Phone it in Friday XX: Miscellaneous Late July Update

By this time next Friday, I’ll be back at the grind, starting with some teacher meetings.  The public schools in my area have shifted to a semi-year-round schedule, so those unfortunates will start classes on Monday, 1 August 2022.  Yikes!  That means teachers in the public schools have already been back, which doesn’t seem right.  No one besides an administrator or grounds crew should be darkening the door of a schoolhouse in July.

Of course, heading back on 5 August 2022 seems pretty dang early in my book.  I notice that my school keeps inching up the return time for faculty a bit more each year.  I’m still a tad baffled as to why they want us to start back on a Friday.  Classes won’t resume until Wednesday, 17 August 2022, though, so I still have a little time before I really hit the ground running.

The news cycle remains slow, it seems—just more of the usual bad news.  As I am writing this post, I’ve spent nearly $400 in gasoline (petrol, for my British readers) this month in a car that gets around 32 miles per gallon.  Granted, I’ve been keeping the road hot with lessons and seeing my new lady friend, but, goodness, something has got to give.

When I first purchased my little 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV in January 2020 (in The Before Times, in The Long, Long Ago, before The Age of The Virus), I could fill up my car for under $20.  Often, it was about sixteen bucks!

Now, a fill-up my ten-gallon tank is around $38-40.  Gas prices are coming down slightly, but I don’t look for that trend to continue (although I hope I am wrong).  An increase of 250% is taking its toll on yours portly’s finances, as I know it is for many of my readers.

That said, there are many blessings in my life, and I’m trying to count them daily.  My morning Bible study continues to go well (although I overdid it one morning this week, spending two hours reading the Bible—my eyes started to glaze over and my brain turned to mush), and I’m slogging through Isaiah.  Lots of God’s Anger and Judgment in that one, but almost always accompanied with a promise of restoration and mercy.  I’m in Book III of the Psalms, when Asaph largely takes over and writes quite a bit about God’s Justice, which is pretty terrifying, but also reassuring:  God’s Anger is not forever, and He Gave us His Son, Christ Jesus, for our salvation.  Good News, indeed!

I’m also thankful for this season of downtime and relaxation.  The past couple of school years have been particularly draining, but I find that my enthusiasm for teaching and my desire to get back into the classroom is restored after ample rest.  I’m praying for patience and for energy, and that I can maintain my daily Bible reading (which may require me to get up around 5:30 AM most mornings to accomplish, but it’s worth it).

I’ve been dropping some weight, too.  At the time of writing, I’m down 14.3 pounds, thanks to cutting back on portions and fasting in the mornings.  I’ve only broken that morning fast a couple of times (this past weekend), and quickly got back on it.  I’m still far from where I need to be (I’m down from 250.9 to 236.6 pounds), but it’s encouraging to see some progress.

As of the time of this writing, I’m planning on heading down this coming Tuesday to a new open mic at a little bakery in Surfside, so my girl will get to hear me play live for the first time (besides when I have played for her privately here at the house).  That should make for a fun little excursion, and a chance to introduce a new audience to my music.  I’m excited, too, to network with musicians down at the beach.

Gotta get in the good times while I can.  I think I’ve made the most of this summer, though I always wish I could have done more.  There are several projects I’ve put off or haven’t gotten around to as planned, but that’s usually how it goes.  I worked a bit on a print version of Sunday Doodles—the first fifty editions of it—but I’ve run into some formatting issues between the paperback version and the Kindle edition.  It’s going to be a major, tedious undertaking to reconcile the two (indeed, I’ll have to have two versions of the book, essentially), so I’ve been holding off on that.  I haven’t been painting as much lately, either, other than one small project for my girl.

That’s it for now.  Thanks to everyone for your comments, encouragement, and feedback.

Happy Friday!

—TPP

7 thoughts on “Phone it in Friday XX: Miscellaneous Late July Update

  1. Crikey, I wish we had your fuel ‘headaches.’ To completely fill our 60 litre Vectra costs somewhere around the £100 mark nowadays. Apparently, the price is set to go down but not enough to cover the inflation of the previous years. It sucks but over the last few months, we pop around £30/40 a month in – I won’t have to completely fill it until September, when we go down to Devon, and we have car tax and MOT around that time too. Too much expense!

    From what you describe, regarding teaching meetings, it sounds like your education system is as daft as ours. From a personal perspective, I don’t see the point in all the admin you need to do, including daily lesson plans. You have your curriculum for the whole year and from that curriculum, you know what you’re teaching and what you want from your students so why clog it up with superfluous paperwork and meetings? You can see why I decided not to stay in the profession – a lot of modern education and the pointless prep that goes with it doesn’t suit me terribly. My subject was a creative one so getting bogged down with details doesn’t fit me at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RE: teacher meetings: my administration is at least pretty good about getting them to clip along, although so much of it falls under the category of “could-have-been-covered-in-an-e-mail.” We have several days of registration, as we register by grade, so that is where a lot of back-to-school teacher workdays are dedicated.

      Fortunately, as a private school, we take a light touch to lesson planning. I have to have some lesson plans up for the week by Monday morning, but they’re not the monstrosities they get in the public schools. We enjoy a great deal of adaptability—if we have to go off of our plans, that’s fine. They’re mainly there as a form of CYA, so parents and students have a sense for when they’re going to have a test and what not.

      All in all, I’m very blessed to work where I do, I’ve just been getting a tad jaded with formal education in general. But I’m trying to approach the new school year with a spirit of optimism and dedication, and I hope to do a better job of modeling Christian behavior and reaction to setbacks this year.

      Still, I love summer break! Now, if it were just twenty degrees cooler and the humidity were cut in half, it’d be paradise!

      Liked by 1 person

    • If you live in the countryside – or can get out into the countryside that early – the dawn chorus is even better.

      It’s beautiful around here, before the traffic on the main roads picks up. The faint rustle of the breeze through the trees, the rising sun piercing through the branches and the birds calling to each other.

      Liked by 1 person

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