The 4th

Boom!

Flash!

Too low!

Boom! Boom!

Flash!

That’s my favorite!

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Flash!

I like that one too!

Boom!

Flash!

Boom! Boom!

Flash!

Ooooooo……ahhhhhhh…..

Boom! Flash! Boom! Flash!

What would the 4th be without them?!?!

Hair

“Ms. W! Ms. W! Ms. W! Ms. W! Ned put tape all in Jim’s hair,” I hear Alec screaming from behind me on the 2nd to last day of school.

I turn to see my class coming in the classroom from art. And sure enough, Jim walks in with a wad of painters tape the size of a fist in his hair. “I don’t know why Ned would do this! What am I going to do? It hurts to pull on.”

I bring both boys into the hallway to try to not make a scene. “Ned, are you the one that put tape in Jim’s hair?”

“Yes!,” says Ned. Before I can ask another question he is off saying “He ALWAYS touches my hair. And I hate it. My hair takes hours to get done. No one should touch my hair.”

Without prompting Jim responds “I don’t remember touching your hair. I don’t! I promise I won’t ever!”

The boys get out all their emotions with very little intervening from me. Eventually they seem to apologize to each other so I begin to very, very slowly peel the painters tape out of the hair… piece by piece, “ouch” by “ouch!”

Thank You Second Grade Class of 2021

We ended the school year last year behind screens, my fingers crossed there were no technological glitches as I tried to share my classic end of the year video via Zoom. This year we end behind masks, my fingers still crossed there will be no technological glitches sharing a video.

But this time it’s different. This year I get to see your reactions in person. I get to hear you call out each other’s names as pictures flash across the screen. I get to bop along to the music and smile along with all of you and maybe shed a few tears.

Last year I also ended with a poem saying goodbye. So keeping with tradition I’ll try to do the same…

Goodbye to the learners who always persevered.

Goodbye to the Hamilton aficionados.

Goodbye to the boys who could not stop talking football stats ALL fall long.

Goodbye to the dancers and gymnasts.

Goodbye to students who joined our team midyear to make our class feel whole.

Goodbye to the kids with their noses ALWAYS in a book.

Goodbye to the fast runners and cartwheelers of the group!

Goodbye to teachers of new words like 감사합니다 (gamsahabnida).

Goodbye to my first-ever looping class. The class I got to teach and grow with TWICE! You will never be forgotten!  

The Sunroof

I’m sitting around the table, eyes half open, drinking my first cup of tea, chatting with a few girls at my sister’s bachlorette party. “Um Elena,” I hear from behind me. “We have a problem. A small problem but a problem. The sunroof was open over night and it rained. Amanda (my SIL) might need some help or some calming down.”

I glance over at my sister and smile. I say calming, “it’s just water in our dad’s car that we borrowed to get up here. It’s nothing he hasn’t done before. A mistake” I continue walking to the linen closet where I grab a bunch of beach towels before heading outside to see the “damage.”

As I approach the car I hear Amanda already. “Your dad is going to be mad at us. How could we be so stupid as to not close the sunroof after taking your sister’s pictures!? Ugh!”

As Amanda and dry the car with the beach towels I try my best to calm her down. I tell her she wasn’t involved in the photo shoot so Tori and I would be the ones to get in trouble (which I still thinking is highly unlikely). I tell her it’s happened before. I tell her it’s actually not that bad because of the small sunroof and leather seats. It could be much worse.

“I think we did the best we can do for now. When we get back to CT we already have to get a car wash of the outside anyways. We’ll just do the inside too! Don’t stress!”

Amanda smiles back slightly. “If you say so. But I’m still scared of what Mr. W will say!”

Finally

March 14, 2020- 9:30am… “We’ll stay open as long as the state says we can. But please make sure to wipe down your equipment. Instead of high-fives give a foot or elbow bump.”

March 16, 2020- 2:00pm… “All gyms in this state must close indefinitely starting at midnight tonight.”

March 18, 2020… “We’ll do Zoom workouts while the gym is closed. We need to stay safe.”

And this was my reality until today.

