Going Squirrelly

I don't have a picture of a squirrel, but chipmunks are equally annoying woodland rodents.

At 8 a.m. on a school day, this disabled French teacher sits in bed, surrounded by fluffed pillows, sipping from an enormous Parisian coffee bowl, and pondering an early morning dream in which a school colleague was driving a  group of  teachers in our old dilapidated ’91 minivan (the one that literally limped its way to the junk yard and died in a cloud of smoke) down Frederick Road in Catonsville which turned into Atlantic Avenue in Margate, New Jersey.  There was more to the dream, but I have hopes of actually holding onto my job, so I will stop there.

The sound track to this little scenario is the pitter-patter of little feet. Our resident kindergartner has not yet gone to school.

Pitter-patter.   Pitter-patter.  Thump, thump, thump.

Pitter-patter.  Pitter-patter.  Thump, thump, thump.

The sound is coming in stereo.  Above me, in the attic, I hear the pitter-patter thumping of a squirrel.  Below me, in the foyer, is the pitter-patter thumping of a little boy.  They run in the exact same rhythm.  The boy has the same energy as the squirrel.  The only difference is that the boy is also singing, “This old man, he had five, he played knick-knack on my hive, with a knick-knack paddy-whack, give a dog a bone, this old man came rolling home.”  Over and over again.  It’s stuck in my head…and now it’s stuck in yours.

(Yesterday John took him to the bus stop but, because it was cold out, wouldn’t let Harper out of the car until 8:25.  So Harper stared at the clock on the dashboard saying, “8:23, 8:23, 8:23, 8:23………….8:24, 8:24, 8:24, 8:24, 8:24….” until the clock beamed “8:25.”)

I pray for Harper’s teacher.

I hide in my room until every last person, husband included, has left the house.

Some of you may be thinking that I’m going squirrelly being home on disability for weeks and weeks.  Those who really know me will understand that I’m going squirrelly because there’s always someone coming or going around here!

John asks, “Will you be ok home all by yourself?”

“Yes, I will.”

My mom asks, “Are you sure you don’t need me to come over?”

“Really.  I’m fine.”

I’m currently reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain.  It’s about introverts in an extroverted society.  For an introvert, there is nothing earth-shattering in what she has to say.  It’s just nice to have a book that validates what we know to be true.

  • Introverts need time and quiet to think.  Thinking is needed in our loud society.  Introverts are needed in our society.
  • Our society does not value introverts.
  • Not all societies extol the extrovert model, which has implications for internationals in our country.
  • Introverts communicate better through writing than speaking.
  • Introverted teachers act out a role in class, a role which leaves them exhausted at the end of the day.
  • Introverts are highly reactive to stimuli.  Therefore…
  • Introverted teachers are more stressed than extroverts by noise levels and multi-tasking.  So, for example, a study hall duty with students who need constant reminders to find something to do and which requires constant interruptions to write out hall passes does not in the least little bit feel like a planning period.  It is a frustration in the day. Likewise, it is impossible to work in one’s classroom after school in a hallway containing the after-school room, basketball team “study hall,” and cheerleading practice.  And lunch duty….don’t even get me started on what it means for an introvert not to have a chance to recharge mid-way through the day. (Sorry…I got a little carried away there.)

For the moment, I am alone in a quiet house, thinking.  The sun beams in my window.  Outside, the world whooshes by on the highway.  I’m now ready to tackle the to-do list.

Forward ho.

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