Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  It has all the food and family greatness of Christmas, without the stress and financial strain of gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, and I love both giving and receiving gifts, Thanksgiving is just a bit more my speed.  Currently, I’m sitting in my PJs by the fire, eating a slice of my mom’s Krummelkuchen (a German cherry crumb cake), sipping some coffee, and listening to Christmas carols.  It is a delightful morning indeed.  And, yes, I’m THAT person who starts listening to carols as soon as it is socially acceptable to do so.  I told you I loved Christmas.

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While I do have a long weekend off from student teaching, I have a lot of work to do on a work sample for licensure, so I’ll be spending a good portion of my “break” typing up reflections about the unit I just finished teaching.  Once I’m done putting it off, that is.

In my post-feast stupor yesterday I did manage to knit a few rows on The Shawl.  I’ve gotten to the first lace section, and the thing is getting huge.  I can no longer spread it out on the needle so it’s a total mystery as to what size it actually is.  As long as it’s big and squooshy (a technical term)in the end I’ll be happy.

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Since it is Thanksgiving (well, not technically, but I like to extend my holidays) I should give thanks.  I am thankful for so many things.  I’m thankful that I live in a warm house where I am safe and have food, that I have the privilege of going to school to study what I love, and that I have family and friends who love and support me.  Things are pretty good where I’m at right now, and I hope I don’t take that for granted.

 

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Free Time

Today is a very important day, my friends.  A personal watershed moment, if you will.  Okay, it’s not that important, but right now it feels really big for me.  Today, good readers, I am officially done with my fall term graduate courses.  No more homework, no more commuting to the university in the middle of the school day, no more missing out on precious hours at my student teaching practicum, no more inane discussions of inapplicable theories.  Nope nope nope.

Now, I like school.  A lot.  I want to be a teacher and spend the rest of my life in school.  That’s how much I like it.  This term I learned what it is like to hate school, and I will try to carry that with me as I move forward into my career.  Sometimes school can be awful, and I don’t want to be a teacher who makes it that way.  I still have one more grad class to finish up, but that’s not until January, so I’m still ignoring it.

And so I shall celebrate!  I am beyond excited to get to focus fully on student teaching, without mundane coursework to bog me down.  My courses weren’t that bad (well…they were pretty bad…), I just feel like I can learn so much more at my practicum. Yay for more time in a real classroom with real students!

I was so happy at the prospect of a tiny bit more free time, that I even went to the library and got a book to read for pleasure.  I’ve read a couple chapters, and so far it’s great.  It’s about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the couple  executed for spying for the Soviets during the Cold War.  I am a huge sucker for a good historical novel, and I can’t wait to dive into this one.

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When I celebrate I go big, so I also went to a yarn store.  I know, I know, I’m living dangerously, especially on a grad student’s budget.  I went in with the intention of getting some yarn for a gift exchange gift (no pictures because it’s secret!), and walked out with that and more.  I think I really needed/deserved the two fun Zauberball skeins from this awesome German yarn company.  Well, at least that’s what I’m telling myself.  The green one is destined for some fabulous socks.  Any suggestions for the other?  It was too pretty to pass up, and I’m open to ideas.

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Alright, well I’m going to get back to knitting and reading and enjoying the few moments of free time I’ll allow myself before I need to concentrate on creating another lesson plan.

The Shawl

I’m trying to write more, and to knit more, and to think more.  I have no desire to be famous, or really to even be read, but I like the idea of being accountable to an audience.  And so, I shall blog.

I’ve been getting my feet wet writing for the masses guest posting on my dear friend Sarah’s blog One Last Stitch.  We are each knitting a version of the same shawl  at the same time and writing about the process.  When we first started the project I thought, how am I possibly going to come up with enough material for several posts, just from one silly shawl?  Now that I’m in the middle of it I realize I had no reason to worry.  I have so many thoughts and ideas, I almost can’t fit them into the posts I’ve been writing!  I was going to put off starting this blog until my guest series (and fall term of grad school) was over, but I see now that knitting begets writing begets writing begets blogging.  And so, I shall blog.

First, my shawl.

I’m beginning to see this project as a beast of its own, not just any shawl but The Shawl.  It’s consuming me and seems to have pull over many aspects of my life that I had thought were far removed from My Knitting Life.  My car, for instance.  The Shawl spends quite a bit of time sitting untouched on the front seat of my car as I traipse back and forth between my various activities.  I think The Shawl resents this and craves more of my attention.  I think The Shawl has a grudge against my car.  I am, people of the internet, completely convinced that The Shawl broke my car on purpose.

I’ll explain.  Being a Portlander and attempting to live a relatively “green” lifestyle, I feel a little guilty about how much I drive.  I work two part time jobs, I attend graduate school classes at two separate campuses, and I’m currently student teaching at a high school.  That adds up to at least 6 separate destinations that I need to get to during the week; most days I go to my student teaching, a graduate class, one of my jobs, and then home.  My car is fuel efficient and small, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am yet another single occupancy vehicle clogging the road.  Unfortunately, the way my life is structured right now, I really really need my car.

 

Well, Friday night it seems that The Shawl had had quite enough of languishing in my knitting bag while I drove to and fro, and by some witchcraft made the engine light come on.  The next day I left The Shawl at home, and it was naturally miffed at this and made the engine light start flashing.  It’s Monday now, my car is in the shop, and I have so many unoccupied minutes on the bus or in the cars of friends who have volunteered to schlep me to my various activities.  All that time is perfect for knitting The Shawl.  Coincidence?  I think not!

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On Tuesday…

I have my car back again, as well as some significant progress on The Shawl.  I’m happy to be mobile again, especially with my schedule the way it is.  However, taking the bus and hitching rides for a day reminded me that public transit isn’t really so bad.  I think because I have gotten so used to driving everywhere I have it in my head that public transit is slow and inconvenient.  And, let’s be honest, sometimes it is.  But sometimes it can also be really relaxing to let someone else do the driving.  Maybe The Shawl isn’t a monster, maybe it just knows that sometimes I need to be forced to slow down and knit a few rows.