23 June 2010

Feeling Loopy?

I will not allow this blog to be solely about a job search or about teaching, since those aren't the only things that I do with my life. Well, I guess the job search is kind of all that I do with my life these days, and teaching was all that I did with my life prior to 8 weeks ago. But I am truly trying to use this summer as a way to get back to some of the hobbies that existed in my life prior to my teaching internship.  One of those hobbies is crochet.

I've always enjoyed crochet for a lot of reasons. For one, I find it easy. For a basic project, get a crochet hook and a ball of yarn. Really the only other skills you need are the abilities to read directions and tie knots. Describing crochet like that could potentially get me in trouble with really advanced and talented crochet artists.  I will say, for those who design and execute their projects from scratch, sans pattern, there is quite a bit more control, planning, and insight required. But for the types of projects that I usually get "hooked" on (pun intended), I find that crochet is not a really difficult task. I also enjoy the fact that crochet is pattern-based. I like counting and repeating stitches. I always feel like I have control over the project, and most of the time, it becomes predictable. That relaxes me.  And with the medium of crochet, I find it reassuring that, if I make a mistake, I can back up and redo it. It's fixed and fixable.

Now, I'll be honest--I used to be slightly embarrassed that I enjoyed crocheting. I don't know exactly why. Perhaps because it's the kind of hobby that you usually associate with an 80-year-old lady, something that she does to pass the time between shuffleboard and group swim at the community center. That's very stereotypical of me, I know, but my grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was 8-years-old, and it was never exactly the trendiest thing to do.  I didn't want to be the girl known for wielding a crochet hook and expertly crafting an afghan, especially not once I got to high school. 

The thing is, now crochet is kind of trendy. Check out Etsy.com, and you'll notice--the craft of crochet is no longer limited to back-of-the-sofa doilies or patchwork afghans. Aren't some of these accessories pretty darn cute?

(I believe there are a couple of regulations that I have to adhere to here. First, credit for these images belongs to the Etsy sellers who are responsible for creating them. Top left: Millie at BigFrozenMelon. Top Right: SavorTheFlavor.  Bottom: TheCrochetHook. Second, all of these items are for sale on Etsy, but I have in no way been compensated for promoting or displaying these products on my blog.)

During my teaching internship, I started an afghan project that I really focused on over my holiday break. Unfortunately, the holiday break ended, things got busy again, and I couldn't devote any more time to it. It sits unfinished in my crochet bag, and I can't even remember what row I left off on. I'll have to restart it at some point, although that probably won't be this summer. With July approaching, I can't imagine spending hot Michigan afternoons with an afghan blanket in my lap. Instead, I picked up this book a few weeks ago:

I've had so much fun with some of the projects in here! They're quick, and pretty easy (although the process of felting makes me want to cry, because I am so inept, and it is so pretty). Most of my projects I have turned into pins for sweaters or bags, and they're fun to wear.  Someday, when I have time and/or an attention span,  I'll finish that afghan, but for now, I'm just crocheting my own little flower garden.

A New Beginning...

Times flies...when you're having fun, I guess?

It's been quite some time since I updated this blog, and it fell a bit by the wayside.  Originally, this blog was a project that I started for one of my teacher education courses at Michigan State University, as a sort of "teaching notebook." The blog format ended up not working out for my purposes, and unfortunately, I neglected it for almost 2 years. I'm sorry, blog. Now, as I search for my first teaching job, I feel like this might be a good place to document this time in my life. Especially since I spend a great deal of my day online anyway--searching for, bookmarking, and applying for teaching jobs here in Michigan.  Perhaps when I get totally frustrated with the hunt, this blog will serve as a much needed forum for decompression. Hopefully, though, the scope of this blog can move beyond a simple sounding board for my frustration. After all, if that's all it turned out to be, things could get a little hairy around here. In time, I hope that it can evolve into a space for me to share the triumphs and tribulations of my first classroom. Baby steps for now, though.

For now, I feel like I'm still "The Almost Teacher." Without the promise of a job in my future, I still feel "almost" there.  Granted, I've finished my year-long teaching internship, and my certification is processing through the state Dept. of Ed. at this very moment. Both momentous occasions. A job would be most momentous, though, before I end up feeling like this:

Enough complaining/ moping about the job situation! I've got an exciting opportunity coming up this weekend. Tomorrow, I get to return to Michigan State University to work with the Red Cedar Writing Project for their annual Greenrock Writers' Retreat. My big job, other than working with the writers, is going to be to compile the anthology for this year.  It's going to be a compilation of the writing that the kids do during the retreat, as well as photos documenting all of the fun we had.  I'm working with a couple of really great educators, and I'm practically giddy (okay, maybe more than practically) about this experience.  I get to work with really motivated and talented kids, stay in the dorms again (and eat awesome MSU cafeteria food all weekend!), and create something for these kids that will help them remember this weekend forever! I'm going to be up all night, packing probably, but more likely just being excited!