22 September, 2012

Elbird, Maryland's Own

To all my classy Northern Virginia friends who still recoil in horror when they hear I'm living in Maryland -- in MoCo, no less! -- let me assure you, the Old Line State has its share of creature comforts.  Take, for instance, the cozy trailer from which I write.

I am spending this sunny Saturday morning submitting my vehicle to the state safety inspection.  After handing my keys over to the inspector, I was escorted to the "waiting room."  "Waiting room" is a rather broad term, I suppose.  In this context it refers to a tiny trailer permeated by a questionable odor, filled with a sectional couch from 1993, 2-year old magazines, a record player and tape deck (all in one!), and a dusty computer and TV.

Oh, but the highlight is the bin of toys to entertain the kiddies while you wait!  It's faithfully guarded by a miracle of modern toy medicine: Elmo's face and hands transplanted onto Big Bird's body!  Elbird is very disturbing, to be honest, but I commend the creativity at work here:

18 September, 2012

In Which I Miss People, Disappoint a Student, and am Monitored by a Dutch Master

A lot has happened in the last month.  My best friend (coincidentally, my big sister) moved to Sweden.  I could wax lyrical about that, but I'm not going to.  I'm just going to remind her that we can't wait to read about her fascinating, adventure-filled new life in a beautiful country on her blog!  (hint hint...)
"There were never such devoted sisters"
After sniffling about that for a few days, I picked myself up and dove further into the new world that is teaching.  Reader, behold, for you are about to marvel at my remarkable German efficiency:  I've already succeeded in losing the respect of one young 9th-grade lad in just one sentence.  Here's how it went down on the playground:

Student: "Hey Miss Heidel, Bears or Packers?"
Me: [Thinking: Crap!  He's speaking Football!] "Ohhh, I don't really follow a team...but I guess I'd say the Packers because my dad's from Michigan."
[Pregnant pause; speechless horror covers student's face and my eyes widen as I realize my mistake]
Student: "[Despairing sigh] -- the Packers -- the Packers are in WISCONSIN!"

What can I say?  I never got into football (or Midwest geography, apparently).

One of my first projects at work involved purchasing, framing, and hanging some new fine art prints to spruce up the main building.  One of the nicest pieces is a large poster of Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring.  Upon returning to my desk after completing the installation, I sat down and discovered that I'd hung the Vermeer precisely in my line of sight from my seat.  The Girl is watching me.  Always, ever watching me.

"Are you intimidated yet?"
Come to think of it, she has the harried and long-suffering look of a woman who has been forced to watch hours of football.  Perhaps she and I will get along after all.

11 September, 2012

Hi, have we met?

Coming off of what was, for me, a fairly prolific fall and winter of blogging, I had high hopes of incessantly writing various and sundry witty, winsome, and wise posts as the year continued.  But then I started teaching.  And now apparently more than a month has elapsed since I had something worth sharing with the few, the proud, the Fledgling Things Readers.  I hope you've not forgotten me in the interlude.  In case you have, though, I'm Ginny, and I like long walks on the beach...  My email correspondence has been equally anemic.  Mental energy and free time don't have the courtesy to show up at the same time.  What can I say?  Being a first year teacher has introduced me to a whole new realm of Tired that I didn't know existed.  Oh, it is most definitely rewarding, fun, interesting, etc etc etc -- but I have not worked this hard since college, and by the time I get home at night the most exertion I wish for is to pour a glass of wine for myself and my roommate and watch a sufficiently fluffy period drama.

In all seriousness, it is delightful to be putting my degree to use at last; I am teaching art and art history to middle- and high-school students (roughly ages 13 to 18, for those of you in other countries).  My not-so-secret devious scheme is to raise up a new generation of art history majors!  I am not aware of any actual converts as of yet, but they scored well on the first test so I am not completely without hope...

These are the things that have been brightening my free time, when I have it:

- Of Monsters and Men "King and Lionheart"
- Turtle brownies (Oh NO! as my friend Marianne would say)
- Pinterest (Sad, sadder, and saddest -- but true)
- PG Wodehouse
- Nothing But Bonfires