I do not hide that I am a teacher, although in this climate, I am sure that there are people who are gritting their teeth, as they read this, and thinking lazy useless child hater, and unions, with a vile hatred. I love kids. I love learning so I love teaching, and the union has saved my ass a couple times, from some shit that should really not have happened, but they do an important job. Union haters forget 16 hour days, 6 days a week, with poor compensation, and no benefits other than money.
But I digress, I am an art teacher. I am a creative type. And I despise testing. I never tested well. I scored poorly on my SATs, significantly better on my ACT’s. And I was a high 80’s low 90’s student, basically because I am lazy, not in the sense you imagine, I would rather spend my time following my bliss, than working for a paycheck, or a good grade. My grades improved significantly when I changed my major to art, and I suspect, that they would have done the same if I had changed my major to creative writing, or even landscape design, or homestead cooking. Or knitting.
I went through a stage where I was reading alot of feel good stuff, wiccan handbooks, gemstone rituals and magic, Oprah. But I became sick on Oprah, I think it was the day I watched her carry on and on about this fabulous cable knit sweater she had found, so fabulous she bought one in every color. I felt horrified by this as I watched a woman in my school, a new refugee, walking down the hall in flip flops, during a snow storm. As I watched a student, who had two shirts, wear one day after day, because his other one was in the laundry, watched as the kids teased him for his filthy clothes. And I utter lost interest in her when she started her school for south african girls. Awesome. What about your own country? I know, she is a saint. Saint Oprah, I praise thee.
One day I was reading Oprah magazine, and Suze Orzmann was talking about money. She is like a standardized test though, its all about the end result. She said in the article she only had one pair of earrings. That NO ONE should own more than one pair of earrings. I went to my jewelry box and looked inside, which pair would I find a new home for? Or in the vein of Oprah send to some child in South Africa? Of course here she is on the Oprah show, and in the Oprah magazine, talking about one pair of earrings, I imagine Oprah has one in every color. Fabulous. Would I lose the fake diamonds? The real pearls I splurged on as a graduation gift from graduate school? Would I lose the tiny squares of abalone? The steam-punk disks? The earrings I made that look like doves falling? The tiny copper skulls dangling from a copper chain? The copper hoops I bought in Arizona? Hers were silver hoops, if I remember correctly, I don’t have any, maybe I should go out and buy some? Or settle on the copper ones?
I wear alot of black, it is a habit of artists, that I embrace, it hides coffee stains, and paint stains, and chalk rubs in easily on black, so does clay dust, and glue particles. I am an art teacher, not an office worker. My mother in law (de facto) wants to buy me striped shirts and paisley sweaters, and flowered blouses. No thanks I say, I prefer plain. Later I tell the pirate, I would rather accessorize, wear something that is a pop of color or is funky, as a necklace, a bracelet, a handful of rings. But even in that regard I fall short, because I also like to fly under the radar. I don’t want people to notice me, because I am not flashy, or sparkly, or fabulous. I am just me. And I like it that way. But as I stare down at my jewelry box full of memories, and bits and detritus of nature, and collections, and a life lived, I realize that Suze Orzmann is boring. My bills are paid, I am saving money, and I have a few things that I would consider to be of some quality, but the best quality of all, are the tiny beads and baubles that make me feel comfortable, happy, content. Not to say I couldn’t live without them, like hair, I could LIVE without it, but I would rather have it. Not to say I have to have one in every freaking color. But if I had to throw out all but one pair, I think it would be an ugly thing. Because without the bits of my life that are, cheap, classy, raw, earthy, ugly, stupid, and beautiful, I would not be the full person that I am.
And what the hell? One pair of earrings? Even my refugee kids pull bits of colored string through the holes in their ears. Maybe I should just do that.
What color though?
Snarky morning writing.