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  • Kristen Kehoe

A Snow-Day Interrupted my Sick-Day...Dammit.

This week, my sick day was interrupted by a snow day.

Every parent in existence just winced for me.

On Monday night, I was feeling bad. Headache. Congestion. And for the first time in a long time, I thought, I’m taking a sick day that’s for me. Not because my kid is sick, but because I am actually not feeling well. I do the leg work: make the next day’s lesson plans sub-friendly (of course it’s a day where I teach 3 different preps in 4 periods), and put my time into Aesop.

Bing, bang--45 minutes later--boom. I am ready.

5:35 am: GAPS, 2 hours delay.

7:35 am: GAPS canceled

7:36 am: Livvy: Mama! Now you don’t have to spend the day by yourself.

Right. Because that would have been the worst. Ahem.

See you later, Lady Chatterly’s Lover. I’m watching Boy Meets World today.

I know, for those of you in the working-world that does not depend on bus routes and the safety of 1400 teenagers arriving at your job, the snow day was even more annoying because you did have to go to work, while also finding child care, or something to keep your child busy (because it was not the snow that promptly disappeared and turned to cold rain…leaving us all locked inside together…all day. Yay).

But–yes, I start a shocking amount of sentences with that word. I am someone who will always work to find that goddamn silver lining because complaining is annoying. Back to my but (haha, I know some of you laughed at that): while I was lamenting my sick-day turned family-locked-together-snow-day, I made use of a few of those hours and put a project I’ve been working on for a while out into the world.

A few years ago, after my last fiction novel tanked (I mean, none have been best-sellers, so it really has to go nowhere for me to think it tanked), I realized that I needed a change. And then I recognized how much I enjoyed writing about Old Man River and Liv and silly, anecdotal stories that maybe had some truth in someone else’s life too.

After that realization came the realization that I qualified to do very little but teach and write in this world. And so it was born: The Teacher’s Guide to High School. The intent was and is to write about the daily life of a teacher, from grading to learning to laugh with your students, to discipline, to working amongst and around district and state decrees that are made more for optics than actual improvement. But, if you’re a teacher, or any other kind of person, maybe you don’t always have time to read an entire memoir or how-to. Maybe, like me, you’d like the option for the brass-tacks version.

Enter the six word memoir.

Each entry in this memoir is titled with a six word statement that can be taken in and of itself for reflection, camaraderie, or a laugh. Whether the person reading goes on to read the article is up to them, because the title says it all without fanfare or commentary.

I have 41 titles and counting.

Yesterday, I published my third article on “Medium,” a platform originally created for writers to have a space to write and create and read. I believe it’s still meant for that, but you do have to filter through the thousands of how-tos, and step-by-step instructions on how to make money or eat healthy, etc. Those are great, but not something I am attracted to very often.

I don’t want to inundate anyone with another list of foolproof methods for teaching. Spoiler alert: there are none. My goal is to give anecdotal experience, maybe a laugh, and the offer of solidarity to all teachers, veteran and first year, because, teaching is hard. Harder still when you aren’t always teaching someone who wants to learn, but someone who is required to be there by the state. Or someone for whom school is a safe space, and they can’t think beyond the relief they feel at being somewhere warm (ish) and non-threatening.

So, I’ve gone and done it. And I have one fan: thanks, Bri. We are definitely co-writing that admin/teacher article and debating the necessity of PLC and data from different POVs. Love you long time.

Other things this week 9 brought me: Invention Convention and Liv’s first ever experience with OBOB. That’s competitive book reading for those of you who don’t know, and it’s fucking awesome.

Liv crushed Invention Convention because, as we expected, while she might have only created a lazy-Susan bookshelf, she slayed the advertisement and presentation in her diction-fairy skirt and posterboard (peep that washi-tape smiley face…seven dollars well spent, obviously).

And OBOB…since October, Liv and her three teammates have been reading through a list created by the Oregon Librarians, spending their Wednesday lunch discussing them, memorizing details like authors, plot, small facts, etc., and this week she competed three times to work toward regional winner. They made it to the top sixteen, where they were eliminated in knock-out rounds, but my girl, she was ice. And she read every single book, made her first set of flashcards, and was made team spokesperson. The pride…it was real for me. And I hope it was for her.

I hope your ninth week of 2023 has given you what mine gave me, even with that rando snow-day that will surely take some of my time in June to make up. There are times when the universe gives you what you need, and without knowing it, I needed all of these things. I hope you got whatever it was you needed.

Until next week. xoxo

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