Friday, October 21, 2011

Thank goodness for MEA

When I think back to MEA weekend as a kid, I remember being excused from school a couple days early by my parents and then we scooted up to Grand Marais for some fall hiking and relaxation.  This was before we had our cabin up there, so we always stayed at the same hotel, in the same room, and sneaked Moose in over the balcony (years later, we would find out that the management knew that we were doing that, and just chose to never say anything about it to us).  To us kids, the over-sized hot tub was amazing, and we would spend hours each night in there, swimming around.  Eventually, my parents sold the old cabin in McGregor and we bought a new one in Grand Marais, so now there is no sneaking in dogs or wrinkly hot tub fingers, and we go up there for more than just MEA weekend.

We miss you Moosie!

Now, I'm on the other side of MEA weekend as a teacher.  I could go to the convention that is held on the Thursday and Friday, but I choose to enjoy the long weekend, and boy did I ever need it right about now.  This year, I am teaching two completely new preps: English 11 and Read 180 (a reading strategies class- I'm working on my reading license, so reading skills and strats are starting to become my niche at my school). 

While I love my job nearly every day I am there, the stretch of Sept. 6-Oct. 20 without any days off starts to take a toll.  Last year, I was busy, but this year I'm feeling kind of pulled in a million directions.  I agreed to take part in a group that meets 1x/month on Mondays which focuses on collaboration for interventions in literacy at the secondary levels.  It's an additional 2 hours after school on those days, plus a couple of all day meetings scattered throughout the year.  On Tuesdays, I am still teaching in the Adult Basic Education diploma program until 8pm.  Now, on Wednesdays, I've added my reading licensure classes which go until 7:20 each week.  And then there are the Thursday conferences/calling times/staff development hours which occur about once a month as well until 6:30.  By Friday, I am beat.  I continue to work for my parents on the weekends (both Saturdays and Sundays), so I really feel like I am working 8-9 days a week.

I made the decision to take off from my parents work over MEA so that I could have a true weekend off, and boy am I glad that I did that!  I think that MEA means even more to me now as a teacher, and it's time that I can use to catch up on my social life, sleep, and my mental health.  This year is even more great because I get to spend the days with Lucy while Luke works.  I also actually have time to get some stuff done around the house and try out some new recipes!  Luke gave me a sewing machine for my birthday, so perhaps I'll even squeeze in a sewing project...  mmmmm.... crafts :)

Yesterday was the most amazing start to the long weekend:  Dog park, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Shopping at Target (for some reason, shopping at Target just always makes me feel better!), and getting some chores around the house done at a relaxing pace.  Today has been spent so far catching up on Grey's Anatomy and drinking coffee while lounging with Miss Lucy- she even let me paint her nails to match mine:
Pretty in Sparkles!
Here's looking forward to the rest of a relaxing weekend, and coming back to school refreshed and ready to go!