June 7, 2021- 6:10am… I FINALLY reentered the gym. I FINALLY got to do movements above my head (basement ceilings are not super conducive to all movements). I FINALLY got to workout with the “team.” FINALLY!

Easy to Handle

It was late in the school day on Thursday. I was enjoying some quiet while my students were at PE when I heard a knock at my door. I turn and see the first grade teacher from across the hall standing there. “Do you have a minute? Can I introduce you to some of my students?”

I make my way to the doorway to be greeted (and bombarded) by many 1st graders. “You’re a second grade teacher?” “Why are there no students in your room?” “Do you have books like we do in first grade?” “What about math?” “And field day?”

I try my best to answer questions as the first graders begin to wander around my classroom. Watching them I feel a tap on my hip… “Ms. Wetmore… I’m Ginny. I hope I have you next year. I’m easy to handle so won’t be a bother.” Shocked I try to think of something to say back. Lucky for me she joins her peers wandering before I have to. I laugh to myself and go back to answering questions. I guess she really is easy to handle. No answer needed.

Smiles are Priceless

The email came on Friday afternoon. Beginning Monday, May 24th, students would not have to wear a mask while outside at recess or PE. But masks still must be warn AT ALL TIMES in the building.

Then more emails arrived… “Anyone have any ideas of how kids can keep their mask clean while traveling back and forth from recess?” “My own kids school gives each kid a clothespin and they pin it to a tree nearby.” “We can make it a project and make lanyards.” “Fanny packs are coming back in style.” The whole school email went on but even more texts among grade level teams continued long into the weekend.

By Monday morning not much had been resolved. Which idea was best? Each teacher picked a strategy that would work for them (at least for a Monday), crossed their fingers and gave it a try.

And it was worth it. Seeing the kids smiles (some toothless) as they ran down the hill to start recess with their friends… PRICELESS.

A Blessing

When lockdown struck I was at a loss of what to do on Sunday mornings. Typically I would drag myself out of bed, go to church and then get a yummy donut. And if I didn’t go to church I didn’t get a donut…and I really like a good Sunday donut.

A few weeks after lockdown started my friend Christina posted on social media a picture of her TV on Sunday morning. The picture was of her brother, Father Stephen, on the alter of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. The following week I tuned in myself… and for many weeks after that. I didn’t even get a donut most weeks. I just enjoyed listening to mass from the safety of my home.

Fast forward to this past Sunday when I was invited to attend mass in NYC with Christina to see her brother. That also meant I got to meet Cardinal Dolan, the man who gave so many personable, thought provoking, and heartfelt sermons this past year. On occasion he even through in some funny lines, a favorite being about his own mother enjoying a nice Bloody Mary while watching mass.

The day was amazing… from the behind the scenes tour of the residency to the sitting on the alter for mass to the chatting after mass with the Cardinal. I feel extremely lucky to have had that experience to culminate this crazy year. I’ll be going back for sure.

Very Bad Morning

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning!

I bumped my head in the basement while working out.

I found ants on my counter.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning!

My blender smoked and died.

My tea burned my tongue.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning!

My audiobook wouldn’t work.

Traffic was horrible.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning!

But here’s to a better day ahead.

Flower Girl

Today marks 30 years since I was in my first wedding. The wedding of Donna Dear and Bill!

How exciting it was to get all dressed up in a dress made just for me. How fun it was to dance the night away with my aunts and uncles. How special I felt… and it wasn’t even my day!

Over the past 30 years I have spent a lot of time with Donna and Bill. They’ve been my babysitter. I’ve gone on vacations with them. I’ve babysat their two girls. I’ve had dinner with them too many times to count. I’ve sat on their couch just because I didn’t want to go home. I even went into lock down with them when Covid hit.

Over the years, Donna and Bill have shown me that opposites do make fantastic couples. They’ve shown me how to go with the flow and compromise. How to embrace each other’s quirks. How to give each other personal space. How to communicate. How to be there for each other in good times and bad. But most of all they’ve shown me how to embrace family, your own and in-laws alike.

So, Donna Dear and Bill… cheers to you and another 30 years of happiness!