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It’s been such a busy week–of healing and grading and socializing and baking and shopping…and I’m exhausted.

I’m using the app on my phone to write this again–which is a little tedious. BUT the songs on my phone are a smaller, more select group that I adore, and tonight’s list is apropos.

I’m packed and ready for vacation for two weeks. I made 15 dozen ginger cookies for my students on Sunday afternoon as a “because”, but it’s because they are wonderful, goofy, pain-in-the-neck kids. So much so, that after we made snowflakes on Monday when all work was done (11th year doing this), I discovered that the Connecticut PTA has requested snowflakes to decorate the temporary home of the Sandy Hook kids.

You’re looking at roughly 450 my students and some of their friends made, and I can barely keep it together when more and more pour in. There’s no quota or goal, but I told them that I started teaching when I lived in Connecticut and that I have a special place in my heart for this project personally. And the snowflakes flurried in.

I know like everyone, I will get through this. Last week after my post, my nephew L and niece H came for a quick visit, and I couldn’t stop hugging and kissing them and telling them how much I love them.

But right now I struggle to see how two
polar opposite opinions on military weapons and limited ammunition will allow our country to move forward. This exact debate very much exists in my immediate family, with both sides so incredibly adamant that they are right. And perhaps we are both right. I’m scared of guns, while others are scared theirs will be taken away. It’s a stalemate tug of war.

Tomorrow I will be driving home in a snowstorm, equipped with enough clothes and homemade salted caramels and gifts to bless a small family. Perhaps I went overboard this year–overcompensating for my incredibly blessed life. I’d die without my loved ones. And today, more than yesterday or last week or last year, I’m much more aware of this.

I listened to this Beck album incessantly 10 years ago, when working in Connecticut. I was horribly miserable for so many reasons. And then I had a gun pulled on me by a student. A gun that after the trigger was pulled and I wasn’t hurt or bleeding or dead, I realized was fake. A student who struggled to be “himself” did this and so very frequently I think of it, despite the fact that obviously nothing happened to me.

So now you see why all if this affects me.

Proudly, I stand behind the decision I made 10 years ago to allow that student, a pacifist who thought I’d find the experience “theatrical” –because I am theatrical–to remain and graduate from our school. He’s a wonderful man now, a teacher as a matter of fact.

So when I mentioned wounds that scabbed over but can easily be scraped off when something similar happens last week, I was being truthful.

I’m not savvy enough to tell the difference between real and fake weapons, especially when the gun was two feet away and didn’t have an orange tip, or look even slightly fake. But I know truly in my heart of hearts, it changed me in a way that I cannot comprehend.

God Only Knows–The Beach Boys
Faust Arp–Radiohead
A Case of You–Joni Mitchell
Femme Fatale–Velvet Underground
Tumbling Dice–The Rolling Stones
End of the Day–Beck