School

It may be nerdy to admit it, but I love school! Teaching is great, but mostly I like being a student, especially of my obsession du jour, which over the past many moons has been all things tech. (And knitting, of course!) One of my school colleagues became a Google-certified Teacher a few years ago, meaning he got to hang with other teachers at the amazing Santa Monica campus of Google and learn about all its free tools for all humanity, in particular for educators. He got me all jazzed to try a collaborative Google Docs project with my students, but sadly our district blocked that function. Go figure…. Anyways, this summer is the next Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View. There are no expenses and no expenses paid for this day, but fortunately I will want to visit my mom in Fremont around the same date. So, if I get selected, I’ll take a trip across the Bay and learn lots that I may or may not be able to implement in my job. If I don’t, I’ll still have a lovely visit with my mom to show for it.

Part of the application is a one minute video. Here’s mine:

Knitting content: not much lately! On the plane I was able to work on some Summer Socks from Spun Magazine in Louet Gems Pearl superwash, the Baby Lilac colorway. I’m just turning the heel on the second one. Someday I’ll post my WIP or finished product. Yeah, and the check’s in the mail…. 😉

RogueTess

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Flipping for Other People’s Celebrations

That’s why there’s community! Yesterday my workplace held a party to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a colleague. She’s very low-key and beloved, so it wasn’t a “shower” and we definitely didn’t do any silly games. Freaky, but no one had a camera. Fortunately, I had my new, very compact Flip Video Ultra – 60 min. So I shot in a very low-key way mostly candid and relaxed chat among our friends. Bottom line: it made me happy! Not just the providing a convenient geeky service, but the celebrating a lovely occasion with my peeps. Just two weeks ago I attended the Teacher of the Year dinner for two other friends. It’s all good….

This weekend will be some hard work clearing out my parents’ storage unit and handling some tax paperwork. Also, it’s the weekend before my dad’s 83rd birthday. But it also should be uber fun; we’re having a BBQ throwdown among the husbands of a certain competitive generation who revere Bobby Flay. Such a role model! My sweet, dizzy mom has flip-flopped about canceling (too many people, she’s starting a cough and a cold, whatever), then just staying upstairs so as not to infect the SCHOOL kids, then planning an elaborate, BBQ-complementing menu. Sheesh!

Knitting content: I’m on the sleeves of my Cable-Down Raglan from Interweave Knits, which I expect to complete in time for 90+ degree weather. I will also bring the Lacy Ribbon Scarf with me, fortunately a more decorative than warm design. I have some little footsie socks that I can wear with flipflops (what can I say? It’s a cute pattern) that have been OTN forever. They’re just right for the airport and plane.

Optional video content: I am NOT particularly proud of what follows. I hate my voice, for one, but it’s my first video on my new gadget and it’s my darling 10 year-old Golden retriever named Dusty. He’s spending the weekend with his nannies at a kennel with a pool. Sweet!

RogueTess

Identity

I’m just checking in to meet a self-imposed, at-least-one-post-per-month commitment. Not much knitting lately, which is partly the subject of these musings. Warning: self-pitying blathering ahead….

I used to think that who I am is defined by what I’m doing. It turns out not so much. Ever since my dad passed away last July, I have not been doing many things I love, such as knit, surf, and definitely sing. Way too much of my time (for my taste) has been devoted to the first-born duties of managing my mom’s business, which involves lots of travel to NorCal. Unfortunately, my skill set makes me the most logical to (1) contact the tax and probate lawyer, (2) interface the with county lawyer handling the suit in which my dad was named as a minor defendant (now resolved), (3) file a lawsuit against the builder because her house is slipping slowly down the hill, (4) handle moving most of her accounts online, and (5) tie up loose ends of investments and loans and property that my dad hadn’t managed well in his last few years. Sigh. It sounds even worse when I write it all out.

Fortunately I don’t have to do much with Mom’s healthcare because that’s my #2 sister’s kuleana (pidgin for … expertise, I guess). She’s an RN. Plus she’s got a growing baby who keeps all of us focused on children and a happy future (mine are college-age). My baby sister and my brother handle the emotional business and daily/weekly tasks like taking out the trash, but I think I got the laboring oar because that’s how we do things in our family. My dad was the first-born out of 7 and the most prosperous. We have been discovering how many relatives he supported through medical school, moved to the US, co-signed with on property, and just outright made generous loans to. What a legacy to have to live up to!

Back to IDENTITY. I guess “first-born” is one of them. Wife and mom comes next in absorbing my time and attention. Teacher of course is way up there. Formerly, it was knitter, but, as I said, I haven’t been “doing” that except sporadically, much less attending my groups, in MONTHS. Geek is up there, too – witness my blogging attempts, following tech news, and indulging in the latest gadgets (no, i DON’T have an iPhone because we can’t get ATT at my house). Also, I remain active as a lector at my church. But very little of the other stuff that I thought was part of my identity makes up ANY of my time. I used to participate in both Stanford and UCLA alumni functions; I used to sing with this or that group occasionally; I used to surf with my kids (plantar fasciitis has interfered but that’s another whiny story); I “graduated” from the service organization (NCL) that my daughter and I used to volunteer for; I was an avid reader; I used to play the hammer dulcimer, piano and concertina; I used to go to the theater and new restaurants regularly. Yikes! My life is even more pathetic that I thought.

OTOH, I’m not living in the middle of an isolated earthquake or cyclone-devastated area, so I should just get a grip….

Token knitting content: I’ve reorganized my office (i.e. moved languishing OTN projects into the closet. In the process I resurrected the Cable-Down Raglan in a lovely wine colored Debbie Bliss Cash Aran that I started about a year ago because it’s pretty and feels great in my hands to knit. I’m glad I learned to knit combination because I can tell it’s helped me keep my tension uber even despite the long delay.

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for listening. Just getting this off my chest has helped enormously. Back to grading, and maybe a phone call to a loving family member and little knitting before I go to bed.

RogueTess