So professional!

I had a professional day yesterday at school. I signed up to go to a presentation on English language learning at one of the local high schools. I told very few people what my plans were – and only one of my colleagues asked me anyway.

I got the the venue early, got a great parking spot, leisurely wandered in to register, poured myself a coffee and picked up a slice of lemon loaf to go with the coffee. I found a quiet corner in which to station myself while I sipped and nibbled.

I did NOT pull out my phone. I people-watched. I saw exactly two people I knew. Neither of them saw me. I didn’t approach them.

I finished my snack and entered the theatre for the presentation. Because I was early, I got a primo seat. Again, I didn’t take out my phone to occupy myself, I people-watched instead. I saw one other person I knew. She didn’t see me and I didn’t approach her.

A woman came to my row and, breaking that unwritten theatre code that dictates that you do NOT sit right beside a stranger unless there is absolutely nowhere else to sit, sat right beside me. I sighed inwardly. I didn’t look at her.

The lecture began. The speaker was funny and engaging. I took lots of notes. I paid close attention to both what he was saying and to his power point up on the big screen behind him

We had a twenty-minute break. Because my seat was quite near the door, I slipped out quickly to get another coffee. I waited ten minutes or so to let the lineup die down, then went to the bathroom. I finished my drink and returned to the theatre in plenty of time for the second half of the lecture.

When it was over, I stopped at the bathroom again, then strolled back to my car. Because I took my time, there wasn’t much of a lineup to get out of the parking lot. I was home for lunch in record time.

That’s my idea of a good professional day: no stress, an interesting activity that actually applies to my teaching, a venue that’s not too far from home, and best of all, I didn’t have to be social and talk to anyone!

There are definitely times when I LOVE doing things by myself.

Are you looking NOW?

THIS is what I missed when I walked in the front door of my school the other day:photo

THIS was grown on Saltspring Island by the uncle of one of the kids at my school. It was transported over by truck and deposited at my school to be displayed till Halloween, at which time I believe it’s going to that kid’s house to be continue life as a rather large jack-o-lantern.

THIS measures about a metre in diameter (hard to tell from the photo, I know, but there wasn’t anything nearby to help give it proper scale), and the hay bale is about a half-metre tall.

So how the hell did I, completely oblivious, walk right past it?!?

(Makes me wonder what else is going on in my world of which I have been totally unaware …)

Cleanliness is next to … impossible

I may have already mentioned this a few million times – though, to be fair, probably not here. Here, it’s probably less than that. It’s actually probably only to PG that the “few million times” applies. And he doesn’t read this blog. So really, there was no reason for me to specify the “few million times” either here or anywhere else – oh. Wait a minute. What was I talking about? Do I even have a point?

Yes. Yes, I do.

The point is that there is no way for me to get to my place of work without going past farms. I live in a fairly urban residential/ commercial area, my school is in a fairly urban residential area, but in between, there are vast expanses of rural lands. Farms. Acreages. Fields. Lack of urbanness (is that a word? Spellcheck doesn’t think so.)

This comes up frequently when PG washes my car. He often says, in an exasperated voice, “Where do you DRIVE? Why is your car always so filthy?”

And I always respond in my usual calm, reasonable voice, “I drive to WORK. I drive past FARMS to get to work. Farms are messy places. The roads past them are messy.”

Then he says, “So take another route! Find a cleaner way to get there!”

And again, in the most soothing tone I can manage, I answer, “I CAN’T! I have TRIED, but there is NO POSSIBLE WAY for me to get to work without going on FARM ROADS!”

At that point, PG sighs and gets back to work scrubbing the mud off my tires.

wash-me-on-dirty-car

But it is true, I absolutely cannot get to work without going through these rural areas. Even if I take a highway or two, they all pass by undeveloped, farm-ish lands, which, as previously noted, are often full of dirt and mud, which gets tracked onto those highways, and then deposited upon my car. From Spring till Fall, I often get stuck behind a slow-moving farm vehicle on my way to or from work, as well. On one of my routes, on my way home, I sometimes have to stop so that the cows can cross the road to get to the barn for milking – so I REALLY understand that old saying “till the cows come home”.

But last week, the traffic gods conspired to make my daily commute just a little bit worse.

Now, on every single road that I can possibly take to get to work, there is construction. On some roads, it’s not a lot, just a few orange cones to indicate where they are working on the gravel shoulders, but it’s enough to slow all the traffic down. On other roads, they have closed a lane in either direction to repair a bumpy surface, which again, slows all the traffic down. On yet more roads, there are large buildings being built, so there are flaggers controlling traffic so that the trucks can safely move in and out of the construction sites … which slows traffic down.

And construction is also pretty grubby, maybe grubbier than farms. So not only am I being slowed down on a daily basis, now my car is getting even grimier on a daily basis. PLUS, the autumn rains have now begun, so even if some of the farm dirt on the roads gets washed away, there always seems to be more mud to replace it.

This could be a very long, very dirty winter … and I may end up having to wash my own car.