Hello long lost friends!! Thanks for stopping by for this month’s Where Bloggers Live 10.2022: A Day in the Life. This month, the gals and I are sharing a look at a typical workday in each of our lives. You may remember, however, that I am retired…which was the whole reason I started this blog in the first place. Thought blogging about retirement would help me figure out what I should be doing in this new(ish) chapter of life.
But LIFE has had a way of filling my days for me – often times with unplanned bits of chaos. And as I approach the date of the ninth anniversary(!!) of my retirement from a job that I loved for over 25 years, I find that I am just beginning to settle into this season.
WHERE BLOGGERS LIVE
Ever wonder where the ideas for this series come from? Well, let me tell you!! Each month our fearless leader Bettye comes up with a prompt for the gang to respond to. The prompts always make me use my noggin for more than a place to hang my hat!! This has been one of my favorite series in which to participate and as I look forward to the quickly approaching new year, I hope to continue to join these fun-loving ladies for 12 more months of thoughtful posts.
If you’ve missed any of the Where Bloggers Live posts this year, you’ve missed a treat. So far, we’ve given you a look at our ‘rides’ in January and our furry fam in February. Then in March we described our dream house. In April I was overwhelmed by LIFE (the LIFE that fills my retirement with craziness) when the gals wrote posts about their favorite piece of furniture. Would still like to do that…someday.
For May, I shared my photo albums and scrapbooks. And June’s post, my favorite movie moments. My July post for the Where Bloggers Live series detailed my longing for temporary escape from
life, make that LIFE while predicting that one was probably not in the stars for us this year. Little did I know that shortly after writing that post, my life would turn upside down with the death of my mom. And I have been trying to regain my bearings since.
Where Bloggers Live 10.2022
For today’s post we are sharing A Day in the Life: a Work Day. Many of my days lately have felt like work. Work to get up in the morning, work to get through the day. But I have been so thankful for the support of family and friends. And for an opportunity for actual work that came just as I needed it most.
On the very day I flew to Kentucky to be with my mom for the last time, I received a call from the amazing art teacher at Lucia’s elementary school. She was inquiring if I would be available to sub for her in the brand new school year while she traveled to North Dakota to help take care of her dying father. At the time, I didn’t know my mom would be gone in just a few short days. I explained that I didn’t know what I was facing with my mom but I would be happy to substitute if I was home to do so.
My sweet mama passed away on 08.02.2022. A week later I was back home in El Paso. And on 08.11.2022, I began subbing in my new friend Amy’s beautiful, well-organized art classroom.
A Day In The Life: A Work Day
Subbing in the art classroom was such a blessing to me. It provided the elusive structure I had missed and longed for since retiring. And a sense of purpose and direction that I had struggled to find lately in my day-to-day life that my career had provided for so long. I enjoyed getting dressed up in the morning. Even found the 30-minute drive across the mountain to school and back a pleasant distraction.
The Lundy students in grades second through fifth come for art every week. The ‘littles’ – the babies in kinder and first grade – only come every other week. For the most part, I saw all the sections of a single grade in one day. Usually 6 classes a day. Fifth grade on Monday, second grade on Tuesday, Wednesday was third grade, fourth grade on Thursday and the littles alternated on Fridays.
I began my school day around 7:30 am. Would get the classroom set up for the day’s classes, then head to the playground for morning duty. This is the same campus where I subbed for several kinder teachers – Lucia’s teachers – last year. So, I already knew a lot of this year’s first graders. Part of my morning duty meant I helped them line up on the black top when the bell rang until their teachers picked them up for class. The hugs I received from the children I already knew, and the children I came to know were some of the best parts of those days.
Art Lessons, Life Lessons
Most days I would have 2-3 classes in the morning, a 45-minute prep period, lunch and 3-4 classes in the afternoon. On Tuesdays and Fridays, I did cafeteria duty during the first graders’ lunch time. Which meant I got to snuggle Lucia and all the babies I had taught the year before…while helping them get their food and opening their milk cartons.
