Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

This might be one of the most anxious times of the year for me.  Tomorrow night is Open House for parents and students in my fourth grade classroom.  We're finishing up our electric circuit boards, and hurriedly sewing our individual flags of California.  We're making work folders and Mother's Day presents.  We're writing famous Californian oral reports.  Our silkworms are starting to spin their cocoons.  We're passing off times tables as fast as we can.  Two thirds of the students are done, and now the last few kids need to really attack their facts.  Next week is the state test, the one that means so much to so many people.  Judgement day for all.  In addition, I will be moving my classroom at the end of this year, so it's also time to start purging and packing.

This weekend is Santa Cruz Clay, a show that will last for two days, and hopefully will help me to make some empty space in my studio!  Will I be grading papers AND manning my booth?  Hope not!  I think that all of my lesson planning is ready for next week.

When I realized that it was May Day today, I kept hearing a fighter pilot repeating urgently, "May Day! May Day!"  It feels a little bit like my plane is in a nose dive.  But, then I thought back to a May Day from childhood, where a neighbor once hung a homemade delicate cone of flowers on the knob of our front door.  I still remember the nosegay of pansies.  It was lovely and so thoughtful.

By far, my favorite May Day was spent in Rome.  I had given notice at my job.  We had navigated awkwardly through Fiumicino.  Grant, Susie, and I had just walked out of the front door of our hotel, to begin our first official day in Europe.  Suddenly, we got caught up in a parade of marchers carrying banners for May Day.  We walked for a while, the only marchers not wearing red.  I kept thinking that Larry would be horrified if he knew.  It was such a glorious feeling, to be in such an amazing city, and to be part of an enthusiastic crowd of unified workers.  So, I'm choosing to think back on this particular, memorable May Day.  Ahhhhh, the dazzle and the forgetfulness of cares that travel brings.

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