4-3

IMG_1693

The little porkers are getting friendlier by the day. I managed to pet one while it was snoozling the other day, and they didn’t scamper away when we went into the pen earlier this evening.

Coming back to school from break has been challenging. Waking up before sunrise every morning doesn’t feel sensible anymore, and spending all day inside feels like madness when the weather is perfect. The mosquitoes aren’t out in force yet, and I spent an hour this evening reading on the lawn in the purple shade, soaking up the bike-riding light, the t-shirt temperatures, the silence of butterflies on the purple flowers in the grass and the smell of yesterday’s rain. The redbuds are blooming like confetti in the understory, and the sassafras tree by our steps has these peculiar firework flowers. Trees are poised to leaf out at a moment’s notice, hazel alder catkins are dripping from branches everywhere, and the quince in the side yard is electric pink. I don’t know how to describe the smell of the wind, but it feels like a warm washcloth on your forehead.

Seeing my kids again has made me happy. I missed their ingenuousness and their contrasting self-consciousness. I missed their jokes and their smiles and the ways they express their frustration. I love teenagers, especially my teenagers. I’m feeling inspired this week, which is a pleasant change from the frustrated apathy I’ve been feeling toward my job recently. Geometry has been awesome and conceptual. I wouldn’t say they’re all grasping the material, but I can confidently say that several of them are grasping it at a high level, and most of them are grasping it adequately. Algebra has been okay. My 7th period is a train wreck right now, but my first and fourth are doing impressive work with quadratics. I have a few students who have made incredible strides this year, and I know that if I hit PEMDAS and writing expressions hard next year (hard = ton of bricks vs. tower of eggs) I’ll see some real magic happen.

When I got home tonight, the piggies had snurfled dirt up over the lowest electric wire of the fence and joined the chickens in the chicken yard. Bad Pork! I chased them back in and collected eggs, noticing the carpenter bees bumbling around the eaves for the first time this year. Freckles is still on her eggs, fluffing up to approximately a cubic foot and gurgling every time someone enters the chicken house. We expect her eggs to hatch within the next ten days.IMG_1695
Look at all those eggs! These birds are out of control!
You can see our automatic chicken door in the background, which has been an absolute life saver and, along with the solar fence charger, one of most useful technological advances in farming since the dibbler.

We had dinner yesterday at Pizza Hut in Helena to help a friend fundraise to bring some of her Spanish students to Costa Rica. You can help her out by making a donation here. On the ride home, Sean and I almost finished listening to Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. We couldn’t stop, so we finished up while we washed dishes together. The book was beautifully written (another win for Gary D. Schmidt, who has a gift for motifs that astonishes me every time) and told a story about my home state that I had never heard before. Mainer or not, you should check out the book, but if you’re a Mainer, you should make a point to learn about Malaga Island.

Look what was raiding the critter-food bin! The flash scared it off… for now.  Dang things have those cute little hands and they always figure out how to get into our feed. Sean is going to put something heavy (like our fat cats?) onto the food bin to thwart the varmints.
IMG_1717