Sunday, December 11, 2011

This Is My December

Monday, December 6 - Saturday, December 10, or "Run, Run Rudolph":  What a week.  Looking back, the days blend into each other.  There I am, tethered to my desks at home and at school, in a muddle of frenzied scribbling and collating and typing, as I scramble to organize the weekend's speech event, finish the quarter grades for my seniors, prepare final exams, and compose college recommendations. There I am, on Saturday, dashing through the halls at the speech festival, in pursuit of impromptu topics or extra certificates or timekeeper's cards.

Though my week has been stressful at times, none of it feels like wasted time, and I have no regrets -- I love teaching, I love speech, and I love my seniors, and though I don't love headaches and averaging three hours a night of sleep, I know that the work that I do matters, and that is what pushes me on into the wee hours of the chilly December nights and dark December mornings.

A week like this also makes me acutely aware that I am indeed part of an incredible community, and that it takes a village to prevent a mental breakdown.  Never am I alone. So many of my colleagues have stepped forward, not out of a sense of obligation, but out of a genuine desire to help, and they are the reason that I survived this week without going completely batty.   So many of my students, as much as they wanted to know their final grades immediately, were patient with me.  One day, a few of them came in and offered me a drink and a snack as I graded essays.  In that moment,  I realized not only that I had not eaten all day, but that there are indeed angels among us, and they come bearing Coke and Chex Mix.

This week I also had the pleasure of attending my daughter's choir concert, which was incredible.  I included a few photos on this layout that I put together using December kit items from JBS Mercantile:

Last night the mid-month gallery at JBS went live.  It's full of amazing ideas.  I love seeing how one team, using the same items, can come up with so many different visions.

This layout felt so good to complete.  I came home yesterday from the speech event (which went wonderfully -- our school took first place!) feeling strangely disoriented.  I had been anticipating a rush of euphoria as I completed the week's marathon -- no more papers to grade, no more speech to prep -- but instead, I felt enervated.  When I sat down to create this page, I found myself feeling centered again.  Scrap therapy: there's nothing like it.

There was another scrappy bright spot in my week.  For this week's Thursday sketch post on the October Afternoon blog, I worked with Stacey Kingman, and both of us -- without being aware that the other was doing this -- scrapped brother-and-sister photos from Christmases past.   Here is the sketch that I came up with and my take on it:

I used an X-acto knife to cut out the numbers, and I added a little dimension using pop dots.  More details can be found on the original post

Well, I'm off to spend the day in a most anti-climactic way: cleaning.  Wish me luck! 


  1. Hope your week is a little calmer! Love your October Afternoon page!

  2. He, he, I imagined you running down halls with papers flying to Run Run Rudolph. I love both of these pages you have shared, the colors in the JBS kit are so unexpected and perfect. LOL, I think I read where you said they looked like produce - you are so funny. And the October Afternoon page is just wicked awesome. One of my fave Christmas pages of the season.

  3. Love BOTH of those layouts. Just gorgeous... And don't take this wrong, but I TOTALLY laughed at the "it takes a village to prevent a mental breakdown" statement! It's SO true!!! ^_^ Even if it's just a call from a supporting friend or family member... Glad you survived!!

  4. Both of these layouts are fantastic!! So many awesome details. I hope this week is little calmer for you!