Millennials get a bad rap and other musings unpublished

Yikes. It’s been almost a month since I posted. Posted, but not composed.

I’ve composed a litany of posts, abstractly. My favorite running mind-float is to write in my head. Sure, I occasionally daydream, (unsuccessfully) practice meditative mindfulness, or (often) run through my weekly lists, but usually, at some point, my mind begins working on posts.

There’s been so much to write about the past month. The inaugural year of the signature program finished its first iteration, mostly successfully. The kids finished their school years, successfully. I made it to summer break, relatively intact. I “wrote” about each of these events during early morning hours on the treadmill.

I had the chance to talk to a former graduate from long ago, class of 2004, I think. She is now an editor at a major publication, and working on a back to school story about navigating the over-scheduled and anxiety-ridden high school years (for both students and their parents). It was amazing, and awesome, to hear her voice again (she’s in New York City, so it was a phone interview). I asked her how she ended up in journalism and publishing, since my recollection was that she went to Brown University as a pre-med student last time I saw her. She marveled that I remembered details about her life; I think most students never realize how much their teachers invest in them. We carry them with us.

I’ve been in education nearly twenty years. Teaching expectations and protocol has changed, significantly, but students not so much. To that end, I think Millennials get a really bad rap. I’ve taught hundreds, probably thousands, of Millennials. Based on the usually-accepted definition of the generation, almost my entire career has been spent, day in and day out, with Millennials.

I said a lot about that topic, in my head, on a recent 19 mile bike ride.

this was my very first “robed” graduation ceremony as a teacher, the class of 1999 (my 2nd year teaching). I was proud to already have my Master’s sleeves!

This month marks ten years since we piled the 3 kids, and cat, in the minivan and drove from Rhode Island to Austin. I could write a novel about my thoughts on the past decade as a Texan after 3+ decades as a Yankee: the culture shock, the life changes, the regrets and rewards. I tried to edit myself down to a meaningful, yet measured, post about that milestone as I swam, lap after lap, during recent swim workouts.

Yes, that IS a portable DVD player suspended from the minivan ceiling. We did not have a system in our van (or apparently, a high standard for vehicular safety). These pics snapped during a particularly horrendous traffic jam, lasting so long that my oldest got out and picked flowers for me on the side of the road. 

I have written many posts, in my head, during the past month. Until school let out, I was simply too busy to write them down. My typical 9 hour work day easily extended to 12 and 13 hour shifts during the last few weeks in May, when many (most?) nights had evening functions, due to my position as a senior program director – not to mention one memorable weekend when I, quite literally, worked virtually around the clock (*mental note to stagger program deadlines next year).

But school has been out for almost two weeks. I can’t blame my work schedule for the dearth of posts recently. Instead, I have been trying to soak up every second with my kids (well, the younger two. The oldest has a summer job and is working ALL THE HOURS. I’m super proud of him but he’s like a ghost around here, albeit a ghost that consumes most of my fridge and pantry when he floats through the house).

The drum is beating, a little louder each day, as the 30 days approaches June 15th.

So I’m making my annual Mother Crab summer visitation distraction plans. I planned a long weekend getaway for July 4th with the husband. I have a summer grant proposal that involves many hours of research and work. I’ve (mostly. Still not totally confirmed. Still feeling out the scary details) decided on this summer’s irrational and painful athletic distraction.

I will blog about that next. After June 15th. Right now I still have 5 days to soak up morning walks, afternoon pool time, frozen yogurt trips, and friend sleepovers.


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