this week including “All Summer Long” by the Beach Boys from the ending song of American Graffiti…endless summer…

  5. Sounds like a great start to the fall semester! I am so glad you received the package! I am not sure what happened to the T in “contest!” Hahaha. I am going with the excuse that it was really hard to write on the photo….
    Thanks so much for the shout and for following my wild adventures. 🙂

    1. Susie – I didn’t even notice it. My daughter has already tried to take the other key chain! Don’t worry, it’s all good. I hope your week was awesome, mine was hot and humid, but smooth sailing in the classroom. It was a great way to begin the year – even if it took me a week to respond.

  6. Came across your blog the other day and delighted to read this post. Edward loved being in your class and i know that your kids this year will benefit hugely form your knowledge and your compassion for them. Sending you very best wishes from the other side of the pond.

    1. Alison – so glad to hear from you! Please pass on my good wishes to Edward. I think of him and his classmates often, it was a fun year. it was your e-mail to me about Renee’s “19” post that got me on to her blog. I have been following her since, thank you for introducing us. Thanks for the kind words about teaching – I have always felt that I am more passion and leadership than content. It’s that old expression that “kids don’t care how much you know, they care how much you care.” Thanks of stopping by and following along.

  7. Hi Clay, glad I was a part of a great week! I always find this time of year challenging as thankfully I’m able to spend a lot of time with my kids during the summer. Now back to school which means my work gets busier too. Oh well, as you said, everything begins again!

    1. Steve – thanks for everything, you gave me a laugh when I needed it. I have shared the ‘Ducks in a Row’ song and I am trying a figure a way to refer to it again – maybe with my students. Have a great school year with your kids – school starts Tuesday for them, right. Getting back in the groove always takes a bit of work.

    1. Denise, thanks for stopping by! You are so right about the blogging community. I had a lot of fun writing this summer. Susie’s contest was blast and I was excited to win. I am so sorry it has taken me a week to respond – life got in the way this week! Have a good one.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?