Amy provided me with all the lesson plans and her lessons were wonderful. Not only art lessons, but life lessons. The third, fourth and fifth grade students have class for 45 minutes while second and below only visits for 30 minutes. We never had enough time!! For starters, I talked too much. And then wanted to try to do too much. And spent too much time having the children practice the art technique we were learning before getting to the actual project that incorporated the technique.
We learned about:
- the elements of art: line, color, shape, form, texture, space and value. The children would quiz me to see if I could name all 7 elements in order. They made foldables illustrating the elements of art.
- artists Piet Mondrian and Keith Haring.
- using line and shape in art through picture books and easy biographies.
- muralist Artur Bordalo II, who created an amazing mural in downtown El Paso the third week of school.
- the difference between shape and form and drew form villages and wrote their names in 3D block letters.
- different types of lines and the ways line can imply texture; then created line monsters.
Have a look:
Not a People Person
Because of my shyness and social awkwardness, I do not consider myself a people person. But I do consider myself a kitty and puppy person. And a children person. Children are different from other people for me. Being with children was exactly what I needed during this difficult time.
People struggle saying my last name – Clingan. So, I suggested the kids call me Ms. C. and made the shape of a letter C with my hand when introducing myself to them the first time. When the babies would see me around campus, they would say ‘hello, Ms. C.’ and make a C with their little hands. Their hugs and their smiles got me through some of the hardest days of my life.
Lundy has 2 new administrators this year. Both of them were very supportive while I was subbing in the art classroom. Mr. Baldner, the principal, left me several notes commenting on my rapport with the students. In all my years of teaching, no one had ever done that.
God Only Knows
I can’t help but believe that Amy and I were put in each other’s lives for exactly this season, this chapter. When I approached her at the end of school last year about keeping me in mind to substitute for her, I had no way of knowing what was coming to both of our lives and the lives of our parents. But God did.
In 1979, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. LIFE (the U.S. Army and a bad marriage) would find me living in the Republic of Panama much of the next 10 years following my graduation. It wasn’t until we moved to El Paso in 1988 that I was finally able to work full-time. I applied to teach art with the El Paso Independent School District in 1989. When I was called for an interview, the district didn’t have any art openings but had several openings for a librarian. And I had a minor in Library Science. I was hired as an assistant high school librarian and worked as a librarian in the district until my retirement 12.2013. How ironic, how interesting, how perfect that I would finally teach art all these years later!!
I took the selfies below on my last day subbing in the Lundy art classroom. Lucia and I tidied things before I locked up shop for the last time. We also spent a little time drawing together. She wanted to try making one of the ‘form’ villages I had been doing with the upper grades art students. Lucia never fails to amaze me with her artistic ability.
I think you can see the delight we both share in creating art. But around my eyes you can also see evidence of the lingering sadness.
Since 09.30, the school district has been on a 2 week fall break that concludes today. During this time, I have caught up on all my housework and ironing and prepared for a 4-day visit from Brennyn, Cady, Declan and Mustafa. I have enjoyed being home, returning to doing some regular exercise, reading, scrapbooking with my sister.
And I’ve had more time to miss and grieve for my mother. So often I find myself reaching for the phone, thinking I have been remiss in calling her. I miss you every day, Mom.
It is always fascinating (and often frustrating) how life unfolds. In my last Where Bloggers Live post, I shared that we were most likely not taking a summer (or any other season) vacation this year. Well, surprise, surprise…we are actually going on vacation the end of this month!! Wonders never cease!! We are headed to Boston and NYC for a few days and then on to Ohio to visit PC’s family and finally to Tennessee to visit my sister in her new house. Looking forward to being a tourist in the exciting cities of Boston and New York.
Hope you will join me in visiting the blogs of my dear Where Bloggers Live buddies to discover how a workday looks for each of them.
Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Sally at Within a World of My Own
I would like to thank you for stopping by today. Not sure what life or LIFE has in store for me in the near future…other than our glorious upcoming vacation. And I do have 4 substitute teaching commitments at the end of October and in November. Have put myself back on the calendar for pet walking and drop-in visits through Rover.com. And of course, the holidays are approaching. Hoping to settle back into some sense of normalcy before the year’s end. Hope to return to blogging more regularly, too.
Wishing you a glorious, peaceful weekend with those you love most.
Hugs and kisses,